11 July 2010

July 5 - Big Creek Lumber Atwater Criterium

CTL: 118
TSB: 4

My arms are still sore from Leesville and the blisters on my hands haven't healed, this puts me in a little better shape than Xeno, who says his whole body is still sore!

The course is D shaped with the two 90 degree corners being the last two turns before the 260 meter dash to the finish line. The next to last corner as a big pot hole and this is patched just before the start of our race, leaving a bit of gravel there.

We have sixteen riders in the 4/5 race. Anything less than about thirty riders means the race is going to be super hard and this holds true to form as riders attack continuously trying to get away.

Sometimes I go with an attack and sometimes I let them go and let others bring them back. One time through the loose gravel a rider almost loses it by braking in the exit of the turn and locking up his wheels in front of me and he just saves it. This is enough to make one rider set out to determine his own fate. If I'd have known it was this guy, I would have gone with him but given the success of the prior moves I sat back. He got out of sight within a few laps but then when we closed the gap to about ten seconds people started attacking out of our diminished group. The rider off the front disappeared and we had two, Adam and Eric? slightly off the front. Now I started to work in earnest just to catch these two. I had a lot of help from the LGBRC rider and got to within about 100 meters, but then, the rider off the front lapped us! LGBRC didn't know we could draft off of the leader and gave up but I just kept following him. He was clearly the best rider in our group, confident in the turns and very steady.

He easily brought back the last two riders off the front and the four of us sprinted for the end, even the guy +1 laps, I got second in the field sprint for third overall, because I stopped pedaling before the finish line when I didn't realize Adam was on my wheel and he pipped me at the line!
atwater crit e4

Twelve riders for this race. Temps started getting into the 90's. Adam said he was going to try and break away again, so I tried to keep an eye on him. Mid race there was a $10 prime and since I was second wheel I could not resist the temptation to sprint and unlike the first race, I sprinted to the finish line and won it. This took a lot out of me. Three laps later I was still panting when Adam attacked and got a nice gap, joining a couple of other riders. Two riders I thought I could bring back, three, that would take some cooperation and work, and it turned out we didn't do enough. We kept them in sight on every straight for the rest of the race, getting closer by the 3 lap to go mark but then we started jockeying for sprint position with 2 to go, so the first three positions were off the table and sprinted for fourth, I came in second again in the field sprint.
T: 39:41
S: 37.8
C: 89
H: 181
atwater crit m4

04 July 2010

July 3 - Leesville Gap RR

CTL: 118
TSB: 6

35+ 4/5 race

I haven't done this race in about five years. Wasn't planning on doing it until the Oakland Grand Prix was postponed, then decided on Wednesday night to do this road race and cancel my entries into the Oakland replacement crit but I forgot the part about cancelling the Atwater Crit entries. Doh. At least I should be a little heat acclimated after the Chico Stage Race last weekend.

I froze all my bottles and the temps were mild enough that by the end of the race at noon, the water was still cool, not unpalatably hot like at Paskenta at 3pm, so heat was not as big a factor, starting at 8:30 instead of 12:30 helped.

We started off the race at a very easy L1 zone pace for thirty minutes - the 45+ 4/5's caught us and passed us. Then we hit the long rough section, paved mostly but lots of potholes. We caught and passed and then it seems like we merged with the 45 4/5's. This made the thirty minute gravel/rough road section a lot more interesting, sixty some riders vying for position (with maybe two good lines) instead of thirty riders. About ten percent of the riders flatted out here. I wasn't sure which group they were in, only caught a glimpse of a couple riders' numbers in our group. We hit this section kind of hard, high L3 zone for me and I was drafting the whole time. I lost count of the water bottles shaken loose from bikes, and then I lost one, and was down to two. Ended up with blisters on my hands from all the vibrations.

There's a nice four mile descent later in the race where even I can hit 80kph that almost makes this part of the race acceptable. :)

There is a small bridge and a left turn and the road turns upwards for about 6 kilometers. There was immediately a breakaway of what appeared to be about twelve riders, could see some guys from my category. The roads were still in such bad shape and the two combined fields in front of me so there was no way I could move up to close the gap, and I assumed the race was over only about twenty miles in, and sort of gave up and eased up. Looking back, this was a huge mistake. Went over the climb in about 24 minutes at the low end of L4 so very simil$ar to OLH. A rider from my group overtook me at the summit and I found the motivation to start racing again. The views from the climb of the valley below are pretty nice, maybe next time I will bring a camera.

We caught six riders over the next twenty miles of rolling terrain (one mile of gravel road, nothing compared to Paskenta...), then some riders from another group caught us and I threw in the towel, just followed wheels in at that point.

Ended up 12/25 some how. Kind of frustrating because I had a lot in the tank, and been going harder than this in training on Tuesday and Wednesday, though maybe I should plan ahead farther and not go that hard prior during the week of a race...

T: 3:23:49
D: 104.3 km
S: 30.6
C: 85
H: 165
Pavg: 159
Pnorm: 191

leesville gap rr