Road Atlanta (Day 1 – Georgia Cycling Gran Prix)
Quick summary – 4th from a seven man break with 3 Team Type 1 riders, 2 Aerocat riders, Oneal Samuels (Litespeed), and me.
The details – There were lots of attacks in the first few laps, but with everybody still fresh, the large field was able to bring back each move. I made it into maybe one or two of these moves, but I was mainly trying to conserve energy. By the third lap, I had noticed a pattern in the field indicating where the best place to attack was – on the second more gradual hill on the course. People were tired from the first super steep (16% max) hill. The subsequent descent meant that you carried a lot of momentum into the second hill. But as the momentum faded, the pack would really slow down.
So on the sixth of nineteen laps (2.5 mile laps), there was a good hard attack coming across the top of the first hill. After the field brought the move back on the descent, I attacked about halfway up to the top of the second hill. Initially, it was me, Alexi Schmidt (Team Type I), Sabastian Cancio (Aerocat), and Oneal Samuels. Alexi was absolutely drilling it leading to our fastest lap (27.8mph). I looked behind and the field was split up with several small chase groups forming. After about a lap, only one chase group was left – Dan Holt (TT1), Joey Rosskopf (TT1), and Sergei Tetkov (Aerocat). By the time they bridged up to us, our gap was up to 20 seconds. On the next lap, it had grown to 50 seconds. Then it gradually extended all the way to 3 minutes by the end of the race.
With 3 laps to go, Joey Rosskopf attacked and got away solo. Initially, it was Sabastian, Sergei, Oneal, and I working together to bring him back. But then with 2 laps to go, there was an attack on the initial hill that pretty much meant that Oneal and I were done working. Sabastian went to the front and drilled it for a lap finally bringing back Joey on the last lap. There was an immediate counterattack that gapped Oneal, Joey, and me. Up the road were Sergei (Aerocat), Alexi (TT1), and Dan (TT1). With less than 2 miles left in the race, I hit it hard on the downhill and then Oneal came around to finish closing the gap to front 3. So it was altogether again going into the steep downhill, short kicker hill, and final downhill leading into the long drag sprint. Alexi ended up leading out the sprint after Sergei closed a gap to Dan who had attacked. I was right on Alexi’s wheel as he kicked it up to 40mph. It was a super long sprint though on a false flat uphill finish, so Oneal came flying by and then at the very end Joey also came around. So Oneal took the win, with Joey second, and Alexi third. I had to settle for fourth as I wasn’t able to come around Alexi.
Power and heartrate data coming tomorrow … I’ll include one screenshot from GoldenCheetah for now…
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