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  1. #1
    El Diablo 2Rodies's Avatar
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    Ft Davis Texas Stage Race Report

    Man what a weekend. Here's the good the bad and the ugly:

    So we left around noon on Thursday, wife, kids and Sean Dean who's one of our Cat 3's. We were supposed to leave early but I still had to get my car aligned which really put a ton of stress on the whole situation. By the time we picked up Sean it was close to lunch so we decided to stop in Dripping Springs (just outside of Austin) and eat lunch. While we were eating the sky's just opened up and it poured rain in biblical proportions for basically the whole drive out.

    After lunch we walk out and I noticed that Sean's front wheel is missing. We could see the car the whole time during lunch so it must have fallen off the wheel fork on my racks. I put it on so I now have to buy him a new front wheel. The car was so packed that we didn't have room for his spare wheels. Then about 60 miles from Ft Davis Sean's bike falls of the racks and is only saved by the rear wheel strap. His bike is OK except it bent a spoke on his wheel and he can't use it. On Friday he road my training wheels, Campy works just fine on DA! We spent the evening calling around and Seth (my teammate and fellow mt goat) had a pair of Shimano wheels (CXP 33's not exactly the nice Kyserums SL's he was supposed to use) for him to race on. OK that was the ugly.

    The good and the bad are kinda mixed together. First my TT:

    There was a pretty hefty head wind going out and I saw Craig Virr (ex jr national TT champion) at the start and he told me not to go out too hard because it was easy to blow. So I kept my RPM's in the 95-110 range and my HR around 150 on the way out. I caught my minute man pretty within the first 5min so I thought I was doing pretty well. On the way back with the tail wind I was flying. My computer had me at around 44min but I crossed the line at 45.57! I was in 12 place but I was pretty disappointed by my time and the fact that Jason Farrar, another one of my teammates beat me by 1.13. Again I was hoping for a top ten but I was confident I would make it up Sat afternoons RR/Hillclimb. I was a long way out of first as the cat 5 TT winner did a 41 flat, which would have put him in the top 15 in the cat 3 field.

    Sat 16 mile RR/Hill climb

    I felt good, I took a short nap and warmed up well. I got to start line and told myself that this was my race and nobody was going to beat me. The attacks started from the get go. I was mid pack and couldn't find a way through so I slid to the right side of the road and got to the front. This turned out to be my undoing as I punctured within the first mile. I later learned from the guys who have done this race before that the far right side of the road is full of stickers. It took me 3 minutes to get a new wheel and start rolling again. Now that was bad, here's the good. I didn't give up. I put my head down and drilled it for 1 hour straight. My ave hr for that hour 152 (zone 5a for me is 153). I didn't catch the tail end of the 5's field until the base of the climb. Over the next 6 miles I passed 27 riders and got back 30 sec on Jason. Finished stage 2 in 20th place and 18th on GC. Now if you subtract my 3 min for the wheel change I would have finished in the top 5. I think I could have podium stage 2 because just subtracting the 3 minutes doesn't take into account the energy I wasted just getting back on to the bunch. As bummed as I was about the puncture I was very happy about my mental toughness. The guy in the wheel truck walked up to me on after the stage and said that was hell of climb I put in. He said I didn't think I'd be seeing you up here so soon! Seth finished in 6th and was 6th in GC. Next year that stage is mine!

    So now onto stage 3:

    I wanted to stay with the leaders and make up some time. I figured I could get into the top 10 today if rode up front and stayed with Seth and the GC leader. Just before the base of the climb I got on the front to set Seth up and we hit the base of the first climb. The GC leader went with us but within the first 500meters I knew my legs were shot. My hr was in the 160's and I just didn't have it. I slid back and the majority of the field passed me. I slowed down and got my stuff together and slowly started to pick guys off. We had a huge descent right before the turn around and must have passed 5 riders on the way down which now put my into the top 15. I actually had a harder time on the way back on the rollers than I did on the longer climbs. On the final descent Drew (another teammate) and I caught a couple more guys and we paced in together. I finished stage 3 in 13th place which made me feel pretty good considering that at the start of the climb I slide back to the mid 40's.

    I made up a couple of spots on GC today, jumped from 18th to 12th. If you take out the 3 min I lost on Sat I would be comfortably in the top 10. Even though the final GC doesn't reflect it I'm very happy with my performance this weekend. BTW the 35+ 4/5 field started 10 min ahead of us this morning and passed 95% of them...bodes well for next year!

    This is really an incredible race. The organizers and the locals were just great. They have this race down and everything went off with out a hitch. The results were fast and accurate (maybe my TT time was off a bit ) the racing was tough and scenery was beautiful. If any of you in the South West can make it out next year I really recommend doing this one!
    Last edited by 2Rodies; 04-27-06 at 11:25 AM.

  2. #2
    RIDING CLEAN! Veloduo's Avatar
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    Sounds like a dog of a weekend. But no blood, and the whole teammate/bike/wheel disaster coulda been much worse. I was gonna jack with you about the Barber, but I don't have the heart now...
    Click...zzzzzzzzzzzzzz. "Mao!"

  3. #3
    El Diablo 2Rodies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Veloduo
    Sounds like a dog of a weekend. But no blood, and the whole teammate/bike/wheel disaster coulda been much worse. I was gonna jack with you about the Barber, but I don't have the heart now...

    Bring it on....I can take it!!!! Hey are you doing the 'Bash'? I might be there, I'll even buy you a beer!

  4. #4
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    A number of my teammates were there and actually did quite well. I couldn't make it because of work requirements Loved your story, it is a great synopsis of how addicted (crazy) we are to racing. It says a lot about you as an individual as well. Who else would go through such great lengths and even pay money to be in such pain!

  5. #5
    RIDING CLEAN! Veloduo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2Rodies
    Bring it on....I can take it!!!! Hey are you doing the 'Bash'? I might be there, I'll even buy you a beer!
    Have to keep the day open because my daughter will likely have a playoff game Fri or Sat (high school softball), and I'm taking my guitar-loving son to see Leo Kottke at the Paramount Sat nite. We will hook up at one of these events and knock back a couple. Sounds like you rode strong. Good deal.
    Click...zzzzzzzzzzzzzz. "Mao!"

  6. #6
    El Diablo 2Rodies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LapDog
    A number of my teammates were there and actually did quite well. I couldn't make it because of work requirements Loved your story, it is a great synopsis of how addicted (crazy) we are to racing. It says a lot about you as an individual as well. Who else would go through such great lengths and even pay money to be in such pain!
    Thanks, my coach has been telling me for a year now that my problem isn't in my legs but in my head. I think I might have finally got the head thing staightend out. I know that 6 months ago I would have quit or just cruised into the finish feeling sorry for myself. I don't know what would have happened if I hadn't caught the tailenders at the base of the climb though, I was starting blow up about then. Once I started to pass some guys, several of them were beat me in the TT, I got a second wind and dug really deep.

    Lapdog what team do you ride for?

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    Tbi

  8. #8
    Senior Member zimbo's Avatar
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    Great report! What were the distances and ascent of the three stages? (just curious because it sounds like a really fun event)

    --Steve

  9. #9
    El Diablo 2Rodies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zimbo
    Great report! What were the distances and ascent of the three stages? (just curious because it sounds like a really fun event)

    --Steve
    It is an AWESOME event, from top to bottom the best race in Texas, and we have a lot of races.

    Stage 1 TT 16miles. 2-3% ave grade on the way out into a pretty stiff headwind.

    Stage 2 RR/Hillclimb 16miles ave grade in the first 10 miles 2-3% ave grade in the last 6 miles 10-12% (last .5 miles 17%)

    Stage 3 RR 35 miles first climb is 6-8% grade then about 10miles of rollers, big descent to the turn around, then we climb back out of the valley 2 miles climb ave grade 8%. Rollers to the descent to the finish. finish is slighty up hill 500m.

    Next year I'll do it as 45+master and stage 3 will be 74 miles with a lot more climbs.

  10. #10
    Senior Member zimbo's Avatar
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    That sounds *really* fun. I'm jealous.

    --Steve

  11. #11
    El Diablo 2Rodies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zimbo
    That sounds *really* fun. I'm jealous.

    --Steve
    Man is was sooooo much fun. This felt like a 'real' race. None of this going around and around the same circuit a bunch of times. I really loved the climbs, being able to race up a climb for an hour was really cool. Even though I lost time in TT and of course the flat I was able to ride myself back into the top 15 with some solid climbing. My next stage race, the Tour of Columbus (tx), really doesn't give you a chance to make up much time. It's got a relatively flat RR, a short flat TT, then a crit. If you have a bad RR, for example if I lose 3 min with a flat in this race it's pretty much over.

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