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Cleave 02-24-14 05:32 PM

2014 Valley of the Sun Stage Race
 
Race Summary

I caught a cold on Wednesday, felt a little better on Thursday, but, let's face it, I was sick. The body overcame the mind. First Lanterne Rouge in a stage race (though I have several DNFs and missed a time cut or two). Learned that racing three days in a row while sick doesn't work. At least I finished (no time cuts at this race).

Stage 1 –Landis Cyclery Trek Time Trial

Started one minute behind AzTallRider. There was a novice racer 30 seconds ahead. My breathing felt normal with no significant congestion. I started out normally but it took me a little longer than I thought to catch the novice and I could see AzTallRider ahead, but that's about as good as it got. I don't have a power meter on my TT bike but I couldn't hold my target heart rate after about 3-1/2 miles. Got passed by rider after rider and I tried, but I couldn't develop any power or get my heart rate back up to my normal TT zone. Ended up with my slowest time ever on this course. At least my bike position felt good and I wasn't last.

Later that evening, my teammate and I had a nice dinner hosted by AzTallRider and TallWife. We talked about cycling and photography and had a very fun meal and evening.

Stage 2 – Safeco Insurance, Parrish Agency Road Race

Had an early wake up call for this race. I'm glad my teammate was racing in the second wave as he helped me get ready and reduced my pre-race stress levels. My breathing still felt reasonable and I kept thinking that I was OK, even though I still felt the cold or some kind of bronchitis.

The race started sedately and there were a few half-hearted (IMHO) early attacks. After the TT, I was determined to stay near but not at the front. I stayed on the wheel of a good racer from SoCal since there were a number of racers in the pack who had dubious pack riding skills. At one point, "my guy" chased an attack and I stayed with him. He caught the attacker and then rotated to the front. There were only three of us and I took my turn but when I pulled off, nobody came through. I definitely wasn't going to burn any matches at this point so I just sat up and waited.

We hit the bottom of the climb and the pace picked up dramatically. Despite that, I felt OK. I stayed buried mid-pack as the road tilted up and at one point I thought, "I'm going to make it over the top with the front group." So much for the power of positive thinking. The person I was following started dropping off and I went around him but I couldn't catch the group. Others started falling behind and I was desperately looking for a good wheel. Unfortunately, I couldn't hold a good wheel (AzTallRider) as he came around me.

I settled into a group with two of AzTallRider's teammates. There was a 65+ racer who was just hanging on and not helping. Unfortunately, I couldn't help as I normally would. I would take and miss turns in the rotation. It looked like we were catching another chasing group. I was following and the two teammates were trading pulls. Unfortunately, they almost crashed during an exchange and I hesitated, got gapped, and ended up with the 65+ guy as the two teammates rode away.

About a mile before the climb, we caught some Cat 5 racers who were off the back of their race. As they hit the climb, their pace was too high for me. I tried but I couldn't stay with them or the 65+ guy. I had a long and lonely lap ahead of me. Interestingly, it wasn't my slowest lap on this course but it was slow. I was DFL on this stage and three riders dropped out of the race so I was now Lanterne Rouge with no hope of moving up in the next day's criterium.

I spent the rest of the afternoon in the feed zone. I successfully handed up some bottles to my teammate and I got to watch the Specialized Lululemon women dominate the road race. Also, the Pro/1 men were amazingly fast.

Stage 3 – Grand Canyon University Criterium

I woke up feeling a bit worse for the wear. My symptoms weren't good, with some interesting mucous coming out of my sinuses and lungs. Regardless, I had a race to do and a Lanterne Rouge to uphold. I decided that I would try to attack at some point so that I wasn't completely anonymous in this race.

The race started surprisingly fast with a number of people attacking hard and regularly. At the end of lap two, they officials rang the bell for a prime lap. I have no idea what prize they awarded but on the back straight I had some momentum and a clear shot at someone who attacked off the front, came out of turn four in second place and as we headed down the long front straight a couple of guys started coming by on the right. I jumped on them but the second guy decided to sit up and the other two contested the prime. Oh well.

Stayed buried in the pack for the rest of the short (25 minute) race and rolled across the line last of the riders in the pack. A few guys rolled across after me. I thought about raising my arms to celebrate my Lanterne Rouge as I crossed the line but I maintained my conservative decorum.

Epilogue

We had a large-ish lunch at a well known chain, sports bar/restaurant as we were hoping to catch some of the Daytona 500 before we hit the road in earnest. Unfortunately, the race had just entered what ended up as a 6-1/2 hour rain delay. I got a chance to nap on the drive back but I felt worse and worse as time passed. I am at home from work today to get some rest and recover. I guess as a middle-of-the-road, amateur bicycle racer, competing in a stage race while you're sick is not the best way to get some personal or overall results.

AzTallRider 02-24-14 06:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cleave (Post 16523589)
I guess as a middle-of-the-road, amateur bicycle racer, competing in a stage race while you're sick is not the best way to get some personal or overall results.

You got that right!

It was great racing and visiting with you again, Cleave. You should really come to the Tucson Bicycle Classic, and we can both avenge our VOS finishes. The TT isn't as huge a factor, the RR climb isn't as pack-splitting, and I like the CR on the third day.

shovelhd 02-24-14 06:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cleave (Post 16523589)
About a mile before the climb, we caught some Cat 5 racers who were off the back of their race. As they hit the climb, their pace was too high for me. I tried but I could stay with them or the 65+ guy.

That's not you. You were sick. Good job gutting it out, now go get some rest.

revchuck 02-24-14 07:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shovelhd (Post 16523794)
That's not you. You were sick. Good job gutting it out, now go get some rest.

+1. And prepare to catch some stuff when you go into work tomorrow..."Yeah, old Cleave was out partying too hard again..."

Racer Ex 02-24-14 07:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cleave (Post 16523589)
I guess as a middle-of-the-road, amateur bicycle racer, competing in a stage race while you're sick is not the best way to get some personal or overall results.

I had the same feeling when I walked into the local MMA gym...

Cleave 02-24-14 09:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by revchuck (Post 16523879)
+1. And prepare to catch some stuff when you go into work tomorrow..."Yeah, old Cleave was out partying too hard again..."

I may get some "stuff" at work tomorrow but it won't be related to partying. People keep telling me to watch The Big Bang Theory because I remind them of Sheldon. I'm afraid to watch the show.

Hermes 02-25-14 12:01 AM

When I saw the results from the RR, I knew you were not feeling well. Hope you feel better fast.

Cleave 02-25-14 08:25 AM

Thanks Hermes. It's been a many, many years since I was sick twice in such a short period of time. Will miss training at the track tonight because of another commitment and it looks like rain (hooray!) in SoCal for the weekend. Another glitch in my training that I will try to minimize by being a track rat after today.

Allegheny Jet 02-25-14 08:57 AM

Hope the illness is a quick one Cleve. You have been at this long enough to know a few bad days are just a little bump on the road.

dvs cycles 02-25-14 07:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cleave (Post 16524250)
People keep telling me to watch The Big Bang Theory because I remind them of Sheldon. I'm afraid to watch the show.

Great show Cleave but I don't see Sheldon in you. But I only know you on the bike not your workplace , soooooooooooo?;)

Racer Ex 02-26-14 08:51 PM

You should race this weekend in the rain...will me your bikes and then get on a bus to Florida with Jon Voight...


Get well my friend.

Cleave 01-04-15 11:17 PM

Hi,

When I left this thread in February 2014, I had just experienced my first DFL (besides a DNF) in a stage race. The rest of the year didn't get much better. The San Dimas Stage Race in March yielded another DFL. I had as many DNFs and DFLs in 2014 as I have in almost any other year of racing. The bright spot was the California Senior Games.

Some basic statistics:

44 road races, circuit races, and criteriums
8 time trials
2 track time trials and 1 team pursuit

This was the least number of races that I've done in several years. I suffered through two cases of the flu, a cold, bronchitis, and shingles. Still dealing with some family issues and, of course, trying to build a new house from the ground up. The house will have a dedicated bicycle room. :)

2015 can only be better -- right? ;)

Racer Ex 01-05-15 01:30 AM

On the bright side finishing last gets you a high draft pick...

Life happens. Last year was similar for me, far fewer races, a lot less success. 2015 hasn't started out well. Hopefully we both get it together at some point...

A dedicated bike room is nice btw.

sarals 01-05-15 10:07 AM

Cleave, 44 races? All I can do is sit here in awe. :thumb:

Hermes 01-05-15 10:54 AM

I thought you were riding well on the SoC ride and riding with John and Amber is the bike racing equivalent of staying at a Holiday Express Inn or as I like to call it "who you ride with" wang.

And if you think that is not true... On the SoC ride, a guy pulls up next to me and introduces himself. He said, he was riding along and saw Amber and figured he would join our ride because he knew that all the guys were fast if they were riding with Amber. If he only knew the truth.;) I did not dissuade him from that impression.


IBOHUNT 01-05-15 01:05 PM

55 races total. Holy crap on a *******!
I only have two words.... Day EM!

*edit - not sure why the forum needs to asterisk out c r a c - k e r

mkadam68 01-05-15 01:45 PM

Well, Cleave, if I can encourage you in 2 ways: yes, it can only get better. :D And, I didn't race at all last year. :( So there's that...

nacler22 01-05-15 01:57 PM

I think that all of us will have a better 2015, at least I hope we do. As an aggregate, 2014 was kinda tough for a lot of us, although there were some notable achievements.

Now, we just need to make sure that everyone has their own dedicated "bike room". :D


Quote:

Originally Posted by IBOHUNT (Post 17443314)
55 races total. Holy crap on a *******!
I only have two words.... Day EM!

*edit - not sure why the forum needs to asterisk out c r a c - k e r


........ old southern colloquialism, usually a pejorative..........bf filters no likey.

IBOHUNT 01-05-15 02:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nacler22 (Post 17443455)
I think that all of us will have a better 2015, at least I hope we do. As an aggregate, 2014 was kinda tough for a lot of us, although there were some notable achievements.

Now, we just need to make sure that everyone has their own dedicated "bike room". :D


I am just hoping for an injury free 2015. I've had enough of that surgery stuff to last me a while.
A bike room would be nice however I'd really rather ride outside. (saying that while getting ready to do a trainer session :twitchy::mad: ) 30 degrees with 30+ gusts.



Quote:

Originally Posted by nacler22 (Post 17443455)
........ old southern colloquialism, usually a pejorative..........bf filters no likey.

Thanks. Didn't even cross my mind.

LAJ 01-05-15 02:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nacler22 (Post 17443455)
I think that all of us will have a better 2015, at least I hope we do. As an aggregate, 2014 was kinda tough for a lot of us, although there were some notable achievements.

Now, we just need to make sure that everyone has their own dedicated "bike room". :D

Indeed. Tough year, but it is what it is.

That bike room thing... I bought Mrs. LAJ a 10x12 shed to store all her gardening things in. I get most of the garage, and it's still not enough.

nacler22 01-05-15 02:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LAJ (Post 17443560)
Indeed. Tough year, but it is what it is.

That bike room thing... I bought Mrs. LAJ a 10x12 shed to store all her gardening things in. I get most of the garage, and it's still not enough.

To be honest, I pretty much refuse to ride a trainer. Gave my rollers to a teammate a couple years ago, and that was it.....done and done. There are usually only a couple-ten, days a winter that make riding outside unpossible .......forced rest. :thumb:

Today looks like one of those days; freezing rain this morning put down a nice layer of ice, followed by the present rain @33 degrees. I guess I could practice my falling down gracefully techniques.

Dalai 01-05-15 04:11 PM

Impressive number of races last year Cleave!

Amazes me the dedication that you guys who have to face cold and snow during winters! Any time I grumble about the cold when heading out for a ride (may get close to 0c a few nights a year and rains a bit), I always think of you guys and tell myself to stop being soft...

We extended our house back in 2006 and included a third bedroom built just for my bikes. We are now again looking to build on again, adding a bigger room as the current room is now getting too small to fit them all! Plan is we can then convert the current bike room into a guest room which we don't actually have. :innocent:

shovelhd 01-05-15 06:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by IBOHUNT (Post 17443494)
I am just hoping for an injury free 2015.

Can I get an amen?

nacler22 01-05-15 08:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shovelhd (Post 17444116)
Can I get an amen?

Here you go.


revchuck 01-05-15 11:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sarals (Post 17442777)
Cleave, 44 races? All I can do is sit here in awe. :thumb:

Quote:

Originally Posted by IBOHUNT (Post 17443314)
55 races total. Holy crap on a *******!
I only have two words.... Day EM!

Uh...what they said. :) Here's hoping for a better 2015!


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