Archive for July, 2008
Quick update: We made it into Aurora late last night after 14 HOURS in the car yesterday. After a good night’s sleep, Kristine took the kids with our friends to play at a children’s garden/playground nearby, and I am getting caught up on a few things. Later this afternoon I’ll be driving part of the way to Elk Grove and then biking the rest of the way to get a good ride in today and then watch the Pro prologue time trial. The elite amateur race doesn’t start until tomorrow so I’ve got an additional day to recover from the drive up yesterday.
Well, it’s the night before our last major racing trip of the year. Don’t worry – I’ve still got lots more racing to come after this weekend, but this is the last LONG (i.e., >10 hours) trip that we are making. We’ll be pulling out mid-morning tomorrow to drive all the way to Aurora, Illinois to stay with friends of our that have kids the same age as ours. We’re going to try to time our arrival for a little bit after their kids go to sleep – otherwise our kids would be so wound up with excitement they’d probably never go to sleep! Here’s our route:
The race I am heading up to do is the Tour of Elk Grove, which has a huge prize purse of $35,000 for the 2-day amateur stage race ($35,000). That purse is just for the Cat 1-2 field! There is lots of prize money for the other fields, too — including the separate Pro-only race which has $170,000 for that field. The courses are pretty much table-top flat with some good corners on excellent smooth pavement (in 2007 – but Chicago winters are hard, who knows what the road will be like this year!). With so much prize money on offer, it will be hard for a break to get away unless it has the perfect representation from the major teams at the race. Since it is a timed stage race, the sprint time bonuses at the midpoint and end of each race will play a huge part in determing the overall placings. Look for updates, photos, and race reports over the next few days.
I’ve got to hand it to the COGS group – excellent race, accurate times, quickly posted results AND photos. Way to go Cyclists of Greater Sylacauga! Here’s one of the photos (licensed under creative commons license). Thanks for posting these!
Original photo by: Diddlee
Creative Commons license
You can view all the photos from the race on flickr.
Quick summary: 3rd place! behind two Masters World Time Trial Champions: Mike Olheiser (2006) and David Grice (2003). I was happy with just about every aspect of my ride except for having a little bit too much left towards the end. Mike’s time of 48’27” shattered the old course record set by GW by over 5 minutes. David started 1 minute behind me, and I expected him to catch me before the halfway point. I was having a good ride though, and by the top of the climb to Bull’s Gap I estimated that I was either pulling ahead slightly or still 1 minute in front of him. By the end, though, David had pulled back some time and ended up riding 54’13” which was 38 seconds faster than me, but which also means I have now completed two time trials in which I didn’t get passed by anyone! I believe Mike Lanham (Marx and Bensdorf) was fourth followed by Travis Sherman (Marx and Bensdorf) in fifth. The full results are posted on the COGS website.
22 miles in 54’51” for an average speed of 24.06mph
Normalized average power: 326 watts
Average/Max heart rate: 178/187 bpm
Cadence Min/Avg/Max: 40/89/117 rpm
On the way out (includes the 1.25 mile climb to Bull’s Gap):
Time: 30’15” for an average speed of 21.8mph
Normalized average power: 335 watts
Average/Max heart rate: 178/186 bpm
Cadence Min/Avg/Max: 40/88/112 rpm
On the way back in (includes the 1.25 mile descent from Bull’s Gap):
Time: 24’35” for an average speed of 26.85mph
Normalized average power: 313 watts
Average/Max heart rate: 179/187 bpm
Cadence Min/Avg/Max: 64/90/117 rpm
Here is the power/heart rate graph. My speed / distance is still off or maybe the course wasn’t quite 22 miles?
- Note the rolling hills right from the start. Difficult to get in a rhythm. The best strategy was to make sure that you didn’t ease up too much on the downhills so that you could carry some good momentum into the next hill. Then because it was still difficult to keep the wattage up on the downhills you needed to finish off each hill above your threshold power.
- This was the largest “roller” on the way out. Note how my power dropped and stayed consistent, but it was still 15-30 watts above my threshold power.
- There was a sharp downhill right before the start of the climb up Bull’s Gap. Note how I hit it hard to get my speed going up before the bottom of the hill and then kept a steady wattage on the climb — 332 watts which again is 15-30 watts above my threshold power.
- The long false flat on the way back. My wattage was a little bit chaotic here as I was feeling a bit of my early efforts, but still wanting to push the pace hard. My average power for the false flat was 313 watt (right at threshold).
- Wattage all over the place on the final rollers. I was still feeling pretty good towards the last rollers so I tried to really ramp up my effort. It was hard though spinning out the downhills so my average wattage for the last 5 minutes was only 319 watts (a few watts above threshold).
Finally, here’s a comparison of pictures right before the start of today’s race in 2008 and the one 15 years ago in 1993. Enjoy!
Here is a blast from the past. I am racing this Sunday for sentimental reasons as much as for the training. It will be exactly 15 years since my first bicycle race – the Bull’s Gap time trial in 1993. Here a couple pictures my dad took during that race.
You can’t miss the tube socks, hairy legs, world championship jersey, and glasses! I had just turned 17 a month prior to the race.
The course this year is the exact same as 15 years ago, 11 miles out with the turnaround at the top of Bull’s Gap and then 11 miles back into the outskirts of Sylacauga, Alabama. I think my time back then was 1 hour and 6 minutes. I am hoping to be at least 10 minutes maybe even 15 minutes faster than that this year.
Here’s a few photos from the races this past weekend. Most of these are not my pictures so I have linked to the photo hosted on other sites. If you hover over the link, you will get a preview of the picture without having to go to that site.
The sprint for third place:
Sitting up after taking a prime:
My son, Josiah, in his first bike race:
My daughter, Analise, pedaling hard (4th girl from the left) with my wife, Kristine, running after her:
My teammate, Brent, helping encourage his daughter Abigail to finish strong: