Monday, May 25, 2009

Racing my other 29er

I don't do too much road racing, but it's fun to do one every now and then. I decided to enter the local Omnium (TT, Crit, Road Race), minus the TT because it started an hour away at 7am... Way too early. I upgraded to Cat 4 last year, but hadn't done any races as one yet.

Having never done a Crit, I was sort of nervous, but all the corners were safe and it was actually quite fun. We even got a little teamwork in, as we had a rider in a two-person break, and formed up with 4 at the front to try and slow the pack down a bit. The break got swallowed up in the last 100-200 meters, but one of the SCO teammates won the sprint. As for me, I had decent position going into the last lap, but had to bridge a small gap, and lost a lot of places, gained them back, and found myself 20 ft off the back of the lead group going into the slightly downhill sprint (~.2 mi). I went hard, but didn't make it to it, and got passed by about 20 people, and just sat up to finish in 30th or so. Survived with no injuries, so that's a victory, and it was a good time.

The road race the next day looked to be a better course for me, with 2 major climbs, with 20 miles of rollers in between, and 13 miles of downhill to the finish from the last climb. It started well, with good position in the front during the first climb, but my legs hated me, and I was gapped about 30 sec off the lead group of 6... The chase group that formed was super-unorganized, and was going nowhere... Our team kind of killed it, as we had 3 out of 6 in the break. But the other 8 or 9 guys along with us did not cooperate at all. One or two guys would pull for a bit, and everyone else would sit. The break said they averaged 24 between the climbs... I would estimate the "chase" at 18.

After the second climb, I was in a group of 3 making it over first, then forming up with 3 others at the bottom, and tried to stay away for the downhill stretch. We got caught though, and there were probably 15 or 20 guys in the group now. At this point, no one was working, and we coasted/soft pedaled down. One of my teammates, Phillipe, pulled for a while around 22 (on a road you could hammer down in the low 30s easily), and then I pulled beside him and we dropped to 18. No one else came up. After the 1k to go, people finally started jumping around to sprint for 7th. I missed a jump, and got swallowed up, and finished 19th.

The road race was fun though, with nice climbs and fast twisty descents. I still can't believe I missed the group on the climb, but oh well... It is what it is. I need to get a lot better at jumping on wheels when people go. It's amazing how a split second delay in jumping or being in the wrong gear/cadence is the difference in 15 places in a race. Something to learn from. I won't be hanging up my fat tires and endurance legs anytime soon, but the road races are definitely an entertaining diversion.

1 Comment:

  1. Rachel said...
    That isn't you in a Bike Zoo kit is it??? What the?????

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