Archive for July, 2011
One of the things I like about bike racing is getting to explore new areas. Up in the Tour of America’s Dairyland, I think I saw more of southeast Wisconsin in two weeks than Kristine did in her entire time growing up in northwest Wisconsin! I was staying at a friend’s house in Athens for the Georgia Cycling Gran Prix last weekend and got a chance to explore a lot of the area and backcountry roads east of Atlanta. Beautiful country! Here’s the map of my travels …
Heading up to Charlotte this coming week for the Crossroads Classic, and this time I’ll be exploring the area northwest of Charlotte with Kristine and the kids … should be fun!
HOT! Those three letters describe my day yesterday with the air conditioning in my car broken. Here are three temperature graphs from the day.
Drive from Winterville, GA to Newton County outside of Covington, GA!
The Newton County circuit race – the race had some good shade on half the course.
The three and a half hour drive home to Birmingham without air conditioning
Our race was again combined with the cat 3 race making for a total of 79 riders in the field. My right leg was still tight/sore from cramping hard at the end of the crit on Saturday, so I decided that I would race this race pretty conservatively for at least the first part of the race. I also guessed that with a large field on a rolling course, it would be unlikely for an early move to stay away. I was halfway correct on this because all of the moves (and there were a bunch of them) in the first few laps came back to the group.
Then somewhere around the fifth of twenty-five 1.8 mile laps, a good group got away with John Stowe, Alexey Schmidt (Team Type I), Sabastian Cancio (Aerocat), and a couple other riders. They quickly got a big gap as our pace plummeted in the field. At one point, I was thinking that the break might actually lap us. There was usually one attack on every lap, though, that ramped our pace way up for half a lap before slowing down again. Gavin Landsden (BBC), Jan Kolar (BBC), and me put in a one-two-three attack on one lap that I thought for sure would have gotten something away – but my attack was swallowed by the field on the descent.
I drifted back to the back 1/3rd of the group on the next lap to recover. During the next couple laps, a strong group of riders including TT1, Aerocat, Oneal Samuels, and maybe one or two other riders got away from the field. After about two more laps and our pace had been really high for a long time, I decided that it was probably a good time to get a chase group going with the field probably tired from the conditions and speed. So coming through the start/finish line, I moved up sheltered from the wind to the left of about 30-40 riders strung out single file and then immediately onto the back of an attack with a few riders maybe six or seven? As the field started to catch us after the course’s long downhill, there was another attack on the gradual hill. This is the spot on the course where the field had been slowing down quite a bit, so when that attack went I knew that it had a good chance of sticking. I went with it and worked with about five or six riders to get a gap.
We worked really well together as the third group on the road and were able to pull back the second group on the road after a few laps with only the lead break ahead of us with more than a minute’s advantage. Once the two chase groups merged, I could start to feel my leg giving me problems and knew that my best bet at not getting dropped is if there were no attacks. So rather than sitting on the back, I tried to work hard mashing a big gear when possible to reduce the total number of pedal strokes that my leg had to make. Even though we had a few people who weren’t working in the chase, there was enough people working that we didn’t have any attacks from our chase group until maybe 4 laps to go. From this point to the end, I stopped working to try to save my leg to be able to go with any attacks and try to get a decent finish. Dan Holt and Joey Rosskopf were drilling it at the front of our chase bringing us up to a shattered lead group of about 3 or 4 riders with two riders from the original break (Alexey Schmidt and Sabastian Cancio) still off the front with a 25 second advantage with one lap to go. This worked well for me because the TT1 duo kept the pace high enough that nobody was going to attack and I didn’t have to worry about any sudden accelerations until the sprint at the very end of the race. Even then, I was in great position for the sprint, but decided just to ride wheels to avoid any further damage to my leg. When I was ready to pass a couple people before the line, I got blocked in by one rider on either side who must have had the same idea about 1/2 of a second before me so I lost a couple spots.
Still, I was very happy with the race -
1) My leg was OK enough to not only race, but also attack and make it into the break
2) No cramps at all thanks to the way the race played out and thanks to the person in the feedzone who gave me a bottle with two laps to go
3) Still had a lot left for the sprint
4) Didn’t die from heat exhaustion
You can see how the race played out in the Strava segment data below. I think Lap 7 may have been the lap that had the 1-2-3 attack from Alabama. Lap 10 is probably where I thought to myself that if we kept that pace up, we were probably going to get lapped. Then look at how the speed ramps up over Laps 11, 12, 13. Then Lap 14 is where the third chase group was formed. Lap 19 is probably where we merged with the second group on the road. Then you can see the high speed / low watts for the last couple laps where TT1 was pulling hard to bring us up to the lead group.
NAME DIST ELEV SPEED POWER HR TIME Lap 1 1.8 mi 85 ft 24.4 mph 209 watts 142 bpm 0:04:26 Lap 2 1.8 mi 85 ft 24.5 mph 176 watts 146 bpm 0:04:24 Lap 3 1.8 mi 85 ft 27.2 mph 233 watts 151 bpm 0:03:58 Lap 4 1.8 mi 85 ft 25.5 mph 212 watts 156 bpm 0:04:14 Lap 5 1.8 mi 85 ft 27.1 mph 252 watts 156 bpm 0:03:59 Lap 6 1.8 mi 85 ft 23.6 mph 192 watts 147 bpm 0:04:34 Lap 7 1.8 mi 85 ft 25.9 mph 297 watts 162 bpm 0:04:10 Lap 8 1.8 mi 85 ft 23.2 mph 179 watts 153 bpm 0:04:39 Lap 9 1.8 mi 85 ft 26.3 mph 267 watts 167 bpm 0:04:06 Lap 10 1.8 mi 85 ft 20.6 mph 119 watts 142 bpm 0:05:14 Lap 11 1.8 mi 85 ft 25.3 mph 199 watts 147 bpm 0:04:16 Lap 12 1.8 mi 85 ft 25.8 mph 214 watts 149 bpm 0:04:11 Lap 13 1.8 mi 85 ft 26.4 mph 217 watts 153 bpm 0:04:05 Lap 14 1.8 mi 85 ft 28.0 mph 290 watts 168 bpm 0:03:51 Lap 15 1.8 mi 85 ft 26.0 mph 252 watts 163 bpm 0:04:09 Lap 16 1.8 mi 85 ft 25.7 mph 260 watts 165 bpm 0:04:12 Lap 17 1.8 mi 85 ft 25.1 mph 234 watts 163 bpm 0:04:18 Lap 18 1.8 mi 85 ft 25.8 mph 223 watts 157 bpm 0:04:11 Lap 19 1.8 mi 85 ft 24.6 mph 230 watts 158 bpm 0:04:23 Lap 20 1.8 mi 85 ft 24.6 mph 212 watts 155 bpm 0:04:23 Lap 21 1.8 mi 85 ft 25.6 mph 228 watts 155 bpm 0:04:13 Lap 22 1.8 mi 85 ft 27.1 mph 247 watts 158 bpm 0:03:59 Lap 23 1.8 mi 85 ft 26.0 mph 226 watts 157 bpm 0:04:09 Lap 24 1.8 mi 85 ft 27.3 mph 239 watts 157 bpm 0:03:57 Lap 25 1.8 mi 85 ft 28.0 mph 304 watts 170 bpm 0:03:51
Here is the link for all of the interactive Strava data - http://app.strava.com/rides/1003919.
You can also see how the race played out in the Strava performance graph below which shows heartrate and power. You can see how much smoother the power output is once we made into the chase group.
David Gearhart won the field sprint for 19th with my teammate Justin Bynum a few places behind him to take 1st in the cat 3s to bring home the overall omnium win! I ended up 6th in the omnium. Great racing, great training - next up is the Crossroads Classic August 3rd-7th in North Carolina.
Also, I almost forgot that not only did my AC stop working on the way to the race, my GPS took me on three different dirt roads to get there. At one point, I was convinced the dirt road was about to turn into a 4 wheel drive only road as it turned to what I would call a car's version of double track ... took a couple pics to document the experience but was pretty panicky by the time I hit the double track that I was going to miss the race. I had stayed to watch the end of the Tour de France and only left myself less than 2 hours to get to the race. I arrived at the race at 1:40 for a 2:00PM start, but fortunately they were running a little late. I think we started at about 2:15 or 2:20.
Having ridden a few races now with my powertap wheels, a rough estimate of my LT (threshold) power is right around 300 watts, I thought I would aim for an average power for this short 10k effort in the 325 watt range. Unfortunately, my legs had other ideas! I ended up averaging 306 watts thanks to the uphill/headwind return portion of the out/back course. I have to figure out a way to work harder on the downhills and go easier on the uphills. Still, I was happy to catch the rider who started 30 seconds in front of me and not get passed by any of the riders behind me. I ended up in 11th place out of close to 30 pro/1/2 riders. Only 1 spot out of the money!
Here is the link to the interactive power/heartrate data from Strava – http://app.strava.com/rides/992341
For the evening crit at 6:30PM, heat was again a factor in the race. We had a pretty big field of maybe close to 50 riders for the Pro/1/2 race. I was aggressive and made it into the first good-looking break on the second lap. We had all teams represented, but the larger teams wanted to have more than just one of their riders in the break. So even though we had a good initial 10+ second gap, the field brought us back as some of the riders soft-pedaled their pulls. There was a good counter attack to this move that I believe got away with a few riders. For the next 10 laps, there were numerous attacks as riders tried to bridge across to the move. I went with a few of these moves and initiated one or two myself. These counter attacks, plus amazingly long pulls by John Atkins, kept the break within sight.
I was starting to get pretty tired from attacking/chasing/bridging so I tried to recover and drifted towards the middle/back of the pack. As I started to feel better, I knew I needed to move up so that I might have an opportunity to go with a good chase. Coming through the Start/Finish line a TT1 rider attacked with an Aerocat rider close on his wheel. I saw a slight hesitation at the front and attacked hard to latch onto them. (Looking at the power data, I averaged 490 watts for 30 seconds when bridging up to them). We got away pretty cleanly from the field and started working together. I was happy that they were willing to work with me, but I felt like I was pulling harder and longer than either of them. Eventually, we were joined by two more riders who bridged up to us. This helped us finally close the gap to the lead group after 12 laps of chasing.
Covington crit power map, can you spot the difficult part of the course??
The lead group wasn’t working well together, though, and there were four more riders trying to chase onto us. After a couple laps, we started working well together and the riders caught in the middle slipped back into the pack and our lead grew to about a minute on the pack. With 16 laps to go, Dan Holt attacked hard and got away solo. The chasing duties fell to Aerocat, Thomas Brown, Oneal Samuels, and me. We worked together some, but I was about out of water and starting to cramp just hoping that we would finish the race soon. There was another attack at some point that split the remainder of our break in half and shelled two riders completely out the back. Thomas Brown, Oneal Samuels, Joey Rosskopf, and I were caught out by this attack and began chasing.
Joey had a bunch of teammates up the road so he was along for the free ride. With six laps to go, he attacked our group and I cramped up pretty good trying to stay with the chase. I was able to stay on and when Thomas and Oneal caught Joey, our pace slowed down enough for me to recover. With five laps to go, Joey attacked again and this time only Thomas was in position and able to follow. By this point, we were closing in on the back of the field to lap the field. I helped Oneal some, but I was cramping up pretty good at this point. With three laps to go, Oneal finished closing the gap to the back of the pack at the same time that my right leg completely seized up with a cramp. I stopped pedaling hoping that it would relax quick enough for me to chase back onto the pack, but I had to coast all the way through the start/finish straight before my leg relaxed enough for me to pedal. Even then, I had to pedal easy on that lap as my leg threatened to cramp again. But with two laps to go, I felt better and started chasing to make sure I didn’t get “unlapped” by the field since I had gone so slow with three laps to go. The course was long enough, though, that I was able to make it to the end ahead of the field to take 7th place.
NAME DIST SPEED POWER HR TIME Lap 1 0.6 mi 25.7 mph 282 watts 149 bpm 0:01:33 Lap 2 0.6 mi 25.7 mph 274 watts 155 bpm 0:01:33 Lap 3 0.7 mi 28.1 mph 322 watts 173 bpm 0:01:25 Lap 4 0.7 mi 26.5 mph 291 watts 168 bpm 0:01:30 Lap 5 0.6 mi 26.8 mph 279 watts 168 bpm 0:01:29 Lap 6 0.7 mi 25.7 mph 232 watts 168 bpm 0:01:33 Lap 7 0.6 mi 28.1 mph 278 watts 168 bpm 0:01:25 Lap 8 0.6 mi 27.1 mph 270 watts 172 bpm 0:01:28 Lap 9 0.7 mi 28.4 mph 354 watts 178 bpm 0:01:24 Lap 10 0.6 mi 25.7 mph 291 watts 179 bpm 0:01:33 Lap 11 0.6 mi 26.5 mph 246 watts 170 bpm 0:01:30 Lap 12 0.7 mi 26.8 mph 292 watts 180 bpm 0:01:29 Lap 13 0.7 mi 25.7 mph 245 watts 176 bpm 0:01:33 Lap 14 0.7 mi 23.2 mph 154 watts 164 bpm 0:01:43 Lap 15 0.7 mi 28.1 mph 273 watts 165 bpm 0:01:25 Lap 16 0.7 mi 28.1 mph 244 watts 174 bpm 0:01:25 Lap 17 0.6 mi 26.8 mph 231 watts 170 bpm 0:01:29 Lap 18 0.6 mi 26.0 mph 181 watts 167 bpm 0:01:32 Lap 19 0.6 mi 26.0 mph 244 watts 165 bpm 0:01:32 Lap 20 0.6 mi 28.1 mph 279 watts 172 bpm 0:01:25 Lap 21 0.7 mi 26.8 mph 266 watts 178 bpm 0:01:29 Lap 22 0.6 mi 23.9 mph 165 watts 165 bpm 0:01:40 Lap 23 0.7 mi 27.1 mph 315 watts 164 bpm 0:01:28 Lap 24 0.6 mi 26.0 mph 293 watts 177 bpm 0:01:32 Lap 25 0.6 mi 24.6 mph 207 watts 172 bpm 0:01:37 Lap 26 0.6 mi 25.7 mph 215 watts 166 bpm 0:01:33 Lap 27 0.7 mi 26.8 mph 267 watts 172 bpm 0:01:29 Lap 28 0.6 mi 27.1 mph 284 watts 174 bpm 0:01:28 Lap 29 0.7 mi 26.8 mph 285 watts 181 bpm 0:01:29 Lap 30 0.6 mi 26.5 mph 284 watts 181 bpm 0:01:30 Lap 31 0.7 mi 26.5 mph 283 watts 181 bpm 0:01:30 Lap 32 0.7 mi 26.8 mph 284 watts 182 bpm 0:01:29 Lap 33 0.6 mi 27.1 mph 279 watts 183 bpm 0:01:28 Lap 34 0.6 mi 27.1 mph 249 watts 183 bpm 0:01:28 Lap 35 0.6 mi 25.7 mph 242 watts 176 bpm 0:01:33 Lap 36 0.7 mi 26.2 mph 211 watts 174 bpm 0:01:31 Lap 37 0.6 mi 25.4 mph 235 watts 169 bpm 0:01:34 Lap 38 0.6 mi 26.5 mph 232 watts 174 bpm 0:01:30 Lap 39 0.6 mi 26.2 mph 277 watts 176 bpm 0:01:31 Lap 40 0.7 mi 25.4 mph 215 watts 173 bpm 0:01:34 Lap 41 0.6 mi 26.0 mph 224 watts 170 bpm 0:01:32 Lap 42 0.6 mi 25.1 mph 207 watts 167 bpm 0:01:35 Lap 43 0.6 mi 25.7 mph 206 watts 166 bpm 0:01:33 Lap 44 0.7 mi 24.1 mph 188 watts 167 bpm 0:01:39 Lap 45 0.6 mi 27.5 mph 303 watts 175 bpm 0:01:27 Lap 46 0.6 mi 28.4 mph 346 watts 180 bpm 0:01:24 Lap 47 0.6 mi 28.1 mph 235 watts 183 bpm 0:01:25 Lap 48 0.6 mi 26.8 mph 248 watts 176 bpm 0:01:29 Lap 49 0.6 mi 24.6 mph 216 watts 172 bpm 0:01:37 Lap 50 0.7 mi 25.4 mph 237 watts 171 bpm 0:01:34 Lap 51 0.7 mi 26.0 mph 242 watts 175 bpm 0:01:32 Lap 52 0.6 mi 26.2 mph 224 watts 173 bpm 0:01:31 Lap 53 0.6 mi 25.1 mph 216 watts 169 bpm 0:01:35 Lap 54 0.6 mi 25.7 mph 255 watts 170 bpm 0:01:33 Lap 55 0.7 mi 27.1 mph 288 watts 179 bpm 0:01:28 Lap 56 0.7 mi 24.9 mph 181 watts 180 bpm 0:01:36 Lap 57 0.6 mi 24.6 mph 272 watts 173 bpm 0:01:37 Lap 58 0.6 mi 26.0 mph 296 watts 182 bpm 0:01:32 Lap 59 0.6 mi 23.4 mph 216 watts 177 bpm 0:01:42
Here is the Strava link for the interactive power/heartrate data - http://app.strava.com/rides/996585
Clearly, the hot conditions took its toll on everyone. I had to spend quite a bit of time in the EMT tent recovering with cold towels and drinks before I could make it back to my car! Here is the temperature graph from our race:
Temperature graph for the oxford hills pro/1/2 road race
The average temperature was 95.5 with a min of 89.5 and a max of 109.5 by the end of the race! HOT!
Today was one of those days where my final placing wasn’t what I wanted, but I was still happy with the race. Kudos to my teammate Justin Bynum for taking 2nd today again in the 3′s. He is on fire!
The field today was much larger than previous days with 79 people starting the race. Our Pro/1/2 race was again combined with the 3s with the placings separated out at the end. We raced in the heat of the day (1:00PM) for 7 laps of a 10 mile loop. I figured that an early break had a good shot at staying away due to the conditions. But with so many people eager to do well, none of the early moves stuck. There was a 3 place KOM on the second lap. I made it onto the back of the sprint for the KOM and into a break of 4 Team Type I riders, 2 Aerocat, Onal Samuels, me, and maybe one or two other people. We did not work well together and were caught after a few miles.
On the fourth lap, a break materialized with Alexey Schmidt (TT1) and two other riders, but no Chemstar and no Aerocat. Aerocat had spent a lot of bullets chasing a strong solo TT1 move on the third lap. So they were not able to make much headway on the three man break. There were several small attacks, but no one got very far except for John Hart (FGS) one lap later on the fifth lap. I saw an opening to attack to try to bridge up and attacked hard. Unfortunately, I didn’t bring any TT1 or Aerocat riders. Instead, I was on my own chasing. I chased hard and quickly (maybe 5 minutes) closed the gap to John as he sat up to let me join him once he realized I was coming across the gap.
We worked well together, but the field had decided to take up the chase. We were caught towards the end of the fifth lap shortly before the start of the sixth lap and the steep feedzone climb. I was out of water by this point and managed to grab another neutral water but slid all the way near the back of the group. After the feedzone climb, the course descended for quite a while before starting a long, gradual drag up to the KOM. There had been lots of attacks through here throughout the race, but I let myself slide too far back so that when the attacks went again this time, I had to drill it through a field that was exploding on the long gradual climb. Eventually, I worked my way into one of the last chase groups. Unfortunately, several of the smaller groups and riders ahead coalesced into a strong group of 11 that rolled away from our field, which had swallowed the chase group that I was in.
On the last lap, there was a two-man move that went clear of the field at about the same place on the course – the long, gradual KOM climb. This time, I was close enough to the front, to bridge across to it when I saw that the field was sitting up. I made it up to the two riders right at the top of the climb and went straight to the front to pull the downhill. On the subsequent uphill, we lost one of the riders so it was down to just me and one other rider. I pulled really hard, but the other rider was able to pull and give me a break every few minutes. From the spot where I attacked, we still had nine miles to go. By the time we were down to just two riders, we had about 8 more miles left on the lap. We could see the lead group of 14 riders just ahead of us and continued to close down the gap. Eventually, we made it to within 20 seconds of the lead group, but at that point I believe they started pulling away again so that we finished about 20 seconds behind riders who had come off the back of that group in the sprint and about 30 seconds behind the winner. We had extended our lead on the field to almost one minute! I took 15th, and my breakaway companion took 16th.
Here is my power data and Strava segment data:
NAME DIST SPEED POWER HR TIME Lap 1 10.4 mi 25.7 mph 253 watts 168 bpm 0:24:25 Lap 2 10.5 mi 25.5 mph 208 watts 167 bpm 0:24:39 Lap 3 10.5 mi 24.5 mph 182 watts 154 bpm 0:25:38 Lap 4 10.4 mi 24.8 mph 189 watts 158 bpm 0:25:21 Lap 5 10.5 mi 23.9 mph 196 watts 160 bpm 0:26:18 Lap 6 10.5 mi 22.4 mph 173 watts 154 bpm 0:28:01 Lap 7 10.5 mi 24.4 mph 246 watts 176 bpm 0:25:45
Quick summary – my teammate Justin Bynum won the Cat 3 race from a four-man break. He looked strong all race! My race was cancelled due to a thunderstorm with nearly constant lightning. Also, I’ve posted pictures below from Justin’s race and from yesterday’s Road Atlanta race.