21 July 2007

Watsonville Criterium E4

CTL: 127
TSB: 6
Cat 4 race, 15 miles

Had to officiate for the race immediately preceding this one due to a shortage so not much of a warmup but the race felt pretty easy for the most part. Each of the riders who won the Cat 4 and the 35+ 4/5 Coyote Creek races were here so tried to keep an eye on them. The main difficulties on this course are the hill and the wind. The hill is pretty short, it's only about 500 feet from the last corner to the top of the hill where the finish line is, so last corner position pretty much dictates the finish, I thought this was probably not enough to break up our race even on the last lap. There is a 150 degree turn at the bottom of the hill and a 120 degree turn near the wheel pit and three 90 turns going into the start/finish straight hill.

Never felt like I was in difficulty for the entire race. Was able to surf wheels mid pack until we got the three to go card and started moving up. Was sitting about tenth wheel on the last lap and patiently waited for the corner before the finish and was planning on attacking into the corner but there were several riders in front of me that were pretty sketchy and just held off enough that I lost about five positions, then had to choose between sprinting with a draft on the left or leading myself out on the right and went with the right. Was able to pass five people and though I was going to pass a few more but one of the riders died about six feet to my left and suddenly veered all the way to one foot to my right so I had to brake and ended up tenth of forty something. Wish I had worked harder because just sitting in until the final sprint was pretty easy.

T: 40:28
Pavg: 199
Pnorm: 219
C: 98
S: 38.4
Watsonville E4 Criterium

20 July 2007

American Velodrome Challenge Cat 3 15 lap scratch

I was planning on riding easy today but forgot I had committed to help man registration, so by virtue of having to be there, decided to do the scratch race - also may not have time to do anymore track racing this year so gotta take the opportunity when it presents itself. Was eligible for a ton of other events but wanted to save something for Watsonville.

This was scheduled to be a twenty five lap race but the sprint and keirin heats ran a bit long so ten laps were cut out.

Disappointing but you make lemonade...

Got to the front and surged a bit when the whistle blew, saw there was a gap after half a lap and just went out at pursuit pace for four and a half laps off the front before being reeled in. Recovered for three and a half laps, and went again for two laps, was caught and countered. The guy off the front had a pretty big gap, and after getting dropped, and then catching up with the help of Keith, after three laps of watching him was about to attack again when Rob went with two other guys close on his wheel. I hesitated because I didn't want to pull everyone if Rob was trying to stay away, but isoon regretted this because when Rob pulled up the other two guys pulled up, too, instead of working to catch the breakaway, and only one guy from the main pack would catch him by the end. At this point couldn't do much besides finish behind the sprinting pack. Should have kept on pushing and followed Rob and just pulled the pack so our team could have done better.

T: 7:02
PAvg: 313
PNorm: 334
C: 106
S: 44.5

E3 15 lap scratch

15 July 2007

Lafayette Criterium

CTL: 129
TSB: 1
Afternoon race and it's sweltering. I am not feeling so great, but perhaps everyone else feels the same way. The course is a triangle with one long gradual uphill leg, a short downhill leg, and a long meandering flat leg to a 150 degree turn uphill. I take note that the entire M123 field takes the hill in the big ring and only takes about 1:20 per lap. Their time from the last corner is about twenty seconds, and their time from the last intersection before the last corner is thirty seconds, so my plan A is to attack from the last intersection on the last lap, and plan B is to attack into the corner on the last lap.

The race feels hard but I tell myself this is just in my head - usually it is after I examine the downloaded data. I have no trouble on the hill but even from midpack the yo yo action is pretty bad out of the exit of the downhill corner. One has to take it pretty cautiously due to one idiot or another every single lap trying to surf the inside line which leads right into a chain link fence. At one point someone goes off course on the uphill and tears the yellow tape. I am well away from this but still manage to get a passenger of ten feet of yellow tape wrapped around my rear hub till the end of the race. The uphill 150 degree corner is an adventure every lap with vary degrees of success for everyone, sometimes I can take it really fast and others times come to an almost halt due to the surge, and finally there is a crash in front of me into the hay bales on the turn, but I make it past to 20th position again.

I look down and note it's been thirty five minutes since we've started and we should be getting lap cards soon and we get four to go soon afterwards. I am glad as I was considering quitting because even if it really isn't hard, it sure feels hard. With two to go I get over my laziness and prepare for the end game and easily move up to tenth wheel on the hill, rest a bit, and maintain for the last lap. Just a few meters before I was going to attack, another rider attacks. By the time I have to consider chasing I figure I will wait and see what happens. The pack slows significantly before the last corner, and this is my signal to attack and try to catch the single rider off the front. Slowly I gain on him, each stroke brings me closer and closer. We get to the false flat near the top and I am five meters back but only ten meters from the line and realize I will not catch him and mentally give up. The swarm soon surrounds me and four other riders push me back into sixth. Doh! At least I got in a much better sprint than I did for my 200 meter time trial earlier today.

T: 39:56
Pavg: 187
Pnorm: 227
C: 107
H: 175
S: 38.6 kph

Lafayette 35+ 4/5 Criterium

200 meter flying time trial

Haven't done this in a year so wanted to get at least one time recorded this year. Stuck with the 51x15 with the Hed 3 front and rear and used an aero helmet with a normal short sleeve jersey and shorts instead of a skinsuit so I could get ready for the Lafayette crit quickly afterwards.

In the warmup I had a decent sprint but it's from a low starting speed.

The new cooldown/warmup circle is a sweet but maximum speed has to be kinda low so a trainer might be necessary for some riders, use it until it's my turn to get called up. Keith tells me he hits 33 mph in between turn one and turn 2 and gets a time of under 13. I think my average will be 33 for the 200...

Since I don't have much of a jump, try to go into turn one at a high speed, stand up in between turn one and turn and drop kind of late, after turn two, and really can't seem to get on top of the gear. End up with a 13.5 which I guess is OK for not practicing but didn't get a good sprint off, did reach my max at the 200 meter line but it was super low. I need to practice this to get a better time, one day a year on the track just doesn't cut it for me...
T: 13.50
PAvg: 586
C: 126
S: 53.7

The last lap is :
T: 24.0
Pavg: 635
C: 117
S: 50.1

Flying 200mTT

14 July 2007

Masters Track Districts

CTL: 128
TSB: 7
Tapered a bit but not nearly as much as last year so carried more fitness than freshness into districts which was the reverse of last year and showed in the results. Trying to maintain more fitness for road racing and crits.

3 Kilometer Pursuit, used 51x15 with Hed 3 in front with Vittoria EVO CX tires and a ghetto disc in the rear. Practiced the standing starts with the 51x15 but never did much else except with this bike for a 34km time trial and have not had the chance to do any track racing either so this would be my first track race of the year. Also lowered the position a bit to get lower.

Immediately after the start feel like I don't have the legs but put that out of my mind and focus on an even paced effort after the first lap. I am not sure of how much I have to give so I hold back a bit to avoid blowing up but end up holding way too much back as I end up with a time about six seconds slower than last year and am able to talk easily shortly after the race. Average power is only 345 which I can do for five minutes instead of four, so I should have been able to do much more for four minutes. Will switch back to 50x15 for the next time as I was slightly faster for the first few laps with the 51x15, starting losing a second by the two kilometer and totally blew the last kilometer, going six seconds slower over the last three laps with the 51x15.

T: 4:09
P: 345
C: 102
S: 43.6
H: 185

3KM Pursuit

There are ten people signed up for the 60 lap points race but two people drop out, probably due to the 3 hour delay. So there will be no where to hide for a long, long time. Don't bother to change from the 51x15 used in the pursuit. I have never finished with the lead riders in one of these district championship races so that is my first goal, since we have a lot of cat 1 road riders, this may be a tall order. A rider who is not one of the cat 1 roadies attacks early and I try to bridge but can see the field not far behind so don't commit and just score a few points while the leader takes two sprints. The race is pretty tactical the rest of the way with the best riders just marking each other and ignoring the rest of us. After the second sprint, it feels like body blow after body blow, but I am able to time trial a bit or wheel suck and get back onto the lead group after every attack and even manage to score a couple more points. The best pursuiter ends up winning the points race and I am happy to be even on laps with him and the other leaders by the finale, if I could have sprinted I might have been able to move up a spot but have already lost track of my score, much less anybody elses by this point. Also, 51x15 although only a tiny bit different from 50x15, felt too big for me to sprint in this year, perhaps if I had been racing more on the track it would be OK, but with less time on the track, should have used a smaller gear.

T: 30:07
Pavg: 249
Pnorm: 273
C: 95
S: 40.8
H: 181

40-44 60 lap points race
60 lap 40-44 points race

07 July 2007

Coyote Creek Circuit Race

TSB: 14
CTL: 127
Had to drive to LA at the last minute on July 4 so rode less this week and ended up peaking for today unintentionally. Still trying to catch up on sleep three days later.

Signed up for this race without any expections - it's sort of like the Brisbane course where there's a long climb. At Brisbane the descent is long so there's not much recovery time, here, the descent is short and the flat section is really long so if one chooses to not work, one can rest quite a bit between repeats of the hill.

E4 Race:
Teammates: Eddie Z., and a new club member, Marco.
Preview of the course reveals a very strong headwind on the finish straight/climb and a very strong tailwind on the flat section after the descent. Three juniors from the track program are also in the race.

The race starts and we go at a pretty hard clip on the hill but the effort only takes about two minutes with the hardest bit taking forty five seconds. This fits with my short attention span so I am able to comfortably hide in the pack. Surprisingly I am gapped out of the downhill corner into the flat section almost every lap, I sprint hard but the yo yo effect is huge. On the other hand by the time we reach the next corner, the whole pack slows considerably so one doesn't have to chase hard at all to get back onto the group. This repeats itself eight times, every time up the hill I am thinking this hurts but I tell myself the other guys can't be in any better shape, and the juniors don't seem to be suffering that much, and I always tell them to not give up until after the finish line so it would set a bad precedent to give up while racing with them. :) I seem to find myself on either Marcus Smith or Daniel Farinha's wheels, which is fine since they are good riders but since I have fifty pounds on either of them, there is not much draft here! Can do the climb in the big ring in the group but use the inner ring to take it easier, only have to use the big ring on the last two laps to keep up.

There is the usual sketchiness from riders who don't look before they move, and then either start doing the paper boy on the climb without looking to the side first or take a line totally different from the people in front of them. Work hard to pass these guys.

Finally lap cards come out and it's three to go. Unfortunately, I hear a hissing sound and it's Eddie Z, he has to slow and pull out of the race, his rear derailleur wrapped around his cogset for some reason, ouch.

The other thing that happens every single lap is we slow to crawl on the climb, and the right side of the road has an open lane because the wind is coming from that direction, and it's so easy to just echelon to the left. I count on this happening in the final lap so I bide my time until the final lap, start moving up on the climb, fading back quite a bit on the descent/flat section to the back of the pack, and thinking - the race is over for me because I am too far back, but then on the last time up the climb, we slow considerably. I immediately start edging to the right, ignoring some contact, and patiently pass when possible. When the 200 meter sign shows up ( I measured this at 400+ meters before the race ) I finally get to the front of the pack. We are going so slow at this point I assume we could get swarmed at any moment so I attack and hope for the best. Am a bit overgeared for being on the front but grind it out on the slight descent into the final little pitch upward and am still on the front. Holy cow, this can't be happening. Of course it doesn't happen, as a very strong rider easily passes me in the last 50 meters or so but I force myself to turn the pedals over despite the pain in the legs and hold on for second place. The last five minutes of the race is the hardest I have gone for five minutes in a year, even though I just tried to sprint long.
T: 47:20
Pnorm: 248
Pavg: 192
H: 166
C: 99
S: 39.1 kph
Coyote Creek Circuit Race Elite 4

The fog burns off and the afternoon race is really hot. No teammates in this one and a lot of faces show up that were not in the E4 race. This race starts off at a slightly more sedate pace than the E4 race, and I force myself to use the 36 on the climb to save my legs as they are complaining mightily. Normally my quads never get sore but I can feel them burning now. Each time up the climb feels hard but I know it can't be as bad as I think and try not to defeat myself with negative thoughts. I hear my friends cheering for me on the sideline, too, so it feels like quitting would be letting them down! Have better luck with staying in the shelter of the pack with this group for the whole lap, though. And I know the speed it is a little lower than the first race, so concentrate on one section of each lap, every lap and hang in there. The lap cards show up at three to go and I concentrate on only four more times up the hill, manage to drop my chain while downshifting and am passed by most of the pack while I struggle to get the chain back on and burn a match to get back into the shelter of the group, near the back of the pack and start moving up. With two to go I am second wheel on the climb so a little too hyper from four cups of coffee, and patiently wait for the swarm and get back in line in tenth on the final big descent. Try to rest a bit on the flats but this costs me about twenty positions. Whoops. Once we hit the first part of the climb after the momentum fades from the flat section we start going about fifteen miles and hour and group up very compactly and there is lots of contact and I concentrate on not freaking out... I try to move up but the hill is not hard enough yet, and we probably went a bit easier so lots of rested legs in the pack so less people are blowing up. I am in the second row when a rider jumps off the front. He gets about twenty meters and it looks like that's the race with about three hundred meters to go. Finally I get to the front and attack. I am gaining on him gradually but I can tell with about thirty meters to go that I will run out of real estate to catch and start to fade. This is when two riders pull even with me and I sprint again but don't have anything left and end up in fourth. The last five minutes of this race tops the last five minutes of the prior race, but I still was overgeared in the final sprint, the last little descent requires a bigger gear but I forgot to downshift for the last uphill.

Woohoo, sixteen upgrade points now over the last twelve months.

T: 43:30
Pavg: 175
H: 170
C: 102
S: 38.3

Coyote Creek Circuit Race Masters 35+ 4/5

The tactic I used today only works on a few courses, the pace is high enough on flat courses that one cannot go all the way from the back to the front in the final lap , especially when there are 40+ riders.

01 July 2007

Vacaville Grand Prix 35+ 4/5

TSB: 5
CTL: 132

Did well last year with a breakaway, and a solo breakaway won the race, but the field is twice as big this year with two teams with big representation, Davis(8?) and Pegasus(5?), and there will be seven primes in fourteen laps.

The first five minutes of most crits seem to hurt no matter what, so when I find myself on second wheel on the first lap and no one wants to pull, decide to dig a little and see what happens and suffer on the front instead of the back. Not sure if Davis or Pegasus are planning on attacking all race or trying to set up a leadout train so we'll see if they send anybody or just pull me back.

Have about two block lead after the descent, and when I go through the start/finish, the bell is rung for prime. Now folks are interested in chasing but I get to practice full speed through almost a full lap and am caught before the last turn. Fade to the back of the pack over the course of the next eight laps. The amount of braking sucks from this position, especially in the dogleg turn. The tradeoff is the climb is easy because people break the wind for you on the flatter section and you can thread through the stragglers and work up through half the field.

I hear Curt Ferguson telling me to move up every lap. My first thought is I'm going to kill him. But I know most races are actually not that hard when I am wheelsucking like this and force myself to move up and start moving up and not relinquishing position. One time on the climb there is eighteen inches between me and the right curb and someone calls inside and we knock handlebars for a while, but I forget about it and try to accelerate away from him. With two to go the Davis train forms with three riders. With one to go, Pegasus moves to the front alongside Davis. It seems oddly slow, so when we go through the grind up the hill for the last time, I attack from fifth wheel. I look under my shoulder and no one reacts so I dig a bit deeper and try to get as big a gap as possible on the hill and take the last two turns without braking. Thought I would have been passed by this front stretch but no, and I get to the chicane with fifty meters to go, it hurts, but hear one of the leadout guys yell "go, go, go" to his teammate so I sprint with whatever I have left and make it to the first painted line I see but there are three lines five meters apart and the last one is the finish, and one guy passes me convincingly, with a one bike length gap at the finish, then a second person edges me out for second with a bike throw at the real line. Same as San Ardo 2006...

PAvg: 202
PNorm: 257
T: 41:50
H: 173
C: 93
S: 38.9

CCCX MTB XC #9 35-44 Beginner, State Finals

TSB: 6.1
CTL: 131
Finally the hip strain from the pedal unclip and the compressed disc in the neck is healed enough that I can consider racing off road. This race is run under NORBA rules for a change so I *have* to race beginner unless I upgrade.

Broke all the rules for doing well by a.) not verifying the start time until this morning and realizing I have less than two hours to get to Monterey. b.) no warmup c.) forgot to adjust tire pressure for conditions so go off with 45 PSI

Get to old venue with forty five minutes to spare, then realize, I needed to read the flyer a bit more closely and have to drive to the other side of Fort Ord to travel about half a mile in thirty minutes due to construction.

Register with fifteen minutes to spare and line up and the guy next to me points out the guy who won the last five races, a Clydesdale but he must be plenty strong to win five races. Decide to attempt to follow him...

Race starts off with a pavement section and find myself second wheel. As we go into the first descent the Clydesdale takes the lead and I tag along. I have no trouble climbing with him but due to lack of practice at speed and way too high pressure find myself bouncing all over the place on the descents and having to make up ground on every climb. The climbs only last two minutes max so it's hard to figure out the correct pacing, plus I want to do well tomorrow so need to not dig too deep. After washing out the front wheel for about the tenth time, I give up on followng him and he drops me on a descent.

Don't have much company for a while, get to the late race pavement section, and the one big climb. Have to use the middle for it and get passed again but he falls on the next descent and I pass him back and don't see him until the end of the race.

On the second lap someone passes me on the descent after the finish and I start reeling him in on the climb but hold back a bit - am I going hard enough to blow, hard enough to hurt my form for tomorrow, dunno, but going hard enough to catch is going to hurt and I cut my losses and throttle back to time trial pace and he gradually pulls away.

Don't see anyone else for the rest of the race except for slower riders from the prior 18-34 wave.


T: 1:15:31
Pavg: 186
Pnorm: 223
H: 178
C: 83
S: 21.6 kph