31 March 2007

Ronde van Brisbane 35+ 4

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).

T: 50:27
Pnorm: 241
Pavg: 199
S: 36.2 kph
C: 97

Ronde van Brisbane 35+4

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