Sunday, August 30, 2009

State Road Race

View the power dataI competed in my final race of 2009 yesterday - the SC state road race, which was held near Greenville. I lined up for the 40-49 race with about 50 or so others, including PV teammates Rich, Ken and Lang. We raced 4 laps of a hilly 13 mile loop. I kind of screwed up and missed the from the gun move by Eric C, despite the fact that I knew it was going to happen. I was boxed in initially, though I could have jumped across to it before it got out of reach, but I didn't make the move. That hesitation was a big mistake and almost cost me any chance of contesting the race.

I attacked once to get across to the four man break, but got pulled back in. After that I just started taking pulls on the front, trying to encourage a chase. Ken and Rich helped me and a few others, including Tom S. took turns, but we really weren't making progress. Following Rich, I took a long pull up and over the new climb, which lined out the field. Shortly after that I took another pull through the right turn before the downhill that went by the river. Pat McCallion jumped and I followed him along with a Van Dessel rider. The 3 of us rode hard for the next couple of miles and got within about 30 seconds of the leaders as we passed the start/finish. The Van Dessel rider, who had a man in the break, dropped back, shortly after saying that the field was closing in on us. I didn't look back. At this point I was committed to either getting to the break or blowing up. It took several more miles, but Pat and I made it across on the 2nd lap, before the steep climb. At this point I had just done 322 watts average for over 25 minutes.

I was in the 6 man break, but had used a ton of energy to be there. I took my pulls in the break, but didn't attack. Eric and Pat were looking strong, so I waited. The break worked well even after we were 4 minutes ahead. About 1 mile out, Pat attacked hard up the hill. Eric and I followed, but we lost the others. From there I sat behind Eric in 3rd wheel. Pat went again, but we followed. I jumped on a little rise about 200 meters from the finish, but Eric was able to cover and come by me, so I ended up finishing 2nd. I had a pretty good sprint, 846 watts for 18 seconds, during a final 2:16 @463 watts, but it wasn't enough to beat a good sprinter like Eric. Oh well. I know I gave it my best effort and got beat by someone faster. That's bike racing.

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