ORV RR and CRIT and TRIDELTATHON
Better late than never . . .
The ORV Cat 4 RR on Saturday was 50 miles of fun mixed with some pain. Road racing and Crits are very different from triathlons. Your efforts are more like bursts of wattage and intense HR spikes throughout the race. Typically as you get into the higher categories the more organized teams become involved in how the race goes. In ORV there were two teams that each had at least 4 members apiece in Cat 4. Each of these teams would send guys on attacks throughout the entire race. If you as a solo rider think one of these may stick you have to answer the efforts or be forced to sit in and hope the group can work together to reel in the breakaway. I chose to answer the attacks every time one was made being that I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to be in a break. Which on about mile 20 of lap 1 happened. Me and one rider from I AM RACING went off the front and were gapping the field by about 15-20 seconds and pulling away. We were coming to the feed zone and at the main intersection before it he inexplicably turned right. He would later say the marshall was flagging him that way? Well it was now me by myself since I stayed straight and I knew I couldn’t hold off the group by myself so I dialed the effort back to settle back in with the group.
I had just burned a lot of matches during my efforts with him when we were pulling away and as soon as the group got to me about 5-6 riders attacked. I tried my best to stick to one of their wheels but they pulled away and once we hit Dickey Valley Climb for the second time my lungs and legs were starting to revolt. I pushed through it and after the climb the damage was done. Not only had the breakaway dropped me but now me and two others were 45 seconds off the back of the main peloton and 1 minute and a half off the lead group. Here’s where the fun starts. I don’t’ ever give up or mail it in so I continued to ride hard. It was ironic that it was me and a guy from I AM who had blocked me earlier and put a nice elbow into me as I pushed my way past him on an earlier attack I had answered from one of his teammates. So now it was me, him and a junior who probably weighed 95 lbs (not exaggerating). We started to work to reel in some folks, only me and I AM were taking turns pulling. We picked up another rider about a mile up the road. Then we saw a couple of more guys and proceeded to gather them in as well, my buddy Rodrigo from Harper was in this group. We now had 6 guys to work with, however they were all gassed and nobody was able to help pull. It was up to me and I AM cycling guy. We took the hard over 90 degree right hand turn that turns uphill and it was back to just Me, I AM, Rodrigo and the Jr. everyone else we picked up died on that uphill after the turn. However, it was at this time that I AM tells me he’s done his legs are toast, as did Rodrigo. I said OK lets see what you’re made of to myself. I wasn’t ready to mail it in and said lets go catch these guys, we had cut into their lead and had it down to 30 seconds but time was running out. I decided to bury myself and around the next turn I got a glimpse of them heading up a hill and around the corner. That was all the motivation I needed.
A couple of times the guy from I AM would say he was sorry he couldn’t do anything to help; I just told him to hang on for the ride that we were going to catch that group. I didn’t realize at the time but the group had all come back together and that was everyone except one rider who stayed off the front. We came up to the left turn at the main intersection and had about ¼ of a mile left to go to catch them. We pushed harder and Rodrigo and I AM found the legs to help a little to get that final gap closed. Right at the final right turn that was the finish we caught them. As we rocketed up the hill now with the group I was excited to see what would happen the last 500M. I was now 3rd wheel and set up really nicely for a good finish. Sometimes you want your body to do things and it doesn’t want to. I stood up to go and my quads said NO. They locked up and I could just sit there and watch I AM, Rodrigo and the Junior all have top 10 finishes after being off the back for a good part of Lap 2. I’m okay with the finish. Multiple times a couple of the guys thanked me for pulling us back to them. As I looked at some of the efforts after the race I noticed one thing very different from most of my fellow racers. My wattage 278W for the race (50.4) was hi compared to most others. I AM was at 220W and Rodrigo was at 227W 2nd place was at 236W. My best guess is that I burned way to much effort at the start answering attacks and getting in the break and then chasing back to the group. Bottom Line I had fun.
Kelsey came into town for this one from Birmingham for the first race of the season. I’ll be honest I was very unmotivated after the RR the day before and the weather but I still enjoy racing so I was there. The morning started as planned, but as soon as we got to campus it started raining harder, arghhh. We saw a lot of friends and teammates right of the bat; Katie and Mike D. were there and we set up really close to them. We talked some a we set up. Everyone was gone and I was grabbing a few last things and realized I had no bike helmet. Swim was starting in 5 minutes. I ran to my truck as fast as I could and grabbed it and ran back (that was my warm up). The swim was starting as I walked through the door. I ran up to where Mike and Katie and Kelsey were in line and jumped right in almost as soon as I got there.
The swim was a struggle, lap 1 and 2 were good the middle laps were so so and the last 2 laps were good again. Kelsey was really close to me on the swim, she’s really improved on it. Out of the pool and into transition with no troubles. I grab my helmet (thank goodness I remembered it) and shoes and bike and run to mount it and clip in. There’s a small problem, I switched my tri shoes to match my road bike and never switched them back to the tri bike cleats. So now I get to ride without the ability to clip in on a rainy wet nasty day. I kept it upright and the rain shortened ride was over before it started. Rack the bike and start to run and my legs fell like to logs after the 50 mile RR from Saturday. Mike D and I start the run at the same exact time. I wasn’t “feeling it” so we run and make a pseudo pact that we will have a good steady run but not go crazy. We see Katie and Kelsey on the run, Katie looks like a mad grizzly bear. Kelsey look like she’s having a spry run. Mike and I basically had a nice conversation for most of the run until he divebombed the last downhill and left me in his wake. After it was over I ended up with a 2nd Place in 45-49 and around 25 or so overall. I had a very average performance overall. Although I was super stoked that Kelsey finished 2nd Overall in 20-24 and only about 11 places behind me for a great overall finish in the mid 30’s. Her great coach, Lana and Nutrionist, Katie D have got her geared up for her Half Ironman in May.
Again I had fun seeing all my friends and enjoyed having Marvin and Brooke and Katie there to watch us and cheer us on in the crappy weather. Now to go eat and get ready for the ORV crit.
CRIT Masters 35/45+
Way fun race with some heavy hitters; Most of these guys are Pro/1/2 and Cat 3 older guys that are “retired” from it but can still crush it. I finished with the main sprint and won a little cash in the process. 3rd in the 45+ Catego
Poured down rain and frozen at the end but still had fun.
Crit Cat 4
Was burned out and missed the break in this one and finished half a lap back. Legs were toast but I still was happy with the Masters Crit finish so it took some of the sting away.
Thanks to Podium Sports Medicine for allowing us to do the stuff we do.