12 May 2012

Ravensdale Road Race

Restless night… not such a great sleep. But it sure didn't hurt me any today.

Our team raced really well today - it was fantastic to see and be a part of. The end result was 2nd and 3rd place. Nice.

CIMG8563

Today I was joined by Ryan Dean, Greg Kauper, Dave Hecht, RC Rogers, Corrie Martin and Alex Telitsine. Even so we were outnumbered by Garage Racing (12 riders) and Audi (10 riders) who were both stacking the field! We had 61 riders start today which was excellent. Thanks to everyone for showing up!

Our goal was two in every move, this seemed like a necessity just to give us a fighting chance. And we did it.

Even before the neutral rollout was done, Jim Flynn was trying to string it out. He either did not know or just didn't care. He finally ran into the lead car which was not going fast so we all slowed down again. And then we took off for real and the attacks came pretty thick and fast.

I was feeling pretty rotten.

Not sure what my deal was, the weather was fantastic, the course was not hard and yet I was dragging. Because of this I missed the first move but luckily Greg and Dave did not. Yes.

Ryan, RC, Alex and I spent the next three laps covering moves and sitting in. There were a couple of attempts to get away and bridge but they were all pretty short lived. The pace was hot! I remarked to more than one person that the break was really earning it today… At one point in the third lap Chandler Leach tried to get away twice. This was the first time I had seem him on the road and he was obviously not afraid to give it a go.

Most of the pulling in the pack was being done by Olympic Orthopaedic Associates, one guy from Blue Rooster and two guys from Stanley. One of the Stanley riders was cracking me up! Shortly after the break went up the road he was obviously miffed that the pack was not actively chasing it down. At first he pipes up with (this was directed at the entire pack), "What's the matter, you guys got your panties in a bunch?" Shortly thereafter he turns to his teammate and says, "C'mon, we're going to light it up!" Then he proceeded to dangerously make his way to the front and took a big pull. You go girl. The Blue Rooster rider was not doing much better. At one point someone must have said something to him (I could not quiet make it out) because he instantly surged and pulled us along at a wicked pace for at least one mile. Then he promptly faded to the back. People are funny.

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At first it looked like the break was just dangling but then they got out of sight and I figured they were gone. But about 2.5 laps into the race we started to see them again and on the hill just before the finish with three laps to go we were obviously going to reel them in. Since I was still not feeling spectacular I turned to Ryan and told him to be on the lookout for a move at the summit and sure enough some guy jumped and Ryan went with him. I don't exactly recall how it happened but someone else took off and I went after him. We caught the break, there was a surge, the pack was getting really close and then suddenly Ryan and I were in a new break.

Right away I went to the front and took a good pull to see if we could detach ourselves and it was looking good. It was three Audi riders, one Garage rider, one Olympic rider, Ryan and me. I realized really quickly that some guys were not pulling through and I made an imploring hand gesture and was promptly told that, "Some of us have been off the front all day and are feeling just a little tired." Oh. Turns out that we had Aaron Lavin and Doug Davis along who had both ben in the original move. Way to go guys.

So the work fell mostly to Brian Hall, Tom Potter, Ryan and me. Truth be told, when the road was flat even the tired riders pulled through, they were certainly game.

We seemed to establish a solid gap right away and other than a few hiccoughs when people had to eat or were simply knackered and missed their turn our rotation was really smooth. And interestingly, suddenly I was feeling super! Sometimes the pace of the break is much more conducive to me than the go/slow/go/slow of the pack. Whatever it was, I was feeling much better now.

With just over one lap to go the rotation seemed to falter. I tried to encourage everyone by saying that we still had 10 miles left but the writing was already on the wall and I could tell not everyone was going to contribute the same amount this last lap as they had previously. At this point I did not care and was fine with taking a few longer turns on the front and filling gaps in the paceline as they appeared.

As we got to the back stretch the speed was really plummeting and I was nervously looking back each time I was at the back. Finally I figured this either just everyone being cagey or they really were that tired and there was only one way to find out. I surged by on the left and just kept going. Guess who closed me down? Aaron. That should have been a big, red flag.

At this point we dropped Doug. He was suffering from cramps. He tried to chase back on but never made it.

ASIDE - in retrospect I should have gone on a hill. As it was everyone was able to draft Aaron back up to me. On a hill I would have at least dropped one or two. Earlier Chandler had told me, "You're the strongest, you need to go!" At the time I had thought he was just trying to get in my head and make me pull more but he was serious! Who knew he would say that and actually mean it?

So now it was grupo compacto once again. We rounded the last right hand turn and the pace really dropped off. Just then an official vehicle drove up to us and said we had two minutes. I was thinking that at this pace two minutes is nothing and was getting a little twitchy. I had told Ryan to be 2nd or 3rd at the top of the hill and NOT be first so I just swung left and tried not to 1) get in his way and 2) be first myself.

At the top with 1 km to go Brian took over. I guess he figured that Chandler was the better sprinter (which I think is true) but it turns out Chandler was also pretty tired and could not keep up. WE waited until 200 m to go and then when the jump finally came Aaron was still able to squirt ahead pretty easily and score the win. Kudos to you Aaron, you certainly deserved that one. Behind Aaron Ryan and I had managed to detach ourselves from the rest of the break and for a while it was a dead heat but then Ryan was able to edge me at the line. This is what it looks like to lose second place.

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In spite of not winning I'm incredibly happy with how we rode today. Truth be told, Aaron is a bit out of my league and so I'm just stoked to have made the moves in the last several races. That has got to be at least half the battle.

Congratulations to Ryan for 2nd and to Greg and Dave for setting us up and to RC, Alex and Corrie for helping out.

Today I learned that when it gets warmer I need to put less food in my bottles! The gel was working great but I was thirsty and cramped myself with about 2 km to go (luckily I worked it out pronto). Too much powder, even if it's just HEED, slows the absorption of the liquid and thus dehydrates me. I also learned that sometimes you need to try (meaning attack more!). Who knows, you might do better than you think and judging by how tired everyone else was at the finish I might have done pretty well.

Here are all the pictures.

Sleep 6
Waking HR  
Body Weight  
Body Fat  
Breakfast 5:30 AM - Smoothie 2.0
7:30 AM - large bottle w/3 scoops Perpetuem
Lunch  
Dinner  
Workout Food 20 min before start - shot of gel
race - 1.5 large bottles each w/1 tablet Nuun and 2 scoops HEED, 1.5 flasks of gel
Injuries  
Therapy  
Time of Day 11:05 AM
Workout Type race
Weather mid 60s to 70, sunny, dry, not much wind
Course 9-mile rolling loop with a short climb about 2 km from the finish
Results 3rd - Masters Cat 1/2/3
official results
Time  
Distance  
Pace  
Equipment Road Bike
Mad Fiber wheels
39/53, 12-25 (the gearing was perfect)
Clothing bib shorts, sleeveless undershirt, short sleeve jersey, cap

2 comments:

Sean Phillips said...

That last 1.5K is brutal when sprinting it out for the win. Well done!

Martin Criminale said...

@Sean - it sure is funny how easy a hill like that can be when you are just riding along and how hard it is during a race.