This was my first time racing the Eugene Roubaix...mostly due to the dirt road section. But I wanted another race in before the OBRA championships in two weeks, so this became the year to race it.
I looked at the profile before heading to Eugene and overall it looked to be fairly flat, and for the most part it was...but there are a lot more rollers than expected on that course and the one little climb was fairly steep.
We had a neutral roll out over the hill the first time which lasted about 3K. Once we were able to start racing we had a lot of people trying to get breaks started. I jumped after a few of them, but nothing was able to get away during the first lap. When we hit the gravel section...it was smoother than expected...but the pedal was down as expected. We entered the gravel road at 30mph and held near that speed for most of the way through the first time.
This with the hill just after split the pack into two groups from what I could see.
Once we came down the hill and hit the sharp right hand turn one guy was able to get away and put 200-300 meters on the field. There was a short but shallow climb during this part, but then it went downhill for a while. I decided to bridge the gap here. It looked like a couple started to chase, but stopped after 10-15 seconds. Here I bridged with the other guy and we worked together for the next 35-37 miles putting at one point 3 minutes on the field.
However, the last lap we both started to tire from the rollers and I started to get cramps in my calves.
With about 4 miles to go a chase group of 4 caught us making our group 6 riders now. We kept the pace pretty mellow knowing we had 2+ minutes on the field and took tried to vie for position through the gravel section.
I started out in good position through the gravel...but somehow ended up in front, which was where I didn't want to be heading into the final 1K. With about 100 meters to go in the gravel the first guy jumped. I accelerated and was able to hold his pace for a while, but then my legs tied up on me and the others were able to get around me.
With 100 meters or so left there was a gap between me and the other 5 so I just put my head down and crossed the line for 6th place. Out of the prizes, but overall...a good day in the saddle. Looking at the results today (5/1/11) it looks like I moved up to 5th...so either I was ahead of somebody else, or they relegated a rider due to centerline violation, I'm not sure which.
I can honestly say I left it all out on the road today and am still feeling it now that I'm home and cleaned up.
Numbers on the day:
55.7 miles raced 2:26:58 total time Average watts: 280 (NP 316 watts) Max power: 1416 watts 20 min power: 329 watts 60 min power: 313 watts Average HR: 155 bpm TSS: 224.2