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Old 04-28-14, 06:50 PM   #1326
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missed my podium by 1 second. am not handling it well!

next weekend there is a TT. I signed up for TT and for Merckx category. I'm genuinely curious to see how close I can get on the road bike. I wouldn't be surprised if it's pretty damn close still.
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Old 04-28-14, 06:53 PM   #1327
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You should see RX on a TT course:
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Old 04-28-14, 08:37 PM   #1328
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Old 04-28-14, 10:41 PM   #1329
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PIR - Flat circuit race - Mast 1/2/3 70ish riders, 2nd-ish place - 1st overall series.

Thanks for the previous kudos from last weeks report, I appreciate it. Another longish report follows ...

Well, bike racing is a very funny sport. Where else can you compete for 90% of a race feeling like crap and just trying to follow wheels and staying out of trouble to all of a sudden having your legs wake up and save you?

Well that and an old former teammate who dropped backed and asked if I might need some help didn’t hurt.

Backstory on tonight's race, I have been fighting a little bit of fatigue from my last block of training and ended up taking a full 2 weeks off from high intensity rides to recoup and ensure I don’t dump my season before it starts. So with only 11 1/2 hours and an average of 53 TSS points a day over the last two weeks I was coming into tonight both soft and tired. And that includes the rain soaked race from last week.

The race started with just a slight and typical wind and my legs felt dead. So I had two goals, one maintain my lead in the series and two get some pack time to help my comfort level in close groups. As the race has three hot spots worth 3,2,1 each and a final worth 15 points and 10 deep, I had three choices to win the series. Get some early hot spot points to ensure I placed in the top 10, mark the 2nd place rider in the series and ensure he didn’t get in a break or place far ahead of me or just wait for the finish and ensure I placed in the top 10.

My legs pretty much decided things for me tonight, While I was able to make it up to the top 10 before the first sprint, I was not feeling it and just followed wheels and watched for a break to form after the sprint. A weak group formed at the front and I was there just in case, but we did not even get separation from the field.

So to the back I went until the next hot spot, where again I moved to the front and made it to around 10th where I sat ... and once again watched wheels. This time a more serious looking move took off, but my legs had no desire to follow and the group seemed likely to pull it back ... which it did in less than a lap.

So with just one hot spot left I figured I was down to two options, follow the 2nd place rider or wait for the finish. I decided to cut my risk and do a little of both. I sorta kept my eye on him while at the same time drifting towards the back again. I really was not doing a good job of pack placement and I am still having a really hard time riding close, although it is the side to side that bothers me more than following a wheel. I don’t mind it close when I am on one side or the other, but really seem to have issues when I am in the center and it is tight on both sides.

Right around then a former teammate came up and asked if I needed any help ... sure, that would be awesome. So with the final hot spot over ... I didn’t even really move up to watch it this time ... and now just 1 1/2 laps to go there is my former teammate right in front of me. Sure enough he winds it up and gets me 1/2 way up the group with no effort on my part. Awesome.

At this point and coming up on the final lap things get a little tighter and we jostle around a bit, but sure enough there is my old teammate again and this time he gets me all the way to the top 5 where I start picking trains to sit on. Luck was surely on my side tonight as I now had a little extra energy to fight for wheels since I didn't have to waste very much moving up or waste energy fighting to hold position for the final 5 laps either.

Into the last corner and I lost it a little bit and switched trains ... and what luck that was as it was two of the top track racers getting ready to launch early with 500 meters or so to go. Off they go and I am locked on their wheel, now thinking I actually have a chance to win this thing. We hit the wind with over 300 meters to go and into the wind with around 150 meters to go the 1st rider pulls off and that leaves me trying to come around his teammate ... and it is not going to happen.

Just too much speed for me, but his awesome leadout makes it a win for his teammate while the leadout rider still had enough for 3rd and I split them in the middle for 2nd. Series win for me, and likely somewhere between 2nd and 4th on the night depending on how the hot spot points play out. Could not have been a better finish to a somewhat drab day. Very happy with the results, now I just need to get my training back on target so that my more important races can have a similar result.

Oh, and Sprinters need a lot of help to make it to the end of a bike race, thanks to both my former teammate Chris and to the Steven and Ryan express that saved the day for me.
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Old 04-29-14, 03:23 AM   #1330
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Good report, great result!
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Old 04-29-14, 05:33 AM   #1331
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So you are a Cat3 Master and you aren't comfortable riding in the middle of the field with riders tight to either side of you? If you want to do more Masters crits you're going to have to get over that. I'm never 100% confident in that situation but it's way better than being pinched into a granite curb. I may sound like a broken record but bumping drills with your teammates on a ride can really help. Have one on each side and have them start slamming you. Sooner or later it's going to happen to you in a sprint and that's the time when you have to be comfortable with close contact.

Great racing. Congratulations.
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Old 04-29-14, 07:21 AM   #1332
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So you are a Cat3 Master and you aren't comfortable riding in the middle of the field with riders tight to either side of you? If you want to do more Masters crits you're going to have to get over that. I'm never 100% confident in that situation but it's way better than being pinched into a granite curb. I may sound like a broken record but bumping drills with your teammates on a ride can really help. Have one on each side and have them start slamming you. Sooner or later it's going to happen to you in a sprint and that's the time when you have to be comfortable with close contact.

Great racing. Congratulations.
Thanks ... that is great advice, and I should take it. I have been racing for over 25 years and up until 2003 as a cat 1 in very tight situations and was very comfortable on both road and track. I have come out of hard knocks, headbuts, hooked bars, etc more than once with wheels still on the road most of the times and other times with my ass on the road. Being a sprinter puts you in places you would not normally want to be at, especially if you don't have a strong team and need to steal a train. Locking bars with another rider at over 30 mph requires trust and faith on both riders to know who is locked in front and to ease out of it. I still remember the day I did that and stayed up and found the guy after the race and said thanks for not panicking - we were both happy to stay up.

However I got old, had kids and took time away, downgraded to a 3 and now find myself with a much greater need for space than in the past - more than the average racer, IMO. I also find my reaction time and vision is not as sharp as in the past and I have a much larger aversion to crashing now than in the past. So I am working on it, and I should go back to bump drills and such as those are so far in the past, I agree they are a great skill. However, while I find those fun and effective, they lose the element of risk that is there with 70 guys of differing skill sets going over 25 mph on pavement. That is where I need the practice, and its one of the things I remind myself to test in each race as it is currently on my chart of weakness along with general endurance and cadence (I mash too much - so I do drills most days with efforts over 120 RPM ... and still I mash).

So maybe I will go do some grass track drills as well and see if that helps, cause I sure do not like it when both sides are jammed up, scares the crap out of me and position is lost.
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Old 04-29-14, 07:24 AM   #1333
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So you are a Cat3 Master and you aren't comfortable riding in the middle of the field with riders tight to either side of you? If you want to do more Masters crits you're going to have to get over that. I'm never 100% confident in that situation but it's way better than being pinched into a granite curb. I may sound like a broken record but bumping drills with your teammates on a ride can really help. Have one on each side and have them start slamming you. Sooner or later it's going to happen to you in a sprint and that's the time when you have to be comfortable with close contact.

Great racing. Congratulations.
+1 congrats -- way to keep your head in it

+1 on the bump drills. Even if it doesn't become comfortable, at least get confidence with it.
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Old 04-29-14, 07:28 AM   #1334
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^^ As someone who has been racing only a couple of years, I'm not comfortable in those situations either, and it's kind of nice to hear that I'm not the only one with some feelings about it. I just did my very first set of bumping drills on grass with team mates last week, and it's something that needs to happen more.
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Old 04-29-14, 08:51 AM   #1335
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^ in a tight bar situation you should strive to keep your bars in front of the bars around you. This puts you in a position of strength.

A rider I'm trying to help that's in Holland right now had the same problem. He said that in his races the guys are fighting for position for the narrow roads so hard that it's normal for a few crashes to happen as it's going on. It's a huge game of chicken. He was getting pushed back when it was super tight, so tight that he had his levers pushing against other riders' butts (to the side) or knuckles bumping knuckles (which is not the way to do bumping stuff).

After my suggestion (bar ahead of bar) he said he had virtually no problems holding position.
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Old 04-29-14, 09:36 AM   #1336
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Great racing. Congratulations.
+1 nice job... sandbagger! =]
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Old 04-30-14, 09:50 AM   #1337
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Wente Vineyards Road Race
Cat 4, 24/59

This was BRUTAL. 48 miles, 4000 ft of climbing, and insane winds...

First lap, 5.5 w/kg on the main climb (VO2 distance/pace) was almost enough to hang on....
Yikes. How long was this climb?
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Old 04-30-14, 10:10 AM   #1338
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Yikes. How long was this climb?

Strava Segment | Wente Finish
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Old 04-30-14, 10:32 AM   #1339
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Ok, that makes more sense. When he said "main climb" I was thinking 10 minutes+ at 5.5, which then made me think that those were some badass (read: more like 1/2s) 4s.
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Old 04-30-14, 10:46 AM   #1340
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Ok, that makes more sense. When he said "main climb" I was thinking 10 minutes+ at 5.5, which then made me think that those were some badass (read: more like 1/2s) 4s.
my 10min from that race was 5.125 and I was dying a slow death of being dropped and chasing on. Made contact after another 10min, only to be victim of immediate surges and get popped for real.
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Old 04-30-14, 11:16 AM   #1341
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only 5.124....sounds like an easy 3-4 hour z2 ride for me

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Old 04-30-14, 11:18 AM   #1342
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only 5.124....sounds like an easy 3-4 hour z2 ride for me

I think it was for the other guys in my field, too.
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Old 04-30-14, 11:25 AM   #1343
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A rider I'm trying to help that's in Holland right now
Sorry for the tangent, but would this rider's name start with the letter O by any chance?
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Old 04-30-14, 11:52 AM   #1344
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Sorry for the tangent, but would this rider's name start with the letter O by any chance?
Yes. He's the source for any coaching success story I might have
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Old 04-30-14, 11:57 AM   #1345
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Yes. He's the source for any coaching success story I might have

Small world! I've been riding with him for years, even since he was about 25 lbs chubbier and 25 dB louder (if you can believe that).
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Old 05-01-14, 10:31 PM   #1346
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Driveway 1/2/3/4 35+: very fast race, because it was short with the daylight. I got away with another guy for two laps, and my all-star teammate attacked right when they brought us back. I jumped back in on 4th wheel and had to dig very hard right after my own attack. Then I covered for him. He was away with another, and again solo, until 1-to-go, but got caught. I needed another lap to recover, but didn't have one. Pack finish (maybe 15th?).

This team's race behavior reminds me of my last team, and that's a great thing. Selfless and hard hitting. We'll get a few wins at the DW.
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Old 05-03-14, 08:15 AM   #1347
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prospect park.

4th

110 man 40+ field. These things usually end in field sprints. Today was no exception. There was contact and skidding 300 ish out just to my right Enticed me to go early. Too early. Couldn't hold it to the line and three guys passed me. Had I held steady for 2 or 3 more seconds I'd have won. Frustrating.
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Old 05-03-14, 11:01 AM   #1348
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Good job. JL is tough.
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Old 05-03-14, 11:12 AM   #1349
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Jl?
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Old 05-03-14, 02:02 PM   #1350
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I had poopy legs, and got 8th or 9th. Not a good day on the bike.
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