In about a week I have my first sanctioned criterium. Due to the way officially sanctioned races are structured here, the entry level class is essentially the equivalent of Cat 3.
So overweight mid-30s 3.0 watts/kg me with minimal criterium experience (one hotdog crit two years ago) me will be up against, at the pointy end, skinny 5.0+ watt/kg teenagers (I think one of the kids is actually on the national team?!).
The race is a 28 km crit with a history of big crashes. The course is 2.2 long with four 90 degree turns and one 180-degree hairpin. The class I am signed up for averaged just under 42 km/h last year. There’s going to be probably 85 people in the race this year (170 have signed up for my category and there’s usually two groups).
Any suggestions to avoid breaking my new bike? How deep will I need to go just to keep up?
I have a road race the next day, but I know I will be dropped and cut so fast that safety will basically be a non-issue.