21 February 2010

February 20 - CCCX Circuit Race #1

CTL: 123
TSB: 11

E4 race
Got to the course early enough to preride a few laps and could see it was going to be a hard race due to the constant rolling up/down nature of the course and what felt like a headwind on the hardest set of exposed hills. This was a totally different course from the circuit race in prior years, the new course shares some of the same route as the district road race course, somehow minus the largest climb, but including the long, fast 40+mph descent leading to a right hander then
less than 200 meters and a short climb to the finish line. We got use of both lanes except for some of the corners which we were still able to take at full speed while it was raining.

The first lap was hard, and I got dropped and had to claw my way back up and then rode conservatively as I did not want to get dropped early, even though I spent a lot of time wheelsucking, we went out at about a 20:00 OLH pace for the first two laps.

Attrition due to the hills and flats reduced the pack by half. It was like a VO2max interval workout but with only one to two minute intervals. Thankfully the pace eased up but we still did what amounted to a 24:00 OLH pace for the full length of the race which turned out to be around an hour and fifteen minutes or the scheduled length with 15 bonus minutes thrown in at no charge. :) Several of my teammates were active and trying moves on the hardest hills after the first right hander but the wind and relative brevity of the climbs and some riders actively chasing meant the pack was catching back up to everything.

With two to go I was feeling pretty miserable, and had to bury myself to keep up. At this point Jay asked me how I felt and I said that I was truthfully barely hanging in there.

On the last lap after the right hander into the hills I thought I might have been done when I got dropped again. I saw Jay off the front and I felt a little guilty for not being able to help out much so put in all I had and was able to regain the pack at the top of the next hill and catch my breath for a second when Jon who had been working to disrupt the chase told me to go block so I went to the front and faded back. Had trouble recovering from this and got gapped going into the last repetition of the high speed descent. Wasn't sure if I was going to catch but when I realized I was, I tried to pass and lead it out because I had so much momentum and we were so close to the finish, but a few riders fanned out and shut the door on that idea. Then I just had to sit in and wait for an opening, we reached the point in some races when it seems like there is a pause and that's generally when one should probably just go for it. The group slowed for the turn, a rider who blew and moved laterally closed an opening and caused a slight reshuffling of the pack, and a Cal Giant rider had chosen this moment to start his sprint. A hole appeared and I just filled it and was able to start my sprint, a little late, and come in second a bit behind the winner.

Don't ever give up! At least when the hills are small...

Sadly this race was so long that I went over the length of my 2G memory card, only the first 50 some odd minutes of 1:15 in here.

T: 1:14
S: 33.9
C: 96
Pavg: 172
Pnorm: 232

CCCX Circuit Race E4

35+ 4/5 race
Fatigue set in hard and I had to sag climb every hill on every lap to stay with the group. I even had trouble on a long false flat section that was exposed to the wind. After forty five minutes of what turned out to be a not too hard pace (if I hadn't already raced hard), NP~ 25 minute OLH, I cramped and had to stop pedaling. When I recovered, could not get back up to the group and tried to work out the cramp and stay warmed up for the next race which started about five minutes after this one ended.

T: 1:09
S: 30.5
C: 94
Pavg: 156
Pnorm: 203
CCCX Circuit Race 35+ 4/5

E3/E4 race
I got dropped after about ten minutes. It was actually a slightly easier pace than the E4 race start , partially due to drafting available from the much bigger pack, but I was unable to keep up and did a few more laps as a cool down for the day. Ended up with a TSS of 300 and almost five hours in the saddle. That which does not kill me...

This is the first road ride where my arms and legs were sore the next day.

15 February 2010

2010 February 13 - Cantua Creek Road Race

35+ 4/5 A race
CTL: 125
TSB: 19

Got to race early and was planning on doing a little bit of course recon refresher but took a nap and woke up to find a super long registration and bathroom line -
uneven queue

Am here to help support someone else so no pressure for results on me. The first lap is uneventful except contact and off road riding that I hear behind around me near the two turnarounds, and I just sit in or try to shelter my teammate from the wind. Even so, it's apparently so dull my heart stopped beating a few times according to that silly chart.

Second lap and more people try to get away. Move up to the front to keep an eye on things and have to accelerate a few times to keep things in view. A few of the attacks are from riders sitting at the very front of the group, I am a little puzzled by this but let them go and none are strong enough to TT away from the field and they come back soon enough. When we get close to the turn around I put in a slight acceleration of my own, just because I want to avoid any of the closer calls we had for the other turn arounds and claim first - to the 3/4 point anyways.

Lots of riders attack but nothing sticks. Finally there is one Wells Fargo rider off and after a couple of minutes has a pretty big lead. Another rider sets off to join, since I don't have to save myself for the finale, I spend a lot of time on the front to keep their lead to a manageable gap. Not really going that hard, but it's much harder than I worked the first lap. I only notice this when we hit the rollers leading to the finish. By itself this effort to the end is not bad but cumulatively stacked on top of the last lap my brain tells me it is hard. I just need to HTFU.

Stay midpack with the final selection of thirty riders over the first climb. My closest teammate is sag climbing so I wait and try to help them a bit. Downshift to the small ring but am kind of stuck in my thinking of keeping up at all costs and when they sag climb the next hill I have to wait and spin back up again. Try to sag climb the next hill but still go a little too hard and have to wait at the peak again but cannot spin back up to speed this one last time and have to roll in at the back of the pack after I lose about 195 meters in the last 200 meters.

This result is still an improvement over the last two times I tried this race in the E4's, only made it about thirty five to forty miles of seventy two miles with the E4 groups, OTOH those races were filled with a lot more attacking on the first lap including from me. The drive there felt more exhausting than the race, but the race obviously wasn't easy or I would have had better results. Probably should save more for the finish and use the big ring last time up the hills.

T: 2:05
S: 36.6
C: 88
H: 137 (first lap data probably lacking due to lack of sweat, second lap 173)
Pavg: 136
Pnorm: 187

2010 cantua creek