Teammates: Doug H.
Entered this race pretty fit for me, CTL of 125 and TSB of 3, but a bit overweight at 67kg due to a lot of chocolate cookies, cupcakes, and ice cream for birthdays at work... Got dropped the last time I did this race at about three laps so I decided to play it pretty conservative and not do any more work than necessary until the end game.
Great race organization and course as usual for Pilarcitos with the start at the crest of a longish, not so steep hill, going into a right hand steep descent with a 90 left at the bottom leading to a long descending backstretch with a 90 right going up a bit, down a bit, then rolling up the longish hill to the finish. We had half the road with the other half of the road open to traffic.
During the race I found I could just start at the back of the group at the top of the course with a gap and catch the group by the right hander at the bottom of the descent so I didn't worry about keeping right in the draft, but this came back to bite me during the race. During the uphill portion about where everyone lost their momentum from the descent, the pack spread out pretty wide and slowed a lot so there was another place to recover or get back in the group if necessary.
The uphill portion was taking us between 2:30 and 3:00 and the descent was taking us about 1:30 each lap. This felt hard but doable and the post ride analysis shows this is below my FTP.
At four or so laps to go, a couple of riders went off the front and I could see them and Doug ahead of me in the pack, and thought, good for them, felt like I was barely hanging on! We did ramp it up slightly in the latter parts of the race, with some folks trying to catch the breakaway. With two to go, as I was running up on the back of the group again a rider pulled in front of me and braked really hard in the apex of the turn. Sort of freaked me out and I had to slow and felt the tires slipping, and I pulled out my inside leg for some outrigger action but it didn't come to that but I had to sprint like mad for once to catch back up this time going downhill.
During the next to last ascent I made a stupid mistake. I had been going up in my 50x26, and then started using the 34x19 to give my legs a respite the last couple of times but I shifted under load going from the little ring to the big and spent about ten seconds getting the chain back on and lost contact. Doh. There was only about fifteen seconds to the group with one guy just off the back. I decided to just use this fellow to get back up. Unfortunately I was concentrating too much on wheel sucking and not enough on getting back up as the group disappeared by the time we got close to the crest and we would not be contesting the finale. Should have drilled it instead of being lazy and drafting, had a lot more in the tank - waaahh. Only managed to catch a few stragglers but at least I improved greatly over last time, was not pulled and finished (with an extra six pounds of chocolate).
S: 36.2 kph
17 March 2007
Managed to wake up late again(!) and had to rush over to Woodside to park and get ready for the half hour *training* time trial. I asked that I start in front of Peter Tapscott to give both him and I some extra motivation since our times were so close last time, little did I know he was one of the first people scheduled so we got a super early start at 7:34. This time I took it a bit easier in the days before the event and came in with a CTL of 122 and a TSB of 3.7 so hopefully a bit fresher. Equipment-wise the same except I mounted the disc wheel cover on my rear spoked wheel, good for thirty seconds to a minute over an hour so maybe fifteen to thirty seconds on this course. Wanted to go a bit harder over TT pace on the uphills this time and easier on the descents as one wants to minimize the amount of time going slow for the best time. I thought Peter had a chance at catching me on the outbound leg and this idea kept me going, it turns out I had almost the same split on the outbound leg as the last time. Managed to mess up the turn around this time by going in too fast, taking a long look around for cars, then braking really hard to avoid hitting the curb. I could see an Alto Velo rider very close behind me after starting the in bound leg so I wasn't sure if this was Peter or the two minute man, and a two man team a bit in front of me so both a rabbit and a chaser to keep me honest on the inbound leg. I never saw the team in front of me again, but the chaser caught me on the next to last riser, and it was impressive how much faster he was. ( I think he's a cat 2.) After he got twenty meters I tried for a little while to use him for pacing but it was a little over my head so I went threshold over the next to last rise and put everything into the last hill. This was the only point where I got out of the aerobars to climb as the speed dropped down to thirteen for a bit. I thought I saw some other racers in front of me and I caught them but it turns out they were just out for a ride. Was pretty spent by the end, losing about a quarter pound of drool, just to try to catch anybody in front of me and to keep anyone else from catching me. Managed to cut about forty five seconds from my last ride on the inbound leg so either it was less windy today or the pacing was better, ended up finishing about forty five seconds quicker than last time, too. Still have a bit of room for improvement as I have done better for the same amount of time in some other events so if I have the chance to do this again I have another target for which to aim.
S: 37.3 kph
S: 37.3 kph