22 February 2009

February 22, Original Merced Criterium

TSB: 0
CTL: 126
Felt really good going into this. Watched the first laps of the cat 4 race and it split up immediately. The course is a little technical and it's raining so I go to 85 psi in the tires, and try to miss the botts dots. Usually more people show up than pre reg but today because of the wind and rain, less people show up than pre reg so our field size is only about twenty, and two or three people don't bother showing up, possibly because they did the preceding cat four race.

With a field this small and given the wet conditions and technical course, decide to just race it like a track race and throw down, recover, repeat and see what happens - if it's going to be a sufferfast might as well dish it out. The one mistake I make is holding something in reserve - there is a point when two unattached riders attack and someone says let them die out there - and I listen instead of covering it. The times I go off the front I am marked by the other riders so I am thinking maybe he's right and maybe the other riders will work to catch them like they did me but they do not! The other thing I did not count on was I think all the strong riders in the pack are doing their second consecutive race so they don't have quite the punch they did earlier and I and the two riders off the front are doing our first race of the day.

I miss the lap cards and only get the bell and have to verify with the chief referee while we are riding past that it *is* the bell lap and not some preme and just go for it from the front of what's left of the pack and hold it all the way to the line to win the field sprint and come in third overall.

The entire race:

2009 Original Merced Criterium 35+ 4/5 from Steven Woo on Vimeo.

T: 37:59
D: 23.16
S: 36.5
C: 88
Pavg: 220 - this is really high for me for a flat crit
Pnorm: 236 - this is similar to doing Montebello in the same amount of time


p.s. in spite of the small field size get three upgrade points for the result so now I have eighteen total.

21 February 2009

2009 Feb 21 Snelling Road Race

CTL: 125
TSB: 13

The other two times I tried doing this race after cross season and never had the fitness to stick with the group for more than a lap, this year had to quit racing cross and just been doing lots of miles.

Almost missed the race as I slept through the alarm for an hour, but made it there just in time, no warmup but just attacked with Jason(?) from Davis at the start to get the blood flowing - we were a little confused by where the neutral zone started so the ref ended up neutralizing us a couple of times. Oops.

Turns out five laps with the group fly by when you are having fun and you are trying to avoid people that are riding straight off the road (which turns out to be me in the end). Felt really great, but my calves started cramping about 75% through so I was pretty conservative after that. Finally on the last lap was just trying to move up and found myself on the front and there was a point where I could have just gone for it and caught the breakaways dangling off the front of the field but decided against this.

Anyways the last mile rolls around and there are forty something of us and I am trying to move up but every time I accelerate my hamstrings start to cramp, at one point one of them locks up but since the course is flattish at this point I manage to stay in the pack. I thought I might be thirtieth going into the final corner but it turns out I was about forty fifth, because I only ended up twenty ninth after making a little contact with a rider that died about twenty meters from the line and going off into a ditch (surprisingly this only affected my position by about two or three places, possibly I scared everyone off behind me...)

last lap, part 2 of 5:

a contributing factor to cramping at the end - goofing off too much at the front
last lap, part 3 of 5:

last lap, part 4 of 5:

last lap, part 5 of 5

T: 2:44:42
S: 37.2
C: 96
D: 102.3 km
Pavg: 159
Pnorm: 210


15 February 2009

Cantua Creek Road Race

CTL: 126
TSB: 10

This race felt really easy to me, right up until the point at which I cramped - doh. Almost exactly the same as last year... The course is out and back for twenty six miles so this year I was with the group for fifty one miles, the last ten minutes consists of rollers, could feel my leg cramping up during the second lap and tried massaging it at the back of the pack, but had to do the last couple of hills alternating between using both legs and just the left leg and stretching the right leg - still only a little back of the group at the turnaround, then I got a full on leg cramp when I tried to go into time trial mode after the turnaround, but since it was downhill was able to stay upright this time. Last year I had to do a couple of vo2max efforts to stay with the group and this year I did not/could not and stayed with the group longer, though the effort for the full race is about the same.

T: 3:28:32
S: 32.8
C: 90
D: 114.1 km
Pavg: 156
Pnorm: 188

09 February 2009

8 February Cherry Pie Criterium Cat 4

CTL: 129
TSB: -5

Not a priority race but some teammates wanted to start the season with this race so what the heck.

Was going to try to help a teammate out. I made one mistake which was not keeping aware of where he was! It turns out he got dropped. It was kind of hard to assess the situation from mid pack - there were so many turns and riders that turning back was hazardous to one's health so I should have just gone straight to the back and worked my way up to find him. Next time... This led to me waiting too long and hesitating to move up when I had the chance - only on one of the last five laps was there a clear lane up the hill to pass everybody and I only used it to move to midpack.

My other mistake was not accelerating into the downhill. I could pass people easily on the uphill but relaxed too much on the descent so never moved up much during mid part of the race.

The worst feeling in the world for me after a bike race is feeling really fresh because I didn't try hard enough and that's the way I felt at the end, stopped sprinting due to traffic congestion at the end, didn't realize I was that far back, either. Had several better sprint efforts goofing off with some friends after the race. Anyways the video shows most all.

2009 Cherry Pie Criterium Cat 4 from Steven Woo on Vimeo.

T: 39:06
S: 39.4 kph
Pnorm: 224 - like doing OLH at a 26:00 pace, drafting is too easy. :)
Pavg: 186
H: 171
C: 91