Monday, June 18, 2007

Race Recaps

Saturday morning began with an early drive to the Specialized/Sierra Nevada Criterium in Folsom, CA. Threats of 100+ degree weather turned out to be a beautiful, sunny, 80 degree day. The crit took place in a small business park, very similar to the Wood Dale, IL course...smooth, wide and curvy roads. I raced with some friends out here and the plan was to take turns up front and get in anything that looked promising.

Saturday's Action:
At one point, maybe 15 minutes into the 50 minute race, Gabe (Squadra Ovest) was bridging up to a small break with one other and I jumped from the pack and joined them in the successful bridge to make about 6 of us off of the front. This group was well represented and worked together for about 2 laps and then just totally stopped working. Baffled by this, we returned back to the pack. There were a few other attempts, but everything was shut down until two guys took a pretty strong flyer off of the front that only one of them held. Chris L. (Squadra Ovest) lead the chase and caught him with about 1 to go, setting up the sprint finish. I felt great and thought I was in perfect position, until the inside line I had went slower than the outside line...21st. DOH!

After the race, I traveled up to Nevada City, CA with my Aunt and Uncle for the Nevada City Classic on Sunday. Nevada City is a historic town nestled in the mountains with an elevation of about 2,500 ft. The course was 1.1 miles with 160 total vertical feet per lap...the bottom of the course had two screaming fast turns that were lined with hay bales (and piles of replacement bales on stand by). Sunday was much hotter...nearing 100 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. Click on the picture...that turn they are about to go into (turn #2) tightens up 1/2 way thru...maybe 110-120 degrees?
Sunday's Action:
OUCH. This is a climber's race and I still have Midwestern legs compared to these guys. About 20 minutes into the race the climbers decided to attack and leave me behind. I was all alone with a couple occasional stragglers for the following 30 minutes. The stragglers would pull away on the climbs, but I would catch them thru the bottom turns (The System Six could practically lay flat on it's side thru these turns) and then repeat over and over. Little did I know, the breakaway group was hot on my tail and when I was climbing and veered right, they were smoking up the climb on my right...it was almost very ugly and with only 3 laps to go, I decided to take the safe route and get off of the course...I had no idea how close the field was and didn't want to repeat that situation again. (So yes, you read that right - I almost took out the winning breakaway, which would not have been cool...honestly, the officials should have pulled me that last time thru the line.)
Here are some interesting stats to show the difference in the two courses:
- Saturday: 47 minutes/21 miles/26.3 mph average
- Sunday: 48 minutes/15 miles/19.3 mph average

Extra special Thanks to my "Nor-Cal Pit Crew" (Aunt and Uncle) for keeping my carb & protein stores high, giving me a bed to sleep in, carting me around, scouting the course over and over, cheering and even recruiting random people to cheer for me all around the course!

No comments: