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  1. #51
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Great report, Shovel, and well done. Nothing to be disappointed about, it sounds like not only do you belong there, but that on another day you could make your superior skills count. Terrific effort, imo. Podium next year.

  2. #52
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    Very respectable finish. It reads that you were well prepared physically and mentality. The race dynamics weren't in your favor even though you were aggressive. Enjoy the rest of your season now that the hard work is in the bank.
    oldschool areodynamic brick

  3. #53
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    I was looking forward to the report on this race, Shovel, as I'd been trying to figure out the likely scenario from the results. It was obviously a race with lots of attrition and a pack finish, but it wasn't clear how things had transpired, so thanks for providing the details. It's clear you are racing at a really high level. Being in the mix in that race is a huge achievement, and there were some very accomplished racers behind you!
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  4. #54
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Congrats your result in a tough race on a challenging technical course. And good luck with the remaining two races.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  5. #55
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    As the day has progressed, we have seen reports on FB of crashes on the Bend crit course. One women described the racing as total carnage. Her husband went down but was able to get back in and take 3rd in the 65 to 69. He has minor road rash. A good friend of my wife crashed and broke 3 ribs. And there is getting caught behind crashes.

    ShovelHD, I think your result is superb. You demonstrated both skill and power.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  6. #56
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    I just got back and will post my report tomorrow, but suffice to say there were 5 crashes in front of me during my race, and that's not counting the guy who ran into me from behind and went down on the fastest part of the course. Shovel did really well just to stay upright and in one piece.

  7. #57
    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
    ShovelHD, I think your result is superb. You demonstrated both skill and power.
    +1. also, nerves of steel.

  8. #58
    Senior Member VanceMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
    As the day has progressed, we have seen reports on FB of crashes on the Bend crit course.
    I don't think I've seen a single report yet without a crash. Interested to hear from Shovel, Ex, and Cleave how much of that is related to the course.

  9. #59
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    VanceMac, I think the course had a lot to do with it. Other factors:

    - It was the third race in four days for a lot of these guys.
    - In my race, the pace was very high throughout with non-stop attacks.
    - The course demanded constant attention to hit the lines as most turns really had only one line at speed. I think some guys were too focused on what was going on up the road.
    - There was a lot of stupid riding. Ex mentioned the guy who hit him from behind. I had a guy try and dive bomb me on the inside who almost took me out.

    The jersey is really the holy grail of amateur bike racing, and smart people will do stupid stuff to get it.

    If they hold the race on the same course next year, I won't go. It was a perfect course for my skillset, but breaks just would not stick.

  10. #60
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    If they hold the race on the same course next year, I won't go. It was a perfect course for my skillset, but breaks just would not stick.
    Is there a mechanism for you guys to provide feedback on the course? They need to take all the factors you mentioned into account, and realize people are going to making questionable decisions as part of their 'quest'.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  11. #61
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzTallRider View Post
    Is there a mechanism for you guys to provide feedback on the course? They need to take all the factors you mentioned into account, and realize people are going to making questionable decisions as part of their 'quest'.
    Yes. I think I will write them a letter.

  12. #62
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Caveat... I am not a crit racer but have done crits. And I rate myself an excellent bike handler with great eye hand coordination. Going to track nationals, the course is always the same - except for maybe a 250 meter track versus a 333. When I competed at Worlds, I did the points race. Bringing fast riders together is going to generate a fast pace. In fact, it was much faster than I was used to and that was not from a power perspective. We went so fast, even a slight gap was a problem. I did not do well and it was primarily due to not being used to the pace. I would have to train and race with our elite 1/2 men and do well to compete effectively at Worlds.

    In the crits, it is my observation that regionally, certain strongmen dominate the races. They get used to doing what works and the competition works to defeat them. If we put all the strongmen together, the speed is going to escalate and what worked regionally may not work nationally and the skill to execute at the increased speed makes a technical course very tough and will take racers beyond their capability, IMO.

    I always thought that Shovel would do well since he races effectively with the elite 1/2s and would have the skill and power to navigate a Nationals crit course.

    I would not count on the promoters to make the course easier. They may revise the course but I suspect it will contain features that will make it challenging.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  13. #63
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
    I would not count on the promoters to make the course easier. They may revise the course but I suspect it will contain features that will make it challenging.
    Challenging is great. Technical is great. I don't think anyone would seriously want to change those factors. It sounds, however, like there were aspects to the course that made the crashes more likely. Shovel, would you mind providing some more specifics? It's interesting stuff for us.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  14. #64
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
    I would not count on the promoters to make the course easier. They may revise the course but I suspect it will contain features that will make it challenging.
    Easier, no, but a little safer would be good. Please note that I had no issue with the course, just with how the riders around me handled it. I don't mean to sound elitist, I really don't. Some of the carnage was caused by stupidity which had nothing to do with the course. The woman who got wrecked right in front of me got taken out by a rider chopping her wheel to follow an attack on the front straight. RacerEx got rammed from behind in pretty much the same place, just after the start-finish, on the front straight. That can happen on any course if the riders are stupid enough.

    Here is a link to the course.

    https://www.trainingpeaks.com/sr/ZRW...IJSYX7DS4UOYVE

    The start-finish was at the pin, and the course ran clockwise.

    Turn 1 was the safest turn on the course. You could easily go three wide through it. The sidewalk jutted out on the outside but it was out of the racing line unless you were way off. Turn 2 was a typical city right-hander, bumpy, but not an issue. Turn 3 came very quickly after Turn 2, and was tight, which caused a left-right-left weave to set up for it. It was almost tight enough to be considered a chicane. As you came out of the turn, there was a blocked-off obstacle, a patio associated with a bar in the middle of the block, which jutted out. This section between Turns 3 and 4 was inner-city bumpy, although nobody was doing any avoidance maneuvers. The weaving did cause some shaky handling. Turn 4 was where I said to RacerEx the night before, "there will be carnage", and there was plenty. It's the squiggly section at the bottom of the map. There were barriers all along both sides of this section, with feet that stuck out. The problem there was that you could take that section single file all day long with no issue, but two wide required careful attention to avoid the barrier feet, and more than two meant you had to really trust those around you. Guys hitting the barriers, and guys avoiding the guys who were too close to the barriers were what caused the problems. When I was OTF I railed that section, no problem, but even at the front of the field, it was too much for a lot of guys. To get through there the fastest, you had to clip the right side barrier foot within 6", and immediately afterwards, clip the left side barrier foot within 6". Any side-to-side movement was taking room that wasn't there. When I was on or OTF I was within an inch of each barrier foot. Turn 5 was a sleeper because you came into it a little slower because of turn 4, but it was downhill, off camber, had several manhole covers right in the racing line, and a nasty bump on the left side. It's more than 90 degrees, more like 120 degrees or more. It could handle several riders wide as long as everyone held their line through it, which was difficult with that bump. I came out of Turn 5 early in the race a little to much into the bump and my rear wheel kicked out as I laid down the power coming out. I compensated from that point on by getting forward and low on the drops, moving more weight forward, which kept pressure off of the rear wheel and led to better power delivery. Between Turns 5 and 6 was a traffic island, and they routed the course to the right side, causing a weave right. This wasn't much of an issue, and probably was a good idea to try and slow things down approaching Turn 6. The final Turn, Turn 6, was just plain nasty. It could handle two or three riders wide at full tilt but everyone would have had to be taking a perfect line. There was a brick crosswalk right in the apex which was lumpy from left to right. Sometimes I hit that turn in the wrong place and my rear wheel would get a few inches off of the ground, causing an unintended shift to the left. It was this bumpiness that caused the two wrecks that I saw there in other races. The lead rider would come through clean, but the rider to the right side would hit the bump, shift left, and push the lead rider into the left barrier, which stuck out into the racing line right after the apex of the turn. That was why I chose not to bomb that corner on the final lap. The sprint was very short, maybe 150m? That does not bode well for me as I need a lot more than that to wind up. It favored the jump sprinters, trackie types, which were there at the end because nobody got away.

    That's my take on it. I would suggest that the course be lengthened by changing Turn 3 to a right onto NW Harriman, then a right onto NW Franklin, then a left onto NW Lava, then a right onto NW Louisiana, then the final right onto NW Wall, keeping the start-finish at the pin, an adding a real 200+m sprint. The sprint speeds would go way up and be much more exciting.

    I'd be curious to hear RacerEx's take.

  15. #65
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    I'd be curious to hear RacerEx's take.
    I couldn't have written that description any better.

    I'll add that there were a lot of sharp cracks and pavement/walkway(cobble) transitions that were pretty jarring at times and threw people off. I was pretty sore in the shoulders and arms after and had a sore spot on my palm.

    Biggest issue was the course had a definite line that only a few people really followed. Late apexing an off camber corner, that sort of thing was the norm which has a ripple effect through the field. After dropping my chain on the start and being DFL, I set myself in a mode where I was going to try to stay on the best line and hidden, keep up momentum, and position myself where if there was a crash, I'd be out of the field of fire, and pass where it was sort of safe. I saw a lot of people who rode just the opposite, and some really poor bike handling. A few times I was behind riders thinking "now exactly where are you going because you don't seem to be aimed anywhere in particular".

    My bottom line is/was that this isn't a championship caliber course, but much more a twilight "let's get drunk and watch some carnage" course. Most of that opinion comes from the very poor road surface, which made several of the corners a total crap shoot. Maybe you crash, maybe you don't, roll them and see what happens.

    FWIW I finished 17th in sight of the winner and same time. I ended up at 53m 251w ave/261NP, and a pretty good confirmation that I've developed Exercise Induced Asthma this year. I flogged some of the top finishers pretty good a few weeks ago and I was breathing through a straw on Saturday. Been an ongoing issue that I've put down to poor fitness. Can't assign that to this performance. Something's wrong.
    Last edited by Racer Ex; 09-10-12 at 07:50 PM.

  16. #66
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    My bottom line is/was that this isn't a championship caliber course, but much more a twilight "let's get drunk and watch some carnage" course.
    And I couldn't have written that any better. There was a small crowd behind the barriers in turn four, waiting to watch the carnage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    Most of that opinion comes from the very poor road surface, which made several of the corners a total crap shoot. Maybe you crash, maybe you don't, roll them and see what happens.

    FWIW I finished 17th in sight of the winner and same time. I ended up at 53m 251w ave/261NP, and a pretty good confirmation that I've developed Exercise Induced Asthma this year. I flogged some of the top finishers pretty good a few weeks ago and I was breathing through a straw on Saturday. Been an ongoing issue that I've put down to poor fitness. Can't assign that to this performance. Something's wrong.
    I ended up with 256w AP, 276w NP, but that included 12 minutes of warmdown. I spent about half the race at threshold or above, including a whopping 10:26 at Z7.

    Ex, get that checked out. I use an albuterol inhaler (Pro-Air HFA) 20 minutes before warmups. My asthma is triggered by both allergies and high output, threshold and above for long periods. I get fluid in my throat which tightens it up. The inhaler isn't perfect, but it helps. Another option is a daily inhaler or oral drug. I chose the inhaler to try first because I only use it when I know I'm going to be working in the trigger range.
    Last edited by shovelhd; 09-10-12 at 08:18 PM.

  17. #67
    Old Road Racer Cleave's Avatar
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    Hi, I'll post my race reports soon. We left Bend Sunday morning, got back into Long Beach today, and I just got back from the Pro Walk Pro Bike Conference (advocacy) in downtown Long Beach. Lovely evening for a urban night ride, BTW. Anyway, I wanted to chime in on exercise induced respiratory problems. I got dropped pretty quickly in the criterium and within minutes of stopping, to go along with the severe burning sensation in my throat and top of my lungs, I started sneezing incessantly -- almost as if I was having an allergy attack, except without the itchy eyes. The sinus congestion, sneezing, and slight upper respiratory congestion lasted until this afternoon though I am still not completely done with it. Can't say that I was breathing through a straw on Saturday (though I felt that way at 5K+ ft on Thursday), but my RPE was 10 on a scale of 1-10 for the criterium. I never felt within myself the whole time. It was like an 8 km solo effort even though I was on a wheel the whole time. I had pretty much the same symptoms last year after the criterium and road race. This year it was just the criterium. Any thoughts out there (as if I need to ask )?
    Thanks.
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  18. #68
    Old Road Racer Cleave's Avatar
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    Also, it was great to meet shovelhd in person and it was mucho fun to hang with shovelhd and Racer Ex and others on Friday evening. Maybe I should have had a second glass of wine. Thanks Racer Ex for the great meal! I am pretty sure the Mrs had a good time too.
    Thanks.
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  19. #69
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Yes, it was great to meet Cleave and Mrs. Cleave, RacerEx, and his teammates. Cleave, you looked like you were having an allergy attack. I am allergic to a lot of the trees in the area (as well as RacerEx's cat), but had no issues while in Bend, mainly because they weren't emitting pollen. It could have been a cold coming on from racing at altitude, especially if there were some chilly descents. I noticed during our recovery ride on Friday that it was quite chilly in the morning. That sometimes triggers an allergy-like reaction.

  20. #70
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    I have Bend on my tentative long range planning schedule for next year, but I must say, the reports are dampening my enthusiasm for the trip. Hard to get excited by a crit with a dangerous corner leading up to a short sprint: bad combo!
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  21. #71
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    They will change the course next year. I'd put money on it.

  22. #72
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    They had two crit courses. Here at the bottom of the file. 60+ rode on the Northwest Crossing and everyone else on the Downtown Bend. I do not know if they used the same crit courses last year but they did change the TT and Road courses. I believe there were several crashes on the Northwest Crossing course as reported on FB.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  23. #73
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Last year's downtown Bend crit course was different. It had the long sprint that I suggested.

  24. #74
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    White Plains Criterium, M40+, 18th place. I love downtown criteriums, with the crowds, city streets, and the overall atmosphere. I came into this race with the best fitness I've had all season, expecting to do pretty well, although M40+ races tend to be very hard for me. Well, it just didn't pan out. I got OTF early in the first break for a few laps which got reeled in. Attacks came heavy and often, mainly on the hill where just staying with the field meant 600-700w. I was in a couple of more small breaks until about 20 to go. While recovering, holding my line while it was all strung out, some numbnut tried to muscle his way onto my wheel in turn 2, the most dangerous corner. I pushed him back and yelled at him. Someone behind me gave me a ration for it. There is no place for hyper aggressive racing with 20 laps to go. With about 7 to go an attack up front split the field unexpectedly on the finish hill. I bridged up to it with one of Gary's teammates. The group was too large to work together, and I needed a lap to recover in order to get to the front and drill it. Too bad, it had promise. So it came down to the inevitable field sprint, with the dicey riding, pushing and shoving, and all that jazz. So I ended up midfield of what was left of the field.

    I am going to have to reconsider the races I ride next year. Everything has to go right for me to have a chance in an M40+ criterium, so maybe it's just best that I avoid them and focus on the age group racing where I can be competitive. Reality checks are good lessons.

    On to Boston, my last race of the year, a...you guessed it...NCC M40+ criterium.

  25. #75
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Nice Shovel. Big fish..small pond or smaller fish...bigger pond with preditors. IMO, what makes you a great racer is that you do the hard races with the 40+ and Elite P/1/2. Racing in the 55+ peloton is fantastic but has its limitations for growth. You are doing well in the tough races. I would keep salting them into your schedule. And you may get lucky. Luck favors the prepared mind, or in racing, he that enters and tries to compete.
    Last edited by Hermes; 09-17-12 at 10:29 AM.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

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