Texas Tough USA Crits Finale Race Report
Raced and fought hard to a 30th place finish out of a strong field of about 100 starters. I got caught up in a crash near the middle of the group about 10 laps into the race ultimately skidding to a stop holding onto the original rider who went down – a United Healthcare rider – who had just stood up as other riders squeaked past us. The hardest part of the race was when we were put back in one lap later at the very back of the peloton, which was being led by the entire Hotel San Jose team as they were chasing a six-man break that had gotten away without them because of the crash. About 10 laps later the pace had eased up, and I was able to work my way up to near the front of the group where I stayed for the remainder of the race. In the end, I missed a seven man move that escaped on a $1000 prime lap. One lap later, I moved into position to keep ahead of the “swarm” on the downhill, when Ben Zawacki from Team Ion attacked off the front to chase the group of seven. I had an opening, and so I launched off the side of the group, thinking that if I could reach Ben then perhaps the two of us could make the bridge — but Ben already had a great gap by the time I attacked, and I couldn’t close any so I sat up after the downhill to conserve energy for the finish. In the end I fought hard for position, finishing 18th in the field sprint, which meant 30th for the race with twelve riders off the front.
The course was a nice 4-corner around the American Airlines Center arena in Dallas. The course had a short (but steep) 6% uphill immediately after the start/finish and a longer but more gradual downhill on the back side of the course. The uphill was with a tailwind and the downhill was into a headwind/sidewind blowing from the west on the most exposed part of the course. I got a call-up before the start, and that is the first video posted below my heartrate/power data. Two helicopters were hovering over the course to stream the race for a local news station. Also, there was a giant jumbotron screen for spectators – so it was an exciting race to end my 2010 season – although I am planning on racing the Alabama state time trial (Oct 2) and the Tour de Cullman (Oct 23) for some good fun and training!
This race was a crazy trip for Kristine and I as we made the 650 mile drive (one-way) from Birmingham to Dallas on Wednesday after I finished teaching my Wednesday afternoon class. Then Thursday night after the race, we “turned and burned” and drove the 650 miles back to Birmingham to make it back in time for my 9AM Friday class. We were gone for a total of 40 hours, 22 of which was spent driving, about 3 hours of racing and warm-up, a few hours during the day on Thursday hanging out with friends, and only 8 hours of sleeping. We shared the driving on the return trip, spent the night with awesome friends at the Christian missions organization (Mercy Ships) where the two of us met which was on the way to Dallas, and had an all-round great time.
Texas Tough, Dallas, TX, USA Crits Finale 2010-09-16 Dist: 38.22 mi (1:24:04) Energy: 1207.3 kJ Cals Burn: 1154.2 kcal Climbing: 549 ft Braking: -13.9 kJ (-1.2%) Min Avg Max Power 0 239.4 793 W Aero 0 112.3 661 W Rolling 0 36.3 50 W Gravity -508 0.5 436 W Speed 0.0 27.3 37.8 mi/h Wind 9.1 16.3 31.5 mi/h Elev 363 375 387 ft Slope -4.5 0.01 6.1 % Caden 0 78.2 115 rpm HR 128 178.9 192 bpm NP 271 W; IF 0.979; TSS 134.2 CdA: 0.342 m^2; Crr: 0.0039 173 lbs; 9/16/2010 5:56 PM 87 degF; 1012 mbar
Annotated heartrate data corresponding to the graph below …
- The race started with a neutral lap – riders inches from the pace car completely surrounding it on both sides, too!
- The wreck in Turn #4 ten laps into the race
- The hardest part of the race, hanging on and trying to move up with Team Hotel San Jose drove the pace chasing the break
- Easier – fighting to stay at the front
Annotated power data corresponding to the graph below …
- The wreck in Turn #4 ten laps into the race
- Bridge attempt late in the race (about 6 or 7 laps to go)
Note the drafting differences (i.e., difference between the white line and the blue line) in the two different parts of the race. In the first red circled area, the pace is super fast and I am just hanging onto the rider in front of me. In the second circle area, you see more places where I am attacking or moving out into the wind to try to continue to move up or maintain position at the front of the race. I love being able to see this data on my iBike, and over time I am hoping it will help me figure out how to better mete out my energy for crits.
Videos from the race – Kristine took these videos on her iPhone.
Call-ups at the Texas Tough Grand Prix
Start of the 2010 Texas Tough Grand Prix
Early lap in the 2010 Texas Tough Grand Prix
Middle lap in the 2010 Texas Tough Grand Prix
The start/finish stretch underneath towering hotels and high-rise condiminiums
Racing in downtown Dallas, TX
Spending the night with friends from Mercy Ships in Van, TX
Eating breakfast at the iconic Dinner Bell restaurant in Van, TX