Monday, April 2, 2007

Rocky Mount SR, the beginning

So the season just started out for me. I missed a few time trials since I was building up my TT bike so i'm a little behind everyone else at the moment. The RR was 54 miles and rolling hills. Texas had nothing on the calendar so a lot of Texas racers ended up here which made for challenging competition.

Thursday we headed out to Monroe where Mrs. Penny put us up in her hotel for a few nights. (thanks!) Me and my brother Cary had already discussed strategy so there wasn't much to do that night besides unpack and hit the sack. Unfortunately the RR is 2 hours away so were up 3-4am getting ready. I won't bore you with details, unless you really like oatmeal (first post).

The RR started out with a 1-mile neutral. As always seems to be the case I'm in the first line of riders setting an easy tempo to get the legs a little more warmed up. The 1 mile neutral ended at the first turn into the race, and immediately Scott Simmons attacked. Great, a Masters TT champ decides to race in the 4's. That's a shame. Shouldn't he be with the 1's and 2's? I figured if he was strong enough to launch an attack in the first 200 meters then I needed to be with him. No luck. I sprint up to his wheel and so did everyone else. Unfortunately I went into the race with only base miles and no real strength training so I didn't have many cards to play, but still felt good throughout the whole race. The hills were challenging at times as the bigger riders sprint as hard as they can over them and fall like a rock down the other side. No 30 minute climbs for me to lay down the hammer here today :(. Attacks happened every 2-5 minutes it seemed but nothing stuck. Scott Simmons and a Mirage rider ended up getting away but 5 or 6 of us quickly organized a chase at the front while everyone else sat on trying to conserve energy. But this was the most threatening break the whole race sadly (topped at around 25second gap) so we brought it back inside the last lap. Right as the break was caught the pace slowed and I attacked. Sadly I was chased down and it came down to a field sprint. I finished in the pack and started recovering for the evening Time Trial. I was pretty happy that I ended up in a few short lived breaks and still had enough to attack in the last few miles. The seasons looking good.

The TT was in downtown Shreveport on a nice little stretch of road. The police closed down the road but ended up shortening it to 2 miles instead of 3. There was a beast of a headwind with an uphill finish. I was happy enough to have my TT bike built but lacked the other equipment. No disc, no helmet, skin suit or anything. Unfortunately for me, those make a huge difference with a 12mph headwind, but no worries. I put in a decent ride considering the wind but nothing astonishing. At least I had the sexiest shoes known to man on my feet (courtesy of Cary).

The crit was around 10:30 the next morning so I got to sleep in. Very niiice. I did a little warm up and the legs were not feelin all too good. It was flat minus a little rise in the middle of the course, and WINDY. So the crit started and I figured i'd stay midpack for the first few laps till I was ready to launch a searing attack... Bad idea. I thought the crit would stay together for the most part but going into the first corner it was a dead sprint. The wind was blowing hard on the finishing stretch and also on the road after the first right turn. This played well into the hands of Scott who went straight to the front and started hammering through the turns. I was behind a TCF and NOBC rider who let this insurmountable gap open. Who else to close it but me?! After the effort of getting up to the rear I was spent. I watched helplessly as the group powered away in front of me.

I felt like a complete failure and was seconds away from turning off the course and watching from the sidelines. But the never quit mentality kicked in and I was off hammering into the wind and through the turns. About 4 laps into the race there was no peloton. Just a string of riders that that had dropped off the pace over the entire course. I got this huge burst of power from god knows where and started catching numerous people. I caught one young kid and told him to work with me to catch back up. Unfortunately the pull ratio was about 5:1. I lapped 2 of my teammates and said "Lets work together and catch this?!"... "No thanks" they said. Good god man! No one to work with but I was feelin GOOOOD. I pumped around the course with my HR at 185-190. I could see the group of riders that were killing everybody and i was even with them the entire rest of the race. I ended up lapping and catching about 12 riders but ended up about 16th. I was content with that. I ended up averaging 4.8 watts/kg over the entire crit (33 minutes total). That was my goal for this season and I did it in my first crit! Word.

So the weekend didn't turn out like I planned, but what can you expect with only base miles. My hard training has started this week and me and my brother are very optimist about the results to come this season.

Next up is the Mississippi Gran Prix and then off to Arizona for the Vuelta de Bisbee. Yeeees, major climbs here. No more of that sprinting over every hill at 1000watts shit.

The ride home was fun. I think we were all slipped crazy pills at dinner. Here's a good example. The one thing I DID win this weekend, was this intense game of hangman with Liz. Errr....

1 comment:

Belita said...

You write very well.