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IBOHUNT 01-13-14 11:22 AM

Well done sir.

Allegheny Jet 01-13-14 11:24 AM

I'm a firm believer in doing the core and stability work. The stability work definitely pays off at times and you know it right away with the feedback the brain gives you after you didn't fall or crash. My coach has all his athletes do stability drills incorporated into compound movement exercises. Earlier this winter we did a group fixie ride over snow covered bike trail and stone railroad ballast. The conditions were such that on paved sections the base under the snow was ice and on the snow covered ballast stone the surface could be loose when turning or maneuvering. There were more than a few times my front or back wheel would slide or slip and my body instantly made the corrections to continue riding through the issue even before I was aware of the threats. There were 7 riders on the 3 hour ride, two who are not part of the coach's group, the only riders to biff or fall where those two.

shovelhd 01-13-14 10:06 PM

Nice patient work.

AzTallRider 01-15-14 11:22 AM

Gotta love it when a key competitor ("B" in my report, the sprinter) puts his race plans and post-race analysis on-line:

Of course, I do the same thing, here. But it confirms his basic strategy. We are ganging up on him Sunday, if I get this one teammate of mine to wake up to what team tactics are all about.

AzTallRider 01-19-14 03:04 PM

2014-01-19 Avondale #1 Criterium - M55+ - 18 starters:

As you know, I was the ringleader of a conspiracy to deny our class's big sprinter yet another win. Plan was to throw repeated attacks at him, get him to chase, and launch a 2 man break after he was worn down. We threw the attacks, but he wouldn't chase, leaving it to those who weren't part of the plan to bring back the breaks. Plan B was to box him in to get the two guys off without him. That almost happened. I had him pinned in, but only one of the two was in position. The way the sprinter was looking around when he realized he was boxed in was priceless. He was frantic. After that he was stuck like glue to the guy from the other team ("B") we wanted on the break, as he considered B the big threat. B ended up sacrificing himself, staying back with the sprinter on him, as our guy went solo OTF. As we neared the lap countdown, the sprinter finally launched to try to bridge. B went after him, blew past, and the sprinter shut it down. Both our guy and B easily stayed away, with B never getting close to my teammate. Sprinter of course demolished the pack in the sprint, but most of the rest of just cruised in, our work done. Think I was 15th.

Very satisfying. Teammate first, B second, sprinter 3rd.

2014-01-19 Avondale #1 Criterium - M35+ - 22 starters:

I decided to eat $10 and do this one instead of the planned 30+ 4/5. Glad I did. Crash in the second to last turn when someone flatted. One of our guys was run down, and got a big gash, probably from a chainring. Mucho stitches.

Plan was the reverse of the 55+. We had the big sprinter, and the winner of the 55+ to lead him out. We were to chase any attack, protect J, etc. That lasted a few laps, then J and two others he knew he could out sprint broke free, and we went into major blocking mode. That worked so well they lapped us, and that's when we messed up. With 5 or so to go, two guys went OTF, but we didn't recognize who they were until too late. Teammate then blew himself up chasing, falling off the front with 4 to go. I was back at that point, surviving, and clueless. He yelled to me something unintelligle which I learned later was "Chase." I didn't, not that I had a lot of juice to do so. So... we had the top sprinter in a lap the field break with two guys he can beat 10 times out of 10, and only got him a third. I held onto the pack - I think 14th.


It's one thing to maintain awareness and think well when in your comfort zone. Much harder when you are on the edge, as I was a good part of the time in the 35+.

But hey - a totally awesome morning of racing. I once again influenced a race, helping get a teammate the win. I did that more with my pre-race strategizing than my riding, but I had good help working the on course tactics, so all was good.

revchuck 01-19-14 03:23 PM

AzTR - Cool beans! :)

Looking at your numbers...I can post those numbers. I'm officially out of excuses. :eek: If I only knew my ass from a hole in the ground about this stuff...

Cleave 01-19-14 04:01 PM

Sounds like good work in the 55+ race.

Confused about the 35+ race. The guys that went off the front the second time were the two guys that were in the original break that lapped the field? If so, then your sprinter should have been glued to them and, of course, your team should have been watching them too.

However, 2nd race weekend of the year and your team gets a 1st and 3rd in two races sounds pretty good to me.

sarals 01-19-14 04:24 PM


Originally Posted by revchuck (Post 16424104)
Looking at your numbers...I can post those numbers. I'm officially out of excuses. :eek: If I only knew my ass from a hole in the ground about this stuff...

I get that, Chuck. AzT is becoming a master at the game. I read everything he writes closely and try to visualize what went on and why. Good, good stuff.

Chuck, NO excuses, and you said it!

AzT, wow, my friend! Just - wow!!!

AzTallRider 01-19-14 04:28 PM


Originally Posted by Cleave (Post 16424170)
Sounds like good work in the 55+ race.

Confused about the 35+ race. The guys that went off the front the second time were the two guys that were in the original break that lapped the field? If so, then your sprinter should have been glued to them and, of course, your team should have been watching them too.

Right on both fronts, Cleave. Plus there was another break (with a guy of ours in it) halfway between. It all became confused as to who was who, and we let them slip away.


However, 2nd race weekend of the year and your team gets a 1st and 3rd in two races sounds pretty good to me.
We got other podiums as well - I think we placed in every race where we had someone entered. Besides injuries, the season is starting off great for us.

AzTallRider 01-19-14 04:30 PM


Originally Posted by sarals (Post 16424217)
AzT is becoming a master at the game

I wish, but I'm trying really hard to use this period of low expectations to engage my brain and improve my game. I have to learn to keep reading the race even when I'm way back. Hard to even see who is doing what up there!

shovelhd 01-19-14 06:45 PM

When you are in the break that laps the field, it is your responsibility to know who you were with and who could beat you. It is not the responsibility of your teammates.

Allegheny Jet 01-19-14 10:22 PM

Nice job racing today AZTR. I bet it feels good to be back again.

IBOHUNT 01-20-14 07:51 AM

Well done. Sounds like some great racing.

AzTallRider 01-20-14 07:51 AM


Originally Posted by Allegheny Jet (Post 16424957)
Nice job racing today AZTR. I bet it feels good to be back again.

Yep. Lovin' it.

AzTallRider 01-20-14 09:12 AM

Blocking, by the two tallest racers in AZ. Teammate is maybe a tiny bit taller, and weighs 20# less.
Photo courtesy of

carpediemracing 01-20-14 09:27 AM

^ holy head tube Batman!

Cleave 01-20-14 02:03 PM


Originally Posted by carpediemracing (Post 16425618)
^ holy head tube Batman!

You should see his Gunnar! ;)

sarals 01-20-14 02:28 PM


Originally Posted by Cleave (Post 16426387)
You should see his Gunnar! ;)

I have to reach over my head to touch the handlebars.

No, really!


sarals 01-20-14 02:29 PM

AzT, from the photo the road surface looks really good. That's a keeper photo, too!

AzTallRider 01-26-14 03:54 PM

2014-01-25 Bicycle Haus Criterium - M55+ - 23 starters; 1 mile flat course on an auto-track:

This was chapter 2 of the anyone but the sprinter saga. It still amazes me how many people say "I don't care where I finish, so long as he doesn't win." Clear lesson in Karma. He's not a bad guy, just emits hubris. So talking to the ex-teammate ("K) who sacrificed himself to help launch my current teammate to victory last week, it was clear my best contribution was to attack early. I was then to try and lead out a teammate if things were together for the sprint. I attacked lap 2, opening up 30-40m, I looked back and realized I was getting no respect whatsoever. So I did what I could and stayed away for a lap or so then settled in to recover. My attack served its purpose, as K got a break going with three other guys. One of them was the sprinter, but at the finish of a prime lap, he just rode away from the other three, who couldn't hold his wheel. Must be his new Propel (lol). After that, the three lost a bit of their enthusiasm, but were hanging onto about a quarter lap gap, so I made it my job to bring them back, and we did, setting up a pack sprint for second. Unfortunately, my teammate didn't make it up through traffic, and I didn't think I could go back, drag him up, and then do any lead out, so I just stretched the pack out from 1.5 laps to the last ~300m, at which point I was swarmed, finishing way back. Had I to do it over, I would have gone back and gotten the teammate to the front, then let him do what he could. Sprinter was on the podium, but second instead of the top spot, and a key contributor won. So that's a success in my book.

2014-01-25 Bicycle Haus Criterium - M35/55+ - 60 starters; 1 mile flat course on an auto-track:

As our Cat1 team captain put it, "This was the largest and hardest masters race I've done in Arizona." 7 Cat1's, 5 of them only 35+. Our few pro's were missing, but almost all of our other big guns were there. Averaged almost 27mph. I basically hung on for dear life; mostly tail gunning, but every now and then moving up some. And I did hang on, until 1.5 to go when the only other 60+ guy in the pack fatted inside of me, and I backed way off to let him get to the outside safely. Pushed hard to try and get back to the pack, but didn't quite make it, trailing in a bit behind - DFL, but happy to have finished, unlike 7 of the other starters. Great news though, was a 6 man break got away pretty early, and it was all 35+ but a teammate. The break split into two 3 man groups, and the pack never came close despite the announcers increasingly extreme exhortations, like "Are you going to timidly accept fate, our are you going to rise to achieve your destiny!?!" Kid cracks me up. He is awesome, and knows the potential of just about about every racer in Arizona. But even $170 Spy sunglasses primes couldn't get us to put in the effort to chase those guys down. One of them averaged 320w for the break. Given the on-off nature of crit's, that's up there. And too many teams represented, including of course, ours.

Anyway, teammate got his second 45+ win of the year, out of 3 races, so: total success! We also got 4th and 6th. Team is rocking' it so far.

Cleave 02-01-14 11:25 PM

Hi AzTR, all of these race reports are making me itch for a mass start race. Glad that your fitness is keeping you in the mix and that your race plans are generally working out.

AzTallRider 02-02-14 07:22 PM

2014-02-02 Oracle - M55/65+ - 40 starters; 40 miles; 4.5K climbing:

I drove the course the night before. Sadly, the moto-ref did not, and missed the first big turn, leading ~30 guys with him. The 10 of us who turned collected ourselves after the mess:

"So, are we racing or neutralized?"
"Can't pass the moto-ref."
"True. Can't do that."
"But, well, we didn't pass the moto ref."
"True. We didn't."

Pace picks up, but about that time the moto-ref pulls up and slows us down. :-)

I don't know where I finished... not in the lead group, as I was dropped first time up the biggest climb. Eventually 8 of us collected and rode together, although we weren't pushing it all that hard. We came around to the climb again and that group broke up. 3 guys got away, and awhile later I was caught by someone and we played cat & mouse up the climb for awhile, until he got away from me. At that point I made it my goal to reel him in before the finish. I dug in enough to get that done, blowing past him just after the 1K mark, after the course had leveled out to small rollers leading to a downhill finish.

My lack of a real base period still costs me on extended hard efforts, but overall I felt good about things.. and it was the kind of effort I needed to put in.

shovelhd 02-03-14 07:43 PM

I heard it was a great course.

AzTallRider 02-03-14 08:57 PM

The course isn't suited to my strengths, but its a great course for sure, and I think it would make for a good state RR. Pavement is excellent, no dangerous corners, combination of a fast downhill section, rollers, and some tough (small ring) climbing. Finish is a climb to where it levels out, with one last little power over it blip before a screaming downhill sprint to the line. Haven't heard yet how the finish played out, but based on the podium list, I suspect the climb strung everyone out and there was no pack sprint. I'll get to hear about it this weekend. Provisional results show me 16, of 24 in the 55 pack. Getting stronger each time out...

shovelhd 02-03-14 09:17 PM

Nice work out there.

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