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Old 04-27-08, 05:39 PM   #1
ldesfor1@ithaca
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New England: Palmer/Sturbridge reports:

I rode men's 4's both days, to begin. ok here goes:

Saturday:
Sturbridge RR. 8:30 am. 35 miles. 500ft climb X3. 50-60 degrees and sunny. 70-80 riders.

pretty boring race, actually. we all fooled around for 12 miles, but no real attacks. I kept myself in front, poorly protected at times, and had fun on some fast descents as my weight keeps me moving. Due to a nice taper, I had great legs.
I was hoping to have a selection made on the 2nd climb, but most rode the hill well and the pack stayed about 50 strong. I attacked a bit on the downhills, drawing little concern, but having fun going fast. At this point I was certain we'd all just wait 'till mile 31.5 and have a hillclimb for the win... and wait we did until mile 27 when Cambridge Cycle launched a weak attack followed by a stronger attack that I in part helped to close down... almost to the climb...
Mile 31.5 comes and my buddy Colby leads us up for the first mile. he;s looking strong today. I feel great too and keep a nice tempo leading the peloton. i pass colby and attack hard. get reeled in and immediately attack again, harder. get reeled in again. and again I hit it... running out of gas, now... lactic acid feeling heavy in the legs. i get swallowed up, pic a wheel about 5 deep and try to recover for the final kick. no chance to recover. an attack comes from the right and I close quickly, jumping out of the line. I cover the gap and really start to suffer... still 400m uphill. s1ht.
3 more strong guys pass on the right (including my crit dopleganger: Ben from Brockton (travis cycles)). crap. I start my sprint 220m out... but it was more of a cling to life than a sprint. kept standing for 15 horrible seconds and finished the race in 5th. that'll do. great finish for me considering my tactical failures. 5 points.

EAT A LOT AND SLEEP A BIT (recovery)... and walk 5 miles...

Sunday: Palmer Library RR. 8:30 am. 60 miles, no major climbs. 48 degrees and almost raining. 100 racers, at least.
so, 5 miles in a break of 4 goes away including a guy from Boston Road Club (BRC). BRC has 17 dudes racing today.
BRC blocks well for 35 miles miles, but the break is weak and the huge peloton is too fast and the gap never grows above 1:30 (i suppose). At mile 40 I move to the front with a some others to close down the break. pack sprint for fifth is not in my future.
Legs feel surprisingly good, considering yesterday. nice. 5 or 6 are strong enought o take a few pulls through a paceline but a few dudes repeatedly bumblfokced the whole thing up and made the job much harder for those of us who were working to catch the break. Doofus move included: attacking the paceline by accident, softpedalling while at the head of the arrow, not moving out of the way after a pull (... or not pulling through... or...)
So me and 3-6 other guys, all feeling strong out of despiration, managed to command the pace until mile 57 or so, where the cat and mouse games began. everyone stopped working except for 5 of us, and soon only 3 of us began taking turns animating the pace, knowing that the break was still too far away. I work super hard here, really suffering. i yell a a lot, feeling tremendously frustrated. I try to orchestrate the chase, to very little avail. I work to keep big BRC blocker dude from doing his job. i cry a little. then yell more. intense. I attack. i get quickly caugt. my legs are gone. break is getting reeled in. almost...
So finally when the break is within our grasps, I get a few moments to relax, frustrated and tired, but proud to have the break nearlly closed down.
Mile 59.5
600 meters from the finish, the pack swarms over the exausted break (very PRO) and the pack sprint quickly organized. with a tall BRC rider surging by, I pick up his wheel and a nice wheel it is. CRASH!!!
behind.. damn. re-focus. 10 pedal strokes, holding nicely, strong draft. CRASH! again, metal scraping on asphalt, voices too exhausetd to scream... just aluminum and asphalt music.
Keep pedaling...wait...wait.. hold it.. no huge surge, yet...100m:
SURGE!!
I jump out of BRC's draft to respond. I pick off 7 or 8 guys and pass a WestwoodVelo guy (awesome rider, not one of the many doofuses) at the line and take the proudest 3rd of my short racing life. best race, for me, seriously. BRC didnt manage a podium spot, their break was caught (which I felt a big part of) and I got 3rd and $85 and didnt crash. wow.
7 points.
I could petition for my upgrade if I wanted to. this was one of my biggest season goals and I'm psyched to have earned it.

thanks for reading and big ups to all of the great guys i raced with this weekend including: Ken, Nessim, Colby, Brockton Ben, Julian, Michael, Matt, Matt, cambridge-guy some other NEBC-guy and many others whom I cant recall. an honor to have some decent riders out there keeping me sane. thanks.

thanks for reading and I hope for some OTHER RACE REPORTS!!!


-L
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Old 04-27-08, 05:48 PM   #2
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Great job, put in for the upgrade now
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Old 04-27-08, 07:14 PM   #3
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Nice racing!

I did the geezers 4/5 race at Sturbridge....my first ever mass start event after a previous stint in triathlons 20 years ago, and resurrecting about a 10 year layoff off the bike. Don't live too far away and had ridden the course...figured as you did...that the second trip up the hill would be the break point...wasn't expecting the neutral start, although the pace up the hill the first time was more than just spinning.

Was pleased to stay comfortably in the front third of our pack for the first lap, and thought the descents were pretty slow....came around to the bottom of the climb and stood in a medium gear and found myself briefly off the front, but redlining...had figured that maybe a small selection could stay clear...Sat back down to ride at my limit and soon had some company....figure it was about half the field.

Settled in for the downhill and rolling part of lap two...briefly to the front again, as my mass helps on the descents, and figured I'd have a go of it on the last climb.....hit the steep section up from town, stood and asked the legs for more but not much of an answer......slowly watched the group splinter with me off the back with a few others....picked off a couple on the rest of the climb, and passed once myself...guessing I ended up about 25th.

My kind of race though.....now if I can just drop another 10-15 lbs, and regain a little of the fitness I had 20 years ago.....Need both more long rides and more high intensity rides....

At the same time as my race, my 6 year old was scoring the winning goal in her soccer game....did see her march in her softball opening day parade on Sunday and then play very well in her game on Sunday afternoon....

Might even try another one...
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Old 04-27-08, 07:45 PM   #4
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Well Done. Nice Report. Time to head up to the next rung.
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Old 04-27-08, 08:37 PM   #5
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Glad to hear no major crashes at Sturbridge...that downhill finish has been a killer in year's past.
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Old 04-27-08, 08:45 PM   #6
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Nice job dude! You always have some of the best race reports.

If I were you, I'd get that upgrade now - you deserve it! Besides, rest of us lowly 4's could use a break

Last edited by bitterken; 04-27-08 at 08:56 PM.
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Old 04-27-08, 08:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinky View Post
Glad to hear no major crashes at Sturbridge...that downhill finish has been a killer in year's past.
Yeah, they changed the course this year - loooong uphill finish!

Last edited by bitterken; 04-27-08 at 08:58 PM.
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Old 04-27-08, 09:46 PM   #8
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Congrats, well done!!

A geographically related aside :-) I might be in town on May 10 and I see that
the Sterling Classic will be held then. Any experience or information about this
race, the course?
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Old 04-27-08, 09:52 PM   #9
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Congrats! Nice report. Upgrade...
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Old 04-27-08, 11:13 PM   #10
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Nice job getting a result. I wish I could have gone but was in bed with stomach problems. Not happy, but we did have 17 in the race and 16 of them are in better shape than me at the moment
I haven't seen any race reports from the guys on my team, but I can guess who jumped in the break and also whose rear wheel you grabbed.
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Old 04-28-08, 12:56 PM   #11
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Nice job! Congrats. How did you like this new course? I heard they changed it from last year. Last year, there were so many crashes in the final sprint.
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Old 04-28-08, 02:18 PM   #12
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Nice work & great report!
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Old 04-28-08, 02:49 PM   #13
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Nice job! Congrats. How did you like this new course? I heard they changed it from last year. Last year, there were so many crashes in the final sprint.
thanks for reading and for the kind words of support!

The courses were cool.

Saturday's climb was challenging and the rest of the course was over great roads with a few fun descents. the short length of the course made it feel more like a crit.

Sunday's course was pretty bland topographically, but roads were nice, there were a few sharp corners which forced some big accelerations and a great, long DH. the length of this race was a bit more epic though. I'd have prefered 80 miles, instead of 60 seeing how flat it was, even for the 4's, but still a decent day in the saddle. For such a simple course, there were LOTS of crashes... 5 i think including about 3 at the finish, and one at the starting line. A huge peloton of riders with the yellow line in effect=carnage.

thanks to Michael Norton and his crew!! I'll be back!

feel better, eippo!


-Leo
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Old 04-28-08, 03:48 PM   #14
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Man great reports...seeing how I suck at hills being a new cat 5 and all...sounds like I should have slept in on Sat morning and done Palmer instead! Those climbs killed me at Sturbridge..lol. I know I will get it though, I just have to keep training. Almost 1200 miles in for the year...MY ONLY 1200 miles on a road bike EVER!
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Old 04-28-08, 03:55 PM   #15
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Palmer was easier than Sturbridge for sure.
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Old 04-30-08, 03:25 PM   #16
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Your write ups are getting much better! This one was awesome!

Congrats on your progress! Upgrade while you can so you can up the suffering. Keep it up man!
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