Sunday, March 28, 2010

Piece of Cake

Today was the "Piece of Cake" road that I've wanted to do for a while, but something has always got in the way. The race had a fairly flat profile and the only hills were basically rollers on the backside of the course. This is my type of race :)

Overall before the race started I felt pretty good, though until I hit the road, I never know how my legs are going to respond. I actually went a little harder than I wanted to I was unsure how my legs would do. I set up my bike on my trainer and got in a 35 minute warm up and could tell my legs felt OK but I didn't push them, so I was still waiting to see how they would respond.

The weather was not the best for racing, with temps in the mid 50's wind blowing a stead 10-15 mph with gusts to 20 mph and showers all day long.

The wind was what had me excited. Most people hate wind, but I like it because it lead to break aways and you just have to be up front to get in them instead of getting gapped in a field that doesn't want to respond.

So right from the start I was looking for a break away. One guy kept attacking and I knew he was looking to go, so I kept jumping on his wheel. When we made the first turn into the crosswind he went again, I jumped on his wheel and we immediately opened up a gap.

The two of us worked together for the next 3 laps building a lead of 1:35 over a chase group at one point, but going into the final lap my legs gave up and I just couldn't pull any more, nor could I hold his wheel. So off he went and I eased up and waited for the chase pack to catch up knowing there was a group of 4 behind me.

Once the chase pack caught up to me, I jumped in their rotation and we worked together.

With about 5 miles to go the whole race was stopped due to a bad crash in the womens CAT 4 field. Looks like somebody broke their collar bone and had to be taken off in an ambulance. Other than that it sounds like she is OK.

Thankfully, they were keeping time gaps of the various groups so we were not merged with the rest of the peloton which at this point was 6-7 minutes behind us.

Once underway again, I felt a little better but the time off let the legs seize up a little. After a mile or two they started to loosen up again and we were rotating making sure nobody else caught up to us.

Coming into the final turn most of the other guys started playing sprinter games and wouldn't pull any longer, however one guy came around me so I jumped on his wheel. We made the final turn and had about 1K to go to the finish.

About half way to the finish (250 - 300 meters to go) I made a hard jump and opened up an immediate 5 meter or so gap on the other 4 guys and kept that gap or increased it to the finish line finishing 2nd on the even though I couldn't keep 2nd in the break away, I was still able to finish there thanks to my sprint.

Overall on the day I set new power numbers for all times beyond 40 minutes:

40 minutes: 347 watts
60 minutes: 334 watts
90 minutes: 323 watts
120 minutes: 309 watts

In the end, it was a good day, a great workout and a hard day in the saddle. My legs are sore, my back is sore from spending so much time with my elbows on my handlebars and I'm worn out....But I'm happy with the end result....My best Road Race result in the upper categories so far :)

Photo: Pat Malach

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