Sunday, March 8, 2009

River Falls RR 35+

I finished 3rd in the River Falls RR yesterday morning. The field was probably over 70 riders and included a few current and former national champions and a former world champion. The sunny 70+ degree weather motivated everyone to show up this week, compared to last week's race ridden in cold rain.

After last week's 1-2 finish, LL and I were looking for another big result. With the quality of the field, we had our hands full and weren't able to exert control on the race like we did a week ago. The race loop was about 5.6 miles including a 1K climb at the end. We only did 6 laps, so it was a 34 mile road race. The race was ridden aggressively throughout, leading to a finish time 4 minutes faster than last year. I won't bore you with a full blow by blow account of how the race played out. I'll stick mostly to the power numbers.

First of all the climb, required a pretty big effort all six times. The lap 5 ascent required 457 watts for almost 2 minutes, and even the easiest trip up the hill saw me average about 360 watts for 2+ minutes. I only weigh 149 lbs, so some others were probably working much harder than that.

My first two laps were the easiest due to the fact that I was lined up in the very back at the start and it took me two laps to make it to the front. I was in a couple of breaks for short periods of time and on lap 4 I spent about about 7 minutes solo off the front at 329 watts average. After the huge effort up the climb on lap 5, I was sitting about 6th or 7th wheel while we were lined up chasing John Patterson from Carolina Masters. It looked like we were going to catch and then the counter attacks would come. Wrong! Before the catch, Tony Scott from Texas Roadhouse jumped across. A little bit later, sensing that the two were a big danger, I got away by myself and chased them, but wasn't able to bridge the 15 second or so gap. I did stay away from the field for the final 11 minutes to finish alone in 3rd. That final 11 minute effort was 332 watts AP at a VI of 1. In hindsight it looks like I should've been able to go harder at the start of my chase...maybe a do or die 3 or 4 minutes to make the catch or go down in flames trying.

I didn't win, but did have a good result, and with an IF of .97 for the race, I'd say that I got all of the training I could possibly handle. It is billed as a "Training" series after all.

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