This was my fourth race this year and the second year in a row for this stage race and I was looking forward to it. Stage races are a blast. It features a 40 minute criterium around a one mile square flat course with good road surface and wide turns, a 10 mile time trial and a 51 mile road race. I did the crit Saturday morning and the time trial in the afternoon. Sunday is a 51 mile road race that features 3 laps with a set of steepish rolling hills at the finish and 2.5 miles of very rough road per lap right before the rollers that we refer to as the Paris Roubaix section. It was very windy and cool on Saturday and windy and perfect temperature on Sunday for the road race. Here are the results:
Madera Stage Race, March 13-14, 2010
Cat: M Cat 5
Overall GC: 18th
Time 3:27:34 +4:35
Stage 1, Criterium
Sat. 8:50 AM
Time: 39:39 +0
I rode with the pack, surfed wheels and tried different lines. Since we had a strong wind from the west, it put the home stretch in a cross wind. My goal was to finish with the pack and conserve energy. In turns 2 and 3, I used an outside line to end up shielded by the peloton from the wind and on turn 4, I used an inside line. The two primes were fast but no problem. On the finishing lap, I was near the middle of the pack but took the inside line. I got an alley and sprinted past a number of riders for 10th. I got the same time as the pack toward the GC classification. Last year, I got blown off the back in lap 3 and time trialed by myself.
On turn 4 on an early lap, there was a crash right in front of me. This section of the road was into the wind and the front of the peloton bunched up. When the crash happened, I braked slightly, looked left and went around with no problem. I believe all the riders were back in the race that crashed – nothing serious.
Stage 2, Sharon 10 mile ITT
Sat. 1:55 PM start time
Time: 28:25 +4:58
I felt the crit in my legs and the wind was approximately 18 mph with gusts to 25 mph. It felt hard to pedal my TT bike against the wind in the easiest gear warming up, so I knew this was going to be a tough TT. My plan was to ride 80% on sections 1 and 2 and put in the hard effort when I was into the wind on sections 3 and 4. Normally, I race with a disc / trispoke combination but my coach said not to use the trispoke so I substituted my Williams System 30 front wheel and kept the disc. Handling of the bike in the wind was not a problem and sections 1 and 2 were very fast. The ride into the wind was brutal and I was glad when it was over.
An elite racer from Team Taleo posted a 23:23 time and took the lead in the GC. And he did it on his road bike. Team Taleo had 5 racers in Cat 5
Stage 3, Daulton 50 RR
Sun. 11:35 AM
Time: 2:24:05 +42 seconds
51 miles (3 laps)
I got up on Sunday and my legs felt great and warm-up was easy. When we lined up, I was talking with the Taleo racers and they planned to control the race and chase down any breaks. The wind was less than Saturday but would be a factor. As with the crit, I hid in the peloton and conserved energy. When we got to the Paris Roubaix section of rough road, I moved to the front behind Taleo. According to my coach, breaks usually occur near the end of the rough road on the slight downhill section. There was a break and the front accelerated. I was in position behind the GC race leader. We killed it chasing the break and screamed up the rollers. We caught the break at the neutral feed zone. Lap 2 was a repeat of lap one. Once again there was a break and this time, one guy got away. Once we were through the feed zone, the pace picked up and we went after the solo break. The pace through the rough road was fast. I was near the front for the uphill finish in the rollers but did not have enough left in the tank. I finished 42 seconds back. The leaders caught the single break and he finished 10th. Last year I got blown off the back in Lap 2.
It was a great race and a lot of fun. The cat 5 men were perfect gentlemen, great racers and a lot of fun to ride with.
Here is my power profile from the crit. I did 22 accelerations over 400 watts > 1/2 hp and 17 accelerations over 740 watts or 1 hp. I think the average speed was 23:XX . As you can see from the power profile, it is all about being able to corner fast and do accelerations. Average speed is somewhat meaningless in this crit. In the road race, the rollers typically required >500 watts for XX seconds to ride in the lead group.
Here is a pic from the finish of the crit. I am behind the second rider in the front on the left.
This is my favorite of all my racing pics. I am Webcor in green. This may be the first lap through the rollers.