Today was a good day.
I didn't realize just how much I'd had my confidence shaken by my last race 2 weeks ago. Suddenly I was questioning my fitness, my tactics, my bike handling, you name it. So today's race was a big chance to get back on track, and I did it. Today's race is an hour around a 1.1 mile loop with 3 90's, a long descent, and a big-ring climb up to the finish.
I warmed up smarter than my last race. I took a couple quick laps around the course at a recovery pace, then kept my warmup on the trainer to control it a bit better. Also, after being one of the last guys to the line at the last race, I was determined not to let that happen again. I lined up in the front row this time...
Right off the line, one of my teammates attacked. Convenient, because I fumbled around with my clip-in and lost some ground. There was a good amount of attacking, but they all got reeled in. With about 10 laps to go, the good stuff starts happening.
Good thing #1: The most viable break I've ever been a part of. I see a guy off the front taking a solo flyer, and take advantage of the post-climb resting and a little momentum through turn 1 to attack the pack. I fly around turn 2 and catch the solo flyer on the descent. I look back and hell, we've actually got a decent gap! So I keep on truckin' trying to get the break to stick. We put a little more time into the pack, but keeping the speed up with a 2-man break up the climb was tough. By the 3rd time up the hill, the pack is fighting for a prime, we're both ready to blow up, and we're caught.
Good thing #2: Enduring the pain. After I got caught, I was in PAIN. I kinda let myself drift to the back of the pack and think "hmm... I'll recover here for a little while." Then I realize I'm having trouble even staying ON the back. Come on, Pete, stay on it. A little pain now saves a lot more than going OTB. So I spend a couple laps with my inner voice screaming at me to hang on, and by the 3rd trip down the descent I got my legs back.
Good thing #3: I managed to work my way back up the pack in the last 5 laps to take a run at the sprint. I didn't do a fantastic job keeping my position on the descent and into turn 3, so I actually ended up in 30th-40th at the base of the climb. I managed to drop the hammer and pick a decent line to finish 19th out of 100 starters and 63 finishers.
All in all, a good day, and most of all I got some good experience in the break, digging deep to get recovered, and staying reasonably competitive to the finish. Time to go look at the Powertap file... Only bummer is that my PT went to sleep at the start line and I didn't notice it till 2-3 laps into the race... Oh well.
Also, great to meet rapidcarbon and MDcatV out there--MDcatV's team put on a great show in the 3's race...
Here's the lowdown from the PT for the race (minus 2 laps)...
Time: 55:17 (again, missing a couple laps)
Average Power: 225 Max: 1212
Normalized power 317W, IF 1.053 (Might be time for another round of testing...)