Sunday, April 11, 2010

Race Report - Tyson's Corner Circuit Race

I went out early this morning to watch the 5s (Vaughn and Andy) race. I will be the first to admit that between one and ten, I was about a one and a half of my desire to race today. I really just did not feel good and my body was hurting from the falls on the last two weekends. After the races I started setting up and getting myself ready for the 12:30 start time.

My plan was to setup a trainer and do about one hour of Spinervals Sprinting Machine. Then head out on the course with about 15 minutes till race start and do a few laps. One thing that I noticed in the 5s was that with an uphill start several had troubles getting started and clipped in, so that was something that I was going to plan for in my field also.

I got the bike setup on a trainer and started a routine. I had not uploaded Sprint Machine but I did have another video so I through it on the iTouch and used it instead. The funniest thing of the day was that an NCVC guy had setup his trainer about 15 feet from mine. I was just spinning and caught a glimpse of him falling. Yes, the NCVC guy wrecked on his trainer. I am not sure how, but he went down. He got up, muttered something to his bewildered girlfriend , put his bike on the trainer and tried again. After about 40 minutes, I got the rest of my kit on and headed out to the course.

The course was fairly fast with one pretty good descent and one climb, of course so, it is a circuit. The descent was fairly long and my first time down, I did not feel great. I just felt a little sketchy from yesterdays race. I continued around and made the climb, piece of cake, that was not going to be hard. I moved around to the start finish line, Coppi and NCVC had already started to lineup, 20 minutes before the start, wow, already. So instead of doing another loop, I stopped also. The last thing that I wanted was to be DFL on the start. After a few minutes the head ref asked why everyone was already cued and sent everyone around. When we lined up I went to the far side and picked a pretty good line, I figured this was going to be a cyclocross start and I wanted the hole shot. I think there were 88 starters. Sure enough, as soon as the whistle blew, we took off. I had a great line and hit the hole shot in third, right where I wanted to be. I did hear some chaos in the background. I found out later that some guy could not get clipped in and took out two others. Yes, a wreck at the start line, nice.

The race took off and I was sitting third, I settled down and dropped back a little bit knowing that it was going to be a fast one hour race. Nothing really exciting happened during the first ten or so laps. I really did not feel good. Kinda like a little PTSD, but I stayed on the top third. Each lap I would catch 20 or so riders on the climb and would loose about the same on the descent, I just did not feel like descending at a high rate of speed and either way, it did not take long for me to coast back into the pack.

I did pull on two laps, the first time, I just was getting to nervous, I had one of two solutions off the back or off the front, with the first not being an option. So I went off of the front and lead the climb, flat and then got passed on the descent. But I knew it was going to happen because it was a preme lap. As we came around the last corner for the climb to the preme, I hopped behind one rider that was going fairly aggressively I figured that if he went for the preme I would go with and try to catch him at the end, he came out of the saddle but did not last long, so I just settled back down and did not sprint for the finish.

With about three laps to go I moved forward again and off the front with an NCVC guy and Kelly Benefit. The Kelly rider was strong and was trying to organize the five of us, but it was apparent that just him and I had anything left, and neither one of us wanted to drag the other three, so we settled back into the pack. With one lap to go, I had a pretty good plan, I wanted to take an inside line on the last turn and then power up the climb as I had done several other times. Bike Rack had got organized and they were moving five guys up to the front, NCVC and Coppi had several riders each but relate were not communicating. One Coppi guy just went off the front by himself Still not sure why, he had a half dozen riders he could have worked with. Bike Rack did a good job of moving forward, I grabbed a wheel and was promptly cut off by a another rider. ironically, I remembered him from last years Vint Hill, he did the EXACT same thing last year causing a wreck on the last lap. I came into the turn and picked a good line, but the front of the field already had a good lead on me. I got around the one jackal and took the inside, I had a good sprint up the hill for a 27th position finish. I didn’t wreck... that was my goal today.

My numbers:

Average Speed: 24.7 mph
Normalized power: 247
Max power: 1207 watts
Average HR 167
Max HR 186

Next race Chantilly Crit next Saturday

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Race Report - Tour of Walkersville

The last week has been spent trying to get wounds to heal and building up a new bike. The Dogma frame was cracked as the Zipp 303s. So Conte’s built an aluminum CAAD9 with my Super Record 11 parts. The bike looked slick and was ready to go. Friday was the first day that I got to get on the new ride and took it out for about an hour ride. It felt odd but still a steady bike.

This morning at Walkersville I felt okay, not great but okay. I did a short warmup ride about thirty minutes. The wind was howling so I knew that I had no desire to be on the roads time trialing. I got out of the saddle three times and felt good about the bike. It was solid.

The race lined up for a neutral roll out. When the race opened some months ago I had signed up for the 4/5 Masters race. In retrospect I should have got in the Cat 4/5 race with Vaughn, Robin and Evan.

The race started out with a fairly slow pace. Within a few minutes of starting there was already a wreck in the back of the field. This was caused by the slinky effect due to the surges in the race. The first lap was littered with yellow line violations and heavy braking. Several NCVC riders were relegated to the rear of the race due to the yellow line violations. It was amazing, did then not listen or just didn’t care. The first lap speed average was around 22.5 mph. It felt as if we were just crawling. Nothing exciting going on except the yellow line and the braking.

The second and third laps were more of the same. Personally I spent a lot of time just coasting and staying tucked in the center of the pack staying away from the wind. My average speed was 22.5 and average power when pedaling 260. For me this was a very easy day.

By the middle of the third lap two guys had got off the front and were up the road about 45 seconds. The pack was neither gaining nor loosing ground. So they were allowed to sit out in the wind and pedal. Three riders from Kelly Beneficial had moved to the front and was setting the pace. NCVC was over playing hopscotch with the yellow line giving the moto-ref something to do.

On the forth lap, I got tired of just sitting in and when the field took the first right after the start / finish line on to Devilbliss Bridge Road, I decided to move up on the wind side and attack. This really got the field excited and stretched out. It felt good and really was not that big of an effort. This lap really began to speed up, which was my intent. After a few minutes (probably less than a minute), I pealed off the front and settled back into 10th or so. On the final stretch we had gotten packed back together and on the straight away, two bikes got tangled up and hit the deck. This was right in front of me, nothing I could do, I attempted to reenact my Smithfield crash. Acting upon the advice of Art, I was able to bunny hop over the first bike only to be hit by the bike behind me. I went down and added to my current road rash artwork on my left thigh. After collecting the yard sale of bikes and people I got back on my bike only to find it would not move. The front tire had come off of the bead but did not puncture the tube. I had to flatten the tire, put it back on the rim and borrow a pump. Once back on the bike I approached the finish line only to be greeted by the official telling me the race, at least for me, was over. I have no idea what place I finished in, those results will be published later.

After inspecting the bike, there were no issues so that is good. Old tegaderm removed from the Smithfield crit and new added for Walkersville. Tomorrow is Tyson’s Corner.

Checkout my power file on training peaks.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Race Report - Smithfield HAMmer Fest

The 4 race was a bit more entertaining/terrifying then last weeks Jefferson Cup and definitely more technical and faster than Vint Hill. Evan and I had pretty good placement at the start.  On "go", Jake King from Celerity Cycling sprinted off the front taking a few confused riders with him. The gap that opened didn't last but it was fast enough to split the field and begin the carnage of riders spread over the 3/4 mile course.  I saw some of the sketchy riding I have ever seen, one guy from Velo One, would continue to dive the corners.  It was getting ridiculous and dangerous.  Almost every corner I would see someone swing out and clip a cone or hay-bail.  I stayed in my drops the entire race, and toward the front, that made SUCH a difference, I never felt out of control and was able to turn each corner at speed.  The main field stayed together for the duration of the race with the exception of those shelled riders that were eventually lapped on the course's only climb. Unfortunately this became quit dangerous.  We were averaging just over 25 mph and were turning laps in under 2 minutes.  The lapped riders they were taking up the entire width of the course as we came through and seemed to take offense when shouted at, this caused the chase referee to call forward and have the main ref begin pulling dropped riders.  But this may have been a little to late... Two or three laps later, with one and a half to go, we once again hit the descent after turn 3 and speeds quickly picked up, my max speed on the descent was 42 mph. During this lap, a Tri-Power rider abruptly crossed the course from right to left, hitting the wheel of Chad Holm (also of Tri-Power), sending him reeling. Unable to recover, Chad went down right in front of me. So at 36 mph (according to my garmin) I grabbed every bit of brake that I had (Art yes I was in the drops) and tried to maneuver around the two bodies skidding on the ground,  But straight in front was the bike of Chad, there was nothing that I could do.  I hit the bike straight on.  Once I realized that I was going down I did my best roll, to protect my titanium enhanced collar bone, after a good landing on my back I slide to the bottom of the hill leaving bits and pieces of me and my Freshbikes kit etched into the pavement.   Four other guys hit the deck, three from Celerity Cycling, in which one broke his wrist, one had to be taken away in an ambulance due to a big cut on his head, still do not know his status.

The refs stopped the race while we got bikes and various accessories off the course. While incident reports were filled out, those still standing lined-up for a restart of the final two laps.  My zipps were shot and the frame questionable so Evan put his bike and shoes in the pit and I jogged up to the start finish line and hopped on his bike.  After a break just long enough for everyone's legs to stiffen up, they restarted us.  Myself and three other guys who were allowed to take advantage of the pit had to start last.  At this point in time I was bleeding, on a bike two small, clipped into shimanos that I had no idea how to get out of. Two more crashes (one in turn 1 and another in turn 4) and the field finished. I am not sure where I finished yet.  With the number of riders pulled, wrecked and passed, I had a field finish.  Good times in the Ham Capital of the World.

(some of the verbiage and events were borrowed from