Monday, June 15, 2009

Road Race Weekend

I just finished another big weekend of racing. Although I ONLY did two races this time, they were the longest two races I've done this year, about 80 miles apiece. Saturday morning Rich, LL and I left early and drove about 2 hours to Salisbury, NC and lined up for race #1, the 30-39 NC State Championship RR. Rich and I rode near the front early on and covered several moves. I attacked a few times to no avail. Then LL moved up and made a well timed attack to get away with Kerry from Carolina Masters. I was right there behind them when they went, and cruised up to the front and helped let the gap form. They linked up with a couple others who were already up the road, and got out of sight. Rich and I followed various moves, but missed the important one. Rich Harper attacked up the left side, but I was on the white line sitting behind Cannell and boxed in. No one flinched, so we watched the race winner, get away and ride up to the break.

With about 25 miles to go, and LL's group minutes in the lead and a chase group also out of sight, I followed an attack by Chris Harkey and we immediately started rotating and got away. After many miles of hard riding we eventually caught the chase group of 4 about 3 miles from the finish. A short climb caused a split in our group, so I could see that there were some tired legs in there. I didn't want to regroup, so I attacked at the left turn with about a mile to go. I held on and finished solo for 5th, a couple of minutes behind LL, who took 4th.

The final hour was the hardest at 302 watts normalized, with the final 2:12 at 411 watts. The NP for the whole 3 hour + race was 279 watts, so this was a big draining effort, but I had to quickly forget about it and rest up for the next day. We ate lunch at a pizza place in downtown Salisbury, then moved in to our accommodations above the Windsong Bicycle Shop, which Charlie from Carolina Masters hooked us up with. After a steak, and a tall beer for dinner, I went to sleep early.

Day 2:
Sunday was another 80 miles of racing in a big Pro/1/2/3 field. Despite planning to sit in and be patient, I somehow found myself in an 8 man break about 15 minutes into the race. Everybody was rotating and we built a lead of 1:20 at one point, before the field chased us. Team Mountain Khakis wasn't represented, so they along with Rich Harper and maybe others, brought us back after we were away for 1 hour. I still felt fine, so I was thinking about being in the next move, but I didn't keep myself near the front well enough and didn't make it. The rest of the race was boring, until the last few miles. LL and I got to the front and launched a few attacks, but didn't get anywhere. I thought all was lost, but in the last mile or so, I was near enough to the front to contest it, and Rich and LL were both there too. With both of them on my wheel, I took off up the right side and tried to lead them out. It was a little dicey, and at one point I went through a gap that closed as I went through. Thankfully no one crashed. I ended up riding hard all the way to the line to snag 4th in the field sprint (without ever going over 807 watts) for 10th overall. It was just a long hard finishing effort at 577 watts for the last 50 seconds. Rich was 16th and LL was 22nd.

Now its time to train a little more, then taper for Masters Nationals in a couple of weeks.

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