Virginia Beach, VA
Number of starters: 50
Course description: 40 minutes, flat, four corners.Weather: cool and clear, around 60 degrees
How the race played out from my vantage point:
This year I changed things up a little then last year. I had an issue with my race wheels last year, so this year they were on the bike prior to the warm-up. Did a really good warm-up and had timed things about right. This included getting to the race with plenty of time and not rolling in 15 minutes before the registration closes. With 20 minutes to race time I went out on the course to do a few laps, and they were already lining up. So, like last year, I was now I was lining up dead last. NOTE: first bad decision.
Looking at last year’s numbers and this year’s, they are almost identical, including my weight, back down to 202 lbs. So again, the race started off very fast! The first 10 minutes the average speed was just less than 29 mph. I was tail gunning trying to move forward unfortunately due to my bad positioning with the start, I was trying to bridge between guys getting shelled off the back. Not a winning strategy.
I never gained much ground and was on the back of the pack as long as I could hold on. Given that the average power for the first half of the race was around 325 watts, I should have been able to stay on. But I finally got detached and found myself alone. After a few laps I caught a Conte’s rider, James Schaefer, and we took turns pacing around the course. Finally the lead group came around and we reattached. By this time I was basically cooked, instead of coming back midway in the pack I tried to hop on the tail end, apparently learning nothing from being there in the beginning. I hung on a few laps then dropped off and promptly my race was over, ending up 32nd of 50. So road-results was close, which really sucks. The worst part of it all, is having the data from last year, there is no reason I should not have stayed and bettered by 18th place finish last year.
Like last year, poor luck in the beginning and tactical failure at the end.
Bad decisions: positioning for the start of the race
1.) This race will be fast, anticipate at 28-30 mph for the first 10 minutes. For me at 202 lbs, that is a 340 watt NP effort. 3.74 w/kg effort
2.) Course is flat with 4 corners – Cassette selection 11/2x
3.) Va Beach riders line up early, anticipate being at the line by 15 minutes before
4.) Trainer warm-up (yes there are roads out of the park, but pretty busy)