Saturday, May 12, 2012

OBRA RR Championship Day 1

First off, this race was tougher than the profile looked.

With that said, I felt OK heading into the race, had an easy week on the bike with two rest days near the the end of the week (Wednesday and Friday) and warming up my legs felt OK (not great but OK).

The combined 4 fields into one for this race: CAT 3, CAT 3 40+, CAT 3 50+ and CAT 3 60+. It looks like there were a little over 60 people in the field and with fairly narrow roads it made it hard to move around in the pack. For the most part the only place to move safely was during the main climb, but since I'm not a climber, it was difficult for me to position myself well enough for each climb.

At the start of the race I was in a short break-away attempt. About 7 of us were off the front for about 4 miles before we hit the first real climb, but it fizzled out shortly after that as the peloton picked up the pace and chased us down as we slowed on the climb.

From there on I kept trying to stay with the pack on the two main climbs...the second of which was much harder than expected. Normally on climbs like these I don't struggle as I can sit in the draft and get help up the climb...this time however, I didn't have a problem up the climb the first two times but struggled the 3rd time up.

Coming in to the finish on the 3rd lap the field was neutralized, actually stopped on the road by race officials. They wanted to notify the field that we were not supposed to cross the yellow line on a corner after a long, fast downhill that went into a near 270 degree turn. The problem here is at the start, they told us we had both lanes for that turn.

Once under way again, I knew I was tired...but stayed with the field until we hit the first climb again, where my legs told me they were done for the day. I couldn't hold pace and the field rode away at that point. My last lap ended up being a full 10 minutes longer than my fastest (2nd) lap of the day.

While on the course I was talking with another rider who was in a break with me earlier this year and we both agreed that the field was too large for the roads we were racing on, which made for some sketchy riding. The only time they opened up was on the last lap when 1/2 the field was dropped and strung out because of the heavy attacks taking place. the pace we were riding at I wasn't going to hold on for 4 laps anyway. I've found that my overall limit with road races is about 2.5 hours...after that my legs tend to blow out on me. Up to that point, I'm pretty strong...My legs went at about the 2.5 hour mark, which is about normal...The race was just under 64 miles and took me just over 3 hours to finish (69 miles with warm-up).

Overall...not a great day on the bike, but no crashes and a completed race without any major obstructions. On the day I ended up 17th, which is OK, but not where I would have liked to have been. Next month they have the 40+ open race and I may go race it, but given the length and how I felt during this race I may or may not race it. I'll make that decision as it gets closer.

Next race up will be the PIR TT #2...of which I'm interested to see how the changes to my position effect my flat land speed, since this race is nearly pan-flat. It should be a good test of my legs and bike.

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