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Race Report - PA Stage Race (July 21-22) - Long, but not as long as last time

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Race Report - PA Stage Race (July 21-22) - Long, but not as long as last time

Old 07-23-07, 11:13 PM
Kris Flatlander
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Race Report - PA Stage Race (July 21-22) - Long, but not as long as last time

Another Cat 5 race for me (#4) up in the north of the province through the forested Prince Albert National Park and Prince Albert itself.

Botto, Pcad and others who hate long reports, see bottom for abridged version complete with morals.

Stage 1 (Road Race) - A humid day for sure. The night before supposedly there was a huge storm that swept through town. I sure didn't notice it because I slept like a baby. Starting field of ~20 riders, nothing huge by California standards or whatever but that's pretty descent for Saskatchewan. We began off at a decent pace but I soon realized that there were a few very sketchy riders in the group. I'm talking guys who were taking up the width of 4 bikes with their swerving and generally acting like they had no idea how to ride in a pack, nobody could even follow a few riders lead to form up a echelon. After riding in with these guys for a while I realized the last thing I needed was crashing out of the race so I moved towards the back, I found two guys who left a bit of a gap through the back but were pushing a constant pace and weren't sketchy. I banked on no moves going for the first hour and just sat in to avoid the craziness. After the first 45 minutes myself and a friend of mine decided to launch a couple of attacks in succession to feel out the peloton. I went off the front hard from mid-pack (like I learned here ) and got a good gap really fast, I pushed it for about a minute until the lead riders had chased back up. Right when we met up my friend rocketed off the side up the road again. The group was still pretty jittery and nervous and chased it down fast. There were some strong riders in the group but they weren't organized and it seemed everyone had the mindset to wait for the field sprint. Fast forward 50 km. The plan as the majority of the group was still together was for me to go at about 5 km with my friend from earlier and try to last minute break it to the end, I went off at 5 km but Shane was nowhere to be seen. He had gotten stuck around midpack and couldn't get out to follow. I let up a bit to save myself more for the finish. I knew I had good legs going in so I let the group catch me again. At the 1 km to go banner I took another flyer off the front, I got a good gap again as we went up the last moderate climb, my gap was holding as I chugged towards the finish. I just tried to push it as hard as I could. 500 meters to the line and out of nowhere a triathlete who was racing flies by me, I try to stick his wheel but my legs are getting heavier and I can't accelerate enough. Then another guy passes me breaking off of the main group. That's when I thought if I don't go now I could screw up the whole GC, I was angry pedaling after the second guy a closing slow. 200 meters to the line and the gap was still 20 meters, I gave it everything I had and passed him at about 50 meters to the line to take second. Finished 4 seconds back of the tri guy, for a total of 9 seconds back on the GC with time bonuses.

Stage 2 (Hill Climb) - Pretty basic, waves of 4 riders, first two to the top advance, winner gets time bonuses and prizes, 350 meters long so it was an all out sprint. Went through the first wave pretty easily. Second place in the heat. Moved on to the semi with Shane, myself, Tri-Guy and some other guy. I got off my start the same as the first heat and had a bit of a gap at the bottom, led up the first tier of the climb (think stair steps like San Fransisco) but got passed by Shane on the steeper parts. Got into the final with Shane (-15 seconds), 3rd Place guy from RR (-9 seconds back), myself and some girl who finished bout midpack. If I could get at least second in the hill climb I would take the overall GC lead. Sprinted even harder off the start since I think that the flat power was all that was helping me hold out to the top. Got even more of a gap than usual on the group of 3 but then Shane came absolutely flying by me. He went on to take the KOM crown easy with me weezing into 2nd place and the GC lead. It was nice to be in the overall lead but it'd be even nicer to finally win a stage

Stage 3 (Criterium) - The Crits are always my favourite. I have a pretty good sprint and the sub 1 hour aspect of the crit leaves me fresh for a good sprint even at a fast pace. After going through such a sketchy time in the RR I was determined to trim a bit of the wheat from the chafe and went to the front for the first lap to keep the pace high. The last thing I needed was a crash in a turn off the start. After about 5 laps hard I move back a couple wheels. 3rd-4th wheel seemed to be about right but there were a few gaps forming through the turns which was a bit disconcerting but not too big of a deal. Just one prime and I didn't contest as I wanted to save my legs for the finish. It was a 15 second time bonus taken by a guy who was down a fair bit on the GC. I made sure to know who was within striking distance before the crit began so I knew who to mark. The main body of the crit was relatively uneventful with a just rotating pulls at about the same pace and only one break which I marked and kept out for about a lap before drifting back to the pack. Coming into 4 laps to go I went to the front to quicken things up. I could hear some laboured breathing behind me and I wanted to turn the screws a bit. I led for two laps before drifting back to get ready for the sprint. Powers and the guy who took the prime both went up to the front side by side with 2 laps to go, they were followed by Shane who's wheel I took. 4th wheel going into the last lap and we start hitting lapped riders. Lapped riders! On the last lap! Grrrr. Oh well. We got by what seemed to be most of them in the second last corner. Then coming into the last corner two things happen. First Powers and Prime winner open a 10-15 foot gap on Shane with an acceleration into the turn. They pass a lone lapper right before the turn leaving Shane and I to navigate around the lapper during said turn, oh well. Shane and I drew side by side I taking the outside he the in. Almost exiting the corner I see that Powers and Prime have already started there sprint and have almost a 50-60 ft gap from the my estimation due to having to navigate around the lapper in the corner. I wanted this win bad though. I just started giving 'er hard. There was about 300 meters (2 city blocks not sure exact distance) to the finish from the exit of the turn. I was all on my own closing on Powers, I caught him at about 150 meters to the line and didn't give him any opportunity to take my wheel. I just seemed to get this tunnel vision as I churned towards the line with Prime in my sights, 100 meters and he was still about 20 ft ahead, 50 meters and he had 10 ft, I put in a few more desperate pedal strokes and with a bike throw at the line I pipped him by a tire length or two at the line. Pheww that was close!

In the end I took my first two road bike wins ever, the crit and the overall GC. I was pretty stoked and I won an '05 Discovery Team Kit out of the deal which isn't too shabby to say the least .


RR - 2nd, Hillclimb - 2nd, Crit - 1st, Overall 1st
Botto's training tips work to perfection. A long sprint at a steadier power beats a spike at the start. Sketchy bike handlers are scarey. End.
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Old 07-24-07, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Kris Flatlander View Post

Botto, Pcad and others who hate long reports, see bottom for abridged version complete with morals.
i don't hate long reports, i just hate bad writing.

congrats on the result.
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