Instead of starting a new race report thread, I am just going to keep posting to this same thread so that my reports stay linked to the pre-season training posts. That way, there will actually be an "answer" to the questions posed in the initial "training during extended travel" post.
Ravensdale Ė Cumberland Road Race (10 May 2008)
Menís Cat 5, 62-mile road race through farmland about 45 minutes south-east of Seattle. Rolling course (2,300í total climb), but no sustained climbs. Field size was about 45 riders. Finished with lead group, but near back, maybe 12th or 13th. I had absolutely no gas to sprint on the 400m climb to the finish and lost a lot of ground. Finished in 2:44:19, with an average speed of 22.5 mph.
Since this was my first road race, my main goal was simply to finish with the main group. Just on that score, this was a success. I did not get dropped or even feel close to getting dropped. This was a big worry Ė since I havenít been riding with a team, I really didnít know for sure whether I was at the same level as other people in a real race. I think Iíll feel more confident being more aggressive next time out.
Regarding the training level, I was pretty happy except for the finish. I think this is still a result of my late-peak training schedule Ė that same lack of ďtop end speed.Ē Hopefully this will improve over the season. Frustrating to go into the final stretch in good position and then watch 7 or 8 people slide by you. Because it was uphill, it all seems to happen in slow motionÖ In addition, I had a bit of trouble with the gearing (there was 100 meters of 5% about 400 meters before the finish), should have dropped into the lower ring; instead, I ended up mashing my way up to the 200m mark and felt pooped out even before starting to sprint
I rubbed handlebars - hard - with a guy in a turn. We didnít panic, nothing happened. He apologized, and I was even cool enough to remember to say ďeh, rubbiní is raciní,Ē the way Iíve learned it here on BF.
On breakaways: Iím not sure if it was a cat 5 thing or just the course, but in the whole day, nobody got more than about 50 yards OTF before being chased down. It didnít help that because of the rollers, every time somebody busted a gap, there would be a downhill that would accelerate the pack back up. But it also seemed like people werenít committing that hard to trying to get away. I realized that probably everybody else is doing the same thing Iím doing Ė trying to see what this is like, not wanting to overextend themselves. Oh yeah, weíre all cat 5s and NONE of us really knows what weíre doing.
OTOH, maybe a ďbreakĒ wasnít really necessary. About 1:45 into the race, I drifted back to my typical spot, about 15 riders back, checked my six, and realized that there was nothing behind me but the follow car. There must have been a fairly constant hemorrhage of riders dropping OTB when I wasnít watchingÖ