Posts tagged ‘topocreator’
Fun ride today with students Greg, John, Adam, and Jason from Samford and my friend Jamie Butler from church. Thanks to the Samford University ACM chapter for organizing the ride and inviting me to lead it! Here is the route we took – lots of climbing, but worth it for the views…
The Samford University ACM ride – click for hi-res version
I went for a pretty intense ride ahead of time climbing Double Oak Ridge – one of the few Cat 3 climbs in the area for the Strava competition. I thought I had set a new record on the climb based on how hard I was going, but after downloading the ride data it turns out I was 22 seconds off my previous best even though my heartrate average was almost 5 bpm higher … learned a lesson about climbing – slow and steady at the start is better even if you don’t blow up before the top because you might still not be able to push it as hard as you otherwise would have been able to … and on a long climb that can add up to some pretty serious time!
The complete ride 60 miles and almost 6000′ climbing – click for hi-res
Raced and fought hard to a 30th place finish out of a strong field of about 100 starters. I got caught up in a crash near the middle of the group about 10 laps into the race ultimately skidding to a stop holding onto the original rider who went down – a United Healthcare rider – who had just stood up as other riders squeaked past us. The hardest part of the race was when we were put back in one lap later at the very back of the peloton, which was being led by the entire Hotel San Jose team as they were chasing a six-man break that had gotten away without them because of the crash. About 10 laps later the pace had eased up, and I was able to work my way up to near the front of the group where I stayed for the remainder of the race. In the end, I missed a seven man move that escaped on a $1000 prime lap. One lap later, I moved into position to keep ahead of the “swarm” on the downhill, when Ben Zawacki from Team Ion attacked off the front to chase the group of seven. I had an opening, and so I launched off the side of the group, thinking that if I could reach Ben then perhaps the two of us could make the bridge — but Ben already had a great gap by the time I attacked, and I couldn’t close any so I sat up after the downhill to conserve energy for the finish. In the end I fought hard for position, finishing 18th in the field sprint, which meant 30th for the race with twelve riders off the front.
The course was a nice 4-corner around the American Airlines Center arena in Dallas. The course had a short (but steep) 6% uphill immediately after the start/finish and a longer but more gradual downhill on the back side of the course. The uphill was with a tailwind and the downhill was into a headwind/sidewind blowing from the west on the most exposed part of the course. I got a call-up before the start, and that is the first video posted below my heartrate/power data. Two helicopters were hovering over the course to stream the race for a local news station. Also, there was a giant jumbotron screen for spectators – so it was an exciting race to end my 2010 season – although I am planning on racing the Alabama state time trial (Oct 2) and the Tour de Cullman (Oct 23) for some good fun and training!
This race was a crazy trip for Kristine and I as we made the 650 mile drive (one-way) from Birmingham to Dallas on Wednesday after I finished teaching my Wednesday afternoon class. Then Thursday night after the race, we “turned and burned” and drove the 650 miles back to Birmingham to make it back in time for my 9AM Friday class. We were gone for a total of 40 hours, 22 of which was spent driving, about 3 hours of racing and warm-up, a few hours during the day on Thursday hanging out with friends, and only 8 hours of sleeping. We shared the driving on the return trip, spent the night with awesome friends at the Christian missions organization (Mercy Ships) where the two of us met which was on the way to Dallas, and had an all-round great time.
Texas Tough, Dallas, TX, USA Crits Finale 2010-09-16 Dist: 38.22 mi (1:24:04) Energy: 1207.3 kJ Cals Burn: 1154.2 kcal Climbing: 549 ft Braking: -13.9 kJ (-1.2%) Min Avg Max Power 0 239.4 793 W Aero 0 112.3 661 W Rolling 0 36.3 50 W Gravity -508 0.5 436 W Speed 0.0 27.3 37.8 mi/h Wind 9.1 16.3 31.5 mi/h Elev 363 375 387 ft Slope -4.5 0.01 6.1 % Caden 0 78.2 115 rpm HR 128 178.9 192 bpm NP 271 W; IF 0.979; TSS 134.2 CdA: 0.342 m^2; Crr: 0.0039 173 lbs; 9/16/2010 5:56 PM 87 degF; 1012 mbar
Annotated heartrate data corresponding to the graph below …
- The race started with a neutral lap – riders inches from the pace car completely surrounding it on both sides, too!
- The wreck in Turn #4 ten laps into the race
- The hardest part of the race, hanging on and trying to move up with Team Hotel San Jose drove the pace chasing the break
- Easier – fighting to stay at the front
Annotated power data corresponding to the graph below …
- The wreck in Turn #4 ten laps into the race
- Bridge attempt late in the race (about 6 or 7 laps to go)
Note the drafting differences (i.e., difference between the white line and the blue line) in the two different parts of the race. In the first red circled area, the pace is super fast and I am just hanging onto the rider in front of me. In the second circle area, you see more places where I am attacking or moving out into the wind to try to continue to move up or maintain position at the front of the race. I love being able to see this data on my iBike, and over time I am hoping it will help me figure out how to better mete out my energy for crits.
Videos from the race – Kristine took these videos on her iPhone.
Call-ups at the Texas Tough Grand Prix
Start of the 2010 Texas Tough Grand Prix
Early lap in the 2010 Texas Tough Grand Prix
Middle lap in the 2010 Texas Tough Grand Prix
The start/finish stretch underneath towering hotels and high-rise condiminiums
Racing in downtown Dallas, TX
Spending the night with friends from Mercy Ships in Van, TX
Eating breakfast at the iconic Dinner Bell restaurant in Van, TX
Oh so close to a late season podium… 4th place after 20+ laps in a 4-man break. Still, the Dothan Cityfest criterium was an awesome new race on the calendar this year in Dothan, AL. The Pro/1/2 race featured a $10,000 prize purse paid 25 places deep. My awesome teammates Stuart Lamp, Terry Duran, and I lined up with me in a field of about 30. Even though the field was small, the action (and temperature) was HOT. I had a front-row start, and clipped in first and took off from the gun. I didn’t get anywhere though and simply pulled the field around for the entire first lap. This meant that when the first attack went at the start of the second lap, I wasn’t ready to go with it. Fortunately, my teammate Stuart saw the move and covered it. The field came back together and I moved into position to go with the next move, which came from Andy Crater (Aerocat) who animated the action attacking repeatedly in the first 10 laps. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it that far in front of a fresh field before we were pulled back. I was pretty tired after the intense early laps and had slid back and missed the next couple of moves. My teammate Terry covered each one.
Then, about 10 laps into the race, there was a solo move from Emile Abraham (Aerocat). He got a good 5-10 second gap on the field before Team Ion moved to the front and drilled it back. I saw Crater move into position to counter attack and immediately hopped onto his wheel. An Ion rider, Winston David, also latched on, and we were off. When we passed through the start/finish line, I knew we must have had a good gap because the intensity of my wife’s cheering increased a notch or two. One or two laps later, John Atkins bridged up to us solo. I was still recovering from early moves and was struggling to maintain the pace that Andy and Winston were setting, but our lead kept increasing so eventually our pace settled down into something that I could maintain. By the time we lapped the field, there was only 4 laps left in the race. My teammate Stuart came to the front and set a very fast pace for the last 2 laps to prevent any of my breakmates from attacking. I settled comfortably into 3rd or 4th position when we were swarmed coming out of the start/finish line with one lap to go. I saw an opening on the left on the uphill between turns 1 and 2 and attacked to move to the front. Looking back, I should have attacked with the intention of breaking away b/c I think there is a chance I could have held it with the tricky corners in turns 2, 3, and 4.
Instead, I eased up and waited for someone else to make the first move. It came from Winston, who was one of my breakmates. Crater got on his wheel, and I was on Crater’s wheel coming out of Turn 3. About halfway down the hill, Crater attacked. It was a perfect attack and caught me on the wrong side of Winston so I settled onto Winston’s wheel as he chased to catch Crater. My thinking was that if he couldn’t bring Crater back, that at least I could come around him to secure 2nd or worst case settle for 3rd, still up on the podium. Instead, I wasn’t able to come around him, and John Atkins came around me immediately out of the last corner so that I ended up 4th in the sprint, beaten by all three of my breakaway companions.
Disappointing finish for me to an otherwise awesome race! The Dothan organizers went all out for this event, with excellent commentating by Chad Andrews, support for a very large kids race, and awesome prize money. All of this combined with the festival that was going on just down the street, it made for a great day of entertainment. Analise and Josiah both had fun in the kids races … and riding their bikes with me at the start of my warm-up on a closed street with railroad tracks to cross! Just before the start of the Pro women’s race, there was a 1 lap celebrity race with the mayor of Dothan, a congressman, senator, and other local government officials and celebs. They all road on the green single-speed cruiser bikes that Regions Bank has in their commercials and provides to universities like Samford. It started out like any other celeb race, but the finish was like none I have seen. The mayor completely decked out in a suit and helmet was sprinting against the congressman from out of the last corner all the way to the finish line. They were so close that you couldn’t tell who had won and they had to look at the finish line camera to decide it! Wow!! This really got the crowd amped up for our race, which turned out to be pretty exciting.
My teammate Katherine Herring had a great race with the Pro/1/2/3 women holding her own until she had a run-in with a hay bale on the last lap. Still, she picked herself up, and crossed the finish line in 8th place. Also, Sammy raced the 2/3 race earlier in the day taking 8th place even while battling a cold. But it was good enough for him to hold onto 1st place for the year long Alabama Cycling Series Cat 3 competition taking home the jersey. Also, our team snagged the team title which spanned all categories, and we got to take home a cool bicycle statue consisting of a bicycle frame welded onto a statue pedestal – very cool!
Heartrate, power, pictures, and video below …
Power data: 2010 Dothan Cityfest Criterium Pro/1/2 Dist: 26.83 mi (1:02:06) Energy: 861.8 kJ Cals Burn: 823.9 kcal Climbing: 964 ft Braking: 0.0 kJ (0.0%) Min Avg Max Power 0 231.3 708 W Aero 0 147.8 473 W Rolling 0 34.5 50 W Gravity -511 0.6 328 W Speed 0.0 25.9 37.5 mi/h Wind 7.9 18.0 29.0 mi/h Elev 271 287 309 ft Slope -4.8 0.01 3.8 % Caden 0 79.1 104 rpm HR 122 181.7 195 bpm NP 270 W; IF 0.974; TSS 98.1 CdA: 0.342 m^2; Crr: 0.0039 173 lbs; 9/11/2010 7:05 PM 85 degF; 1012 mbar
- Lots of speed and heartrate spikes corresponding to attacks
- This is where the 4-man break started
- Notice how much smoother everything is, but still in the red zone
- This is where we lapped the field
- Resting up for the finish, my teammate Stuart setting the pace
- The final lap
I had a great three day weekend of racing and training this week in South Carolina and Georgia. Here’s the quick summary:
Saturday – Tour de La France criterium – top notch field, fun course, 29th
Sunday – Awesome training ride in Clemson on my old routes from college
Monday – US 100K road race – huge field, bad crash at the beginning, lots of breaks/splits, 25th (12th in field sprint)
Saturday, 9/4/10, Anderson SC
The P/1/2 race didn’t start until 5:15, so after a leisurely morning, I drove over from Birmingham to Anderson. The drive ended up taking over 5 hours because I drove some of old my training routes near Fair Play and Townville on some back roads into Clemson to try and get a picture of the packed stadium before the game … According to census bureau population statistics, Clemson becomes the fourth largest city in South Carolina when they play a home football game! Unfortunately, I couldn’t get close enough to take a picture so I headed on over to Anderson still about 2 hours early.
I checked in, got my race numbers, and hopped on the course after the finish of the women’s race. I would describe the four-corner course in downtown Anderson as fast and somewhat technical (particularly the third and fourth corners). The first turn was downhill and off chamber. There was a small hill that you climb leading into the second turn. Immediately after turning, you head downhill before climbing on a very wide 4-lane road up the steepest hill on the course before turning into an alley to head back downhill. The last corner takes you out of the alley back into a regular 2-lane street slightly downhill before rising slightly to the finish.
Before our race started, though, was a hand-cycle race. Those guys are amazing … roll to registration in a regular wheelchair, roll back to the car and take out their racing wheelchairs, pump up the tires on it, swap wheelchairs, and head out to the course — all by themselves. I know because I parked in the parking deck next to several of the hand-cycle racers. And those guys are fast!!! So after seeing their start, I headed back to the parking deck to continue warming up on my rollers. At about their scheduled finish, I headed back to the finish, watched the last of the finishers and followed them around the course back to our start to get a good spot.
After a few call-ups, the race started, and I worked hard to stay near the front. I went with a couple of short-lived moves, but for the most part the race stayed together as there was a super strong headwind on the steepest hill of the course … so even if the pack got strung out going into the hill, it always bunched up as the front riders lost all of their momentum on the hill. This made it hard for any of the breaks to stick. Then with a few laps to go, Joey Rosskopf (Mountain Khakis) attacked and got away solo holding off the field and taking the win. Karl Menzies (United Healthcare) took the field sprint. I thought I was in pretty good position with half a lap to go, but lost a bit of position in the swarm on the uphill before the next to last turn. I came out of the last corner carrying some good speed and passed three or four riders to finish just barely in the money in 29th … still good for $120, though!
Power data from Tour de La France, Sept 4, 2010 Dist: 36.96 mi (1:22:24) Energy: 1095.3 kJ Cals Burn: 1047.1 kcal Climbing: 853 ft Braking: -10.2 kJ (-0.9%) Min Avg Max Power 0 221.5 779 W Aero 0 91.1 544 W Rolling 0 35.8 50 W Gravity -588 1.9 641 W Speed 0.0 26.9 37.5 mi/h Wind 6.1 15.3 29.7 mi/h Elev 732 749 773 ft Slope -6.5 0.02 6.5 % Caden 0 78.3 165 rpm HR 105 174.8 192 bpm NP 246 W; IF 0.885; TSS 107.6 CdA: 0.342 m^2; Crr: 0.0039 173 lbs; 9/4/2010 3:55 PM 87 degF; 1011 mbar
All of this data brought to you by my amazing new iBike!
Sunday, 9/5/10, Clemson, SC
Sunday was awesome as I got to ride some of my old training routes from when I was an undergraduate student at Clemson University. Every fall, we usually spend a few days up in Clemson where I do a big ride in the mountains, so I don’t normally get to do any of the routes that are closer into Clemson. So this extra trip to South Carolina this year gave me a chance to pick out a good route in Clemson with absolutely beautiful views of the mountains since the air was so clear. I ended up getting a little carried away and riding a bit farther than I originally planned. I remembered a photo of the mountains I took sometime probably in 1997 or 1998, and I went to the exact same spot to take the same picture for comparison … see below.
Here is my topocreator map of the route:
Monday, 9/6/10, Atlanta, GA
Monday was the US 100K race. The thing that I really like about this race is that it starts so early in the morning that it is completely dark when you are biking over from the hotel to the start. Plus, there are police everywhere, runners everywhere, and tons of anticipation. Kristine had driven over with my parents and the kids to meet me at the hotel Sunday afternoon. They would drive over to the McDonalds that is just after the feedzone for the best spot to view the race. You can see the thousands of runners coming across the hills and you can see over a mile of the race course from where we turn after the feedzone all the way down the hills to where we turn onto GA 280.
George Hincapie (BMC) and Craig Lewis (Columbia HTC) were racing to test out their form ahead of the US Pro championships in a couple weeks. Also, Mountain Khakis had a full squad, along with Aerocat, Locos, Ion, Johnny Clarke and Karl Menzies from United Healthcare, Cesar Grejales and Yosvany Falcon from the new On the Rivet team for a total of about 125 strong pros, 1s, and brave 2s. My teammates, Terry Duran and Stuart Lamp, were there too so we had a lot of firepower to work with, too.
A nasty crash only a couple miles into the race helped a strong 7 rider break escape from the field. I was towards the middle of the pack when the wreck happened. It was the highest speed wreck I’ve ever personally seen. The pack was strung out and going over 40mph down a hill when all of a sudden, I see commotion up ahead as riders are falling down probably about 25-30 riders ahead of me. I also see a lot of blue smoke from tires as people are skidding directly into bikes and people already on the ground. I was heading straight for it, too, as I looked for someplace to escape. I found a hole to the right and started to head for it when another rider plowed into somebody already on the ground just in front of me. The rider was tossed into the air and his bike was tossed directly into my path — but very, very fortunately it was tossed with enough momentum to keep going and crossed my path right before I made it there. So I ended up squeezing between the rider and his bike. The water bottle from the bike was upright in the air directly in my path and I think I may have bumped into it — just another one of those visual images that is burned into your mind during the craziness of a bike wreck. Unfortunately in my maneuvering to escape the wreck, my rear wheel did bump somebody behind me, and I’m not sure whether they were able to stay up or not. I think they were b/c I didn’t hear any clanking metal behind me. I found out later that Travis Sherman and Scott Staubach had both gone down in the wreck with Travis breaking his foot.
So back to the race, the break of 7 that was already escaping before the wreck happened, was able to continue to expand its lead after the wreck. Ben Kersten (Fly V Australia) attacked a couple times, and I happened to be near him both times, but the pack wasn’t letting us get anywhere. I attacked one more time through the feedzone hill hoping that somebody strong would go with me. Instead, I attacked too hard and got a great gap solo but with 7 riders working hard at a nearly two minute advantage at that time, there was no way I was going to be able to time trial myself up to them. I knew that Kristine would be watching though, so I thought it would be worth it to make it around the corner first and alone to help her enjoy the race more … unfortunately our pace had been so fast that we completed the first two laps before they made it out to the course from the hotel. Oh well, it was definitely fun to ride a couple miles solo with a police escort!
I wasn’t going very hard, so when the pack caught me on the backside of the course, I went with the counter attack, but it was very short lived. The next few laps were characterized by a number of short-lived attacks, and Terry covered most of those, but the pack wasn’t letting us get anywhere. The name of the game at this point was energy conservation, and my teammate Stuart helped out a lot there by helping pull me back up to the front of the pack whenever I had drifted too far back.
Once the gap to the lead group of 7 reached 4 minutes, George Hincapie and Craig Lewis moved to the front. At that point, our pace skyrocketed and the attacks stopped. The two of them along with help from Ben Kersten brought back the 4 minute gap over the course of about 4 or 5 laps. We caught the leaders shortly after the feedzone climb with only two or three laps left in the race. At this point, I had figured surely it was going to be a field sprint since we were so close to the end. Unfortunately, there was a counter attack that stuck and then a couple more splits in our group. I was still convinced everything would come back together, but it didn’t. I had been conserving energy, so I did pretty well in the fast downhill 50+mph finishing sprint, getting 12th — but with 13 riders already up the road, that meant I finished 25th for the race.
- The crash – speed drops from 40mph down to 25mph almost instantly
- My half a lap solo bridge attempt
- George Hincapie, Craig Lewis, and Ben Kersten reeling in the break
- Lots of attacks, accelerations after the break was caught
- The finish – 50mph downhill sprint!
My only annotation for the power data is when I attacked at the end of the first lap heading into the second lap – notice the more consistent power instead of responding to sudden accelerations and moving around in the pack. Also notice that my wheelspeed matches the windspeed since I was no longer drafting.
Power data from US100K, Sept 6, 2010 Dist: 65.62 mi (2:27:00) Energy: 1699.1 kJ Cals Burn: 1624.4 kcal Climbing: 3738 ft Braking: -6.7 kJ (-0.4%) Min Avg Max Power 0 192.6 784 W Aero 0 105.1 987 W Rolling 0 35.6 66 W Gravity -989 3.3 824 W Speed 0.0 26.8 49.6 mi/h Wind 5.5 14.5 30.9 mi/h Elev 661 795 866 ft Slope -8.1 0.04 7.4 % Caden 0 81.8 134 rpm HR 75 149.4 181 bpm NP 257 W; IF 0.928; TSS 210.8 CdA: 0.342 m^2; Crr: 0.0039 173 lbs; 9/6/2010 6:06 AM 63 degF; 1012 mbar
Again, all of this data brought to you by my amazing new iBike!
I got the opportunity unexpectedly this past Sunday to race the Chattanooga criterium, part of the River Gorge omnium, when my plans for NY fell through. I had debated about what to do for training since I had been preparing all week for a very hard Sunday, so when we woke up in Birmingham to a steady downpour I decided sunny Chattanooga was looking like a really good option — especially since I could get a little bit of climbing in either before or after the race … I arrived really early to register and opted to do my climbing ahead of time. After a short warm-up, I climbed up the Rock City climb (a Cat 2 climb) at zone 5 to try to really test myself on a longer climb than we have available in Birmingham. Then I enjoyed the beautiful view from the top of Lookout Mountain and flew back down the mountain just in time to pin my numbers on and make the start of our P/1/2 race.
The crit course was new this year, and I really liked it. This course was much tougher than the flat course that has been used in previous years. The headwind on the course’s downhill made it even tougher as recovery was challenging as you were fighting the wind on the downhill. No crashes in our race – although some of the earlier races had riders go down. I think by the time we raced, we knew to take it easy on the second to last corner. The course had five corners and a couple gradual bends. Some of the corners were pretty tight so I decided ahead of time to try to get in an early break.
I did make it into a break on the second lap, but we were only able to stay away for a lap or two. I went way too hard and spent the middle part of the race recovering. Right about the midway point, Spencer Gaddy (Ion) attacked solo at the perfect time and quickly got a gap he would hold to the finish. A couple laps later, I attacked to try to bridge solo and made it about 5-10 seconds in front of the field but still 30 seconds behind Spencer before dying a couple laps later. From this point on, the field was split up into a couple different groups and I managed to hang onto the front group of 8 riders.
With about 4 laps to go, 4 riders slipped off the front of our group and I just couldn’t go. I was with Pat Allison (Ion) and Boyd Johnson (Globalbike) and with one to go we were closing in on the riders ahead of us, but didn’t quite make it. Boyd led out the sprint, and neither Pat nor I could come around him. I couldn’t come around Pat either – so I finished at the very back of the front group for 9th in the race.
Check out my heartrate data and topocreator map …
- Rock City climb (Lookout Mountain)
- Criterium (60 minutes)
(Left to right) John Delong (Gary Fischer – Subaru) 4th, Jonathan Jacob (Nuvo) 2nd, Andy Crater (Aerocat) 1st, Adam Bergman (Texas Roadhouse) 3rd, Brian Toone (Tria Cycling p/b Donohooauto.com) 5th. I photoshopped John into the picture because an abrupt scheduling change of when the ceremony was going to be led to him missing the podium.
The race went really well, and I ended up in 5th place and on the podium thanks to the awesome support that my wife documented in her guest blog yesterday that she typed up as we were driving home to Birmingham. My beautiful wife, who is getting to be a pro at the feedzone, handed me not one, not two, but 10 bottles during the race with only one dropped (b/c of me not her). So that means during the race I needed 11 bottles of water/gatorade. That was because the air temp was 101 degrees by the end of our race with a heat index of 113!!!
Quick summary: I missed the winning move when it went at the end of the 1st lap. With 14 laps to race I just didn’t think there was any way it was going to stick even with the firepower it had in it. But I was wrong. The break of 4 whittled itself down to a break of 3 that ended up winning by nearly 4 minutes. I attacked to bridge 3 times and it was the 3rd time that led to a successful solo break from the field. I bridged up to John Delong who was 4th on the road at that time, and the two of us worked together for nearly 30 miles gaining a maximum advantage of just over 1 minute and trimming the lead groups advantage to just 2 and a half minutes before the two of us started to die/wilt/fade/wish we were dead in the 113 degree heat index. So the lead group’s advantage swung the other direction to 4 minutes by the end and our advantage on the chasing field was only 11 seconds at the finish. It was definitely a hard fought 5th place for me!
How the race played out is really evident in my heartrate data so I’ve included the course map and heartrate data below.
- Crazy fast from the gun – not feeling good at all here.
- Many attacks on the second lap, the winning break got away here.
- I attacked up the start/finish hill at the end of the second lap to try to bridge to the leaders. Didn’t make it.
- Conserving energy, very hot, tired, discouraged.
- Attacking on the Cochran Tunnel Hill to bridge to two riders who had rolled off the front about a mile or two earlier. Very encouraged by how good I felt attacking on the hill. Caught the riders near the top of the climb and slowed to try to form breakaway. Group of about six riders formed and we stayed away from chasing field before getting caught on the feedzone climb.
- Attacking on the Cochran Tunnel Hill again on the next lap. Got away solo and nearly a lap later bridged to John Delong who had rolled off a few miles earlier. We worked together with John pulling on most of the downhills, flats, and rolling sections and me pulling on each of the four climbs/hills. Together we were able to just barely stay away from what was left of the field with John taking a well-deserved 4th and me rolling in a few seconds later for 5th.
The Cochran Tunnel Hill was definitely my favorite part of the race. We drove through the Tunnel on I-64 on our way to the hotel on Tuesday night wondering if that was where the road race course crossed the interstate. Turns out that it not only was the spot, it was also the key spot of the race for me. The hill has a couple switchback like turns before straightening out. There is so many trees and vegetation that you don’t realize you are crossing over the interstate which goes through a tunnel through the hill. The speeds that I have highlighted on my heartrate data are the minimum speeds for a given climb of the hill. The first one (16.5mph) is the fastest climb that we did when I was with the field. The second one (18.5mph) is the attack I did to try to bridge to two riders who were chasing where I caught them before the top and slowed down to try to let them catch on to form a larger chase group. The third one (21mph) is the attack I did solo to get away from the field one lap later. I think I must have had a 20 second gap by the top of the 0.3 mile climb in order not to have gotten caught on the subsequent downhill. Then I was able to extend that lead on the feedzone climb which is only a mile from the top of the Cochran Hill. The last one (12mph) is the minimum speed that John and I did during our chase. I was completely exhausted in the heat and amazed that we were still in front of the field.
Immediately after my race finished, my teammate Terry Duran started his 50-54 race, which he won!!! So one national championship and two national championship podiums in one day for Tria Cycling!!!
Another year, another great trip to Chicago. We had a great time hanging out with friends both at and away from the race. Josiah played football for the first time and got his first real taste of baseball with the family that we stayed with. He loved it! We took our scenic drive route past Fermi National Lab and through the outskirts of far western Chicago (Batavia, Geneva, North Aurora) to drive slowly past a horse jumping contest that takes place every year this same weekend as the Tour of Elk Grove. The races went really well, but my results were only mediocre. Check out my reports and heartrate data at the end of this blog.
Saturday – big field, aerocat, kenda, jamis sutter home, is corp had strong teams, started out front row and fought hard to stay there — until the last lap where I lost a lot of position in a swarm going into the 180. Then trying to move up going into the next turn, I got bumped pretty hard and pushed into the gutter losing even more position, fought to get it back, ended up 22nd. So this race was perfect for me except for the very last lap where it counted most!
Sunday – 90 starters, same strong teams. I was more aggressive in this race with $1650 worth of primes on offer. I made it into a break with John Eisenger, agreed to split $100 prime when two more riders bridged up to us foiling that plan. John attacked and got the prime. This was a few laps before the $500 mid-race prime. Our break got caught shortly before the announcers rang the bell for the mid-race prime. A rider attacked hard and got enough of a gap to stay away for the prime.
I was in a couple other moves, too, so I spent more time today either off the front or recouperating mid-pack. With 10 laps to go, I was determined not to get swarmed again so I did a lot of work out in the wind, attacking whenever I heard riders coming up from behind. With three laps to go, I was in sixth or seventh position when the Jamis rider in front of me slid out on the 180 degree turn. I was already on his inside so I scooted by safely with no problem, but this created a split in the group. With three aerocat riders in the front group of 10 riders, they decided to drill it, but nobody else wanted to help work so with two to go we were all back together. I fought hard to stay at the front, but still lost some position in the 180 swarm. I came out of the corner better than Saturday’s race, though, and I think I started the sprint in about 15th place, moving up a couple spots to 13th by the line.
The kids raced the bigwheel race and Kristine got some video of the finish of our race both days. Check it out below:
Saturday’s 1/2 finish
Sunday’s 1/2 finish
- Nothing exciting to annotate here – just conserving energy for the finish
- Two-man break going for $100 prime
- 10 man field split after Jamis rider wrecked at front of field with 3 to go
- Field all back together for the finish