Comotion and Vancouver crit

Comotion crit, pharm Heres my summery of the event Too small of a field to be fun, tooth I was marked and could not do anything because of it, as flattering as it is to be marked, it was lame.  At one point I almost quite with frustration to do intervals or hill repeats on my own, but said to myself “I paid 20$ for this bag of mojo.” After thinking that, I would get really mad at myself for paying for a race when I am broke and didnt seem to have a good shot at getting it back, and would just attack really hard for the heck of it knowing that everyone would chase me down like I was a stripper offering free sex in the champaign room. Yep, that about sums it up.

Vancouver crit: This race has a awesome course. I think I say that about a lot of courses, but this one was especially good. I kept on trying to get a break going, and ended up doing a few solo laps, or would just get a gap with a few riders, but we couldn’t get it fast and organized enough to stay away. That and their team mates weren’t helping it get away much either. Heres one example: It was about midway through the race, some guys were getting tired and it was probably a good time to get a winning break up the road, 2 guys shot off the front and started to get a gap. A 3rd attacked to join them, but a team mate of a guy up the road who was on the front would hop on his wheel, (trying to block? bad way of doing it.) By hopping on his wheel, he would end up letting the attacking rider pull the whole pack up to the two guys(one whom is his teammate). This basically meant he chased down his team mate. If he let the rider go, and drove the pack slower than the leaders and chaser through the down hill segment of the course, the leaders would end up with an established gap. After there is a good enough gap that one guy can not chase it down on his own, then sit a chasing wheel until he tires, but until theres about 6 guys up the road, make sure don’t(!!!) let a lone bridging rider pull the whole pack to your man in the break, thats just not nice to your team mate. Tactics people, tactics! Any ways, thats my little rant. I went OTF again at around 8 to go and rode up there for two laps before being brought back to the pack. I dropped back a little too far and didnt do the douche bag move of the day (cutting the corner through the wheel chair ramps) to get up to the front. Squeaked past a crash in the final lap, but wasnt any where near enough the front do do anything. The podium riders all rode smart and played their cards right in the race, nice work Beardsley, Elken and Johnson (1,2 & 3). These guys and their team mates rode a sound race and it paid off. I am looking forward to this race next year.

Now, its off to make a delicious dinner of food, and then some economics homework.

More Cascade

After a night of eating and tour watching, plague stage two started.  A mostly flat stage that had a small climb in the middle and a big climb at the end.  The ending climb is not flat by any means and after finishing , anorexia well your glad its over.  For the most part the stage wasn’t too eventful.  I didn’t study up on the turn sheets close enough, more about and didnt realize the finish was diferent than last year.  Going through sisters was much more complicated than previous years where we just pass through town and head on our way.  This year there were a lot of turns through the neighborhoods of the town and the race went into crit mode as we flew through the city streets.  I was just barely far enough up in the group to not get gapped off, but not as far up as I would have liked.

After getting through town, it was a false flat for a while, then a steep hill that lasted about a kilometer long before heading down to another longer false flat.  Wasnt far enough up in the group going through sisters, so I dropped the ball there and couldnt get up far enough to not get caught in the split on this hill.  Was in a chase group that was working well on the false flat, but as it got steeper to towards the uphill finish, things just fell apart, but the group I was with was just behind the lead group so that was a boost of confidence after my legs stopped working on the previous day.

On Friday, the day of the TT and the crit, the temperature seemed to be a littel bit cooler, a welcomed situation for an uphill TT.  Didnt ride a great TT at all, but coming back down the hill at full speed in the aero bars was still a lot of fun.  The crit that night was a crash fest.  I visited the pit twice, one unlucky rider was in there 5 times for crashes and a broke spoke one time.  The best part was when I got to use one of the neutral wheels, a nice zipp 404.  That thing was NICE.  Its always nice to ride on some deep dish carbon wheels.  The rest of the crit was devoted to trying to gain positions, an easy thing to say, but pretty hard to accomplish in a 140 rider NRC crit.  I moved up some, but after counting how many positions I could gain, and how much time was left in the race, I knew I was in no place to get up to a good result, so moved forward when it was a good time to, but the main goal was to stay out of trouble.  There were tons of crashes, a lot of good riders were going down.  Eventually a large crash split the field at about 4 to go.  toyota united was on the front drilling it and took a well deserved win as a result.  Horner was close in the mix and gave them a good run for their money though.

Cascade, stage 1

Since I’m poor and don’t have a computer, resuscitation its a little hard to keep updating when I’m on the road and away at races, hence the limited posts.  So to keep the excitement rolling, and something new to read every day, I am going to begin posting posts from cascade today and each day for the next five days, there’s no racing this weekend any ways since I couldn’t afford to race the Boise twilight crit anyways.

Cascade is a great race.  A lot of similar riding conditions to those of Klamath so feels a lot like home.  The flats in the desert and the long steady Pine tree lined climbs in hills.  Stage one started off with tons of crashes.  For some reason, someone decided to line the center line and the white strip with cones placed every ten feet or so, for the first k of the race.  Now one would think “This is a Category 1 race filled with pros and the nations top amateurs, They’ll be able to safely navigate through some cones.” 

But no.

Cones were bouncing around everywhere like we were trying to hit them, and within 2 minutes of the race there were at least 3 guys on the ground from different cone incidents.  I was on Chris Horners wheel, and the guy in front of him hit a cone that flew into his path, then Horner crashed, and I barely squeaked passed.  Everyone seemed to like the idea of crashing from seeing how much fun everyone that crashed had, so it became a popular pass time for the first stage (and later in the crit).

There was a break that rolled off early in the race, but it never seemed to really get any time on the field, and just floated up the road for most of the race.  Through the canyon and along the river and before I knew it it was the main climb of the day (aside from the finish).  Going into the climb I didn’t want to have to go around any gaps so I made sure to get as much road as possible on the guys in the back and it seemed to work.  Before long there was a split in the field, and a bad crash on the top of the climb which included a cattle guard, a rider hitting the ground really hard, and a motorcycling running into him.  Bad incident. 

The field was back togetherby 20k to the finish, and the riders on the front seemed to think it was time to start bringing in the break, and the pace to the front changed from easy tempo riding to bringing back the break tempo riding.  Health net attempted to lead out their man to the base of the climb to set up for the win, but Botero would have none of that and ended up in the leaders jersey. 

I felt good that I rode a lot stronger this year on this stage than last year, but my legs seemed to run out of gas at about 7k to go and they didn’t want to turn any pedals over.  The final climb to the finish is key to the win, and key to a painful slow humiliation for anyone outside the top 30.

 

 

Gate City Grind, racing in Id

After the pain at nez, more it was time for a large regional stage race in south east Idaho, buy information pills Gate City Grind.  I wasnt too sure what to expect, approved since I didnt know any of the racers, but I knew of the teams and was prepared to see some strong team tactics, and some pain.  And thats just what  I saw.  In the RR, there was a break off the front for a long while, I tried to bridge and get another group started, but nothing could really get rolling.  The teams in charge were having their way with the race, but at about 20 miles from the finish the break came back, and the counter went off.  I jumped into it as soon as it started, and there were 4 of us rolling off and gaining time on the pack.  On the climb we lost one rider, and a rider from the original break was able to hang on.  We took some hard pulls and before long had a minute on the chase group.  The gap stayed at that distance until the finish and I picked up a time bonus as well.  It was a pretty good RR, and the competition was very strong as well.

Later that night was TT, I was looking forward to bustin out the TT bike and rolling fast on the flat course.  It wasnt fast enough though, since I lost some time here, but the gap on the field from the RR was enough to pad me from losing GC positions.

The Holt Arena Crit was a pretty fun crit course.  It had some tight turns, a small hill and wind.  All the elements to keep it interesting.  Before long I was in a break, but we had been off for about ten minutes, and 50 minutes to go, and we weren’t gaining any time on the pack.  I was pretty sure it was a doomed break, so I drifted back to the pack.  That had to be the worst decision Ive made all season.  I was expecting the break to come in, but it didnt and stayed away.  Big oops.  I made a few moves to try to get a chase group going, but the field brought me back each time, so I decided to wait for the sprint.  I had pretty good positioning going into the finish and managed to get 6th in the crit, but lost more time due to my bad decision and slid back to 6th in the GC.  Now I know.

The next week is all about getting in some quality miles here in Pocatello.  The conditions here are very similar to Bends so I should be well prepared for Cascade.  It will be interesting racing against Levi and Horner.

Nez

Nez was great.  One of the best parts, clinic was all the free food for the racers after the races, info being in school and racing bikes means free food is twice as wonderful as it would be being either one of those alone.  Other than all the free food, generic the racing was fun and pretty hard.  I was not used to the dry heat at all, and the elevation, so the race on the first day was a good shock to the system.  Couldn’t quite catch back up on my breathing after a litttle effort, and before long my lungs were full of some stuff (and not air as I would have liked) and my throat felt raw from the dry thin air.  After the casino parking lot crit, I had a lot of coughing that would last the next couple of days.  The next day was the Truckee Crit and a uphill TT at Northstar.  I wanted to make sure I kept it up right in the crit this year, as I feel Ive left enough skin on the roads of Truckee already.  After the TT, we headed over to the cabin we were staying at and relaxed before the evening race.  Just like last year, there was a good crowd at the crit, but unlike last year, I didn’t give them a reason to say “Oooooooooo!!!!!!!!!”.  Sorry spectators.

The Circuit race at Northstar was created for the sole purpose of pain.  3 miles up hill, 3 miles down, and as one might imagine, the part going up took a lot longer than the part going down, so there wasn’t much recovery going on after the up part of the course.  I came, I suffered, I finished.

The final days Circuit has to be one of my favorite courses EVER!!  Thats right, deserving of capital letters.  Its on par with the TT course from hood.  It was twisty, had some hills, and a windy brick section as it snaked through the middle of the ski resort.  Awesome.  This was actually my best feeling day, I think I was starting to get used to the amount of oxygen at 6,000 feet.  I had just finished closing a gap that had taken me a lap to do, when I was starting to recover, but someone else opened a gap a couple of wheels up.  I was pretty mad, if it had happend a lap later I could have stayed on and moved up, but I was still too spent from the last effort to do much about it.  I chased hard, and the pack stayed close in front of me for about 2 laps, but eventually my legs were no match for the guys driving it on the front, and I waited for the chase group to take me in.  This seemed to eventually become the main group as guys from the lead slowly drifted back to us.

This weekend was pretty hard, and I think had I been prepared for the elevation I could have gotten some results, but I feel a lot stronger coming off of this weekend, and all of my power has come up in the last week since recovering from nez.  Good week of training fo’sho!