Posts tagged ‘podium’
Race summary – 2nd place in the race today to take 2nd place in the omnium. Chris Brown (Litespeed – BMW) took the win again today after emerging together with me in a late 2-man move when the fireworks of the end game began at mile 103 in the first of NINE attacks made over a span of five miles from mile 103 to mile 108. I was lucky to be able to grab and hold Chris’s wheel to the end of the race at mile 113 where he easily took the sprint … this race is officially the longest race I have ever done.
The details – I was sitting 3rd in the omnium behind Stephen Bassett (Texas Roadhouse) and Chris. I knew that the race would be long so I wanted to make it a race of survival. Unfortunately, I did a lot of work on the first of two long laps that probably wore me out more than it did anyone else. I got into an early two man move when I jumped with Jon Hart (Friends of the Great Smokies) a mile or two after the neutral zone. We worked hard drilling it at just below threshold all the way to climb. John came off on the climb, and I knew that I couldn’t hold an 80 mile solo break so I eased up the climb waiting for what was left of the field to catch up.
At this point, our pace really dropped and I was worried of two things: 1) the race taking so long that we would all die of dehydration 2) people getting an easy ride to the finish and then outsprinting me at the end. The first concern was no problem because there was good neutral water support in the feedzone and I was able to get 3 bottles on one lap and 2 bottles on another lap – combined with the 3 bottles I started with made for 8 bottles completely drained by the end. Regarding concern #2, I attacked a couple times hoping to get somebody to go with me to share the work, but ended up riding off the front both times.
The chase – A mile or two after the feedzone, Jon Hart rode off the front again and would eventually amass a maximum lead of 3’30″. Behind him, Chris Brown and I did a lot of the work for the first 15-20 miles of the chase, with Bradley Spears (Sonic) also contributing and the Texas Roadhouse duo making some contributions as well. Two of John’s teammates were able to sit in and rest since they had their teammate up the road. Eventually, once the gap reached 3’30″, the Texas Roadhouse duo started working harder and more frequently — particularly Stephen’s teammate Andrew Dillman who stepped up to do more work while Stephen waited for the climb.
The climb – Chris was on the front leading into the climb and when we turned to go up the steep part, he lifted the pace substantially. We reached the first step of the stair-stepper climb and the pace eased off a bit, but when we reached the next steep part Stephen put in a very hard attack. Chris countered this move lifting the pace again, but by this point we were going fast enough that we were near the top of the Cat 3 climb. I held on, but was really spent by the top of the climb. We ended up losing 1 or 2 from our group and Chris pushed the pace hard across the top to make sure that we stayed away.
The chase, part 2, and the fireworks of the end game – A mile or two after we reached the top, John’s teammate Jeff McGrane attacked and got away solo. Chris, Andrew, Stephen, and I got into a good rotation and after 20 miles of chasing finally caught Jeff. Chris put in a strong attack immediately and then when he was caught, somebody else (it may have been Chris again) attacked again. This ended up shelling Stephen’s teammate Andrew. Five attacks later (it could have been by aliens for all I know considering how delirious I was at the time — but the attacks are clearly visible in the power data), and we had lost Stephen. Then Jeff put in another attack, which Chris countered and that is when we lost Jeff leaving just Chris and me for the 3 mile descent and 2 mile gradual rise to the finish. We traded pace on the descent and stayed away to the finish where Chris took the sprint.
With the ride back to the start at Cumberland Caverns, I ended up with nearly 200K of racing and riding today to cap off a 466 mile week. Tired. Here is all the data!
New power records from the road race
Sometimes it’s more about the adventure than the race (although the race was really good, too). Today was a day like that – from the long drive on beautiful country roads to the climb that I wanted to do on my warm-up taking a bit longer than expected leaving me less than 5 minutes to refill water bottles and shoot over to the line before the start. So, I’ve included some pictures and video from the drive up and the festivities surrounding the race.
About the race – Chris Brown (Litespeed-BMW) took the win solo lapping the field along the way, and I came out on the losing end of a photo finish sprint for 2nd place to a very strong 16 year old – Stephen Bassett (Texas Roadhouse). I missed Chris’s move and spent a few laps chasing just a couple seconds behind him but I couldn’t close the gap and nearly blew up in the process. I eventually sat up and waited for the field. In the end game, there were five of us left to sprint it out. I attacked hard going into the next to last turn and held it until the finish … well, exactly two inches before the finish.
I hit an all-time new record max HR of 199 in the final sprint … here is all the data:
Lap Avg Spd Avg Pow Avg HR Time 1 23.3mi/h 388W 162bpm 0:01:04 2 24.9mi/h 221W 173bpm 0:01:00 3 23.7mi/h 197W 168bpm 0:01:03 4 23.3mi/h 227W 166bpm 0:01:04 5 25.3mi/h 315W 168bpm 0:00:59 6 28.2mi/h 441W 185bpm 0:00:53 7 27.1mi/h 310W 191bpm 0:00:55 8 26.2mi/h 324W 189bpm 0:00:57 9 25.3mi/h 295W 188bpm 0:00:59 10 24.5mi/h 254W 182bpm 0:01:01 11 24.9mi/h 269W 180bpm 0:01:00 12 25.3mi/h 251W 179bpm 0:00:59 13 24.5mi/h 250W 178bpm 0:01:01 14 26.6mi/h 251W 178bpm 0:00:56 15 24.5mi/h 256W 178bpm 0:01:01 16 24.9mi/h 265W 180bpm 0:01:00 17 25.7mi/h 258W 182bpm 0:00:58 18 25.3mi/h 221W 181bpm 0:00:59 19 24.9mi/h 228W 179bpm 0:01:00 20 24.1mi/h 212W 177bpm 0:01:02 21 24.5mi/h 269W 176bpm 0:01:01 22 25.7mi/h 295W 181bpm 0:00:58 23 24.9mi/h 301W 182bpm 0:01:00 24 24.1mi/h 170W 183bpm 0:01:02 25 27.6mi/h 478W 188bpm 0:00:54 26 27.6mi/h 362W 194bpm 0:00:54 27 26.6mi/h 353W 195bpm 0:00:56 28 23.0mi/h 208W 190bpm 0:01:05 29 22.6mi/h 262W 178bpm 0:01:06 30 23.7mi/h 188W 173bpm 0:01:03 31 24.1mi/h 270W 171bpm 0:01:02 32 24.1mi/h 215W 174bpm 0:01:02 33 23.3mi/h 262W 173bpm 0:01:04 34 24.5mi/h 218W 175bpm 0:01:01 35 25.3mi/h 243W 178bpm 0:00:59 36 23.3mi/h 227W 177bpm 0:01:04 37 24.5mi/h 255W 177bpm 0:01:01 38 23.7mi/h 232W 180bpm 0:01:03 39 24.5mi/h 268W 182bpm 0:01:01 40 22.3mi/h 208W 180bpm 0:01:07 41 21.9mi/h 213W 176bpm 0:01:08 42 24.5mi/h 320W 176bpm 0:01:01 43 26.2mi/h 321W 188bpm 0:00:57 44 24.9mi/h 295W 192bpm 0:01:00 45 24.1mi/h 273W 188bpm 0:01:02 46 21.3mi/h 211W 182bpm 0:01:10 47 22.6mi/h 229W 175bpm 0:01:06 48 24.1mi/h 262W 177bpm 0:01:02 49 24.1mi/h 251W 181bpm 0:01:02 50 23.3mi/h 251W 178bpm 0:01:04 51 24.1mi/h 227W 177bpm 0:01:02 52 23.7mi/h 229W 179bpm 0:01:03 53 23.0mi/h 216W 177bpm 0:01:05 54 24.1mi/h 293W 177bpm 0:01:02 55 23.0mi/h 196W 183bpm 0:01:05 56 23.0mi/h 217W 175bpm 0:01:05 57 25.3mi/h 341W 180bpm 0:00:59 58 23.0mi/h 287W 188bpm 0:01:05 59 29.3mi/h 492W 193bpm 0:00:51
Here’s videos and pics from the drive-up.
Band playing as part of the festival:
Driving past the huntsville space and rocket center:
Wow, what another great trip up to Dahlonega for the Southern Cross bike race, and the trip is not even over yet! On Friday, I biked into work, taught class, biked home and put my road bike directly into the already packed car for a 4 hour drive to the beautiful mountains of North Georgia. I arrived at the Hiker Hostel with just enough time to get in a short road ride. It was really windy, but I thoroughly enjoyed a nice relaxing ride climbing Woody Gap from two different starting points. I finished about 20 minutes after sunset so it was pretty dark by the end. I’m going to save the pictures and videos for that ride for another post (although there is one video at the end showing how windy it was on friday night after I finished the ride and made it back to the hiker hostel)
But first, here is a race report from today’s race where I was very happy to finish third knocking more than 4 minutes off of my time from last year even though most of the times that I saw seemed to be a bit slower than last year due to the incredible winds up on the mountains today. The big difference for me was that I raced a much better mountain bike than last year, an aluminum StumpJumper Comp 29 with lockout suspension. Before the report, check out this video of people finishing up their 50 mile race on the close to max 100% gradient (45 degrees) run-up through the Monte Luce winery.
By this point in the race, I was so tired that I had to turn this entire run-up into a series of switchbacks. How did I get there? By way of an awesome combination of cyclocross course, paved roads, lots and lots of forest service roads, and even a tiny bit of single-track at the end. Here’s how the race played out:
The opening 1.6 mile cyclocross course
Timing chips were used this year to help with scoring and timing. While a good idea in principle, it had one slightly negative consequence – rather than starting in a wide open grassy field, we had to start on a narrow road so that the entire 300 person field could cross the timing strip. I didn’t cut my warm-up ride off soon enough, so I ended up starting on the 4th or 5th row after a very kind Joseph Dabbs let me squeeze into the spot in front of him even though people were already stacked maybe 20 rows deep? The course was nearly identical to the one from last year, and my big 2″ mountain bike tires floated over the deep grass allowing me to pass a bunch of people through the opening grassy section. Before the first run-up, a tree had fallen across the trail so this was a new obstacle for this year requiring dismount. The guy in front of me tried not to dismount and promptly endo-ed over the tree. Ouch. This year I had more confidence to ride the run-up and was able to shoot up the first 40% gradient out of the ditch and then ride the remaining 20% gradient. Of course I’m not sure how much time it saved as there were a couple guys who chose to run it and passed me as I was riding. That is definitely a first for me – I’ve never been passed by someone running while I was riding. As soon as we made it to the pavement, I locked out the front fork and flew out of the winery catching and passing everyone with Thomas Turner and Stephen Hyde in my sight just up the road (maybe 15-20 seconds?). Here is a map of the opening cyclocross section:
The chase group
It was a crazy head/sidewind, though, and it was an awfully big group (maybe close to 15 riders) so I opted to settle into the chase group rather than trying to bridge. The group worked well together although I ended up throwing my chain over the top of the front chainring and dropped to the back of the group as I tried to get it back on and back up into the big chainring. By the time I made it back up to the front of the group, we had just turned onto the first gravel road. Right away, one of the strong Specialized riders flatted (Garth) – the first of four flats for him for his rather unlucky day. Thomas and Stephen were still just ahead of us and still in sight, but we never could get into a cohesive chase once we hit the gravel. There were several surges and we would lose riders out the back who would then catch back up and not want to work for fear of getting shelled again.
Springer Mountain – the first climb
As the road got steeper, I realized that the chase group was pretty much done and began to settle into about as fast a pace as I wanted to go up the climb. Fortunately, there were two other riders who wanted to go slightly faster so this helped push me to dig deeper and work with them up the climb. The two riders were Nicholas Nichols and Charlie Storm. We traded pace a bit, but as it got steeper towards the top Charlie took over all of the pace-making with me hanging on … barely. Nicholas came off somewhere in the middle. Once we made it to the top, I came to the front and rallied the pace again through the long headwind section and into the first downhill. This downhill was super, super fast and fun last year. It was fun this year, too, but not fast because there was a crazy 30+mph headwind blowing back up the forest road. It was literally holding you up on the downhill – no braking required and lots of pedaling over what was a 40+mph downhill last year.
High House Mountain descent
We made it through the rolling section and to the High House Mountain descent, which was the first really long descent. Charlie was flying down the mountain, and I was having trouble keeping up on some of the super tight turns. In one of these, we ended up catching a pick-up truck. Charlie was able to make it around cleanly, but I had to wait just a second or two for the road to open up to squeeze around. That meant that the rest of the descent was crazy fast as I was trying to keep Charlie in sight. I ended up catching him at the very bottom just as we were making it back out onto the short pavement section.
Hawk Mountain – climb #2
We traded pace well on the pavement and then into the next climb, which is the long, gradual climb that gets steeper as you get closer to the top. I started to struggle having to dig pretty deep to keep up with Charlie’s pulls but he still seemed content to go with my slower pace when it was my turn to pull. Once we got close to the aid station where it is really steep, I switched into just hang on mode and Charlie pulled the last 1/2 mile up the climb. He was out of water and had to stop, though. I still had half a bottle so I continued on desperately wanting/needing some gels/calories. It was really rough across the top though so it was hard to find a good time to reach into my pocket to get a gel – fortunately over the next mile or two I found two gels in my pocket and was able to get them both down before the descent. There were some pretty bad headwinds and steep climbs through this section, and I was going so slow I expected Charlie to catch and blow by me at any minute. But I found out after the race that he had gotten a flat while trying to chase back up to me. He still managed to fix the flat and finish 4th.
Sassafras Mountain descent
This descent was super steep and fast – definitely the funnest part of the course this year. There were several switchbacks that you could see through and ride a straight line going from one inside line to the next. It was awesome! I beat my time from last year on this descent by nearly a minute – which is crazy considering how crazy fast I thought the descent was trying to hold Gerry Pflug’s rear wheel last year.
Agonizing paved section back to the winery
What made this agonizing wasn’t the course or even the wind, but rather how bonked/tired I was by this point – plus, I kept looking back thinking that I would see Charlie and/or a small group closing in to take away the final spot on the podium so I couldn’t let up. I had to just keep going as hard as I could go. Fortunately, I still couldn’t see anybody when I made it to the winery for the final cyclocross section of the race
The final cyclocross section
I knew the final cyclocross section would start out with the crazy steep run-up, but it certainly seemed like it was even steeper than last year. And I mean impossibly steep like maybe 100% max gradient coming out of the ditch (45 degree angle). I don’t see how anyone could ride up it, but I know that Thomas and Zach (the guy who got 5th place) both rode up it! I not only didn’t ride up it, I didn’t even run straight up it. Instead I switchbacked the entire thing (check out this zoomed in satellite view of my run-up). Once I made it to the top of this hill and still hadn’t seen anybody I felt pretty good that I was going to hold on for third – but even then I couldn’t let up. The return course was pretty much the same as last year diving back down the hill on the other side of the grapevines and then climbing up the super steep paved road that we descended at the beginning of the race. Then it was down through the woods in a short single track section, but rather than taking us back across the bridge, this time we had to ride through two creek crossings. I made it across the first one, but I was in the wrong gear and couldn’t make it up the grassy section across the top. This turned out to be OK though b/c the next crossing was not rideable (for me) so I just ran all the way across it. And at this point I just kept on running. I didn’t even want to get back on my bike for the next steep grassy hill so I decided to run up it instead. Finally, once I made it to the very top of the grassy hill with nobody in sight behind me, I knew that I had it so I eased up and crossed the line in third … tired and very hungry!
Cold at the start – at the last minute I opted to dump the full-fingered gloves for short-fingered gloves. And this was a great decision except for one point on the first long descent where we were heading into a crazy headwind and the temperature was only in the 30s. Definitely got some cold fingers there for a few miles.
Lots of wind at the hiker hostel on the woody gap ridge line
Video of a very tired me crossing the line after more than 40 miles on a solo break (Video taken by Russell Fulmer’s wife – thank you!)
What a great way to start off the racing season – with our team taking 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th. I won on a long solo break after my initial break companion, Joe from Florence, came off the pace on the hill before the transition back to smooth pavement. We already had a somewhat sizable gap so I couldn’t just sit up and wait – instead I really didn’t have any choice but to put my head down and ride as hard as I could for the next 2 hours. My teammate Justin Bynum put in a late move and got away with and then outsprinted a Velocity rider for 2nd. My teammates Pat and Chris Allison took the top two spots in the field sprint for 4th and 5th. What a great start to the season!
Here are my iBike stats from the race -
---------Selection Stats--------- Dist: 48.51 mi (2:05:38) Energy: 2338.3 kJ Cals Burn: 2235.5 kcal Climbing: 1708 ft Braking: -2.9 kJ (-0.1%) Min Avg Max Power 0 310.2 681 W Aero 0 253.9 774 W Rolling 0 42.4 61 W Gravity -645 3.0 479 W Speed 0.0 23.2 33.6 mi/h Wind 0.0 23.1 37.9 mi/h Elev 671 770 856 ft Slope -11.2 0.04 8.8 % Caden 0 75.5 107 rpm HR 99 165.4 185 bpm NP:332W IF:1.11 TSS:257 VI:1.07 CdA: 0.342 m^2; Crr: 0.0055 168 lbs (includes bike, clothes, equipment); 2/19/2012 2:32 PM 45 degF; 1015 mbar
Here is my Powertap data (yes I had both my iBike and my powertap for this race) including the new personal power records for the entire range from 20 minutes to 2 hours!
Interesting “Y” shape on my pedal force / pedal velocity graph. I’m used to the spike in the middle, but not the strong underlying portion – I guess the darker CP curve section is b/c of the steadiness of the flats/downhills and the vertical portion is attacking the hills
I arrived really early so I could do some of my favorite climbs in the area, including the 231 climb which is just awesome after/during rain b/c there are waterfalls pouring off of every cliff … the panorama below doesn’t even include the ones you can see as you are climbing – I hiked off the road to a kudzu cliff (that’s the way kudzu looks in the winter) to get the picture of this large waterfall.
Finally, here is a topocreator map of the entire race plus my warm-up climbs up 231/Blount Mountain and the always steep Chandler Mountain climb.
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!