Sunday, May 15, 2011

2011 OBRA RR Championships

This was my first year racing the Silverton course so I didn't really know what to expect. I had seen the profile which showed a big climb with a lot of rollers. It didn't look much worse than a few other courses I had done before...but once on the climb it seemed like there was a lot more climbing than expected.

Once underway the first lap was really slow and there were very few break attempts. I think it may have been the easiest first lap I've had in a race. The first climb I expected the big guns to try and get away, but for the most part they didn't do we will call it a warm up for what was to come.

At the beginning of the second lap I had a bit of a lapse in judgement and at the beginning of the big hill found myself about 2/3 of the way back in the field. By the time I realized where I was at the road was full of people and moving up was hard to do. About 1/2 way up the climb people started to blow up which made room to move forward but I could already see a small group getting a gap up ahead. By the time I made my way to the front a small group of 5 had got off the front and I knew several riders in the group were really strong...If I wanted a shot at winning I "HAD" to be in that group.

Not being at the front of the group there was stupid on my part because I knew that since the first climb was easy, the 2nd was going to be hard and that was where the break would go.

Near the top of the climb there wasn't a good chase being formed by those that didn't make the break, so I gave it a good go to bridge the gap to the lead group. Nobody went with me and I found myself in "No man's land" by myself chasing the lead group. I made it to within about 25 seconds of them but got no closer. I would make up time on the downhills then loose a little on the climbs.

I spent the entire 2nd lap in TT mode chasing the lead group and still felt OK but wasn't going to close the gap any closer with out another rider or two to work with. If I had a super long downhill near the beginning of the chase I may have been able to latch on as well, but the downhills were all no go there either.

At one point mid 2nd lap I could see what was left of the main group about 1 - 1.5 minutes back. I had a choice at that time to save my energy and stop chasing the break, which was still about 35 seconds up the road or dr
op back to the second group. The second group wasn't making much ground and I felt OK so I kept pushing hoping maybe the break group would slow for a short period of time allowing me to latch back I kept chasing.

Near the top of the climb on lap 3 what was left of the main group caught back up to me and I joined in with them. Nobody was really in "Chase" mode and most seemed OK to sprint for whatever position was left, even though the break was only 1.5 minutes or so up the road. With that said the pace wasn't
too fast so it allowed me a little time to recover.

With about 6 miles to go a couple guys up front were motioning to for another jump to try and get a break going...When they went I went, but they gave up quickly. Immediately after they quit another guy counter attacked and I jumped on his wheel. Working together we were able to put 45 seconds or so on the group heading into the finish.

My legs were toast by this time having spent an entire lap trying to chase down the break and I was suffering on the climbs, as small as they were at that point, but was able to really push it on the downhills and flats. Eventually the other guy put about 10 seconds on me on the 2nd to last climb...but I was OK with that by this time.

Overall, I finished 5th in the 40+ CAT 3 class (7th across the line since there were 4 groups in my race), which I'm happy with...I just wish I had been paying attention because I know I could have made the initial break if I had been closer to the front during the first climb on the 2nd lap....but such is and learn.

Some numbers for today:

52.098 miles
2:30:59 ride time
Average power: 257 watts (NP 312 watts)
20 min power: 343 watts
30 min power: 318 watts
60 min power: 300 watts

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