My brother and I are going face first into the crit pool this weekend, first competing in the MABRA crit championship in Hagerstown and on Sunday heading to Dawg Days. We spend a lot of time on our pre-race routine, which we have heretofore kept secret.
Now, I won't reveal all our family secrets. But I will provide a few hints that should serve you well in Hagerstown and Dawg Days.
Hagerstown looks incredibly technical. Hitting that acute-angle turn after a downhill spells trouble. I advise all my fellow races to go incredibly slow. Better safe than sorry. To heighten your sense of danger, view a few of these--here, here, and here--to ensure a proper sense of what can happen to your body at 30 mph. Better to keep things nice 'n easy.
And by all means, stay away from other riders. Dropping off the back right away will keep you safe. Either that or fly off the front at top speed and then just keep up that speed for the whole race. I believe in you. You are head and shoulders above the rest of us. Even though your FTP is 250w, I believe that there's a speed demon inside you that for some reason just hasn't made an appearance. But he'll do it tomorrow. You'll launch at 29 mph, start to feel winded, then suddenly you'l hear a cracking sound and you'll hear harps and your mother's voice...and suddenly you'll be on a higher plane of existence. I believe you can do this, especially if you...
Have a few beforehand. Riders used to do this up until the 1960s. The old ways are the best ways. Maybe you'll throw up (see below), but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Hey, odds are you won't win the race. Why not make some people laugh in the meantime with your drunken antics?
And if you win drunk...man! That would be awesome. About two dozen people would acknowledge you to be the Hunter S. Thompson of Cat 4 cycling. The rest would rightly accuse you of recklessness and awful judgment, but you can't worry 'bout the haters when you're puttin' your thing down.
I know you've read Professor Lyons' advice about water, but the opposite applies to food intake. You'd ride without a few spokes to save weight...why wouldn't you ride without eating to drop weight? The longer you can go without eating, the better. Weigh yourself constantly; if you haven't lost the desired amount of weight by race time, pull the trigger. Technically, this isn't bulemia if you don't make a habit of it.
Does this look like didn't regurgitate his pre-race meal?
To sum up: drink plenty of fluids, don't eat, and come in with an overwhelming fear of death.