28 April 2012

Olympic View Road Race

Attack! Go fast! Go fast some more! Cover that move! Do it again!

This was real racing today which was a nice (although tough) change from the negative riding that sometimes occurs at our level. Huge kudos to Greg Kauper; with just one teammate we had to cover everything and except for the very last move we did! Also to Aaron Berntson for making that last move which we missed stick, the entire Garage Racing team for lighting up the race and to Audi for putting in a solid, coordinated effort to bring back the last big break.

Whew.

Last year was my first time participating in this event and man was it WET. And COLD. As we drove down and the rains started I was thinking, "Not again…!" Thank goodness it dried up by the time we got to the start. Also, the temperature was a good 10 degrees warmer than last year so I was not complaining. We had loads of time so after standing in line for the toilet, changing clothes and airing the tires I went for a little spin.

Here is my warm up.

The field looked stacked, there were about six guys from Garage, about five from Keller Rohrback and about five from Audi. Throw in at least four from Apex Racing and Greg and I had our work cut out for us.

When you're not going to win any pack sprint, racing is all about the break. Rather, it's all about getting IN the break so that was the mission of the day. Surprisingly the race started off relatively mellow and there were no massive efforts right from the gun. Of course that did not last long and soon there were people sneaking and flying off the front. Greg would go with one move and then I'd go with the next. Sometimes one of us had to go twice in a row but that's how it works when there are just two of you.

About the fourth Garage rider to take a flyer was David Hills. He got away solo so after a few seconds I jumped after him and got away clean myself. I bridged, he got on my wheel and then I put in a good long pull to see if the pack was going to respond. When I peeled off and looked back they had not! But just the two of us with at least 60 miles to go was not the greatest odds. After a couple of more rotations I asked him how he was feeling and he replied, "Not so good…" Oh well. So I dialed it back to about 85% and instead of another group bridging up to us the pack just reeled us in. Done.

Not long after Greg got in a move that had four riders, this looked more promising. They stayed away for about 1.5 laps but they were never out of sight as Garage kept trying to increase their odds by sending more people off the front. Unlike some races where you can pretty much sit up once the break is established I had to cover EVERY ONE of these attacks. :( It just didn't make sense to let Garage add firepower to the break without also adding me. :)

With a little less than two laps to go we caught the break and then shortly thereafter I got in another one. Now this one looked good! It had Matt Hill, Nikos Mills, two guys from Apex and Erik Scheller from Keller. Plus me that was six so I figured good bye pack. Not.

One of the Apex guys was not so strong and Erik was a little reluctant to work so even though we got the gap up to about 45 seconds that was it. Also, we didn't have an Audi rider… Back in the pack Audi did what teams rarely do outside of a Pro/1/2 race and that's go to the front and chase. And they did it well. All five guys rotated and 1.5 laps later they pulled us back.

Now were were getting close to the finish and I was tired! Of course Garage blasted up the last couple of rollers but in spite of feeling blown I was still able to get over these better than most of the field. With about 3 km to go Aaron and an Apex rider put in their attack.

Greg was on the front and pretty wasted himself and I was about 15 riders back and boxed in so bad timing for us! These guys rolled up the road and by the time I had extricated myself from the bunch it looked pretty unlikely that I would 1) get away clean or 2) be able to bridge. All I had left was to hang tight and hope that someone else would chase them down. That did not happen.

There was one last surge on the last climb and then Sean Phillips and Nikos kept the pressure on over the flats at the top. I was able to go with them but we did not go fast enough and the pack pulled us back.

Down the hill, around the corner and we're at 1 km to go. I stood up to move up a few positions and my left quad cramped up incredibly bad. Ouch! I had to sit right back down and rub it out as best I could while not loosing my position; it was not easy.

At 200 m to go Mark Mirante takes off with Jim Flynn right on his wheel and he freaking holds him off all the way to the line. Amazing. I sprinted a few pedal strokes, cramped again, sat down and did my best which was getting passed by a few guys and then passing a few back. I think Greg had shot his wad and simply sat up.

After rolling across the line I had do a few laps around the parking area just so I could dismount my bike without locking up again. I drank a lot, stretched a lot and finally felt good enough to watch the Cat 1/2 break and field get held up by a crash and then restarted. Bummer. Then I watched the end of the Cat 3 race. Where there was another wreck. Hello ambulance. Sheesh.

I think I ate and drank well today, the cramps were just from going hard that many times for this much distance. I am not used to that this year for sure. With my running and training in general I have not been doing as much top end stuff and it's been more about volume and threshold intervals. It's all good. I made it into a break, still managed top-10 and we represented our team VERY well today. I also did not freeze. Bonus.

And here is the race.

Sleep 6
Waking HR  
Body Weight  
Body Fat  
Breakfast 6:00 AM - 2 bananas, apple sauce, 1 scoop protein powder, walnuts
8:30 AM - 3 eggs, salsa
drive down to race - large bottle w/3 scoops Perpetuem
Lunch  
Dinner  
Workout Food large bottle w/3 scoops Perpetuem and 2 Endurolytes, large bottle w/1 tablet Nuun and 2.5 scoops HEED, half a PowerBar, 2 PowerBar Energy Gels, flask of Hammer Gel
Injuries  
Therapy  
Time of Day 1:20 PM
Workout Type race
Weather low to mid 50s, off and on drizzle but mostly dry, light breeze
Course mostly flat 18-mile loop with a few rollers
Results 10th - Masters 35+ Cat 1/2/3
official results
Time  
Distance 72 miles (4 laps)
Pace  
Equipment Road Bike
39/53, 12-25
Mad Fiber wheels
Clothing knit shoe covers, bib shorts, Craft short sleeve undershirt, short sleeve jersey, arm warmers, cap

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