today was my 1st RR
38mi hilly out and back ride
40 guys in Cat 5
weather: pretty darn windy
Out: easy pace(but still moving) and hills were not too bad, I moved around from back to front and so on(much easier than I thought) I felt comfortable moving and riding in the pack which was one of my main concerns
@ the turnaround the pace picked up dramatically
I did not notice but I think a few ppl were lost during the rolling hills b/c inconsistant pace
about 28mi from the start home the large hill began and in the middle there is a flat section then it starts up again
the back of the pack got scattered and the front really accelerated when it flattened out.
I got dropped here cresting too late and too slow
Playing catch-up I cought 2 more guys that fell off the back later than me, we were reiling them in slowly, taking turns up front.
I tried to up the pace, and they followed me in the flats into a short decent where the last of the hill was
they were rested riding off me and I was pretty beat trying to hold a good pace
I slowly lost them up this hill.
Now I was all alone in the wind at the top w/ 8miles to go
Next four guys cought up to me after fighting the wind shortly after the hill.
They told me to grab their wheel and we rotated a pretty good paceline and were flying on the flats w/ a tailwind
one guy shouted "your too skinny there's no wheel to grab"
after recovering from the hills I pick up the pace in front and only one guy can keep it
we work together and creat a good gap, but he can't keep the pace I wanted out front so I then picked up the pace more and he fell behind now there were only 4 miles left, but I am all alone again
I create a good gap, but the course make a hard left straight into the wind.....arrggg this hurts now
with one 1.5mi left he catches me and rides on my wheel, so I slow till he takes over....but he now drops the pace and the other guys working together are bridging the gap
so I take the lead and finish the race ahead of the other guys, but he rides my wheel and gets the sprint by one bike length.
OutCome: not sure what place I got they only listed the top 20/40 I imagine I got somewhere between 35-30th
I was pretty pissed when I lost the pack, but I learned a lot and know what I need to work on (short periods of acceleration w/o killing myslef and CLIMBING)
Its a lot more strategy than I thought, and I realize I could have beat that last guy and if I was more aware of the changing tempo I would have done better even at the same physical level
also I need to really focus on not loosing a wheel and if I am say 8 feet behind accelerate and get to 1ft
When I am trying to bridge a gap I need to push it that little harder and get up close to a wheel not, assume I will slowly bridge it when I am 5-10 feet away.
WOW I wrote a lot hope your eyes don't hurt
Its was a GREAT experience and I can't wait for my next race