Posts tagged ‘videos’
Sunny King NRC criterium summary – I survived to finish 36th place with well over 100 starters and only 73 finishers. I moved up quite a bit on the last few laps, but it wasn’t enough to get into the top 30. Considering how hard the race was and how bad I felt early on, during the middle, and then late in the race, too – I was surprised to be able to finish at all, let alone move up so far by the end. It is easily the highest heartrate I’ve ever had in a race of this distance. There really isn’t much to report about the race. It started out really hard, stayed really hard, and never really let up. The speed was slower than previous years, but the race was harder. The annotated photo below the heartrate data is a visual picture of why the race was so hard – turns 3 and 4 this year were much slower than previous years. But the start/finish stretch was just as fast normal. This meant that the further back you were in the group, the faster you had to reaccelerate up over 30mph EVERY lap. Our average speed was 27.5mph with at least 1/4 of the course (heading into turn 3 and then all the way through turn 4) at less than 25mph, which means the rest of the course was really fast. Check out the stats, photos, videos, and statistics for the details!
2011 Sunny King heartrate summary – 93% of the race spent in Zone 5!
Videos from the Sunny King criterium pro race taken by my wife -
Videos I took of races earlier in the day -
I’ve got some good videos of the Cat 4 race I will post tomorrow. Ed Merritt and Brandon Thorton both rode really strong in their first Cat 4 race. Ed took 4th and Brandon was in the top 10. JD also had a great ride, and overall it was a really showing by BBC who factored into just about everything in the race.
Foothills Road Race report – Last year, there were about 60 guys in Sunday’s race. This year, there were over 100! And many of those racers were strong pros looking for some Tour of California hill training and just looking for a good hard road race. Well, they found one for sure! Here is how the race played out.
We started at 8AM in the morning just over 10 hours after finishing our hard criterium the night before. I was suspecting that an early break would be let go because of how hard the race was the previous night. I was hilariously wrong. Riders were attacking from the start line. We were not reminded of a yellow-line rule before the start, so many of the pros who are used to racing on closed roads attacked from the start line on the wrong side of the road. In fact, the entire group of 100 riders was strung out single file within 500 meters of the start on the WRONG side of the road. I was chuckling and all of a sudden VERY excited about the race. Bill did a great job of getting us all back on the correct side of the road, but with such a large group and so many pros anxious to attack and/or chase down breaks, it was pretty much impossible. Bill made an excellent decision to stop trying to keep us on the righthand side of the road. Instead he rode his motorcycle in front of us to block oncoming traffic, as well as getting a police car to go well in front of us on the descents to make sure that all oncoming traffic was stopped at the base of the hill.
One of the Hincapie development riders went off the front after the initial flurry of attacks and rode solo for a few miles leading into the first climb. We caught him on the climb and flew up the climb, but no break could be established with so many strong teams in the group. There was a pretty steady stream of attacks that were all brought back. I attacked at about the same place where Travis Sherman and I bridged up to the winning break last year. It turned into a good break of about 6 guys with Bissell, Kenda, Team Type I, and Pure Black represented, but we couldn’t get a good rotation going with everybody going a different pace on the hills, so our break was doomed just like all the others before it. The break that stuck went shortly after ours on a slight downhill leading into a long less rolling section of the course. There was representation from seven pro teams (Kenda – Johnny Sundt, Team Type I – Ty Magner, Bissell, Kelly Benefits, Mountain Khakis, Real Cyclist, and Pure Black (New Zealand)) so nobody was motivated in the group to chase and our pace plummeted.
Several things happened at this point in the race that contributed to the demise of the break:
1) The Real Cyclist and Mountain Khakis riders were dropped from the break.
2) Several strong amateurs attacked occasionally ramping our pace back up
3) We went over two Cat 4 climbs back to back.
I felt good on the climbs, but still found myself about mid pack on both of them. The descent after the second climb was AWESOME. It was full of tight, banked switchbacks and we were flying down it. Unfortunately, Brent Mahan (Nashville Cyclist) went down on one of the corners but was able to get back up and finish the race minus some skin. By the time we made it to the bottom of the second descent, both the Real Cyclist team and Mountain Khakis were at the front leading the chase. Behind them sat Bissell and Kelly Benefits. Then behind them was everybody else fighting for position trying to stay on the correct side of the road (but many times spread completely over the road).
Eventually, I was tired of being way back in the pack and pulled out into the wind and moved all the way up to sit in front of Bissell and act as the gatekeeper for the riders who were working. I don’t think Bissell was happy about it, but we were still far enough out from the finish that they really didn’t care either as long as I was the only one in front of them. As we got closer to the steep rollers and the final climb near the finish, positioning became an all-out battle. I was pushed farther back in the group and fought hard to stay right behind the Bissell and Kelly Benefits trains. I had to fight some wind, too, but it was worth it to be able to keep my position close to the front and stay out of trouble with some 50+mph short steep downhills. I heard screeching brakes more than one time during this section. We made it to the final climb, and the break was visible higher up on the climb maybe about 30-45 seconds in front of us. Cesar Grajales put in a strong attack and got some separation, but a group of about 20 riders including me bridged back up to him on the descent. Another 20-30 riders bridged across to us a couple miles later right about the same time that a string of attacks led us to catching the break of five riders with less than 2 miles to go.
I was fighting hard for position at the front when a Garmin development rider grabbed my jersey and pulled back on me. I guess I didn’t look “pro” enough to be fighting for position with the leadout trains of the other teams. But I paid my money to race, and believe you me, I was going to race! I entered the sprint in great position and was riding with very little effort in the draft of a strong Kelly Benefits rider (Dan Holloway?) when I decided to give it a go with 150 meters to go. Well, there is a big difference between drafting a large rider at 40 mph and trying to fight the wind at 40mph. I had such a good draft that I didn’t realize how much I was just being sucked along. When I pulled out into the wind to sprint, I was promptly passed by 3 or 4 people who started their sprint from behind me. I did end up passing a couple other people, but I would have been much better off just staying on the Kelly Benefits rider’s wheel. I ended up 14th, when I was really aiming for a top 10. Cole House (Real Cyclist) took the sprint win. Disappointing finish for me, but the race was definitely raced at nearly the same caliber as an NRC road race. I would normally be ecstatic about a top 20 in any NRC event, so I am trying to convince myself that 14th is OK given the quality of the field and the intensity of the racing.
Here’s my heartrate summary and data:
2011 Foothills Road Race heartrate summary
2011 Foothills Road Race heartrate data
Oh, and here are my lap split times from the Sunny King crit (including calculated power and average speed):
All ride data from the criterium can be viewed on Strava here:
All ride data from the foothills road race can be viewed here:
What a fun weekend of racing at the Dothan Cityfest crit. Check out all of the photos and videos below. Check out my recap of the Pro/1/2 race.
Pro/1/2/3 women photo
I thought I had more pictures from the women’s race, but now I realize that I was busy warming up and Kristine was with the kids. Here is a picture of the field sprint! Congrats to Jill Lot and Katherine Herring for racing strong!
Cat 2/3 photos and videos
More fun videos from the day
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:
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
The weather forecast for today included a winter weather advisory with really cold temps. We went to visit some friends about 30 miles away near Hayward, WI. I took my bike along to try to ride back to Shell Lake if the roads were clear enough. I mapped out a route that took me near the highest point in the area – Meteor Hill. Even though I was on my mountain bike, I was flying home with a stiff wind coming from the northeast, mostly a tailwind. Wonderful ride, and I’ll let the video and pictures below tell the story.
Garmin Connect ride data – annotated
TopoCreator map and elevation profile for the ride
(Or download the huge version)