22 April 2006

Wente RR 35+ 4/5

Teammates: Gene Ragan and Jim Werle
Overcast and cool
Used the 50x34 with the 12x25 cassette. Might use the 11x23 next time, felt like I was spun out with the tail wind at 60kph a few times with the 50x12.

The first major bump was the feedzone/finish hill and this took about five minutes at v02max. Then there is about three minutes at tempo then another four minute effort for the hills after the 580 overpass. Gapped with about ten other guys near the finish line atop the hill. Might have blown up here because the first minute plus is at L6 pace but I managed to get through the feed zone still with some folks. At least this was farther with the group than the last time I did this. Could see the remains of our group ahead across the 580 overpass about 50 meters ahead. Was gaining on them (in my mind...) when I dropped the chain on the uphill before the first downhill, took at least 20 seconds according to the data to get it all back together - got it on, got on bike, started pedaling, then it came off again, got off, repeat, probably didn't make too much of a difference, but the ten guys behind me passed me while I was doing this. Gritted my teeth and started time trialing and started catching guys on the hill after doing about one lap solo.
Caught about six of these guys over the next two laps, rode with one fellow back of the packer for our next to last lap as he clarified that it was our next to last lap and not our last lap as I mistakenly believed - doh. He fell back on the last lap and I caught about five other guys in my class before the finish. One of the guys did not want to work on the last lap and attacked me on the tight downhill corner with the hay bales, it was pretty easy to catch back up to him and leave him behind once we started going up again.

On the plus side I did not cramp - ate three Gu's, three Enduralytes and drank one bottle during the race. Probably could have gotten away with one bottle.

Wente RR
~69/75 (official results only go to 68...)
AP: 181
NP: 219
TSS: 210
IF: 0.89
T: 2:37:49
D: 76.73 km

20 April 2006

Thursday Night Points Race, April 20

B Points race
Field: 13
Teammates: Daniel Tisdell

Conditions: Cold and the usual headwind in the back stretch. With the full sleeve skinsuit and an undershirt, my arms still felt cold, will need to wear arm warmers underneath the skinsuit next time.

P: 258
S: 23.8
H: 183
T: 40.0
C: 89

Hed 3 wheel in front and a Deep V in back with a CH Aero cover. Vredestein piste tires front and back at 100 PSI.
51x15 gearing to try something different from the 50x15 I used for most of last year. This was the first non sprint track race I have done in about six months. Not sure if the difficulty I had keep up was with the gearing or the adaption to racing on a fixed. We'll find out next week. My average speed seems pretty low for the effort. Wanted to use the race as a L4 workout and the average power is good for me for this length of time. Got spit out the back in about ten laps and worked with Joe, Jeff, and Mike for a long time. We got lapped about twice when we got 14 laps to go. I remember this because when the field passed us this time a couple of fellows in the lead group were overlapping wheels and one of them moved and the other fell in front of us. Mike went underneath and I went up track to slow down but the rider started walking up track so I had to slow more and yell at him repeatedly to stay. At this point I just wanted to finish without any more incidents so I just latched onto the field of five or six riders the next time they came past. With five to go I looked behind and did not see anyone while in turn three so felt content to just follow the last rider in the lead pack until the finish when the leaders started slowing down signficantly and going up track. I made a newbie mistake and did not look back when I followed the other riders (assuming we had dropped the other riders for good) and immediately felt someone elses axle in my rear wheel, although he should not have been overlapping my wheel at this point because we were down on laps and totally out of contention. Fortunately neither of us went down but I get to rebuild my rear wheel and buy a new wheel cover. :(

I calibrated the SRM a couple of weeks ago and zeroed it at the start of the racing so fairly confident in the accuracy. Higher power but lower speed than last years' data. Spending more time on the front of the chasing group, and almost coming to a stop for the first accident probably explains the higher average power and the lower speed.

Just put new spokes in the rear wheel and it seems fine. Possibly will just duct tape the cover back together. It appears the axle was on the cover for three rotations of the wheel, perhaps the cover keeping the front wheel out of there for a bit, and saving the other rider for a while.

15 April 2006

Menlo Park Grand Prix

A 1 KM rectangular course. The two short straights were about 100 meters long. The start finish was about 200 meters from turn 4. There was a strong wind against the field in the backstretch and in between turns 3 and 4. Overcast and cool with intermittent showers. If it was crowded, position in turn 3 would dictate finish position.

I got in an accident descending OLH earlier this week and had a bit of road rash on my right knee and shoulder and on my backside. I had full mobility without pain from the accident while cycling but it hurt to move my right arm in certain ways - had trouble zipping up, putting on skinsuit, so would not be sprinting very aggressively. If I had not already preregistered I would have skipped this race but so it goes. Figured I would get in some speed work and avoid anything remotely sketchy.

35+ 4/5
Teammates: George (from Bakersfield!)
friendly rivals: John and Robert from EMC, Eric P from the city

Was raining immediately prior to this event then stopped for the duration. George said this was his first race back from his broken collarbone, so we would just play it by ear. Eric had the same issue, first crit since breaking collarbone at Giro di SF last year. Stayed near the front for the first 15 minutes. Small groups would go off the front and get absorbed. A group of five got about ten seconds so I thought I would try it once and moved up easily on the backstretch, by the time I caught up, the lead five had shattered and no one would work so I pulled into turn four, turned out to let the guy on my wheel do some work but he would not budge so I pulled about half of the front straight but still no help so I gave up and we were reabsorbed. Moved to the back of the pack where Eric was hanging out. We got lap cards at eleven or so to go. Started working on moving up, bit by bit. Got to about 25th position with two to go when a couple of riders slightly ahead appeared to lock handlebars on the right near the start/finish. Moved to the left when suddenly a bicycle came cartwheeling out of the crash towards the left and it was still going pretty fast by the time I got up to it so I had to brake with about one meter of room on my left. About 25 riders were ahead at this point. I put my head down and worked on bridging back up. A few riders ahead of me started giving up and swerving across the road so I had to brake a few times and I gave up about ten seconds short of the field in turn 3. The hardest thing about this race was that sometimes the leaders would lead the pack into a poor line on the right hand turn 3 that was way on the right side, so folks were getting all cluttered in the exit of the turn and braking a lot, and some folks adjusted their line for no reason whatsoever in the middle of the turn.

Ate half a bagel, drank one bottle of Gu O2 and took two Enduralyte capsules. Was able to make it through the second race with only a little cramp on my calves towards the end.
Teammates: Shawn, Steven R, George (from Bakersfield!)
friendly rivals: John and Robert from EMC, Eric P from the city

Started raining after the first couple of laps and kept up for half the race. One rider went off the front immediately. Steven said he was more of a breakaway type of guy so I sat near the front for the first ten minutes, making sure nothing got too far away without us. Over the next twenty or so minutes, sat midpack, and could see Shawn, Steven R and George doing work near the front. A few sketchy moves combined with the rain caused me to give up some position so I found myself on the back with Eric again. With five to go we started moving up. A loud explosion happened behind us in turn four, someone had a blow out but thankfully not causing any crashes. With one to go I was back in 20th position. On the backside I prepared to move up in turn 3 to slot in behind Steven but several riders braked hard into this turn forcing a lot of close contact so I had to back off. Out of turn four I was ready to sprint but it was too crowded to move up so I did not get to sprint in either race. As we were cooling down, Eric had a front blowout on the backstretch, fortunately he was going very slowly so he was not hurt.

09 April 2006

Santa Cruz Crit 35+ 4/5

Teammates: none, Mark Davis (with a sweet Ergomo Pro and the wife unit) in 3 and 35+ 123's.
Friendly rivals: Keith DeFiebre, Rob Evans from the wattage list(finally met).

6/32 - woohoo, finally got a T-shirt.

AC 420 wheel in front, standard PowerTap wheel in back, Michelin Pro Race 2 tires, 100 PSI, no bottles, 50/34 12/25.

Got up at 6:00, felt pretty good with a taper week, but my knee was sore from running a lot (more than I do for cyclocross practice...) during my day as an official at Sea Otter on Friday. The last two years I have done this race I got dropped after three or four laps so I wanted to improve on that and try to not work too much early. Got in a few practice laps at the start of each race while racers were staging for the first two races. I saw Dan Adkins pulled out of the three race and he said he was toast - had felt good and thought he would try an attack late but once he was brought back his legs did not feel so good and he got dropped from the pack. I would heed Dan's experience and not be too bold.

In the elite three race it appeared that the winner attacked near the bottom of the finish straight.

Tom Simonson was the starter and told us to do one final practice lap before staging. Turnout was only 32, perhaps due to the forecast of inclement weather - it was sunny and cool until I left Santa Cruz. Some strong folks who have accumulated almost 30 points in the 4's did not show up so that probably made the race easier than it could have been.

The start finish line is at the peak of a small hill. The course goes downhill for a long ways until there is a dogleg 150 turn to the right that is off camber. Then it goes downhill with some rough spots through a slight turn to the right then a 90 left with a short block until a 90 right, a 45 right, then uphill steep for a bit, a crest with a tiny bit of a downhill, then uphill again until 90 right on the front straightaway, steepest bit here for about 25 seconds, then a dip, then uphill again until the finish line.

The first four laps I stayed in the top three so I could try different speeds for the dogleg downhill off camber turn. The last time I tried to take it really tight but started pedaling too soon so lifted my rear wheel when I had a pedal strike on the inside so I was more cautious the rest of the race. Also, entering the turn I came from as far left as possible not only to get a good apex but to discourage anyone from coming up the gutter on my left where the pavement was rough and I had witnessed a few riders bobbling it early in the race.

It was possible to rest on the first uphill steep bit after the first crest if one was behind people until very close to the finish straight turn ( this was repaved two years ago so that in prior years the road was very rough and coasting did not get one very far back then), and on the finish straight when the course crested for a bit. What happened before the final straight turn is the guys in front would slow quite a bit for the steeper grade so if you were behind you had to brake a bit and lose some momentum as the field spread out and the road was narrow until the finish straight. On the finish straight steep bit I found myself staying seated and spinning the 50/23 while I noticed the most other folks standing and working hard so I thought I might have a good day. The weird thing is I never felt in trouble like I have in some flat crits. As the lap cards counted down I realized my initial goal of getting farther in the race than the last few attempts so now I reset my goals to placing. As everyone slowed down massively on the steep part of the front stretch and this did not feel difficult to me to move up through the field I thought I had a good chance. At two to go I moved from the back up a bit on the steep bit. With one to go, a Cyclesports fellow attacked hard at the very bottom of the hill. I was still only midpack by this point so I bided my time while other riders were slightly pushing the pace at the front and closing the gap. Once we started going up I started passing riders, and pedaling hard where we had coasted before, by the finish straight there were still ten folks ahead of me so I had to brake slightly again. We hit the steepest bit and I really wanted to just go for it but found myself boxed in, when I moved to get out, riders in front of me drifted over several times and I found my bars nearly inside someone elses a couple of times... Eventually I was able to work my way out with about 120 meters to go and started picking off the riders in front of me. I got sixth, missing fifth by a wheel. The guys in front were only a few bike lengths ahead so perhaps if I had gotten a better position or the guys in front of me had just turned a slightly different way...

S: 22.6
T: 29:18
D: 11.0
P: 202
C: 78
NP: 265
IF: 1.08
TSS: 57

The NP indicates this was the hardest half hour I have ever done even though I did not feel that spent except for the final sprint. I may need to up my L4 interval intensity because I have been assuming a FTP of 245 from the Monterey Circuit race in February and this data indicates either a FTP of about 255 or a high anerobic work component to the race effort.

Won $10 and a T-shirt. Doug Smith congratulated me and said "You're a pro now." Unfortunately if one includes all the costs I think I am still about $20,000 in the hole. :)