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Old 01-27-07, 02:54 PM   #1
zimbo
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Race Report: Wake County Speedway #1

Today was my first race of the 2007 season and my 4th race overall. The Class C race (Cat 4s and 5s) was 40 minutes long and was comprised of about 50 riders. The course is a 1/4 mile oval speedway which, depending on your perspective, makes for either a very boring or a very exciting race. It's the kind of course that has the words "field sprint" written all over it.

I'm not much of a sprinter and haven't done ANY L6 work to speak of yet this year so my goals for this race were simply to (a) improve my pack handling skills, (b) work to stay near the front with minimal effort, and (c) keep the rubber side down.

I wish there were lots of juicy blow-by-blow details or anecdotal observations I could make but there's not much to say about the race itself other than that it was typified by unsteady effort. It was basically the opposite of a time trial: lots and lots of L6 efforts followed by L1 recovery. The attached graph shows what I mean. Next week I'd like to focus on being more steady and less panicky when bridging distance to the rider in front of me. If I do, I think I can take better advantage of my aerobic power (my strong suit, IMO) and save my anaerobic matches until the last few minutes.

I thought I did a decent job of staying near the front but with a few laps to go I somehow found myself on the inside behind a few guys who slowed down. It took me a while to work myself wide and when I finally did, all that was left was the hope of gaining a bit of ground in those last couple of frantic laps. I made up some spots but ended up finishing 11th as a couple of guys who were smarter about timing their sprint sneaked in by me right at the end. Next week, I'll to try to stay more toward the outside (but still in the slipstream) as the laps count down and try to go balls to the wall for the last 4-5 minutes and just see what happens.

It was really cool to meet Snuffleupagus from the forum. He's a solid racer and seemed to do a great job of staying up in the top 10 spots during the entire race. I'll let him give his own race report if he wants but if I'm not mistaken, he actually won the $20 Prime for the race and ended up contesting the sprint, finishing 7th. He also did the 3/4 race which I'm really curious to hear about because there were actually three guys who did an awesome job of working together on a break right from the get-go. They actually lapped the field in 10 minutes. I had to leave after that so I have no idea what happened.

Here are the stats for the ride:

Duration: 40:24
Ave Power: 259 watts
Norm Power: 288 watts
Max Power: 1095 watts
Ave Speed: 24.8 mph
Max Speed: 32 mph
Time not pedaling: 13%

--Steve
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File Type: jpg PowerBins.jpg (30.2 KB, 17 views)

Last edited by zimbo; 01-27-07 at 03:00 PM.
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Old 01-27-07, 04:39 PM   #2
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Hey there man, good to meet you up at the race!

You pretty well covered the first race, it was a good time - although the shorter sprint window after the final turn cut me a little short (I like to sprint from ~200 meters and take a little while to wind up to peak power). Oh, and on Wednesday my orthopaedic surgeon did several pivot-shift tests on my left knee, so I was/am in a bit of a hurt locker. I still ended up pulling 7th in both races, so I was out of points - but still good to go for a top 10 upgrade, which is looking like the route I'm going to take as I only need 6 more top 10s to upgrade

During the first race I figured I'd try to work a break, as I was feeling pretty okay - it didn't happen, and I spent a loooong time up front spending my energy for what turned out to be moot - but meh, it's good training I sat in after that, and just tried to stay up front for the rest of the race, which worked out well. You did very well for it being only your 4th race too, I'll have to watch out for you this summer

The second race was stinkin' carnage. I had to remove my chamois pad from my rear end a few times. There were three crashes in turn one. Granted it was a sketchy corner that I slid my rear tire through a couple times, but it was just getting silly there. I'm very happy with my crash avoidance. After eating it hard back in May of 06, I think I've learned through the elegant pain of facial stitches that it's best to look away from the crash and avoid it, rather than to focus on it, and become part of it

Let me also say this this is the second time that Dura-Ace brakes have paid for themselves!!!! they stop so much better than the piece of crap Tektro units I was running before that I can't ever imagine going back. I nearly hit a truck about a month or two ago, and they saved my butt then. Again today, when about 4-5 guys piled up in front of me in turn one I was able to hammer the brakes, avoid the crash although I did have to stop completely, and then I bridged back up to the pack with another rider. I also threw up in my mouth a little at that point...seriously. The pack sped up after the crash, and the effort of briding to a ~28mph peloton from a complete stop when I was already sorta tired made a little oatmeal and red bull pay a second visit to my mouth After that I just sat in, and placed 7th again (what are the odds eh?) in the sprint.

Power data:
Race 1 (CAT 4/5):
40 Minutes
281 Watts Avg
324 Watts Normalized
1276 Max Watts
24.8 Mph Avg
176 BPM Avg (don't know how accurate this is...everyone runs HRMs)
108 Avg Cadence

Result: 7th/38

Race 2 (CAT 3/4):
50 Minutes
284 Watts Avg
313 Watts Normalized
1139 Max Watts
26 Mph Avg
170 BPM Avg
105 Avg Cadence

Result: 7th/46

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to put some ice on my knee

Last edited by Snuffleupagus; 01-27-07 at 04:48 PM.
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Old 01-27-07, 05:10 PM   #3
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Also, it's probably because I'm a dork who spends too much time on bikeforums, but I thought it was cool/funny that the gear we were racing on was obviously influenced by this site

Steve was riding a Motobecane, and I had a stripped Reynolds Alta Race on the front of my bike. Noone else at the race had those specific components that I saw, but I'd wager that more than a few of the roadie forum regulars here have 'em
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Old 01-27-07, 05:16 PM   #4
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Wow, congrats on doing so well in the second race. Considering that three guys lapped the field in the first 10 minutes (that was freaking amazing to watch, btw), finishing 7th in that B race is a great result. It's interesting that your watts are about the same but the speed is higher. More sitting in, I guess.

If you want to try to work together on a all-or-nothing-style breakaway next Saturday, just let me know. I need to do something that will cater more to my L4/L5 abilities rather than that L6 stuff. I'm trying to figure out what speed we'd need to go to stay away from the field and if it can be done with 2 guys.

--Steve
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Old 01-27-07, 05:27 PM   #5
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It's worth a shot As for what speed. To quote spaceballs "Ludicrous Speed" or a lazy field. Seriously though, 27ish mph might be enough...after an intial attack of 29 or so.
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Old 01-27-07, 09:13 PM   #6
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How fast was the 3/4 field going during the first 10 minutes of the race? Were they just being lazy or were those three guys in the break simply WAY stronger than everyone else?

--Steve
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Old 01-27-07, 09:33 PM   #7
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26.2mph was what we averaged for the first 10 minutes. The guys were riding well, and the field wasn't in the mood to organize a chase. Or at least I know I wasn't after the first race

Also got a little picture that one of the folks I went up there with took
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Old 01-27-07, 09:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snuffleupagus
26.2mph was what we averaged for the first 10 minutes.
So if the track is 1/4 mile and it took 10 minutes to lap the field then that means the breakaway was averaging 27.7mph for those 10 minutes.

Nice picture, BTW.

--Steve
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Old 01-28-07, 02:59 PM   #9
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I was actually out there also, a little hung over from the night before but I think I finished in the top 20 or so.

This was actually my first road race, and pretty fun. I got a little confused between 1 lap to go and this is the last lap sprint stupid, oh well next weekend.

If you guys feel like it come up and say hi, look for a black sheep cycles jersey.

anybody see that tarheels rider almost take down a couple other racers?
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Old 01-28-07, 03:14 PM   #10
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There were several potentially confusing things about the 4/5 race. The announcer said it was going to be 30 minutes when it was reported as being 40 minutes. He later corrected himself but only after a few people started murmuring loudly.

The other thing was that I could have sworn they rang a bell with 10 laps to go. I'm not an experienced racer but I thought the bell lap was the last lap. I knew from my cyclometer that we still had time left so I didn't sprint but I thought there were a few people who got confused by this.

I'll say hi next week if I see you.

--Steve
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Old 01-28-07, 03:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snuffleupagus
26.2mph was what we averaged for the first 10 minutes. The guys were riding well, and the field wasn't in the mood to organize a chase. Or at least I know I wasn't after the first race

Also got a little picture that one of the folks I went up there with took
is that you in the usps clone bibs?
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Old 01-28-07, 04:33 PM   #12
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great job, and thanks for sharing. Ive got a couple of weeks before my first RR(of the season i should add). Im already nervous
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Old 01-28-07, 05:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botto
is that you in the usps clone bibs?
Yeppers, beats the heck out of Polish Postal Service clone bibs
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Old 01-29-07, 01:13 PM   #14
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What did I say about tactics? Breaks never make it in the Cs, but do in the Bs if they've got good team support. Who was in the B break? FSC? There're also a few big motors to watch, like Dan Williams, Brian Attis, Derek Powers etc.

Congrats on what sound like good races. Man, this weekend it was 14 freakin' degress in Ohio. I miss NC.

zimbo: a lot of the ACE C races ended up being less 200m sprints from a pack than a sort of 2 lap drag race that strings everything out. You can try taking the outside line so as to avoid being boxed in, but there's also a penalty there. With an oval track, every foot you're further from the wall is 6 feet more per lap you need to travel. In the Cs the pack is usually pretty narrow, but in the B sprints it may be as much as 4-5 bikes wide. At that point, you've got some ground to make up. I had better luck trying to pick a good wheel, someone I knew was either strong enough or had the team support to be upfront at the finish.
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Old 01-29-07, 01:32 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zimbo
The other thing was that I could have sworn they rang a bell with 10 laps to go. I'm not an experienced racer but I thought the bell lap was the last lap. I knew from my cyclometer that we still had time left so I didn't sprint but I thought there were a few people who got confused by this.

.

--Steve

Was there a prime on the lap?
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Old 01-29-07, 01:34 PM   #16
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From my vantage point (admittedly a spectator) the difference between the B race and the C race is that when those three guys got off the front they worked a paceline together beautifully and effectively. That's not what happened in the C race. Someone (myself included) would bridge up to the break and then just sit on until the guy in front gave up.

I'm looking forward to the ACE races so I can trying a bunch of different tactics. For Saturday, I think I'll try one of two things: (1) sit in near the back until the last 6 or 7 laps and then go balls out for 5 minutes or (2) wait until the initial flurry of power subsides and then try to make a break with a couple of guys who want to work together for 10 minutes or so and try to lap the field.

I don't care about upgrade points so there's really nothing to lose.

--Steve
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Old 01-29-07, 01:35 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
Was there a prime on the lap?
Nope.

--Steve
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