This was the opening race for the start of the Tuesday night series. It's run on a 1.9mi flat-as-a-pancake loop (Portland International Raceway), finishing with a decreasing-radius turn and a straight with a crack in the middle, wide enough to trap a 23c tire. 4/5's ride 6 laps in the beginning of the series; about 30 minutes total, averaging about 22mph. The weather was decent: 60 degrees, light wind, overcast.
After my last race, when I got completely shelled on the first lap, I decided to re-evaluate my training plan. So I took a few races off my schedule, adjusted my workouts to address my weaknesses, and resolved to make a good showing at the PIR races. Work today was extra stressful, leaving me jittery and questioning myself again. As I drove to the race, the rain that we were supposed to have yesterday started coming down. It wasn't bad, but it was enough to make for a cold ride. I thought about it and accepted the two truths: it rains in Oregon, and since there's a bye next week, that would be one more week of me agonizing for not stepping up.
So I got to the track, put my gear on, checked the air in my tires, and started my warmup. Getting my heart rate up helped calm my nerves, as well as the casual chatting that goes along with warming up. After that, I was able to settle into my normal routine. I've done races in this series enough, it should be routine by now. The rain let up by the time everyone was lining up, thankfully.
The first lap started off easy enough. There were some jumpy riders at the beginning that took us into the second lap. It was obvious this was still an early race, from the way everyone was taking it. I chatted with some of the guys I haven't seen for a while, sized up which riders to look for in the final laps, and kept cranking behind the wheel in front of me. The third lap started with an attack. I was sitting in the front of the pack, so I grabbed a wheel and jumped into the break. We had a small gap on the pack coming into the last corner, but the guy on the front ended up getting hung out too long and we got caught. The fifth lap was filled with attacks and counters and one failed flyer. We came around for the bell, and everyone took off. The pack shuffled around while I looked for a line around the outside. I finally found a guy that I thought would be a strong rider, tucked in behind a paceline moving up the outside. We started around the final decreasing-radius turn, spinning to the outside as everyone started their sprints. I followed my guy down the straight, looking over his shoulder to see if he was petering out. Sure enough, about halfway down the straight, he started to drop off. I took my chance and went for it, about 400 meters out. Unfortunately, the train moving up the right side had a better engine, and the guy behind me pulled around.
I sat up, accepting my pack finish. It was a good start for the series; everyone else seemed to agree. I'm pleased with my attempt. Maybe next time, I'll pick a better wheel for my lead out.
Nice job yonderboy, I went last night and did the 3/4 race. Spent most of the time sprinting off the front to see if I could make something happen, and to get in my interval work out for the week . What made last night so nice was the lack of any severe headwind that is usually out there. Our race went 13 laps (@26 miles) averaging 25.3mph.
Legs feel pretty shot today after Piece of Cake on Sunday and last nights effort.
Bigsky, Racing with Portland Velo this year. Deanoldo, nice job at POC!, I saw gonesh9 and Dabbo at PIR last night and Dabbo won the CAT 5 race I think.
I was looking around for you at POC, but I think your race was in the afternoon. I really wanted to go last night, but my hamstrings were a little tweaked from Sunday and I didn't want to risk tearing anything. It sounds like I should see some familiar faces on the 17th. Now I know to stay on Dabbo's wheel...
Hmm, I didn't see gonesh's red Cervelo in the pack. There was a junior on Finnegan's that had a grey Cervelo that was doing a nice job at the front. He finished 8th, I think. The results aren't up on OBRA's page yet, but someone from Splash Pools took the 4/5 race.
fishmel, I'll have to keep an eye out for you on the Saturday rides from Longbottom's. I'll probably jump into the 3/4 race next time, now that I remembered how to race. It was a long winter.
Hey yonderboy, nice report.
Funny how things looks different from rider to rider.
Was a good race for me, I think we were all 5's and my average said 24, gonesh pulled for almost half of the race, he rides a cinelli, orange, last lap was not too hectic and on the last turn I got the best lead out ever, could not help myself.....can't climb so at list I try to sprint.
Also funny how things are different after a short year, last year was my first road riding and my first PIR was intense, last night I hardly broke a sweat. I guess too much wheel sucking.
See you in 2 weeks.
PS: Who is coming to the Flanders ride Portland style on Saturday? Details at the NW forum....
surly crosscheck, yeti 575, salsa moto rapido, kona ute
Yeah great job Dabbo! PIR was a lot of fun, but certainly not my type of race as I'm not a sprinter, and the last stretch was really the whole race. I guess I'll have to work on my sprinting and probably wouldn't be a bad idea to get on Dabbo's wheel next time