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  1. #1
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Challenge Challenge RR report

    Quote Originally Posted by grebletie View Post
    Eagerly awaiting race reports. Souls crushed? Bike and bone torn asunder?

    My own report. I slept in, ate some french toast, and went for a nice easy ride. Stopped for a Slurpee.

    I can only imagine Challenge was nothing like that.
    Only if someone was following you around jabbing hot knitting needles into your legs.

    Probably my hardest race ever. Had a great weekend prior, getting 4th in Saturday's roadrace and winning the 45's the next day, in a hard roadrace where we were combined with the 35's. While Pizza Man, EMC2, and Ex Postal showed they could ride away from the field, I managed to insert myself with three other 35's into the group chasing them which gave me a nice cushion over the rest of the 45's in the race, and worked me pretty hard.

    Late season, legs just never came around during the week, so I was not happy about the additional lap to our 45+ race.

    Challenge is one tough mother of a course. A long stretch of horrible pavement dodging water bottles, potholes, and a bunch of BMW motorcycles coming in the opposite direction (the sidecar was surprisingly wide, and fast). Follow this up with 3300 feet of some of the nastiest, hottest, and steep ***** climbs with zero flat in the last 10 miles. Stir in two blind, decreasing radius tight turns entered at speed, and top with an uphill finish. Give the sun and humidity a chance to build, then do it again for 66/6000 total.

    Finally garnish with a guy who did a 2:11 and won his class at Mt. Evans, the guy who won Mt. Diablo, the guy who has won half the climbing races this year, the guy who won Mt. Hamilton...

    This is Challenge. A tasty stew unless you are sitting in the crock pot.

    Attacks started 1/2 way into the first lap, our field was quickly down to 8, or nine as one courageous guy kept fighting back on. I could relate, on the hottest climb I kept getting popped off the group, so dizzy and overheated at one point (after trying to answer the winning attack on the last lap) that I nearly rode off the course. Twice. As I recall I got popped around 5 times total this race. Cowardice, in the form of dread at spending a moment on this course solo, kept me clawing my way back on.

    The solo attack stuck, I managed to get back on, and on the last bit of 12% stupidity our chase group fragmented.

    There were four of us coming up the finishing hill, with the leader around 15 seconds ahead. Two of the group were teammates, they tried to work us over but we hung, and in what could not under even the most liberal of imaginations be called a sprint, a drop of gas in the tank beat fumes, so I got third. The teammates got 4th and 5th.

    Sputtered to a stop, then melted into the hot pavement. That's it for the year for me.
    Last edited by Racer Ex; 09-02-07 at 10:08 AM.

  2. #2
    Burning Matches. ElJamoquio's Avatar
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    Good job on the race, and the race report.



    I wish my races were as difficult... OK, maybe 1/3 as difficult.
    Reacting is mind candy; it requires no thought. Thinking is tedious.

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  3. #3
    Aut Vincere Aut Mori Snuffleupagus's Avatar
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    Nice. The climbings hurt the legs.

    Who is the ex-postal rider?

    I need to ditch 10 kilos and maintain FTP to be a factor in big, hilly races...we'll see how that goes this winter.

  4. #4
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snuffleupagus View Post
    Nice. The climbings hurt the legs.

    Who is the ex-postal rider?
    Dylan Casey. Waiting on Pizza's report for this race, he was in a small but stacked 35+ race.

  5. #5
    Racing iS my Training Pizza Man's Avatar
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    Racer Ex,

    Good job yesterday. I just woke up after sleeping 11 hours. I guess that race and the heat really tired me out! Here's my report.

    Challenge Ė A race of attrition if ever there was one.

    2 laps of 33 miles and 3000+ feet of climbing/lap

    Before the start I had thrown around the idea of us all just riding together easy for the first lap and then racing the 2nd. They all thought I was kidding. EMC2 had the strongest team there and as soon as we hit the first climb their climber HC was up to his usual task of setting a very fast tempo which managed to shed several guys on the first climb.

    I was feeling good on the 2nd half climbs and went a front a bit to push the pace. After the first lap we were down to just 6, 5 of whom I knew real well and 1 guy I didnít. I drifted to the back of our small group and noticed that this guy who I didnít know had a corn cob cassette. I asked him if it was an 11-21. He told me it was a 12-21. Yikes, what the heck was this guy thinking, and how did he manage to last a whole lap with those gears. I was using every cog in my 11-26 and spending a lot of time in both the 11 and the 26!

    As we started the climbs on lap 2, HC again set the tempo for his teammate who had beat me last week and won 3 of his last 4 races. 12-21 was the first to pop, then HC peeled off as his teammate took control and really turned it up. By the top of the climb he had dropped all but me and DB from Sierra Nevada. The 3 of us sort of worked together until the climbs on the 2nd half of the lap started. I threw everything I had at them on every climb, hoping to at least drop 1 of them, but they were tough and kept the elastic from snapping. I tried one last time at the 1K to go mark, but that also failed so I just coasted until they both passed me and I was sitting 3rd wheel. I was getting real nervous as we passed 200M to go and was still waiting for 1 of them to go. At about 150 to go I fell back a few bike lengths, then started my sprint around the 2 of them. I got a little gap and really thought I had it, but with about 50M to go they both blew by me and I rolled in for 3rd.

    Man, do I ever need to work on my sprinting for next year!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Snicklefritz's Avatar
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    umm, what are the cat-o-meters for Racer Ex and Pizza Man now??

  7. #7
    NorCal Climbing Freak
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    Good job. Given the weather we have been having lately, I can only imagine it must've been difficult, even that early.

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