Sunday, March 1, 2009

A Team Win at Fork Shoals RR

My teammate Ladd and I went 1-2 in the Fork Shoals 35+ RR yesterday morning! It was an awesome result for us in our second race of the year. On Friday we were wavering about whether or not to even go to the race, since the weather was going to bad, but we both came to grips with the idea of racing in the rain, and plans were made. Rich's text Friday that he was definitely going helped prod me into going. So, the three of us drove up in the pouring rain, and took our place at the start line, where the rain continued.

They combined 35+ and 45+ and cut the distance down to 45 miles. I'd say we had about 60 riders total. The plan was to attack early, and try to get 2 out of the 3 of us in a break. Attacks started immediately, but the early moves were covered. I just stayed near the front waiting for the right time to do something. Those first few minutes were pretty hard, 312 watts NP for the first 13 minutes. At mile 5, I jumped away at one of those lulls, where an attack has just been brought back and everyone pauses. I got clear quickly and no one followed. I stayed above threshold at first, then gradually settled into a pace just below threshold (304 watts NP for 61 minutes). The first five minutes was at 345 watts AP to establish the gap. Once I was out there alone one of the thoughts going through my mind was, I sure wish I was running my carbon 58 mm deep front wheel instead of a box rim training wheel, just to have better braking in the rain. Oh well.

I never got more than perhaps 60 seconds ahead, and could look back and see the field on some of the long straight roads. I figured eventually a small group would make it up to me. That is exactly what happened at mile 29, just before starting the 3rd lap of 3. My Palmetto Velo teammate Ladd, and Jim C. from Globalbike bridged up to me. I had seen a group coming for a while and had backed off when they got close to save some energy to catch onto them, not knowing who it was. I was relieved to see that it was Ladd. I knew right then that we should be able to win the race. The field was out of site and three strong riders would hold that gap. We motored along working together until about 5 miles to go.

Then it was time to decide things. I was trying to decide exactly when to attack, but Jim beat me to the punch and went first. Ladd covered and I followed. Then I went and Jim covered. Finally Ladd countered and was gone. Race over. Jim and I took a long pause to watch Ladd become a speck on the horizon, then we settled back into a steady pace to avoing being caught. I came through for 2nd to make it 1 - 2 for the team! Meanwhile, Rich was in a break of his own and finished next in 4th.


JB said...

sweet race. congrats!

Sam said...

Nice job Jay...great teamwork by you and LL! I spoke with JC and he said you guys put the hurt on him.