Posts tagged ‘podium’
Great race today in Grant, Alabama. Chris Cundiff organized a race billed as “The Race of the Falling Leaves” in tribute of the race of the same name held today in Italy around Lake Komo. The race held up to its name as there were literally leaves falling as we raced three times up the mountain where the town of Grant is located. I ended up edging out Mike Olheiser in the final sprint to take the win. Here’s all the data!
One lap of the speedway – about 500 meters
Strava ride map including warm-up on Green Mountain. Here is a link to all my data from the ride and race – http://app.strava.com/rides/945688
Happy to write up a quick report that I won the Huntsville Speedway Omnium this evening to kick off a weekend of racing in Huntsville, Alabama. There were only six of us in the race, but that made for a good safe field size. There were five events run pretty much one right after the other with 5-10 minutes of rest between each event. There were some big storm clouds all around, but the little track stayed dry for the entire time that we were out there.
Race #1 – Scratch Race
This was a fifteen lap race with omnium points awarded to the first five riders across the line at the end of the race. With two riders from Marx and Bensdorf (Bryant Funston and Jeremy Nagoshiner), I needed to make sure to watch for any 1-2 attacks. I made it into an early move with Bryant that separated us from the other four riders, but it came back together again about a lap or two later. I attacked hard halfway through the last lap thinking that if I carried enough speed into the final corner that it would be really hard for anyone to come around. The gamble paid off and I was able to take the sprint win ahead of Bryant.
Race #2 – Points Race
With thunderstorms looming, this was shortened from 25 laps to 15 laps with points awarded every five laps. For the first intermediate sprint with 10 laps to go, I tried the same strategy from the first race, but Bryant was able to come around me out of the last turn so he took maximum points with me second. Then with five laps to go, I was able to win that one by attacking early in the first corner. For the final sprint, I had a bit of luck as Bryant pulled out of his pedal going into the last turn. So I was able to get maximum points on the last one to take the points race win.
Race #3 – Miss and out
This was probably the trickiest race as we completed 5 laps before the “miss and out” started. From that point on, the last rider across the line each lap was eliminated. Then when we were down to three riders (me, Bryant, and Jeremy), we did two more laps. Jeremy drilled it hard, and then I came around him to start the sprint, but Bryant was able to come around me to take the win with me second, Jeremy third.
Race #4 – Unknown distance
I was starting to feel a bit tired at this point, so I switched strategies to try to mark Bryant since he and I were really close on points. I was going to let anybody else go up the road, but not him or Jeremy. Adam took a flyer once we made it to the mystery laps where they could ring the bell on any lap to end the race on the next lap. He held onto his gap I believe for two or three laps, which was enough for the win because they ring the bell on Lap #12 or #13. It was hard to keep track because the laps went by so quickly (about 30 seconds per lap). Bryant got the jump on me in the sprint, so this time I tried to go high on the track and come around but couldn’t quite do it. So he took second with me third.
Race #5 – Team pursuit
This was a REALLY fun event. With such a small field and only two riders from the same team, we split up into teams of 3 based on USAC license category. I had Adam and Dave. Bryant had his teammate Jeremy and Eric Wright from Gadsden. The format was interesting as omnium points were only awarded to the first rider from each team across the line. But there was also $20 on the line for the winning team. At this point, I still believe that Bryant and I were tied on points going into this race, but the officials had me down with a 1 point lead. Either way, if Bryant’s team won we would be tied and he would also win the tie breaker, but if our team won then I would win the omnium outright.
My team had decided to rotate through going into opposite corners. The rider leading our team would simply ride straight slightly up the embankment while the other two behind would pull through on the inside. This enabled gravity to assist the rider coming off the front to rejoin the paceline more easily. The race was 10 laps long, and the three of us stayed together for about half the race, whereas Bryant’s team lost a rider on the first lap. Still, their team was pulling ahead of us by maybe 5-10 bike lengths (maybe 2 or 3 seconds). About halfway through the race, we lost a teammate so it was down to just me and Adam for the last five laps. With 4 laps to go, Adam said “whole lap” and he drilled it super hard for the entire lap instead of the half laps that we had been doing. Then when he pulled off, I shot around him to do the last three laps to try to catch back up with Bryant who was also on his own by this point. I gained a lot of ground on the first lap and it was close by the second lap, but I believe he was still ahead. Then with one lap to go I sprinted as hard as I could at that point and was able to edge him out by 1/2 of a second. So our team won the pursuit, and I won the omnium!
I was really looking forward to analyzing the power data for the races, but my Powertap cut out halfway through the first race!!! I don’t know if it was a battery issue, or if there was some interference that caused the Garmin to lose the signal, or if the silly thing broke during the race. Oh well, maybe it will be working again tomorrow. Lots of racing tomorrow, and I should have a write-up out sometime on Monday. It would be awesome to have another win to report back on – going to give it my best shot!
Here is my Strava segment data (There are warm-up, cool-down, and in between race laps in the data as well).
Lap Dist Speed Power HR Time Lap 1 0.3 mi 25.1 mph 247 watts 142 bpm 0:00:41 Lap 2 0.3 mi 23.9 mph 233 watts 148 bpm 0:00:43 Lap 3 0.3 mi 21.9 mph 178 watts 140 bpm 0:00:47 Lap 4 0.3 mi 19.4 mph 199 watts 136 bpm 0:00:53 Lap 5 0.3 mi 23.9 mph 236 watts 142 bpm 0:00:43 Lap 6 0.3 mi 17.4 mph 144 watts 139 bpm 0:00:59 Lap 7 0.3 mi 20.2 mph 167 watts 136 bpm 0:00:51 Lap 8 0.3 mi 17.1 mph 181 watts 134 bpm 0:01:00 Lap 9 0.3 mi 24.5 mph 287 watts 143 bpm 0:00:42 Lap 10 0.3 mi 19.8 mph 156 watts 150 bpm 0:00:52 Lap 11 0.3 mi 23.4 mph 223 watts 142 bpm 0:00:44 Lap 12 0.3 mi 22.4 mph 194 watts 144 bpm 0:00:46 Lap 13 0.3 mi 23.9 mph 188 watts 147 bpm 0:00:43 Lap 14 0.3 mi 16.6 mph 128 watts 134 bpm 0:01:02 Lap 15 0.3 mi 17.1 mph 142 watts 131 bpm 0:01:00 Lap 16 0.3 mi 18.4 mph 170 watts 132 bpm 0:00:56 Lap 17 0.3 mi 20.2 mph 190 watts 137 bpm 0:00:51 Lap 18 0.3 mi 18.7 mph 179 watts 136 bpm 0:00:55 Lap 19 0.3 mi 16.9 mph 74 watts 129 bpm 0:01:01 Lap 20 0.3 mi 3.1 mph 76 watts 122 bpm 0:05:32 Lap 21 0.3 mi 14.3 mph 109 watts 134 bpm 0:01:12 Lap 22 0.3 mi 18.0 mph 172 watts 141 bpm 0:00:57 Lap 23 0.3 mi 23.9 mph 245 watts 154 bpm 0:00:43 Lap 24 0.3 mi 29.4 mph 326 watts 163 bpm 0:00:35 Lap 25 0.3 mi 29.4 mph 271 watts 169 bpm 0:00:35 Lap 26 0.3 mi 26.4 mph 271 watts 169 bpm 0:00:39 Lap 27 0.3 mi 29.4 mph 501 watts 175 bpm 0:00:35 Lap 28 0.3 mi 28.6 mph 367 watts 181 bpm 0:00:36 Lap 29 0.3 mi 27.1 mph 264 watts 179 bpm 0:00:38 Lap 30 0.3 mi 26.4 mph 307 watts 172 bpm 0:00:39 Lap 31 0.3 mi 28.6 mph 402 watts 174 bpm 0:00:36 Lap 32 0.3 mi 29.4 mph 359 watts 180 bpm 0:00:35 Lap 33 0.3 mi 27.1 mph 277 watts 178 bpm 0:00:38 Lap 34 0.3 mi 27.1 mph 313 watts 177 bpm 0:00:38 Lap 35 0.3 mi 25.7 mph 234 watts 177 bpm 0:00:40 Lap 36 0.2 mi 29.4 mph 0 watts 175 bpm 0:00:35 Lap 37 0.3 mi 27.1 mph 0 watts 170 bpm 0:00:38 Lap 38 0.3 mi 21.4 mph 0 watts 168 bpm 0:00:48 Lap 39 0.2 mi 28.6 mph 0 watts 170 bpm 0:00:36 Lap 40 0.3 mi 23.4 mph 0 watts 171 bpm 0:00:44 Lap 41 0.3 mi 36.7 mph 0 watts 181 bpm 0:00:28 Lap 42 0.3 mi 15.8 mph 0 watts 175 bpm 0:01:05 Lap 43 0.2 mi 16.3 mph 0 watts 154 bpm 0:01:03 Lap 44 0.3 mi 14.9 mph 0 watts 143 bpm 0:01:09 Lap 45 0.3 mi 15.8 mph 0 watts 137 bpm 0:01:05 Lap 46 0.3 mi 22.9 mph 0 watts 154 bpm 0:00:45 Lap 47 0.3 mi 21.4 mph 0 watts 160 bpm 0:00:48 Lap 48 0.3 mi 21.0 mph 0 watts 159 bpm 0:00:49 Lap 49 0.3 mi 24.5 mph 0 watts 162 bpm 0:00:42 Lap 50 0.3 mi 26.4 mph 0 watts 168 bpm 0:00:39 Lap 51 0.3 mi 34.3 mph 0 watts 182 bpm 0:00:30 Lap 52 0.3 mi 28.6 mph 0 watts 183 bpm 0:00:36 Lap 53 0.3 mi 23.4 mph 0 watts 171 bpm 0:00:44 Lap 54 0.3 mi 23.4 mph 0 watts 164 bpm 0:00:44 Lap 55 0.3 mi 28.6 mph 0 watts 168 bpm 0:00:36 Lap 56 0.3 mi 32.1 mph 0 watts 182 bpm 0:00:32 Lap 57 0.3 mi 25.1 mph 0 watts 182 bpm 0:00:41 Lap 58 0.3 mi 22.4 mph 0 watts 171 bpm 0:00:46 Lap 59 0.3 mi 25.7 mph 0 watts 170 bpm 0:00:40 Lap 60 0.4 mi 20.2 mph 0 watts 170 bpm 0:00:51 Lap 61 0.4 mi 19.4 mph 0 watts 169 bpm 0:00:53 Lap 62 0.3 mi 25.7 mph 0 watts 174 bpm 0:00:40 Lap 63 0.3 mi 17.1 mph 0 watts 171 bpm 0:01:00 Lap 64 0.3 mi 4.8 mph 0 watts 143 bpm 0:03:33 Lap 65 0.3 mi 12.0 mph 0 watts 132 bpm 0:01:26 Lap 66 0.3 mi 15.6 mph 0 watts 134 bpm 0:01:06 Lap 67 0.3 mi 17.4 mph 0 watts 136 bpm 0:00:59 Lap 68 0.3 mi 16.9 mph 0 watts 140 bpm 0:01:01 Lap 69 0.3 mi 12.2 mph 0 watts 139 bpm 0:01:24 Lap 70 0.3 mi 18.0 mph 0 watts 152 bpm 0:00:57 Lap 71 0.3 mi 29.4 mph 0 watts 165 bpm 0:00:35 Lap 72 0.3 mi 23.9 mph 0 watts 169 bpm 0:00:43 Lap 73 0.3 mi 24.5 mph 0 watts 167 bpm 0:00:42 Lap 74 0.3 mi 22.9 mph 0 watts 168 bpm 0:00:45 Lap 75 0.3 mi 31.2 mph 0 watts 172 bpm 0:00:33 Lap 76 0.3 mi 27.1 mph 0 watts 174 bpm 0:00:38 Lap 77 0.3 mi 28.6 mph 0 watts 179 bpm 0:00:36 Lap 78 0.3 mi 23.9 mph 0 watts 179 bpm 0:00:43 Lap 79 0.3 mi 27.8 mph 0 watts 178 bpm 0:00:37 Lap 80 0.3 mi 27.8 mph 0 watts 180 bpm 0:00:37 Lap 81 0.3 mi 17.4 mph 0 watts 172 bpm 0:00:59 Lap 82 0.3 mi 5.9 mph 0 watts 140 bpm 0:02:53 Lap 83 0.2 mi 20.6 mph 0 watts 133 bpm 0:00:50 Lap 84 0.3 mi 10.9 mph 0 watts 128 bpm 0:01:34 Lap 85 0.3 mi 12.5 mph 0 watts 130 bpm 0:01:22 Lap 86 0.3 mi 9.1 mph 0 watts 128 bpm 0:01:53 Lap 87 0.3 mi 13.2 mph 0 watts 137 bpm 0:01:18 Lap 88 0.3 mi 21.4 mph 0 watts 152 bpm 0:00:48 Lap 89 0.3 mi 21.4 mph 0 watts 153 bpm 0:00:48 Lap 90 0.3 mi 26.4 mph 0 watts 160 bpm 0:00:39 Lap 91 0.3 mi 24.5 mph 0 watts 165 bpm 0:00:42 Lap 92 0.3 mi 22.9 mph 0 watts 161 bpm 0:00:45 Lap 93 0.3 mi 25.1 mph 0 watts 163 bpm 0:00:41 Lap 94 0.3 mi 30.2 mph 0 watts 170 bpm 0:00:34 Lap 95 0.3 mi 21.9 mph 0 watts 168 bpm 0:00:47 Lap 96 0.3 mi 21.0 mph 0 watts 160 bpm 0:00:49 Lap 97 0.3 mi 21.9 mph 0 watts 157 bpm 0:00:47 Lap 98 0.3 mi 27.1 mph 0 watts 170 bpm 0:00:38 Lap 99 0.3 mi 26.4 mph 0 watts 167 bpm 0:00:39 Lap 100 0.3 mi 28.6 mph 0 watts 179 bpm 0:00:36 Lap 101 0.3 mi 17.1 mph 0 watts 168 bpm 0:01:00 Lap 102 0.3 mi 7.5 mph 0 watts 144 bpm 0:02:18 Lap 103 0.3 mi 8.4 mph 0 watts 123 bpm 0:02:03 Lap 104 0.3 mi 10.6 mph 0 watts 122 bpm 0:01:37 Lap 105 0.3 mi 11.6 mph 0 watts 120 bpm 0:01:29 Lap 106 0.3 mi 11.1 mph 0 watts 122 bpm 0:01:33 Lap 107 0.3 mi 11.1 mph 0 watts 124 bpm 0:01:33 Lap 108 0.3 mi 4.3 mph 0 watts 123 bpm 0:03:59 Lap 109 0.3 mi 3.4 mph 0 watts 127 bpm 0:05:02 Lap 110 0.3 mi 31.2 mph 0 watts 162 bpm 0:00:33 Lap 111 0.3 mi 23.9 mph 0 watts 167 bpm 0:00:43 Lap 112 0.4 mi 20.6 mph 0 watts 168 bpm 0:00:50 Lap 113 0.4 mi 20.2 mph 0 watts 169 bpm 0:00:51 Lap 114 0.3 mi 25.1 mph 0 watts 170 bpm 0:00:41 Lap 115 0.3 mi 31.2 mph 0 watts 171 bpm 0:00:33 Lap 116 0.3 mi 25.1 mph 0 watts 174 bpm 0:00:41 Lap 117 0.2 mi 33.2 mph 0 watts 176 bpm 0:00:31 Lap 118 0.3 mi 31.2 mph 0 watts 180 bpm 0:00:33 Lap 119 0.3 mi 26.4 mph 0 watts 182 bpm 0:00:39 Lap 120 0.3 mi 10.7 mph 0 watts 157 bpm 0:01:36 Lap 121 0.3 mi 4.4 mph 0 watts 131 bpm 0:03:54 Lap 122 0.4 mi 6.3 mph 0 watts 124 bpm 0:02:44 Lap 123 0.3 mi 6.2 mph 0 watts 124 bpm 0:02:45
Finishing sprint video:
Hats off to the Hincapie Devo guys who took 1-2 in the Tour of Atlanta Burnt Mountain road race today. I squeezed onto the podium for third. The race started down a steep hill, and a group of eight of us carried a lot of momentum down it into a breakaway within a few hundred meters of the start. I didn’t even realize we had a gap until Brendan Sullivan (Irondata) said “let’s make them work for it” a few miles later as the main field was chasing back on. Meanwhile, Michael Stone (Hincapie Development) and a Globalbike rider had gone off the front of our group. Mike was flying, and he dropped his breakmate at some point during the first lap after they had gained over 3 minutes on our group.
Brendan and I took turns pushing the pace on the Burnt Mountain climb and descent. After the descent, a couple more riders joined in the chase. Eventually we got a rotation of four of us at the front of the group chasing, but with a constantly rolling course (STEEP 10-15% rollers), it was hard to keep a good rhythm. Towards the beginning of the second lap, we caught the Globalbike rider who had been in the break, but Mike still had 3 minutes on our group. Globalbike joined in our chase efforts, and our pace picked up leading into the second trip up the Burnt Mountain climb. I set the pace for the first part of the climb, followed by Brendan in the middle section, and then as we approached the scenic overlook Michael Lanham (Globalbike) attacked our group. I was able to hold his wheel, but just barely. By the first false summit of the climb, there was just four of us together. After the first short downhill and leading into the second small summit climb, there were five of us. Then by the start of the descent, there was about seven or eight of us together.
By the start of the descent, I had drained my second water bottle, but I still had a few ounces of water left in the neutral bottle I had gotten at the end of the first lap. So on one of the straighter sections of the descent, I sat up to unscrew one of the bottles and dump in the rest of the neutral bottle. In doing so, I came off the group as they descended and had to chase a little bit during the descent. I felt this was good for the legs though to keep them moving and keep the lactic acid from building up with only a few miles from the bottom of the descent to the finish of the race. I caught on by the bottom, and I expected a salvo of attacks from the Hincapie and Globalbike teams who each had two riders in our group. Instead, Mike went off solo, and the Hincapie riders decided to bring him back slowly. There was an immediate counter attack, but the group was right on it and everything was together going into the last steep hill before the finish.
Again, Mike set a fast pace on the climb. Then about halfway up, one of the Hincapie riders attacked but didn’t make it very far with Mike bringing him back and leading the rest of the way up the climb. Towards the top with less than 500 meters to go to the finish (including a downhill), Mike attacked again to start the sprint. He got a bit of a gap, but Edison Turner (Hincapie Devo) was able to grab his wheel with me just behind. Then with 200 meters to go, Edison and I both came around Mike and then I immediately tried to come around Edison – but he gave it that extra little kick and I couldn’t come around so I finished 3rd with Brendan grabbing 4th and Mike 5th.
And finally, here is the Strava data on the race … I was hoping to knock off Spencer Gaddy’s fast time on the Burnt Mountain climb from last year’s race, but alas it didn’t happen. Here is the link to the strava page with all the ride statistics – http://app.strava.com/rides/649392
Quick summary – I had to miss this race last year, but I was reminded again this year of how lucky we are to have such an amazing stage race within a few hours drive of Birmingham. This race is an amateur only stage race, meaning that the overall winner is determined by the cumulative time from all of the individual stages – just like the Tour de France. But this race is only open to Category 1, 2, and 3 amateurs. Tria Cycling p/b Infinity Med-I-Spa and donohooauto.com had a great weekend as summarized below:
Friday downtown criterium: 2nd Pat Allison, 3rd Brian Toone
Saturday road race: 3rd Pat Allison, 5th Brian Toone
Sunday circuit race: 3rd Pat Allison, 4th Brian Toone
Stage race overall: 3rd Pat Allison, 7th Brian Toone, 17th Justin Bynum
Another teammate, Mike Lackey, raced with us and was a strong workhorse all weekend sacrificing his chances at the overall to help cover moves throughout the weekend.
Our weekend started out with very high heart rates, but it wasn’t just from the race. On our drive over from Birmingham, we had to dodge several tornadic storms that seemed to be following the interstate. We were driving through Meridian when it was under a tornado warning, and I snapped this picture.
Downtown Meridian wall/shelf cloud (Tornadic storm #1)
We were so focused on this storm that we didn’t see the other tornado that was much more of a threat to us. We made it past this second storm JUST in time. The map below this second photo shows our route (in green) and where these two pictures were approximately taken from.
Tornadic storm #2, we didn’t even see this one until we were almost in it!
The tornado map and our path (shown in green). We were in downtown Meridian while the tornado sirens were going off. We were VERY lucky, but there were many people — even some on the same interstate as us, that weren’t so lucky.
Friday night downtown Brookhaven criterium
By the time we made it to Brookhaven, the weather had completely cleared out, and the Friday night block party / activities / fun zones / entertainment was just getting under way. I have got to figure out a way to convince Kristine to come down with the kids next year. Plus there were three trains that passed within 50 meters of where we parked. Josiah would love to see those trains going right through the middle of town!
One of the great things about this crit is that the Cat 1/2/3 field is the only field racing on Friday night so you can do your entire warm-up on the course for over an hour on blocked off streets. I was a little slow getting everything together, so I only had about 45 minutes to warm-up, but that was more than enough time to ride nearly 15 miles of warm-up on the course! Almost everyone was warming up on the course so it was great to chat with riders from the other teams during the warm-up. We had four riders representing Tria Cycling. Herring Gas and Marx and Bensdorf had really large teams (about 8 riders each). Team La’Sport had a small but very strong team with the defending champ, Matt Davis, and super-domestique Russ Walker. S3 Racing, Sigma, and Tiger Cycling Foundation all had teams with about 3 or 4 riders each. In all, there were 41 people that lined up to start the criterium.
After a color guard ceremony by local firefighters including the national anthem that wasn’t quite finished when the third train of the night passed through within 50 meters of the start, we were off! And we were off fast! I clipped in first and made it to the first corner first, but having learned my lesson this year from both Tuscaloosa and Dothan, it is better to let someone else put in the first attack. So I let up a bit and got passed by a few riders before digging in to maintain my position near the front of the pack. On the third lap, I was sitting in maybe 10th position when I saw Matt Davis (Team La’Sport) and a Herring Gas rider (Bain Foote) attacking from near the front going into the only lefthand corner on the classic six corner course (Turn #4). I had to wait just a second for somebody to move out of the way, but once the lane was clear, I shot up the lefthand side between turns 4 and 5 and then latched onto the two-man break before turn #6. We had a couple second gap and absolutely buried it (the average speed for Laps #4 and #5 was 29.5mph).
Meanwhile, back in the field, my teammate Pat Allison began covering moves and made it into a two-man chase group. When those two guys ran out of steam, he attacked and finished the bridge solo up to our break. We kept the pace super high, but two more Herring Gas riders (Frank Moak and Tim Reagan) and Bryant Funston (Marx and Bensdorf) and an independent rider were able to bridge up to us bringing our break up to a total of 8 riders. The independent rider fell off after a few laps (probably exhausted from completing the bridge up to us!). The seven of us established a pretty good rhythm and flew through the entire course.
One disruption came when they called a $50 prime. I was feeling very good so I attacked going into Turn 3 and was able to hold it all the way to the line to claim the $50. Matt Davis got a gap chasing me, and the two of us tried to get away, but the three riders from Herring Gas were able to pull us back in after a lap. For the next 10 laps, we worked well together. I felt like several riders were struggling so I wanted to attack to see if we could get a secondary break going. Pat gave me a leadout from the back of the group through turn 6 into the start/finish area, but as I came off of Pat’s wheel to attack, my left foot cramped behind my toes. So here I was trying to attack and trying to calm down the cramp at the same time while surprising no one! So even in the moment of all this happening, I chuckled thinking how comical it must have appeared. By this point, our break was getting closer to lapping the field and despite my foiled attack, we continued to rotate and fly through the course.
When we got within a corner of the pack, I attacked again to bridge up to the group. I was hoping that in the chaos of lapping the field, that we would have a better shot at winning the race. As soon as we caught the field, I found myself on Pat’s wheel, and he wisely moved all the way through the group to the front. By this point there were only two laps to go. Just as we made it up to the front of the group, we could hear a crash happen in Turn #2 behind us. We were ahead of the crash, so we made it safely through. With one lap to go, Matt Davis’s teammate Russ Walker got to the front and drilled it for the entire lap. This worked out great for us because we didn’t have to fight for position since it was single file and we were lined up right behind Matt, but Russ had done such a fast leadout and Matt launched such a strong kick that none of us could come around anyone so we finished in that order. Bain came up the right side and almost caught me at the line, but I held on for third with a photo finish bike throw.
Check out that average speed! 27.4mph. NOTE – this is only 0.1 mph slower than Sunny King, but my average heartrate was 7 beats higher in Sunny King. The reason is because we bunched up so much in turns 3 and 4 in the Sunny King crit, whereas in the breakaway in this race we flew through the entire course without touching the brakes at all!
Saturday road race
This was a great race for our team with Pat Allison making it into the winning breakaway and securing a position on the overall stage race podium. And I got to rest easy in the pack and save up for the field sprint, which I won by a lot. There isn’t a lot to report about the race, other than that it was windy with a headwind through the start/finish stretch and a tailwind on the backside of the course. There were lots of attacks, but there were also lots of strong riders able to bring back each one. My teammate, Justin Bynum, made it into a great move with Ben Gabardi (Herring Gas) on the third lap. The two of them got a good gap on the field forcing other teams to set tempo at the front to real them back in. The two of them were away for quite a while. By the start of the final lap, we had caught the break, and I realized that there was pretty much no way that both Pat and I were going to be able to make it into a break together. When I saw Matt attack again with Bain right on him, I yelled up to Pat who was in much better position than me to go with it. He did, and I stayed back which meant that both Team La’Sport and Herring Gas were happy to let the break get away from the field. Travis Sherman from Marx and Bensdorf was already up the road and latched onto the break when it came by, so they too, weren’t going to chase. The other teams in the race (S3, Sigma, and TCF) chased and kept the break very close for a while, but eventually the elastic broke and nobody was left to chase. I realized that Travis would be passing me in the overall if the break got too far up the road, so I went to the front and tried to set tempo. Eventually, I realized it was hopeless and that it would be better to go for the field sprint than to try to conserve one spot on GC. So I stopped working and just sat near the front waiting for the field sprint. The field sprint came, and I rode wheels navigating through a tight bunch sprint. The uphill drag though really favored me, and I won it by a lot. Meanwhile, in the break up front, Matt eventually took the sprint win followed closely by Bain, Pat, and Travis in that order.
2011 MSGP Saturday road race hr summary
Saturday evening time trial
The time trial was the start of the race within a race. Three guys battled for the podium spots (Matt, Pat, and Bain), while Frank, Tim, and I battled for fifth place. Travis had fourth place locked up after the road race. The time trial course was the new three mile course from last year. Since I missed last year, this was my first year to race it, and it was awesome. The course was rolling, fast, and into a headwind. I pushed the pace as hard as I could riding Eddy Mercx style, but ended up sliding behind Frank and Tim in the overall. Pat raced a strong time trial, but slid back to third pace overall after Bain won the time trial with a blistering 6’01” (nearly 30mph). A couple things to note in my heartrate data – I averaged 168bpm for 6’40”, whereas at the Sunny King race, I averaged 181bpm for nearly 90 minutes. Obviously, the fact that we had raced a long road race in the morning would impact my TT heartrate, but there has to be something else too – any suggestions out there??
2011 MSGP Saturday time trial hr summary
The best part of the time trial, though, was trying out our new “bib skinsuits”. All three of us in the picture raced this way, whereas Mike was the only one of us who had a real skinsuit and raced that instead.
Sunday morning circuit race
Due to a scheduling conflict at the technical college where the circuit race is normally held, the circuit race was held on a 6.5 mile loop around Lake Lincoln State Park. The course was a great course pretty much constantly rolling with sections of rough pavement and sections of good pavement. The finish was a long gradual drag leading to a steep final 200m uphill kick to the line. At the start of the race, Matt Davis was in lead over Bain Foote by 7 seconds. Pat trailed Bain by 32 seconds. Meanwhile, Frank held the fifth spot 7 seconds ahead of his teammate Tim who himself was 3 seconds ahead of me. With a maximum of 16 seconds of time bonuses available, the time bonuses could help me move up in the GC. It wasn’t to be, though, and with a good uphill finish, Pat and I were able to take 3rd and 4th in the final sprint just behind Ben Gabardi and Matt Davis.
2011 MSGP Sunday circuit race summary
The weekend was a great weekend of racing. Pat Allison had his best result ever in a stage race, and we all worked really well together in the team. Check out his excellent recap of the weekend. I’m SO excited for the rest of the season and know that we are going to take home many more wins before the season is done! Happy cycling everyone!
Check out my Strava data for all four races, including my lap split times for the crit. Also, the MSGP capped off another 400+ mile week for me this season. I’d like to give a shout-out to Sport Legs and compression socks (aka leg warmers) for helping me with amazing recovery this season. Now it’s time to taper a bit before Athens Twilight – maybe 350 miles this week and then 300 for the week ending with Roswell.
Friday night criterium – http://app.strava.com/rides/433284
Saturday AM road race – http://app.strava.com/rides/438401
Saturday PM time trial – http://app.strava.com/rides/438403
Sunday circuit race – http://app.strava.com/rides/443934
As you might be able to see in the video (no audio – Kristine was screaming so loud she broke the microphone), I couldn’t quite come around Dan Holt (Team Type I) in the sprint after he had such a fast jump when he started the sprint, but it was close, and 2nd was good enough for me to take home the state championship! Jacob Brewer (Herring Gas) rode an awesome race, but came off of our three-man break on the final climb with 5k to go in the race. Jacob, who is racing really strong with a great showing at Rouge Roubaix a couple weeks ago, took home the silver medal, and then my teammate Pat Allison got 2nd in the field sprint to win the bronze Alabama medal (5th in the race).
So how did it get to that point? Well, there actually isn’t a lot to report about this race other than at the beginning and at the end. At the beginning, I went with Scott Kuppersmith when he attacked as soon as we made it out of the neutral zone. Our short-lived attack only made it a few hundred meters before the group caught back up to us. Still pretty early in the race, we had a fairly mellow pace up the start/finish line hill. Then as we neared the top of the hill, I saw that Jacob Brewer was about to attack so I jumped on his wheel as he attacked. Then a few seconds later, Dan Holt (Team Type I) had bridged across to us. This meant that three of the major teams in the race where represented in the break. That was the first good sign. The second one was when I turned around and saw the field spread out across the road (meaning that the pace was still slow). This gave me super motivation, and I poured everything into my next pull. I wasn’t the only one, though, because Jacob and Dan both pulled very hard. We had a minute and a half gap by the time we made it to the feedzone on the first lap. By the second lap, our time gap was up to 3 minutes. By the third lap, we had drawn it out to 4 minutes. By this point, our pace had slowed as we were all trying to save energy for the finish. Even so, we held the gap at about 4 minutes for the fourth lap. By the fifth lap, however, the gap had come down to 3 minutes. By the sixth lap, it was 2 minutes. And by the end of the race, our gap had dropped below 2 minutes.
Here is how the end of the race played out. We had picked up the pace on the last lap since the gap had been coming down quickly. Still, all of us were taking shorter pulls because we all wanted to have energy left for the finish. As we approached the start of the feedzone hill, which is split up into two steps, I decided to attack on the first step to see how everyone was feeling. If everybody stayed together, then I was going to attack again on the second step. But when I attacked on the first step, Jacob came off so I laid it down with Dan latching on. Then as we went across the false flat between the steps, Dan pulled through before I took over again on the second step. Coming across the top and the downhill, we worked together and had extended our lead over Jacob enough to cat/mouse our two-man sprint. Neither of us attacked and our pace slowed until Dan led out the sprint with 200 meters to go. His jump was incredible and he gapped me by a few meters immediately. It took about 100 meters to catch his draft, and then with 50 meters to go I pulled out to try to come around, but at 40mph it was hard to accelerate any faster and I ended up only making it about halfway around him by the line.
So Team Type I capped off a great weekend with back-to-back wins. Going to be a great season for them!
Our team had a great weekend, too, taking 5th and 8th yesterday and then 2nd and 5th today in the Pro/1/2. In the Cat 3 criterium yesterday, my teammate Justin Bynum make the winning break to finish a strong 6th. In today’s Cat 3 road race, Philip Thompson made the winning break finishing 5th, which was good enough for the silver medal as the 2nd placed Alabama rider. The state championship win went to Ed Whitehorn of Velocity Pro Cycle who has worked very hard this off season and is showing off great form this season.
The heartrate and Strava data tell the story, too, as you can see the numbers drop from the beginning of the race towards the end before picking up again on the last lap:
2011 Tour de Tuscaloosa P/1/2 Road Race heartrate data
Here are the Strava segments including my lap split times, power, and heartrate average along with my times on the two hills on the course. View the entire ride interactively here – http://app.strava.com/rides/369573
Saturday night P/1/2 Criterium
Cat 3 Criterium
My teammate Justin Bynum made it into the break of the day, finishing a strong 6th. My other teammates raced well with Philip Thompson snagging a prime, and Timo Stark taking third in the field sprint for 9th in the race. Here is a video of the Cat 3 break finish:
And here is a video of the Cat 3 field finish:
And then here are the photos from both last night’s criterium and today’s road race:
Climbing – Cheaha Mini-Challenge
On Wednesday, I had an Alabama Academy of Science meeting at Jacksonville State University, which is not too far from the highest point in the state – Mount Cheaha. So, after my morning classes, I drove on over to the foothills just off the interstate and then went for a mini-Cheaha Challenge ride. Here is my route and climbing data from Strava -
Got lots of on-the-bike pictures for the ride. See the gallery after the training race recap below.
Racing – GSMR Camp Sumatanga Training Race #3 – 2nd place!
The training race yesterday (Sunday) at Camp Sumatanga turned out really well for Tria Cycling, with our team taking 1st through 5th place! Of course, we did have half the field on our team (literally) as only 14 people showed up for the race with 7 from my team. A quick race summary is that we tried to animate the race early to get several riders in a break. Eventually, my teammates Sammy and Wes made it into a break with me and Joe from Madison. We worked together, but we didn’t crush it because we wanted to see if more of our team could bridge up to us. About a lap into our break, my teammate Justin Bynum bridged up to us by himself. Another half lap later, my teammates Chris and Pat Allison bridged up to us by themselves. So this led to the day’s break with 6 of the 7 riders in the break from my team.
At this point, we were trying to figure out how to get a podium sweep because Joe was riding very strong and looked like he could certainly spoil the party on the climb. We had a good rotation going, and everybody (including Joe) worked well together. The temperature was plummeting, and by the time we finished the race it was below freezing (31.7 degrees Fahrenheit on my Garmin). Here’s how the last lap played out. We wanted to try to get both of our sprinters up the road well ahead of the climb, but Chris was cramping up so we decided to send Sammy first and then a few miles later send Wes to bridge across. So Wes and Sammy reached the bottom of the climb about the same time, while back in our group Joe was having to set the entire pace. I let him lead us to the first switchback in the climb, but when he started to slow down, I accelerated and took Pat and Justin with me. Joe was dropped after all his earlier work chasing, so Pat, Justin, and I were free to set a hard pace without fear of pulling him back up to Sammy or Wes. We caught Sammy just before the Eagle Eyes Cycles bar/shop about 500 meters from the finish. Pat and I decided no matter what that we were going to give Wes the win if we caught him, but we couldn’t catch him because he was crushing the climb. I ended up pulling away just slightly from Pat at the end to finish 2nd (I think because Pat sat up a little early) with Wes crossing the line about 25-50 meters in front of us. Sammy held on for fourth with Justin coming in for 5th in front of Joe giving us a sweep of 1st through 5th place! We started to head back down the climb and turned around when we saw Chris who was still plugging away on the climb despite cramping really bad. We escorted him up the climb for moral support, and then turned around to head back to the start before we froze to death.
Note the temperature in the Garmin Connect data below! Also, the US-231 climb was so beautiful with all the waterfalls from the previous day’s heavy rain.
Pictures from my mini 50 mile version of the Cheaha Challenge
Excellent weather yesterday for our first team race of the year. About 20-25 guys lined up for the Category A race with our squad represented by me, Pat Allison, Chris Allison, Stuart Lamp, Mike Lackey, and Timo Stark. Other strong teams included Velocity Pro Cycles led by Ed Whitehorn and Preston Beasley; Bob’s Bikes/Alabama Masters with Will Hibberts, Jim Brock, and Miro Novak; Alabama Cycling with a few riders; and one more team with a kit I didn’t recognize, and then a few strong independents.
Ed Whitehorn and I led out the group and rode at an easy pace up and over the first hill. As soon as you crested the hill, you were hit with a pretty strong crosswind, and several riders started to creep up on our somewhat leisurely pace. I could sense an attack coming, and sure enough on the flat section leading into the hill after the first turn, there was an attack which either Mike or Stuart covered. We were wanting to get a couple riders in the break, so when I saw someone else start to jump across I went with them. But it was too early in the race for the group to let us get away and so we were caught.
For the next lap and a half you can cut and paste the previous paragraph as the same scenario played out multiple times with Mike and Stuart covering every move and then me trying to tag along with someone attempting to bridge. Every move got brought back, though. Then on the start of the third lap, our pace slowed again, and I believe it was Jim Brock who launched out on his own. A little while later Stuart attacked with somebody else. Pretty soon it was Stuart alone with three other guys. We wanted to have somebody else from our team in the break, so my teammate Pat Allison attacked and made it across a quickly widening gap with about 10 pedal strokes and tucking on the downhill. It was impressive to watch!
Then another rider started to bridge, and I believe it was Timo who saw it and went with it. The two of them made it across and by this point, the “break” had about 10 riders in it, which meant there was only about 10 riders left in the field as we had dropped about 5 or 6 guys towards the end of lap 1 with all the attacking that had been going on. I liked that we had 3 guys in the break, but I didn’t like that the break was essentially half the field. So I waited until somebody came off of a strong pull on the long gradual downhill after the hill after Turn 1 and drilled it super hard. Somebody who was on my wheel saw it and jumped with me, but that was it. The field started to chase, but our gap was good enough right from the start that we were able to make it across to the break bringing our total to maybe 12 riders?
We finished the bridge at the start of the long hill on the backside of the course. We knew that the break was too big to stay away, so I pulled through hard to keep the pace high, but ended up pulling away from the field. The break organized itself to chase which kept its pace high, and then when they caught back up to me, we got a good rotation going which meant that the field wasn’t going to come back together.
Even though we had a good rotation with 4 out of the 12 riders in the break on our team, I knew that we were better off with a smaller break so that it wasn’t left to a 12 man sprint at the end and so that there would be fewer people chasing any attacks that we might launch. So I kept the pace high and then on the hill leading to the start/finish, we pulled hard enough to cause a separation. I think it came back together though right before the start/finish when there was another move with Will and Pat off the front with a couple other guys. This looked good because everybody was tired. Jim Brock knew it and attacked to bridge. I was right there with him and together the two of us were able to finish the bridge, but Jim popped right at the top of the hill settling the final break of six at that point.
There were six riders in the break – Stuart, Pat, and me from Tria. Will represented Alabama Masters, and then there was Joe from the black/white jersey team and Alex from Alabama Cycling. This was pretty much the perfect scenario for our team with all three of the Cat 1s in the break. We still had the rest of the third lap to finish and then two more laps, so I wanted a nice smooth rotation for us to get a good lead on the field, while giving us enough wiggle room at the end of the race should it come down to any cat/mouse games. That’s exactly what happened with everybody working together extremely well (average speed 25.4mph for the next 2 laps).
Then right before the start of the last lap, I think everybody must have known that since we had numbers we were going to start attacking to try to get somebody away. The pace slowed down quite a bit. When we made it past the start/finish area I was looking for the right time to attack, found it, and only my teammate Pat was able to respond. We had a great gap and pushed it all the way to the finish. Behind us, Will and Stuart were by themselves with Joe and the Alabama rider dropped. Joe ended up bridging to Will and Stuart, and the two of them chased with Stuart able to take it easy and save energy for the finish.
Pat and I decided as fun as it would be to try to practice the tactics of a two-up finish, that it would be better and more enjoyable to simply cross the line together, which we did! (See the attached photo). Behind us Stuart got the jump on Will in the sprint and coming into the last meters it looked like he had it, but Will with a very late burst of speed was able to pass him literally on the line with a bike throw.
The remnants of our original break came back together with the field, and Chris Allison had a great sprint to finish sixth or seventh in the race. All-in-all, it was an AWESOME start to the season with our team placing five riders in the top ten and three riders in the top five.
Pictures, videos, and heartrate data below …
Dist: 48.02 mi (1:55:56) Climbing: 1754 ft Energy: 1662.1 kJ Cals Burn: 1589.0 kcal Braking: 0.0 kJ (0.0%) Min Avg Max Power 0 238.9 820 W Gravity -637 1.5 486 W Speed 10.9 24.9 36.9 mi/h Wind 7.6 19.7 38.3 mi/h Elev 574 662 740 ft Slope -6.2 0.02 6.4 % Caden 4 85.7 121 rpm HR 119 158.6 187 bpm NP 277 W; IF 0.999; TSS 192.8