Coming into this race fit, and not that fresh but since there's a longish hill, need fitness more than freshness. Need to work on my taper for Sunday races, seems a shame not to get a good ride in on Saturday for us working stiffs. Our producer at work thinks Krispy Kreme Donuts and KFC are good for the team so I gain five pounds this week. Not the best preparation but I'll make do.
First time I did this race got dropped after three laps, and did the race last year and got dropped on the last lap so hope to improve on that, plus do a second race for *fun*.
The first race was pretty uneventful. Go hard a few times on the hill, hide in the pack, coast down for a bit and repeat ten times. Only felt hard a couple of times on the hill and was able to close gaps and pass people whenever necessary. Ended up using the big ring the whole race. On the descent it was always possible to catch the group either on the lefthander after the sweeper because the group always had to brake or on the right hander at the bottom of the hill for the same reason. At one point a rider started moving up past me on the descent, only to end up almost causing an accident by trying to gain one more place by filling the space of the rider in front of me. I marked this rider so that I could use him as a cushion in the event he went down. He managed to repeat this same feat on the next lap so I just backed off a bit to give him more room to crash. But nothing ever happened so I guess he came to his senses.
With two to go I knew I had to stop being lazy and started moving up from the back of the group. By one to go I was about thirtieth. I was thinking about throwing in the towel and just finishing safely when people started blowing up left and right on the hill. Moved up to twentieth after a quarter of the hill. Then found myself boxed in on the right side against the curb, cursing my bad move. Then someone inexplicably moved over in front of me and opened a lane and I started moving up. Made the mistake of jumping too early here, and moved up even with the first row of riders, but on the outside of the turn, into the wind so this stage of the race was especially hard. Finally ran out of gas after passing almost every one and died with about one hundred meters to go, ended up twelfth.
cat 4 masters
The wind picked up a bit for my second race. This started feeling hard to me after three laps but from past experience I know this is mostly in my head and kept on pushing myself. Then after seven laps, started to get the cramping sensations in my right calf. Just rolled in for the last three laps with a couple of other riders, gaining ground on the hill and losing that and more on the descent. The data shows that while I was in the pack this race was easier than the masters 4 race. Sometimes the cat 4 race is harder and sometimes the masters race is harder, never know unless you do them both. Also, I tried harder today than I did at Copperopolis, having a carrot in front of me helps a lot.
cat 4 men