Setting: ~37km road race, 4 laps, lots of corners, extremely exposed course on the coast around the airport
Weather: 65F, 15-25mph north winds (yee haw, did I mention the course was completely exposed to these winds?).
Players: Good amount of riders from my club, good amount of riders from another local club called Hiroshige. Team Giant Japan Kyushu MTB champion. Associated Americans, all triathletes from their own admission. The rest a mix of solo riders from teams around the Yamaguchi/Hiroshima prefectures.
Set-up: 1st lap, we drop all but about 10 riders. Simple fact: if you get gapped with 15mph headwinds, you're probably not closing that gap. All the American triathletes got dropped before the first half of the first lap was complete.
By the end of the 1st lap, Team Giant rider was off the front. Me and two other riders were in the gap about 5 seconds back, group of 6-7 chasing us. Everyone else - splattered in the wind. Midway through the 2nd lap, one of the riders and I attacked and stayed off the front for a short period trying to close the gap to the Team Giant guy. Unfortunately, by this point Team Giant rider had gotten into the slip stream of the lead truck (base military police) and commenced to motor pace the rest of the race.
Midway through lap 2, I did everything I could to convince my two breakaway companions to rotate INTO the wind, instead of the poor schmuk getting ready to take the front getting huge head/crosswinds. I even pulled off the front and motioned. Hand signals, everything. No luck. They were stuck on the routine of pulling off toward the shoulder of the road and they weren't changing, wind be damned. So, I let them have it and dropped back to see if I could bring up the two riders about 10 seconds back from us to make us a group of five.
I let the two guys in back of me catch up and started working with them to close the gap. You could tell they were struggling, but I figured if I could get them up to the other two we could get some work done. It took a lap and by the midway of the third lap, we'd caught them. These four guys would not rotate through evenly at all. It was an extremely bizarre paceline and by the end of lap 3 we were 30-40 seconds down from the lead guy (who was still motorpacing). Rolled into lap 4 and it became strategy for "2nd" place. A bunch of soft pedaling and crap racing. I had no desire to go for it into the massive headwind, so I just sat in and played the cards on the sprint - which I was almost guaranteed to lose with two keirin racers in our group.
At the end of the day, I placed 5th (couldn't catch the keirin guys or shake the guy on my wheel that pulled around me with 50 m to go, and the 5th of our group was blown already).
3 other "groups" came through in bunches, but everyone else pretty much got a 45 minute TT in the wind. I mentioned something to the organizer about the motorpacing guy, but since the race doesn't count for anything and I hadn't really planned on winning, I just mentioned it and went on my way. The base police vehicle guy is an idiot obviously, but he "wasn't going to speed" to get the guy off his bumper, so he said.
Whatever... I did another 90 km of riding when we finished up and got some "mental relaxation" out of the day.
Power file, totally unmarked up: http://www.cycleiwakuni.com/blog/fil...om10272007.wko
Oh yeah.. today topped off 1160 TSS this week, 21 hrs and 675 km. So... there was a little fatigue going in. That made the wind that much more pleasant.