Archive for June, 2008
Quick summary: 7th place for the crit, 8th place overall for the weekend omnium
The details: This was a somewhat frustrating race for me as I managed to bridge up to what should have been the winning move. Instead, the break didn’t stick and I had used up a bit too much gas trying to keep the break going. I missed the winning break and then could only manage 6th in the field sprint which worked out to be 7th for the race since we had been lapped by the three man break. I’ll just summarize the race using my HR data below (power meter was only working sporadically, the cadence magnet had slid down again!)
- Bridge to the 6 man breakaway, consisting of me, Nathan Brown, three Marx and Bendorf riders, and two Nashville Cyclist riders.
- Rolling steady in the break
- Leading up to this point, there was a flurry of attacks (note the changes in speed) that I ended up chasing down and then driving by to try to keep the break going. Then at this spot, I had given up since we were about to be caught
- The first counter-attack
- The second counter-attack that stuck
- The finishing laps
After the race we had a great lunch with my former college roommate and racing buddy from Clemson – Bert Hull and his wife Stephanie. The kids were restless and tired, but we still had a great time catching up! After lunch, we headed back to the course to see if they had finished tabulating everything and got the final results. I finished a disappointing 8th place with 34 omnium points total. Sixth and seventh place was a tie with just 35 omnium points. If I had placed one position higher in any of the races, I would have “leapt” into 6th place. Oh well!
Kristine encouraged me on the drive back, reminding me that I was greatly outnumbered by the Marx and Bendorf team AND marked by other riders if I tried to bridge or attack.
Next up, I am looking forward to the opportunity to guest ride with Marx and Bendorf up in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. We leave on Tuesday for the long drive (1100 miles!).
Quick summary: 11th place
The details:I spent the afternoon relaxing in the hotel lobby and then working to get my brand new clip-on TT bars mounted on my bike. Philip and Brent helped a lot to get my position right. Thanks guys! Philip, Jacob, and I all decided to bike over to the start/finish area since it was only 6 miles from our hotel. My legs were feeling pretty heavy when we stepped up the speed, but I was really loving the new TT bars. I felt comfortable AND I felt like I had some good leverage on the bars so that I could power through smaller hills.
The course was a closed road that paralleled an active set of railroad tracks. The course was out/back 4 miles total. We came into the course before anyone started and got a chance to ride it two and a half times. I liked the course and new that you had to save some energy for after the turnaround when you would be battling back up a small grade into a decent headwind. My power meter helped me keep from going out too hard, and it helped me keep from panicking on the way back in when I wasn’t going very fast to realize that it was because of the grade and headwind – NOT because I was just going slow. I was pleased that my time was about 6 seconds improved from similar TT’s. Also, check out how low my average heart rate was and yet how high the average power was. Normally I’d be freaking out b/c my HR was so low, but because I knew I was putting out the watts to maintain a descent speed I was able to keep pushing.
- Power spike on the first small riser. I saved some energy after the start to kick it hard here to keep my speed up.
- The turn-around
- High power, slightly slower speed on the uphill grade into headwind
- Again, good power through here even though the speed was dropping
Quick summary: 5th place
The details: Small field but with good representation from Marx and Bendorf (8 riders), Nashville Cyclist (4 riders), and Team Type I (2 riders). I was very aggressive at the beginning and followed Travis (Marx and Bendorf) on an attack from the line. I sat up after about half a mile though. Then there were some attacks and two riders got away: a Marx and Bendorf rider and a Nashville Cyclist rider. I attacked a few times to try to get something going – but everything was getting chased down and covered well by Marx and Bendorf. Then the race got real easy as Team Type I rode tempo. I got in the mix too and rode tempo a bit. There was one other rider who also helped out with keeping the break in check, but it was mostly Team Type I. Eventually, the break of two had a lead of about two and a half minutes. At this point, Marx and Bendorf started to send riders off the front. This increased the pace and by the end of the third lap (out of 4) we had brought the lead back down to just 30 seconds and we could see the break up the road. There was a flurry of attacks, and Nate Brown (Hot tubes development) bridged across to it. A little while later the Nashville cyclist rider popped. At this point, it became a very tactical race as suddenly I had to make sure that I was in any break containing a Team Type I rider. Two guys got away late (nashville cyclist and marx and bendorf) and Team Type I led the chase. The leadout coming across the last big hill was the two Team Type I riders, Mike Olheiser (Marx and Bendorf) and then me. Our group caught the two guys who were off the front of the group right in the middle of the sprint. I navigated around them but couldn’t come around Joe or Mike so I finished 3rd in the field sprint, 5th overall. I believe Nate Brown got the win in a very close bike-throw sprint with Sam Silvey (Marx and Bendorf).
Here’s my heart rate and power data. Unfortunately, my cadence magnet slid down during the race and stopped reading – this also turns off the power meter! So I only have power readings for the first lap and a half.
- Aggressive here, several attacks, covered others and initiated some as well
- First major attacks after riding tempo with Team Type I. Marx and Bendorf initiated some of these attacks, and the pace really picked up as we covered them
- I think this is where the field blew up near the end of the third lap
- This is where I had to cover some moves or jump with some moves to make sure that I didn’t get left out from the finish
We’re settled into the Hampton Inn here just outside of Memphis in Colliersville, TN. It was a nice drive up even with a major nose bleed from Analise which started with “Daddy, my nose is running”. We turn around to see Analise covered in blood from her nose down to her chin (she had wiped blood all over her cheeks and into her hair). Kristine valiantly cleaned her up, calmed her down, and got the bleeding to stop. She was fine in a matter of minutes as if nothing had happened.
After that, we met Lennie and Kim and their kids for a fun Greek/Italian dinner in Tupelo, MS. A short drive later and we made it up here to Colliersville. I just got back from a spin around a cool park called “Eagle Lake” which had a really nice lighted bike path around a lake. There were tons of geese and even a big heron that took off when I rode by it. It was cool to see it swooping out of the water and past one of the lights on the path.
The racing starts bright and early tomorrow morning with a 72 mile road race, followed by a 4 mile mostly flat TT tomorrow afternoon, and an hour-long criterium Sunday morning. Wish me luck!
Quick summary: 4th road race, 19th time trial
The details: it was a relatively small field (about 35 riders), but it was packed with heat. Two Team Type I pros were here (Emile Abraham and Daniel Holt), Brent Bookwalter (BMC), and four riders from a pro team called DLP (UCI Continental) along with Michael Olheiser and three riders from Texas Roadhouse. The pace started out slow in the road race because it was raining and wet. I put in the first attack and strung out the field. There was one counter attack that was chased down and then there was another strong attack at the base of the first major climb. Only Olheiser, me, and the US national team rider (?) could maintain the pace up the climb. We went up and over and flew down the other side which was kinda scary on the wet roads. We traded pace across the valley, but when we hit the next climb at 25mph Olheiser didn’t even slow down. Seriously, he probably went up that next climb at 20+mph all the way to the top. The national team rider and I both popped pretty quickly from that and the field came up to us.
Then there was a section of the race where several riders and teams were working together to try to bring Olheiser back so there weren’t any attacks or breaks. Once it became clear that we weren’t going to bring Olheiser back, the attacks and breaks started again. There were several “roll off” breaks where a few riders would simply roll off the front of the group at a slightly faster speed and simultaneously you get a couple of riders at the front who slow down or don’t want to pull through and all of a sudden there is a 5 man break up the road! This happened right before the long climb on the course. A group of about 8 riders simply rolled off the front. I got caught out near the back of the main field and managed to work myself to the front by the top of the climb. Several of us that didn’t have team members in the break worked together over the next 10 miles to bring the front group back. We did, and then almost immediately another “roll off” break went up the road. Darrell O’Quinn bridged up to it with a Krystal rider. There was pretty good team representation in the break and nobody in the pack looked like they were motivated to chase it down, so I attacked hard up the righthand side of the road and managed to get a clean gap with only a DLP rider in tow. I made it halfway across the gap and then convinced the DLP rider to work with me since they would then have a second rider in the break. We finished the bridge together and made it up to the lead group (minus Olheiser who was already several minutes up the road).
So after a few minutes our break of 7 started to gel and people started to work together although I wasn’t super happy with the composition of the group (we were missing two of the pros and one entire strong team – Texas Roadhouse). Eventually we got into a really good rhythm with everybody pulling through. I felt pretty comfortable that we were going to stay away to the end (about 20 miles to go). We made it to the last major climb (excluding the finishing climb) and only three of us were able to maintain a high pace up the climb. I found myself off the front with a strong DLP rider (Thad Dulin who raced for Jittery Joe’s last year), and a Team Type I pro (Daniel Holt) coming across the top. We worked well together and put about 30-45 seconds into the remainder of the break. We were rolling into a headwind at a pace that fluxuated between 25 and 28mph. Finally, we turned and you could see the last climb just ahead of us. We congratulated each other and joked that maybe we should just roll up the last climb and then do a standing start sprint with 200 meters to go. We laughed and then started up the climb. Right about that moment, we looked back and saw that the pack was RIGHT THERE maybe only 15 seconds behind us and we still had a 1km climb left to go! I panicked at that point thinking that I might cramp and get left behind if I waited for one of the other riders to attack – so I went to the front and pulled as hard as I could up the climb without cramping desperately hoping that I would be able to pull hard enough to keep us away and maybe drop one of the other two riders with me. That wasn’t going to happen so when we made it to the 200 meter mark I led out the sprint hoping that maybe I would catch at least one rider struggling – but I could hear both of them shift into harder gears behind me and then launch around me to take 2nd and 3rd while I rolled across in 4th. The pack came in a few seconds (maybe 10) later.
Here is my HR data (my power meter was installed but not working for the road race):
- I was in a break on the first climb with Olheiser and the US National rider
- Olheiser rode away from us on the second climb
- I got caught at the back of the group at the bottom of this climb and worked my way to the front by the top
- Here I was helping to chase down the split of 10 riders up the road
- This is my bridge to break up the road.
- Here is where our break got split up, and I went up the road with Thad Dulin (DLP) and Daniel Holt (Team Type I)
- The finishing climb
Darryl Seelhorst, Wes Douglas, Darrell O’Quinn, Jim Brock, and I had a nice relaxing lunch and talk on the front porch of a country store in what has got to be the most beautiful part of Tennessee. Then we went back to the state park where our cars were parked from the road race and worked on our bikes. I worked on getting my new Polar power meter working right (technical details in next post, but it turns out it was a problem with spacing for the cadence magnet) and I tried to put TT bars on my bike, but the two sets of bars that I had were 15 and 20 years old respectively and designed to work with the old thinner handlebars. So I did the TT Eddy Merckx style and was very pleased even though I got next to last. I wanted to test out my power meter and get a baseline for the type of power that I could hold for a 9.1 mile time trial. I decided to go with 20 pedal strokes hard, 5 strokes easy for the race but quickly discovered that I needed 10 strokes and sometimes 20 easy in order to keep from blowing up. Also, I went out too hard. Here is my power and HR data from the TT:
Quick update – we just drove up to Nashville and our spending the night with family before I head up to the road race and tt tomorrow at Avery Trace. Then possibly the Cookeville crit on Sunday. Stay tuned for more details tomorrow after the races.
Here is one last post from the Nature Valley Grand Prix with photos that I took of the last stage. It was killing me to have missed the timecut and not be able to do this epic criterium with the infamous Chilkoot Hill, but it was definitely some excellent racing that I got to watch.
My daughter Analise was the only Toone that got a chance to race on Stage 6 of the Nature Valley Grand Prix – the stillwater criterium. She did great and I had to run to keep up with her. She won a medal for her efforts. Way to go Analise! In the background, note the complete team bikes in the pit for the Healthnet and Toyota United teams! The pro race started right after the finish of the kids race.
Jesse rode an incredible race finishing 3rd in the amateur competition and 18th overall. Way to go Jesse!
Rory Southerland and John Murphy (Athens, GA) having a chat before the start
Dominque Rollin taking the sprint points on Lap 1
A video showing just how steep the climb is. I was positioned at the START of the steep part of the climb (> 20% gradient). Watch the Healthnet rider drop his chain and then get back onto the back of the pack. Amazing!