Very Long. See summary at the bottom.
Saturday: TTT and ITT
I just finished building up my new TT bike on Wednesday, so I only had 2 days to dial in my position. Saturday was the first real test.
Our A's team time trial consisted of me, another climber, and two time trial animals. My goal for the day was to take a few quality pulls and hang on for dear life. The course was a rolling 22.5K, with about 350 feet of climbing on the way out. I spent most of the way out taking 20 second pulls at 330-350 watts. I felt fine until a large roller about 2K from the turn around.
I ended a pull right at the base of a small hill and just died. I was ready to fall off the back until I saw that my teammate had popped off about 20 seconds earlier. That left the two TT animals and myself with 12K to go. It took about 5 minutes of suffering and skipping pulls before I could make myself useful again. I contributed some shorter pulls on the way back and we ended up with a respectable time of 30:35. That was good enough for 3rd, a minute back from Stanford and 30 seconds back from Cal.
After resting for a few hours, it was time for the ITT. Hopped on the trainer and the legs felt like bags of cement….not a good sign. On this course I usually try for 285 watts until I hit the hill, power up the hill at about 350 watts, recover a little until the turn around, then kill it at about 290-295 watts the whole way back. That’s what I would have liked to have done. What I didn’t realize was how little power I can actually produce in my new, far more aggressive TT position. The combination of the new position, racing twice, and being slightly sick meant I only managed 256 watts for the race.
That being said, I crossed the line at 32:54. That was over 2 minutes fast than my previous best from last year! I ended up 2nd in the B’s behind my teammate Alex. I guess my TT position is pretty aggressive, but very aero.
Sunday: Road Race
The UCLA road race is the hardest collegiate road race of the year. It’s a 13 mile loop with 1500 feet of climbing per lap. It’s a modified, harder version of Devil’s Punchbowl. We did 4 laps. About 25 riders showed up for the B’s, a disappointing turnout compared to last year.
Having just gone one/two the previous day Alex and I were marked men in the peloton. We took the two laps fairly easy, but still managed to whittle the field down to 13. The 3rd time we hit the hill UC Irvine, Cal, Alex and I hit the front and drilled it. The remainder of the field exploded and we were down to 6. Stanford and CPSLO dropped off on the climb but clawed there way back after the decent.
On the last time up the hill we drilled it again from the bottom and made the final selection. Alex ended up 50 yards up the road with Irvine chasing and myself sucking his wheel doing zero work. We caught Alex with about a mile of climbing left. Any time Irvine would go to the front one of us would attack and force him to drag us back. Unfortunately I got burned and started to loose contact but dragged myself back on. We worked together down the decent and the false flat at the bottom. About 2 miles from the finish Irvine took a pull and Alex attacked. Irvine decided he wasn’t going to catch him by himself so he gave up the chase. I was pretty much toast at that point and when we got to the hill Irvine rode me off his wheel pretty easily and I cruised in for 3rd. Stanford came in solo over a minute behind.
TTT: Hung on for dear life, 3rd place in the A’s.
ITT: New TT bike, no power, still got 2nd.
Road Race: Hard race, 3 man breakaway, teammate won, I got 3rd.
Next race: Pine Flat