That's one heck of a corner!
Yeah, I saw that Larry Nolan aged up. As if I wasn't going to have enough trouble as it was. :p
We have a corner on our Graveyard Crit practice course just like that. It is at the entrance and has a big iron gate on either side. On the way back into the cemetery the course then turns right and follows a circle at the "Big Jesus statue". I'm surprised most of the guys in Ex's picture are seated while coming out of the turn. I usually go OTS to get back up to speed.
VOS Stage Race Report
Note that I race for two teams, both of which rock. Geography dictates what kit I ride.
TT: I stunk it up for 11th. New bike, new position, old legs. Only 20w better than my three hour RR effort.
Winner was 1:18 ahead of me, we have my teammates Marvin in 6th and Greg in 10th. Tough conditions factored in, the wind died down for the later starters and if you went out at the wrong time you got a headwind on the out leg and no tailwind coming back. I went out at the wrong time. Not that I would have sucked much less.
Note: Later in the race communique I was scolded for, verbatim, “flirting with the draft”. I passed 4 people with a at least 3-4 MPH on a 6 foot wide shoulder during the TT, never got passed, so near as I can tell someone’s girlfriend is named draft and this happened after the race. I don’t remember her, but I forgot my lawn chair at the RR so that’s not surprising. I hope she was pretty and of age.
Road Race: Louie (GC leader) had 2 teammates (including 2nd place on GC) but I figured if we kept firing we could get something away then our guys in the field would be able to counter when the break got caught. Wear them down, hope for the best.
It was a little disconcerting to greet the morning with a 15-20 MPH wind. The course is a triangle which meant we’d be going head, cross, and then tail to the finish. 16 miles laps, 64 miles total which meant 4 times up the 3k climb. Consensus was that with the wind we’d need a group of at least 5-6 guys to make it stick minimum.
Attacks started from the gun, 4.5 miles in (data provided by SRM, the Powermeter of the Pros (I get $1 off service every time I write that somewhere)) Marvin is out with another couple riders and they sit up. Louie sits up, the peleton sits up, so I launch up. 50 seconds later (data from SRM, the Powermeter of Champions) I catch them then go right to the front to start stretching the gap.
We start rotating and I start checking numbers on the other two riders. We’re good to go. We have two guys who have teammates to help block, we’ll find out how strong they are later. We hit the crosswind leg and end up sitting behind the “moto” VW Microbus when we stall out behind the 3’s and traffic in the crosswind section. Things clear out when we make the turn for the first shot up the hill, get back on the gas, and blow one of the guys out the back.
We’re the 3 Musketeers (Tres Hombres?) now, with 53 miles of racing left. Nose to the grindstone and all of that. We get to work.
We would get “distance” checks from the VW guy, and at one point the field, which was slowly dissolving because of the wind, closed to 20 seconds. My two cents to Marvin and our break mate Matt was “when they show up, they show up”.
We make a deal with Matt to let him win, but to help Marvin to the finish and let him have the KOM bonus seconds. I figure Marvin’s going to win the crit (10s time bonus) and with the gap we have, the 2nd place time bonus (6s), and the KOM bonus (3s) he’s our team’s best bet on GC.
We keep working. It hurts. In the crosswind section we have oncoming big rigs blowing us across the road, we’re hammering to hold 22 MPH downhill into the headwind, and it’s starting to get warm.
3rd time over the hill Marvin’s big sprinter build finally starts cry uncle. I tell Matt to let Marvin sit in and I’ll cover as much as I can.
We hit the crosswind section and I knew that this was going to be the make or break. Get Marvin to the tailwind, let Matt take him up the hill. According to the SRM (SRM, the Powermeter of Champions) the last 5 miles of the cross wind had me pulling for a minute plus at 290-310w, resting for 20s behind Matt, then repeating. We’re a full MPH faster than the first three times on this leg. I really want us to win this thing. I’m hoping Marvin can get some recovery but know it’s tough being that big in the wind.
Hit the corner and drop the guys off with the wind at their back. I’m pretty wasted from the last pull and when Matt hits the gas I get gapped. Recover a bit and I’m keeping them at around 100m. Part way up the hill I see a huge cloud of black smoke and Marvin comes off Matt’s wheel. He looks back, says something to Marvin, then turns and heads up the hill.
I shout encouragement to Marvin, and eventually catch him. He digs incredibly deep and paces on my wheel for several minutes, then comes off. On this part of the climb there’s not much I can do to help so I keep going.
An aside: I’ve only thrown up once after a race, and that was at a TT in Texas where 20,000 people showed up to watch some guy named Lance, who was starting 4 guys behind me. I have my pride. He didn’t catch me and I made it past most of the finish line crowd before making a deposit into the bushes.
I nearly threw up twice during that climb.
Cross the line for 2nd place. Marvin, all heart and completely wasted comes in 17 seconds behind me for 3rd. We put a minute on Louie, who comes across with 2 other riders. That’s all that’s left of the chase group. Looking at the results, the rest of the field was strung across the landscape.
12 out of 54 starters riders quit and last place came in 50 minutes after the winner. All my teammates make it to the line. My finish time is 2:44. 2:31 of that was in the break.
I move to 3rd on GC. Marvin is 4th.
So after destroying ourselves after the road race we figured on me surfing to protect GC, and the rest of the guys helping Marvin do his thing. We controlled the race, took most of the primes, and at the end Marvin made it look easy.
I held third on GC; with the time bonus Marvin finished 1 second behind me for 4th. Our break mate Matt took a well deserved 2nd by 7 seconds over me and Louie held on to the win.
Great teamwork. I feel I let folks down a bit with my TT but hope to get that fixed.
Saw Cleave. Hi Cleave!
Ex, I have one word for your report. WOW...
Great Racing. I read the communique about flirting with drafting and my first thought was one of the P/1 women decided to race with the 45+ men. I believe her nickname is Draft.
I have the same frame and front wheel as Ex. Too bad I don't have a similar motor. :o
Great job out there. UCC looked as dominant yesterday as they did in the 2012 crit. Great start to the year!
Nice report, great result. Racing is usually fun... but more fun when there is strategy involved. And for the teams up top, stage racing must be glorious. Sorry to be a broken record, but that is one of the reasons I so enjoy track omniums... seemingly endless opportunities for strategy, even for those of us not regularly on the podium.
What was really fun for me, especially considering I was/am so far off my game, was having dinner with Ex and his mates as they planned their tactics. Then I got to hear how it played out, which was pretty much the way they planned it. Adding to that was hearing my teammate's perspective (he finished 7th in GC). There was a lot of tactical skill and teamwork needed to get Ex and Marvin off the front with only 1 potential GC challenger, and then a huge amount of sustained power for them to stay there. I learned a lot just listening.
Rosenna Ranch Circuit Race 45+: Ran over half an old spark plug on the 2nd lap and flatted. Teammate crashed a bit later (scraped u but OK). We got shut out. Oh well. Tomorrow is Ontario.
Wondered what happened to you. The 45+ sprint looked like it was happening in slow motion. Of course, I was slower motion in the 3s. :p
How went Ontario?
Saturday: Steak knives at the TT. Good ride, the other guy was just faster.
Sunday morning: Did the 50+ crit with all the usual teams against me and a teammate who had just done the 55+ race. Bridged to first break, out for 5 minutes or so and got caught. Went for a prime and missed. Went for another prime and Ka-Ching! $25 gas card. Kept going solo, got brought back. Bridge to another break that got brought back. 3 to go bridge to another break that got back. One to go I set up on one of the noted sprinter's wheel only to realize it's his teammate. Have to power past a bunch of folks, come from pretty far back, passed a bunch of folks to finish 7th.
Pack up and go to the track. Forgot my gearing so I'm stuck in a 100". 4k Team Pursuit as noted elsewhere. We get 2nd out of two teams.
I'm pretty cooked but have signed up for the 4k IP. 3 others have signed up. 2 bag it and my competitor pulls out after a lap. I ride a 5:03 on wooden legs. Not my best 4k but decent.
Great weekend racing with friends.
Nothing like sharing it friends, Ex! Great weekend, indeed.
Great work Ex.
Sure you couldn't have thrown in another attack or ten, Ex?
As I begin to understand the flow of a fast race better, I'm starting to really enjoy those where there are lots of attacks. They are challenging in so many ways, it is wonderfully overwhelming.
Wish I were decent enough to ride a 5:03 4K pursuit. :rolleyes:
Short report here.
Air quality and a pretty big training load, not much of which was on the TT bike took a bit of a toll. A good warm up was not an indicator of how I would feel during the race, which was miserable.
Tren said there was no wind in Ventura. ;)