As you guys can see from Zimbo's post - the 4/5 race at the Wake County Speedway today was pretty crash heavy. The race was neutralized and restarted three times due to crashes. There were a lot of broken bike parts, and one guy dislocated his shouler. I stayed near the front, and luckily stayed out of all the crashes. A team mate wasn't so lucky. No physical damage, but his bike was worse for wear.
By the time the field restarted the third time I had the kind of "oh gawd I don't wanna friggin' die" butterflies I've only had while tossing my stupid butt out of a perfectly good airplane. There was only about 10 minutes left in the race at that time, and I didn't want to work a field sprint (my strength) with some of the guys in that field. Earlier, I had tried a solo bridge up to a 2 man break, but fell short - and when I felt an impending bonk after about 10 minutes of solo suffering sat up and got back into the field. Unfortunately the two guys ended up lapping the field. That said though, I still had some good gas left in the tank, and when it got to two laps left to go I attacked hard, but two guys came by with about 100 meters left, and I got 3rd out of the field, and 5th overall. Two upgrade points, and another top ten in the bank.
After the first race I was a little tired, and when I went back to my car to down a powerbar, I got halfway through it before my gut decided to rebel and banish its chocolatey contents. Whoopie. Chicks dig sweaty guys throwing up while wearing spandex. I drank some fluids and got back on the track to keep the legs warm for the 3/4 race.
The 3/4 field was a little smaller, due mostly to the cold, windy weather I imagine. The race started out fairly fast, and I was starting to have my calves cramp up pretty badly. I decided to stop trying to cover breaks, as I was afraid I'd cramp hard and have to drop from the race. Of course, when I decide to do that, 4 guys lap the field The wind was picking up, and I wasn't feeling strong for a sprint - trying to manage the cramping was getting hard.
Then came the hardest 8 minutes of the year...when I saw a guy launch off the front with about 8 minutes left to go, I decided to use my other strong system - 5ish minute power. I attacked, and held it. I didn't catch the other rider, but at the same time I was able to stay off the front of the field for those 8 minutes. It really, really helped to have people cheering for me - it would have been so much easier to sit up - it wouldn't have hurt so bad - but damnit, I wanted it. I rolled across the line alone with a shake of the fist, and 6th place One upgrade point, and another top ten.
So, to recap this year's races:
27JAN: 6th place 4/5, 7th place 3/4
3FEB: 5th place 4/5, 6th place 3/4
Last season I did 18 CAT-4 races with only two top tens, and no points. I'd say the thousands of miles I've laid down during winter's training has paid off Now, hi-ho, hi-ho it's off to surgery I go. I will, will get up to CAT-3 by July. I'm 4 top tens or 16 points away.
And for the power geeks:
249 watts avg, 313 normalized. These numbers are screwed up, as the field kept getting neutralized.
1018 watts max - an 800 meter finishing effort will do that
300 watts avg, 318 normalized
996 watts max - who needs to sprint when you're soloing off the front...
8 minute solo finish 351 watts avg, 355 normalized.
New 20 minute power high set @ 311 watts avg, 325 normalized.