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shovelhd 07-18-12 07:38 PM

shovelhd race results
Tuesday at the Rent, A, 95 degrees, humid, a stiff southern wind, 12th or so. This is a weekly training criterium held in the parking lot of Rentchler Field, where the UConn Huskies have their football stadium. The course is laid out on roads that are closed to traffic during the race. It is a wide open, flat, featureless course other than the wind which is always present. Tonight it was brutal, 15mph and higher.

Three riders went at the gun. I had to get to the front first, but managed to start the chase on the first lap. Unfortunately, I was covered. I tried two more efforts to try and get away, but both didn't have the right mix of horsepower to stick. Shortly after my 3rd attack, three Cat1's drilled it and blew the field into smithereens. I would stay with them for a bit, then the next group, then the next group as the wind and pace took it's toll. The groups were strung out for most of the race. I would get lapped once. Others got lapped more than once. Of the 35 or so starters, less than half finished. I lost count. It was just like a bomb went off. I had trouble with efforts longer than 45 seconds as I would start to get nauseous even though I pre-hydrated and was drinking throughout. I have never felt this bad at this race, ever.

Needless to say, my scheduled workout less than 12 hours later was not good. I could not make my numbers. Not exactly stellar results, but I gave both the race and the workout everything I had.

AzTallRider 07-18-12 09:32 PM

I can picture how a pack would blow up like that - good description. You are obviously really good at really giving it everything you have, which is more than most people. That's something I'm working to improve, as I generally finish with too much left. So good job!

shovelhd 07-19-12 05:24 AM

Thanks. When I pressed Stop on my Garmin after the cooldown laps, the NP number was 10% over threshold. 57 minutes worth.

Hermes 07-20-12 03:17 PM

Wind is always a big factor and it does not take much to explode the field when on the limit. I like the way you just race. So much of getting better or being happy with results or both is just doing it.

shovelhd 07-20-12 07:42 PM

Thanks, AZT and Hermes. Turns out I made my numbers, actually overshot them a bit. I was aiming 50W high. I can be such a dumbass sometimes.

shovelhd 07-21-12 06:53 PM

I raced a road race (gasp) today. I did not finish in the top ten, which was all the results that were posted, but I did not expect to. I may have won a state medal, though. We'll see. Race report to follow once I know how I did.

sarals 07-21-12 08:00 PM


Originally Posted by shovelhd (Post 14511614)
I raced a road race (gasp) today. I did not finish in the top ten, which was all the results that were posted, but I did not expect to. I may have won a state medal, though. We'll see. Race report to follow once I know how I did.

Shovel, that's great! Congrats!!!

Allegheny Jet 07-21-12 09:23 PM

Hoping for your result to be a good one.

shovelhd 07-22-12 07:50 AM

Tour of the Hilltowns road race, M50+, 57 miles, 23rd place. This is a typical New England road race with tough climbs, screaming descents, and high powered fields. They come from all over to do this race. We even had one of RacerEx's teammates in my field. This is my club's road race, so I spent all day Friday sweeping the course. Last year, I trained hard for this race, one of my A races, by doing a ton of hill work. This year was just the opposite, as I have been training for criteriums only. So my plan was to chase nothing until after the first climb, and then only to join a group. One lone rider soloed for about 12 miles but we caught him on the descent. At the base of the first climb I was at the front of the group, right where I wanted to be. When they hit the gas, I paced my climb by power. This is a 20-22 minute climb that varies up to 14-15% and is one of the more difficult long climbs in the area. I went above my target for the entire climb, but never blew up, never intentionally backed off, just kept the power on from bottom to top. I was passed by a lot of riders at the bottom but I was passing riders the rest of the way. Guys were blowing up all around me. I was about 500m behind the lead group when they hit the summit, and there were two groups behind them. The first two groups would combine to be the lead group. Once I reached the summit I set out to catch what would now be the second group. It took me five miles, but I eventually caught them. I did some work in the group but generally tried to conserve as much as possible. I had just come off of a pull when I threw my chain on a rise. I thought it was over at that point, but the group sat up for me. I thanked them for it. That was classy. Once we got within 3 miles of the finish, and the long slog begun, the group split up as expected. I had a rider marked that I wanted to stick with. A few rode away from me, but I couldn't have stuck with them anyway. I took the group sprint from the rider I marked.

It's possible that I won a state RR medal, even in 23rd place, as there was only one MA rider in the top ten, and he isn't 55. So we'll see.

Considering I had a very tough few training weeks, that I worked hard all day the day before, and that I haven't even ridden a hilly road ride in ages, I am OK with this result. I felt that I could have gone a little but harder on the first climb without blowing up, but I was in a great rhythm, well above threshold, and I just didn't want to explode.

chasm54 07-22-12 08:04 AM

That's pretty impressive, shovelhd, for a man who hasn't been training for road races. As a novice I'm interested in the five mile chase to get back on. Everyone tells me that one has to bridge up fast and early, that trying to TT one's way across is too taxing. Not the case here?

shovelhd 07-22-12 08:12 AM

chasm, in general I would say that this is true, it's better to bury it and catch on fast if you can, and give yourself more time to recover. In this case, however, and I'm certainly open to criticism from anyone, I think what I did made sense. I had just finished 20 minutes climbing above threshold. I know the course well, so I knew that I would have time to catch them on the rollers eventually. I would close the gap on the rises, and they would pull away on the drops, but I was always closing. I caught them on a short punchy 6% section that had fresh chipseal by sprinting hard in the packed down sections. I knew the group would slow due to the loose rock.

chasm54 07-22-12 08:17 AM

Interesting, thanks. A little local knowledge certainly helps. Useful lesson for me to know when to adapt the "rules" to take account of the circumstances.

Hermes 07-22-12 08:25 AM

I think your racing form is excellent.

shovelhd 07-22-12 10:12 AM

Thanks, Hermes. It means a lot.

shovelhd 07-28-12 06:28 PM

Green and Gold Criterium, mid 70's, on and off rain, tight technical course with a hill finish, gusty variable wind shifting all over the place. M45+, heavy rain. I was excited to do this race because there were a bunch of breakaway guys that I would hope to work with. One of them went at the gun, and I got caught boxed in during the first half lap. I tried to bridge but was heavily covered. There were three teams that made up almost half the field, so my whole race would be all about attacking and getting chased down. I was OTF at least five times, each time with a member of one of those teams, but they didn't have the horsepower. The last break was caught with 2 to go, so I didn't have much left for the sprint. I rolled across the line 8th, out of the money, pissed off and disgusted. There would be 90 minutes to the next race.

M55+, light sprinkles, predominantly dry pavement. The pace was stupid slow at the start. Several riders attacked, I followed, then they sat up. I decided to go for the first prime to stretch out my legs after the break. I won this by two bike lengths. I would again go OTF a bunch of times. One of those times, I was in a two rider break, and I took a prime just because it was my turn on the front. I took a third one the same way. With 6 to go they rang the bell for the final prime. I decided this time to jump early, try and open a gap, let the rider come around me, and stay OTF. When we came around the finish turn, I asked the guy if he wanted to stay out. "Nah". Okay. See ya. I rolled away, hitting the gas hard on the uphill sections and managing my power and aero position everywhere else to deal with the difficult wind conditions. I still had a nice gap on the final lap. I gave it all I had through the final turn and down the stretch in the sprint. I knew they were coming, but would they catch? They did, 6" after I crossed the line. It wasn't Somerville, not even close, but I could not help feeling a bit of redemption, and a boost of confidence that I am still capable of soloing OTF and winning.

Allegheny Jet 07-28-12 06:58 PM

Great job on the win. Very aggressive racing paid off today!

Cleave 07-28-12 07:41 PM

shovelhd, that is very impressive and congratulations on the solo win. I can be aggressive in one race but never two in a row.

Hermes 07-28-12 07:54 PM

Congrats on some fabulous racing and tactics.

sarals 07-28-12 09:51 PM

Shovel, wow! Great, great work! I'm proud of you!

chasm54 07-29-12 01:07 AM

Terrific, shovel. Well done.

AzTallRider 07-29-12 06:24 PM

I'm in awe of what you do, Shovel. Beautiful way to win a race.

shovelhd 07-29-12 07:56 PM

Thank you all for your kind words.

VanceMac 07-30-12 08:43 AM

I have no idea what your fields are like, but I'm inclined to think the 8th in 45+ is even more impressive than the 55+ win. Great job on both.

shovelhd 07-30-12 10:31 AM

VanceMac, they're all over the place. I'm usually very competitive in the M45+ fields. I won an NCC M45+ race last year, and usually top 10 in most of them. In last weekends race, the one guy got away at the gun with another chaser. The field was small and those two guys had the strongest riders backing them up. It was an exercise in frustration.

shovelhd 08-04-12 09:24 PM

I put today's race results in the 33 race results thread. The bottom line, M55+ 4th (3 primes), M45+, 15th.

These shots are from the Green and Gold criterium last weekend.

With 5 laps to go, I hit the gas.

Drilling it up the hill.

Meanwhile, back in the field. Look at the suffer face on this guy, the CT Criterium Champion.

I knew it would be close, so I saved a little for the sprint.

The bike push wins it. This is why you never put your arms up before the line unless you are 100% confident that there is no other rider near you.

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