BOTTO SIZE ENTRY: First four race, tried a break for half an hour, didn’t stick, sat in, climbed lots, won in a 3 up sprint after the last climb.
OTHER ENTRY: Today I raced in my first ever Cat 4 race. Field size wasn't huge by any means (22-25) but it was alright for around here and the competition was good with representation from Cycledelia (Deli), Bike Doctor (Doctor) and my club the Regina Cycle Club (RCC) among others.
The course was an out and back on some flat highway (52 km) with a slight hill at the turnaround, after the out and back there were two loops of a local provincial park that amounted to almost 2000 feet of elevation gain in 13 km (or so the organizer said), making for a grand total of a 65 km or a 40 mile road race. The climbs were basically the continued scaling and decent of two roads up from a lake that is in a valley. Later on I would find out that in fact they were well paved paths to the pain cave.
The race started out well, and a few attacks flew up the road. Before I knew it I had sprinted out and caught on to one of them after only 15 minutes of racing. I talked to the Deli ride who was in the break with me, Mismatched Kit, for a bit to see if he was "testing" or wanted to make it stick and after we gave a nice dig, we decided to see where it would go. We were out there for about half an hour with a tailwind, NP for the effort was 288w so just above threshold and we were clipping along at 46 kmph. However after turning around at the small hill we went into a pretty stiff headwind and soon let up to rejoin the peloton which had gained ground.
The return trip amounted to a lot of negative style racing (in my opinion), speeds slowing down lots and then attacks with no one really wanting to be at the front even though there were a few larger teams. I felt slightly exempt due to being off the front for so long but I still found my way up front and tried to stay in the top 5-10. I also owe a bottle of chain lube to a guy I’ll call “Squeaky” whose bike and BB were very vocal through the entire ride (though he rode very strong, major props).
The hill circuits were what everyone had been waiting for, a few guys had been shed on the out and back but a strong nucleus remained. We slogged up and down the first two climbs at a decent (above FTP) pace for each, they weren’t monsters, only about 1.3-2 km respectively, but the finishing climb got especially steep at points, this would hurt even more later on.
On the third climb of four the pace really started to pick up, I had been hanging at second wheel for most of the climbing behind a local, Terry, and was really started to feel the lactic acid burn as we crested, at the top one of the Deli riders threw down an attack but since it wasn’t too strong we got on it and descended as a group. One of the Doctor riders, Aero Guy, attacked on the decent and flew by me, I worked to close the gap and we churned towards the last turnaround before the final climb. We reached the turnaround together but were caught by 5 chasers (mainly Deli riders).
As we paced up the final climb Aero Wheel Guy and one of the Deli riders found their way to the front and started setting a brutal pace. I’m 6’4 and 169 lbs and these little climbers were putting the hurt on me. As we got two-thirds of the way up the climb I looked back and realized that everyone else out of our final group had been shelled. I pressed on, but lost a bike length and a half. As we neared the top, with my good friend level terrain in sight, I gritted through the pain and cramping quads and closed the gap to them as we neared the 100 m to go line.
Aero wheel guy led along with the Deli rider to my right. Aero was the first to go, followed by Deli, but I swung around on Aero’s left (seated due to the cramps) and passed by him before the line with enough space to throw up the hands. And in good BF fashion I did the bike throw at the line not sure how much of a gap I had (thanks CDR!).
I saw CannondaleKid at the race, a forum member and RR forum frequenter, he’s out in BC this year becoming super strong to crush souls at nationals.
Set a new PB 5 second power of 1421w (18.53 w/kg) crushing my old PB of 1323w and meeting my goal this year of getting my 5 sec above 18 w/kg. As well I think I should be raising my FTP as the IF for the race was .96 for two hours and that seems a bit high.
Moose Jaw put on a great race and kickoff to the cycling calendar. Many thanks to all of the volunteers who helped out, it was a very fun event.
Oh, and I saw a coyote.