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What I learned today and race report

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What I learned today and race report

Old 06-19-10, 02:31 PM
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What I learned today and race report

First race is in the books and I didn't finish last in my age group so I'm happy. Learned a few things today the hard way and also relearned stuff I read about. So lets see:

1) Drafting - HOLY CRAP does it help. When riding solo I struggle to hold ~23mph on the flats for long (I can hold 20 all day). Today we were riding the flats at 25-30 and I wasn't even feeling it after 10 miles of that pace.

2) Hold the wheel of the guy ahead of you - Learned this the hard way. Coming into the first major hill, the guy ahead of me lost the wheel of the guys he was riding behind. Goes without saying we went backwards...FAST. By the time I realized what had happened and that he wasn't going to accelerate back up to re-connect, I jumped out of the saddle and hammered down the hill but it was too late. The main group was gone and I was stuck with about 2 or 3 other riders and all the stragglers we left behind on the hill. Which leads into:

3) Once you get dropped it is a pain to reconnect - couldn't fight out way back to the main pack as hard as we tried

4) Being caught in no-mans-land is not fun - Was caught in no-mans-land trying to bridge up to a group of 3 riders with the guy I WAS riding with had mechanical issues on a hill. Took me 9 miles and the help of the Men Cat 5 > 35 to help me bridge the gap only to have everyone stop as soon as we were passed due to a major crash up the road which leads into:

5) Stopped races are SO unfair - I had left about 5-10 racers behind me on the first lap and when we stopped on lap 2, they ALL caught up. While we were standing on the side of the road waiting for the OK to race again, they were gaining back the ground that they lost. Having a much shorter wait allowed them to blow the 3 of us that were waiting the longest out of the water on the climb we stopped on, as our legs were stiffened up from the 10 minute wait. Didn't see most of those guys again.

So all in all it was a very enjoyable race. Other than the stop and coming in almost dead last, it was fun and riding at 25+ in a group like that is thrilling. The course played out to be what was predicted: tough climbs, fast descents, and gently rolling flats. Overall, the time I clocked myself at was 1:42 for 32.5 miles with a neutral 2 mile roll-out. The leaders, from what I've heard, finished just under 7 minutes ahead of me. Not too bad for my first race.

What to do for next time:

1) INTERVALS - I was amazed at how quickly the pace would go from 15 -> 25 -> 15 -> 30 etc. Was NOT prepared to my fullest extent deal with that.

2) Group rides - I NEED to find one or two group rides a week to do. After the thrill of riding with a pack, I NEED to keep doing it.

3) Stay closer to the front/be alert - Make sure I don't make the same mistake twice and let the pack get away from me like I did today.

*Will post official time/place/pictures when they become available
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Old 06-19-10, 03:56 PM
Hida Yanra
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good report - glad you got the first race out of the way.
Those are all important lessons to learn, keep training, train smarter, and race harder
Hida Yanra is offline  
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