Sunday, September 14, 2008

2 for 1 Deal

So today gets two blogs. Yesterday's Coppi debacle and today's Turkey Day Success.

The course today is referred to as Tradezone. Its a 1.3 mile loop with three turns and pretty much completely flat. This is the same course as my first crit ever. I did the 3/4 race a year and a half ago at when they do the training series out there. I was scared to death of the intensity of criterium racing, and I ended up getting spit out the back.

Fortunately times change.

There were 5 premes for the 15 lap (20 mile) race. On the second preme--Lap 4 or 5--the first guys to the line kept riding hard to initiate a break. The break wasn't perfectly represented, but there was a Route 1 Velo guy there, and they had 8 to 10 guys in the race. The started to look good, and I was sitting in the pack. I sprinted to get a gap and to bridge up. I bridged the 15 or so seconds in about 2 minutes. Two other guys tried to come too, but I rode them off my wheel, and they never made it. Bridging up took 450 watts for 1:50. I got the gap with a 1275 watt initial burst.

Its usually a good thing if some guys try to bridge and don't make it. Only strong guys try to bridge up, and if they can't make it, then the breakaway has some potential.

Our breakaway of 5 guys worked phenomenally together. Nobody attacked. We were smooth, and it was pretty awesome. There was even another preme and we all agreed not to attack for it. Fortunately it was my turn at the front, so I "won" that one...sweet. It ended up being about $60 in gift certs....nice!

I actually felt really calm in the break. I never felt fatigued. I was worried I might have trouble after the hard bridge attempt, but it was not an issue. I took my turns at pulling right when I got there.

The final lap came around and there still hadn't been any attacks. I decided I wanted to win. I was going to attack with a barrage of hard sprints until I got a gap. First sprint was with 1.1 miles to go...1240 watts max; 970 watts for 13 seconds. I got a few bike lengths, but they had me marked. We regrouped for 10 seconds, then someone countered. His attack was not as hard as mine. I countered it with 910 watts, then he slowed as I was on his wheel. 10 Seconds later, we rounded the 2nd to last turn (1200 meters to go), and I gave it the gas. Nobody countered! It was a long way to the line, but I held them off. I won by a solid 50 meters...stoked! The cool thing is that gives me points towards both a Cat 3 and Cat 2 upgrade. Final haul to the line was 452 watts for 1:30 and a max of 1050.

I won all kinds of stuff. I won a frozen turkey, a hybrid/commuter bike!!!, about $50 of nutritional products, and another $60 in gift certs. I made out like a bandit!

It hurt lots, but it was awesome! Pretty much flawless execution. Sorry for the lengthy post, but thanks for reading; I'm pumped!

Almost forgot. I also did the Cat 4 race. It was 90+ degrees with crazy humidity today. I didn't cramp, but I just didn't quite have it in the finale. I finished around 10th or 12th or so. Really looking forward to some huge success next season.


So I'm obviously back from San Diego. It was great to ride out there. I basically obliterated my legs each day I felt good, and I took it easy on the days my legs needed to rest. Listen to the body, track training markers and metrics in Cycling Peaks WKO+, get a boost in fitness.

This weekend was a big weekend of racing. Giro di Coppi--a 50 mile hilly Road Race--up near Frederick and Turkey Day Cat 3/4 and Cat 4 races the next day. For those of you who know the lingo, I had a nice pop in TSB coming into the weekend. I was ready to rock and roll.

I take forever to get ready for races. I'm not really sure why. Its just one of the things I know about myself. I have learned how to deal with it, but I have to make a concerted effort to be early for things. I was on the wait list for Coppi. This meant I didn't get to register until registration for pre-registered riders closed--15 minutes before race time. I had to use the little boys room, but I didn't want them to give away my wait listed spot, so I decided to do that stuff afterwards.

Well, to make a long story short, it took me about 90 seconds too long to register, hit the boys room, get my number on, and to put my number on my spare wheels for the support truck.

THE RACE STARTED WITHOUT ME....ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

I chased really hard. I had to catch up 90 seconds. I thought I could do it. I got within 30 seconds, then I missed the first turn on the course. That put me back at about 2.5 minutes. I got it back to about 1 minute, but I couldn't close it any further. I ended up just riding really hard by myself for an hour. I made a deal with myself that if I didn't catch the pack after an hour that I could go home.

Power Junkies...309 watts AP, 342 NP. Its hilly out there, so that explains the variability. Probably could have done a bit better if I didn't bury myself the first 10 minutes...good workout. Terrible race result.

What will the Crits at Turkey Day bring? My legs feel great.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

I think I killed Patrick...

I gave Patrick, my brother, my old Giant TCR2 Road Bike after I got my Soloist. We went out for a ride last weekend, and Patrick obviously enjoyed it, and it seemed like he had quite a bit of potential. Today wasn't supposed to be a killer ride for me, so I suggested we go out and cruise around for 2 hours.

I guess I sort of forgot how long a 2-hour ride is for a "green" cyclist. San Diego is hilly, so there really aren't a whole lot of places to hide. Patrick was a trooper, but he's hurting big time now. Poor guy. Give him a year or so, and he will be a dominant force on the bike. Neither of our parents is super strong on the bike, but their genetics combined seem to give the right recipe :-)

I've got some good pics, and I will post them later.

During our ride today we rode with some dude from Credit Agricole. He had the full kit on, and his legs were massive. I'm only going to assume he is actually on the team. The irony is he was sitting on Patrick's wheel for a mile or so. I still can't get over how HUGE his legs were...insane!