03 June 2006

Wheels of Thunder Crit

total TSS 170
Very hot, with mild winds, a break from past years where the wind was a bigger factor. The back stretch had some smallish potholes that were painted. Skipped the first track racing night of the season as a change of pace from last two years. I felt better able to respond to changes in pace better without having to recover from track racing in twelve hours.

E 4 race
Teammates: Jun ( a few no shows )
Friendly rivals: Eric P

Talked a bit to Eric on the start line and he just wanted to use this as a warmup for the 35+ race. At one point we were behind a sketchy rider so I asked Eric to pass him and he pulled me for quite a ways.

Mostly sat on wheels until about six to go when in the last corner I could hear some contact between riders behind me and finally some bikes on pavement. One of the riders could not get up on his own for a few minutes, but the race continued so we had to ride around him, on the very next lap on the straight before this corner, the lead riders in our race had some more contact in front of me and a few of them went down. At this point the lap card and the announcer were disagreeing on the laps in the race. Made my way up to Jun with two to go ( I thought it was one ), looked around and did not see Eric and figured I could at least help Jun out to get to the front so I told him to get on my wheel. We made it there in one straight away but this new location in the pack confused him so he forgot his own plans for the race, he dropped off of me and I found myself off the front by a few seconds and getting the bell for the final lap. Doh. At this point I figured I would just stay out of the other folks' way so I pulled to one side and let everyone pass me and just finished the last lap.

Have a really high five minute NP for part of this race, it's about fifteen percent higher than the level I am doing VO2max intervals right now. Five minutes is sometimes used as a proxy for VO2max power. Maybe there's room for improvement there, although NP is just an approximation of the load and less accurate for short time intervals, in this instance, I am only pedaling half the time, and it's at the end of a forty minute race as opposed to a more even measure effort with a rest period beforehand.

Really need to try attacking two laps (about four to five minutes) from the finish and seeing if I can hold off the pack.

NP: 233
AP: 178
C: 74
S: 41.8

35+ 4/5 race
Teammates: Chris P ( a few no shows )
Friendly rivals: Eric P, Ray and Travis from Pen Velo, Rob E, Bob R, Adam and Dr. X from EMC.
place:way back in the field

Finally met fellow blogger X from EMC.

There was a bad wreck in the 35+ 123 race in the final sprint for 2nd, the winner of that race was about 100 meters off the front. This delayed the start of our race by about 30 minutes but they let us race the full distance.

The usual sketchiness of the 35+ 4/5 races was obvious even compared to the straight up 4's race, though there were no crashes, it seemed worse because we never upped the pace enough to drop many people so there were about forty people sprinting for second.

Eric said for most of these 35+ 4/5 races one good attack is enough for a good result for him so he was going to let me know and offered to pull me to the finish. I told him my legs didn't feel so great. So we discussed this as leisurely is possible over the next to last and the last lap, essentially telegraphing the strategy and it still worked. Eric won by a tiny bit, holding off the pack. I hit one of the aforementioned potholes while following Eric and was entering the next to last corner at 30+ mph and was not sure if my front tire was still holding air so I had to back off a bit. Felt a bit bad for slowing the people behind me ( didn't know they were there ), not trying to block as that seems kind of dangerous to me in this situation, and a little unsure of the front tire so I didn't bother sprinting at the end.

One time through the pothole section a rider directly in front of me hit it hard enough to clang his rim and the telltale hissing of a blown tube soon started. This came to my mind when I hit the same pothole hard enough to clang something and the visions of the prior 35+ 123 crash and the Memorial day last corner slide out on video came to mind.

NP: 202
AP: 172
C: 72
S: 40.1

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