Wednesday, July 08, 2009

washed up


Yup...that is me. At least as far as national elite level road cycling is concerned. Of course I already knew this and have for about a year, but the Fitchburg Stage race last weekend served as confirmation...but let's back up a bit:
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After our tandem road race at nats we had a couple days to preview the TT course. It was really quite a difficult course with lots of up and down and exposed to the wind the whole time. The pic above is the file from my individual TT. I put in a solid ride...at least I thought I did with an average of 336 watts (340 NP)...which is ok considering the huge speed fluctuations. This was only good enough for 9th in my age group! Oh well...I guess I can't complain as I really have not been focusing on TTs at all this year and have only been on my TT bike a few times ...which is different than the last 10 years.
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After my TT I had about 2 hours to recover for our tandem TT. The wind picked up throughout the day but we still managed a really great ride on the big bike...for 31:01..... 16 seconds faster than my individual ride.....to win the mixed elite tandem TT title.
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After that the fun began: I had to pack and hit the road to drive up to Fitchburg Mass. I had about 21 hours to drive 16+ hours and be at my TT start. I drove about 8 hours, slept for about 4 and drove the rest of the way thursday morning. I pulled into the parking lot about 45 minutes before my start time. I got the bike out , kitted up, warmed up for about 5 minutes (literally)...and headed to the start ramp. I breathed a sigh of relief that I had made it, but sitting on the start ramp in the cold rain, looking down the road I realized that I had no idea what I was in for on this course. Usually I am over prepared for TTs...I know the course and have ridden it...but this course: no idea. It actually turned out ok and I was surprised I was able to put in a decent ride considering my travels. I think I ended up 50-something out of 170+ riders....but things went steadily down hill from there.
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Stage 2 is the circuit race. 75 miles, 25 laps around a 3 mile course with a nasty hill. I started hard and got harder, but I was ok....until my speed sensor on my fork slipped into my spokes about 8 laps in. With the fear of breaking a spoke, I stopped to fix it....and that was essentially the end of my race. I rode hard after and was lapped at just about the half way point. Unfortunately it had just started pouring rain as the field caught me at the base of the climb. Attacks were going and I was out the back again before I even had a chance to blink. Oh well...I kept hammering on and finished well inside the time cut...albeit a bit dejected.
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The road race was even worse. I was dropped early ...it seems you need to be able to do 500 watts for several minutes to stay on in these races anymore...which I cannot do. So again I was OTB...but this time I ended up in a big group of 30 or more riders. We rode a nice fast pace and it was actually a pretty good day. I set the pace up the steep part of the climbs for our group most laps and after a while we realized that the time cut was not going to be an issue. We were lapped by the field with just about 8 miles to go which worked out perfectly.
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I hung in the crit until about 17 laps top go (out of 55)....and I was happy with that as I knew I would get a pro rated time and make the final GC. I was certain I would be lantern rouge, but I missed that by just one place and a few minutes :)
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Post race Scottie Weiss and I hit the road and drove all the way back to his place in VA. I slept for 4 or 5 hours then drove the rest of the way home. I am still pretty tired from the travel.
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So I had an inauspicious final NRC pro stage race....and it will most likely be the last big pro level national race I do....time to realize that I just can't compete with those guys anymore. That is ok though...I have had a good run over the last nearly 20 years of racing and there are plenty of other races to do!
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a2

3 comments:

Anirban said...

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My name is Stephen said...

But your endurance MTB career is just getting started!!

Samsta said...

I've used some of the CTS Train Right workouts before, they are REALLY hard (at least the time trial workout is).

I've written a guide on how to start power cycling training if anyone is interested:
http://ezinearticles.com/?Power-Cycling-Training-Tutorial&id=4255820