Tuesday, April 22, 2008
I had a great time, but I'm completely beat now. Here's the good old Garmin Edge Data for you:
Hellyer Park Velodrome is an awesome track! Specialized donated a number of Langster Track Bikes for the velodrome to rent out. I saddled up on my $5 rental and took the "Intro to track racing" clinic with the guys from my team. This pretty much consisted of a long warm up (riding in a paceline), then some sprint work (2 pacelines and the front guy would sprint to the back of the other group), a 6-man, 6-lap TT (did this about 3 times) and then a 9 lap scratch race (Aaron won, I took 3rd).
Here are some pictures from the day:
Excuse #1: Ad Tech Parties.
Ad Tech was this week and instead of getting in my weeknight rides and sleep, I went to just about every party out there and that lack of sleep coupled with some very busy work days really wore me out.
Excuse #2: Race Prep (partly mental).
While having dinner at Applebee's (not ideal night before the race food) one of my party (either my teammate Carmi or co-worker Jeff) mentioned that the race was 90 minutes. Ummm...I was under the impression that it was your typical Cat 3 circuit race and would be about 50 minutes. I had brought barely any food for the morning and during the race...plus 90 minutes got into my head and messed with me. I shouldn't bag on Applebees as race prep food - Rock Racing was at the table next to us and I think they did just fine.
Excuse #3: Energy Drink.
I picked up a Rockstar Energy Drink the night before the race...this was for the drive from our hotel in Salinas to Laguna Seca Speedway. I forgot about it and ended up drinking it about 20 minutes before the race...MISTAKE. All I wanted to do during the race was puke. I was constantly (carefully) burping and trying not to burp up my breakfast. This was inhibiting my breathing and up the climb about 50+ minutes into the 90 minute race, I was wheezing so hard at the top of the climb that I lost touch with the group and gave up. That sucked.
Here's the Garmin Edge data from the piece of the race that I did. My teammate Carmi held on strong and finished 24th.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008
Per my previous post, "Martinez Criterium", you know that I swore about getting 4th and being placed 6th. This photo was taken very close to the line. Going 35+ I would be at the line almost instantly from this photo. (The line is the green/red line).
I'm just sayin...that's all.
Have a great weekend and if you are in the area - enjoy this weather!
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
This morning me and three of my mates headed up to Geyserville for a Gatorade commercial shoot. It was a full day filled with a lot of repetitive riding back and forth and up and down a climb and a ton of calories from the masses of food they served us.
Great times overall. I snuck a pic while riding up the climb (knowing the camera was not on me). That's the next post.
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Today's plan...sit in and wait for the sprint finish. Our team, Active Athlete / Squadra Ovest had a total of 6 riders in our Cat 3 race (Chris, Dino, Aaron, Murat, Gabe & myself). The team pretty much all mixed it up in the front of the race, establishing breaks and keeping the pace high (except for me)...with 5 to go, I made my way up to the front only to get swarmed again and again, lap after lap. 2 to go and I got up there and stayed. I sat about 10th and was able to contest the sprint.
Here's where things get funny. When you are sprinting at the front of the pack and aiming for the podium, you KNOW where you are and what place you got. It's a bit different than when you are in a pack for 10th. I remember thinking that I needed to pass one more guy to get 3rd place and that didn't happen. I got 4th place. The race officials video camera was not working today, so they asked all the top 15 riders to come over and let them know where they think you were placed. I fought for 4th, but two guys stole 2 spots in front of me and I was officially placed 6th. Complete bummer...I know I was 4th. I accepted 6th, got my upgrade point, my cash and called it a day.
We then grabbed some burritos and watched the Pro/1/2 race, where our teammates Jan and Charlie were racing among a large Rock Racing squad. Rock established a 4 man break with a few of the other big teams and then Bahati bridged up to make it a 5-man breakaway, with 2 Rock Racing teammates. Rock won the race and Bahati took 3rd. Jan and Charlie had thier work cut out for them as this race looked crazy fast. They both did a great job and raced hard. I didn't see the final results, but Jan was near 30th.
I forgot my GPS today (normally I toss it in my back pocket). So instead of a nice fancy Google Map, you get a nice fancy Angelo drawing using Microsoft Paint.
Friday, April 4, 2008
Saturday’s crit was 50 minutes on a pretty technical course with a 180 degree turn that was immediately followed by a hairpin S-turn. After that, you got hit hard with the headwind. I was feeling very strong and really wanted to get into a breakaway during this race. With the tight turns and the wind it was definitely a day for a break to stick. Early on in the race the pace let up and I launched an attack…after hitting it hard for a bit I took a look back and found no one on my wheel and a large enough gap that I had to keep going. I sat out there for about 5 laps (snatched up 1 prime) and the entire time I was really hoping that someone (or 3) would bridge up….nope. Once I was back in the pack my teammate, Aaron, counter attacked perfectly and got away for a small break with a couple others. This was also brought back. One guy finally slipped off of the front and held it to the end…so the sprint was on for 2nd. I was in a decent spot coming out of the S-turn and was able to snatch 10th place overall, with all of my teammates coming in shortly behind.
Sunday’s Circuit Race was 50 minutes on a 1.7 mile course that included a long gradual hill (about ½ of the course was uphill). Because of my Saturday finish, my team wanted me to just sit in (hidden from a nasty uphill headwind) and try to stay fresh for the finish as I was the best candidate on our team for the Omnium. I dig that…all I had to do was take it easy and stay hidden from the wind – I’ll take that any day! My teammates were awesome. They established breakaways and chased down any that did not contain one of us in it. The race stayed together. I was a bit nervous towards the end of the race…these guys gave it their all throughout the race so that I could stay fresh and kill it in the sprint finish. The pressure was on! I was in horrible position (sitting about 30th) as we crossed the start of the final lap. Cursing myself until I saw my teammate Dan sitting nearby. As we hit the lower end of the course, he popped over to the side and hit the gas. I hopped in his draft and he delivered me right up to the front in perfect position for the final climb. He then continued on and drove the pace of the pack up the hill till about 500 meters to go. The sprint was on. A few guys jumped and I was able to come around the front guys and hop on their tail. With about 300 meters we were in full uphill sprint (with a headwind). It was a real power draining sprint and I was not able to get around these guys. I finished 6th for the day and that put me at 5th for the Omnium.
I was stoked. This was a great weekend for me and our team. Everyone on the team raced two excellent races. I had a personal victory as Sunday was the best placing I’ve had out here in
Up next: Martinez Criterium this Saturday