Posts tagged ‘circuit race’
Wow – it is not every day that you get a chance to race your bike on a spectacular speedway normally reserved for cars and motorcycles going well over 150mph! My top speed for the day was just over 40mph, but that was fast enough to make the podium of the Pro/1/2/3 race.
It is also not every day that you get to ride your bike from home to the start of a race. With the race start only 20 miles from my house down a very popular cycling road, I couldn’t resist leaving the house at 7AM to ride Sicard Hollow / Rex Lake road to the Barbers Motorsports park for the Masters 30+ race at 8:30AM. I made it to the front entrance just after 8 and around to the registration area, up the stairs to the registration desk right at 8:15 and was the last official person to register for the race! I ran into my college cycling teammate and friend, Bert Hull (check out his new Warp 9 bikes and components!!!) who graciously pinned on my number. I made it down the stairs and onto the track in time to do one warm-up lap and then the start of the race! Kristine and the kids drove out to make it just after the start of the race to cheer me on.
The Masters 30+ field was very strong with about 30 riders and constant attacks. I covered a lot and launched one or two of my own. It all came back together when Travis Sherman (Warp 9) and Terry Duran’s (Citigroup) late race attack got brought back with half a lap to go. I found myself on Terry Duran’s wheel going into the sprint, but when I pulled out to come around him I just couldn’t quite get on top of the sprint to do it and managed to get passed by two other people in the process! It was still very close with a photo finish separating all of us in the top 4. Terry Duran was the winner, and he deserved it as he was riding super strong. A pixel-width (maybe 1 mm) separated him from Will Hibberts (Alabama Masters/Bob’s Bikes). Check out the amazing photo finish on the ride to live website:
After the race, I cruised home at a very easy relaxing speed taking almost an hour and 15 minutes to ride the 20 miles back home while Kristine and the kids drove down to Highland Lakes for our church easter egg hunt. I spent a relaxing day working on topocreator.com and then at about 2:45, we loaded up the kids’ bikes and my bike to head back to the track for my second race – the Pro/1/2/3 race.
Here’s my race report that I sent out to the team:
We had a strong contingent of six riders lining up at the start of the P/1/2/3 race. Lots of riders in the race with probably close to 60 guys. Team Type I had three strong riders. Hincapie Development had a squad. Tristar/Warp9 had a lot of riders, too. Our pre-race strategy was to cover moves early and then be aggressive in the second half of the race. Sounded perfect to me since I had raced earlier in the day in the Masters 30+ race. Everybody rode strong covering moves. Every time I saw somebody launch off the front and then one of us cover it – I thought to myself “I sure love having a team strong enough to be in every break!” I only covered maybe one or two moves and bridged across to Ty in one of his many break attempts. On the last lap, I worked my way to the front and hopped onto the back of the Team Type I train but then realized that would push Sammy one farther spot back so I decided he would be better off on the back of their train and I would go for it on the last hill. I attacked hard and got a good gap on the field except for Darrell O’Quinn who saw the jump and got right on my wheel. I drilled it as hard as I could not knowing at the time that Darrell was on my wheel. I kept waiting for the sprint to come around, but it only ended up being Joe who saw the move and left his leadout train to bridge across and then take the victory and Darrell coming around me at the end. So I came in third with Sammy winning the rest of the field sprint for fourth. Lennie and Stuart made it into the top 20 with Darryl attacking a lot and making it into a lot of breaks – but the field was reeling everything in. Jacob survived the beatdown!
I’m still trying to get used to the Garmin Edge 705 features and every now and then I think that Start/Stop will take me to the next Lap even though there is a nice button labeled “Lap”. So suffice it to say that I managed to record my HR data for the ride to the race and my HR data for the ride home from the race, but I exactly missed my Masters 30+ race data!!! Grrr. But I did get it straight for the P/1/2/3 race, so here is my HR data for the afternoon race:
- I attacked here to bridge to a break with Ty Stanfield (Kenda Pro Cycling)
- Here is my attack on the last hill, look at the spike in my heart rate. Amazing what adrenaline of the moment will do!!!
Quick summary: 53rd, “the ramp”, “the roller coaster”, moved up to 60th in the GC
The stats: Power (348 avg / 800 max), Heart Rate (158 avg / 179 max), Speed (27.8 avg / 41 max), Cadence (85 avg / 123 max), Climbing (3196′), 72 miles (2:35:25)
The details: I was a little nervous about this race because I got dropped from it pretty early in 1998 when I was racing with the pros as a college student. We raced the same exact course as we did back then, but this year I was able to hang with the pack which dwindled each lap until there was only about 50. Mike Olheiser was able to lead Stefan Rothe out for several of the intermediate sprints moving him solidly into second place in the points competition. Mike got boxed in at the finish and wasn’t able to move up but still finished with the front group. With a few crashes and people getting spit off the back, Mike moved up a couple spots to 10th in the GC.
The race wasn’t as tough as I thought it would be, probably thanks in part to the feed zone, but it was still amazingly fast — 27.8 mph for just over 2 and a half hours. I staged at the designated area, first in line thinking that I was going to get a great start. Unfortunately, half the field knew that there would be no punishment for going to the real start line and jumping in as soon as the course was clear. So I started not in the first row, nor the second, but rather the 6th row about halfway back in the peleton. By the circuit’s long descent, I had moved close enough to the front to attack off the front so that I could cruise up the climb on the first lap. I had a decent gap, but the group was moving faster and I wound up towards the back of the group by the top of the climb. The next lap was tough until a break got up the road without Colavita Sutter Home. They moved to the front and set tempo for the next 50 miles or so gradually bringing the break back.
After the first few insane laps, I got into a good rhythm on the climb always making sure to carry some momentum into the bottom of it no matter where I found myself in the pack. I also made sure to be in my little chain ring before the bottom of the climb so that there was no chance of dropping my chain — which lots of people did and quickly found themselves off the back of the group. I was nervous about the top of the climb which had a 90 degree corner followed by a flat section, then a downhill onto the “roller coaster” (which I’ll describe in a minute). I thought that the pace would be insane across this section, but the feedzone was positioned there and I think that caused enough confusion to keep people from hitting the afterburners until the start of the downhill. But the afterburners were definitely hit on every lap, starting with “the ramp” that marked the start of the “roller coaster”.
What am I talking about? The “ramp” was a one foot paved angled drop from one section of pavement to another section of pavement that stretched across the entire road. This marked the start of “the roller coaster” — an extremely fast slight downhill that had a 90 degree righthand turn towards the beginning, then a very bumpy road with a gradual lefthand bend. We would hit between 35-37mph on almost EVERY lap. It was hang on to the wheel in front of you for dear life, single-file, until you hit a gradual climb marking the end of “the roller coaster”. At the top of the gradual climb, we made another 90 degree turn and the start of the circuit’s primary downhill which today was into a slight headwind. At the bottom of this downhill, a 90 degree turn put you immediately onto the steep climb to the finish.
With two laps to go, I was caught in a group of about 25 gapped off the back. I helped a smaller group of about 10 emerge from this and bridge back up to the pack which had dwindled to maybe 75. Then the same thing happened on the last lap accept this time, I wasn’t able to bridge back on. I finished at the front of the first main group behind the pack 1 minute back from the winner in 53rd.
Here is my HR and power data:
- My attack off the front on the first lap
- A little bit easier while Colavita was riding “tempo” at the front
- Getting harder here
- Gapped off, chase back on with 2 laps to go
- Last lap!