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Needed: RACE REPORTS - suffering needs company (nm)(13 posts)

Needed: RACE REPORTS - suffering needs company (nm)TFerguson
Apr 28, 2003 3:39 PM
Notes from off the back....TFerguson
Apr 28, 2003 3:42 PM
Race Report: Athens, IL 4/26/03 3 laps "13 mile loop consisting of good to not so bad roads, with rolling hills and 2 railroad crossings."

At the shorter Parkside criteriums earlier this year, my race goal had been to run at and off the front of the pack for as long as I could. Finishing didn't matter; I just wanted to race hard with the big boys. No problem. It felt good!

My goal for this race was to stay in the pack, protected from the wind, and see if I could stay with them all the way or at least until they took off for the final sprint. I thought that should be relatively easy at the more moderate pace of a 40-mile road race. I was wrong. It felt bad!

Nineteen Fifty Somethings start the race with me in the front row. I lead the pack into town and out the other side at about 14 mph. We're just cruising. I drop back into the pack, go up front for a short pull and drop back again preparing to settle in and just be pulled along for the ride. One thing I noticed was that if I was drafting on a wheel and some one else wanted that wheel, all they had to do was come close to me and I would move over. I decide to consciously work on that. When they come close, I don't move. It works. I do notice, though, that somehow I am being maneuvered to the windward side whenever there was a crosswind. I'm starting to work on that, cruising along at about 18, when we come to a small valley. Going down is some really rough road with four-foot potholes and whole sections missing, but I draw upon my MTB experience and handle it with ease. This road racing is fun. Then I notice that we are accelerating up the other side so I kick it in and only drop back a few places but my heart rate is really starting to climb. We get to the top and keep accelerating and are doing about 25 on a straight and I'm pretty close to the back. Then we take a corner and the pack surges like a slinky and snaps me right off the back. I go full out, catch up and do get back on, but my HR is now about 180 (> 90% of my max). We drop into another small valley and up the other side. Another surge. Another snap. I'm back on again, but my breathing sounds like a steam locomotive and my HR is 190. Short straight (HR= 180) and another curve. Same, but the HR isn't dropping this time and we're doing about 30 mph. Don't those guys know they're old? Another curve dead into the wind. I'm off the back and can't get back on. It's over. I'm only 9.2 miles into the first lap and sitting up like I'm on a slow breakfast ride. I quit in disgust at the end of the first lap.

PS – later back at the motel, I'm taking my bike and wheels up to my room so that I can take the car to the Colonel's and drown my sorrow in chicken fat, when I notice that my front wheel is flat. Was it going down during the race? Do I have an excuse? Well, It's enough hope for me that I skip KFC, make myself a couple of Ham and Swiss and prepare myself for tomorrow's race. Stay tuned.

Race Report: Loami, IL 4/27/03 4 laps "10.6-mile loop consisting of good to not so bad roads."

My failure in stay with the pack in the previous race was not the fault of a flat tire. But on this new day, I take another look at my goals for this season that I had labored over last fall.

1 Elgin 7-Bridges Road Race (7/6) – top 20 finish in Citizen 30+
2 Winfield IV Criterium (8/10) – podium finish in Citizen 45+
3 Sports Grand Prix of Downers Grove Criterium (8/16) – top 20 finish in Citizen 30+

Nowhere in these goals does it say that I am suppose to be competitive with Master class racers in April. The attitude is much improved.

With a grid of about 15, this race starts faster than yesterday's and gets real fast, real soon. The pack is surging even in the early corners. At about the 5-mile mark, we're all in a bunch and hit a corner hard with one cleared line through and the rest covered with about an inch of gravel on top of the blacktop. The
Notes from off the back - continued....TFerguson
Apr 28, 2003 3:44 PM
The rider two places in front of me goes down and I have to go out around him. The front of the pack, taking full advantage of the situation, takes off at full speed as soon as they hear "rider down" to try and drop as many of us as possible. I do catch up and get back on, but it's a quarter mile of all out effort resulting in a 190 HR, legs screeching in pain and me sucking air so loud that others are starting a pool on when I'll drop over. Things slow a bit for about a mile and my breathing has diminished enough that I can hear the dog barking as he comes flying out of a yard headed right for the middle of the pack. Bikes are swerving everywhere and the dog is heading straight for my front wheel. I can picture a doggy nose in my spokes with both me and dog lying on the ground in intense pain. The guys in front again attack as soon as they see that the dog is going behind them. I slow enough to let the dog go in front of me and accelerate. I manage to get back on again, but now I'm really cooked. Two surges later and it's over. Again, at about 9 miles in, I'm riding all by myself. [9.2 miles. Average speed=21.9 mph. Max speed= 31.9 mph.] This time though, I suck it up and finish the remaining 33 miles (plus another 2 or so from a wrong turn) for a total of 44.48 miles at 18.7 mph. Not dead last, but close, and I did have fun.

Next week – 42 mile UW Whitewater road race in Palmyra, WI. Stay tuned.
Stay with it T...biknben
Apr 28, 2003 4:20 PM
Keep showing up, give it all you got, and things will improve.

Things will get easier with experience. Try to stay up front more so those accelerations don't kill you. It's a completely different race when you're in the back of the pack.
Maybe leave your HRM at home. That is your limiter! ;-) nmSpunout
Apr 29, 2003 4:20 AM
re: Needed: RACE REPORTS - suffering needs company (nm)flyinbowlofmilk
Apr 28, 2003 5:10 PM
Well I have a simliar race report but with some near disaters. I arrive at my 2nd RR for 2003 with some expectations. Got out of my Cat 4 friend's truck and proceed to register. Took a couple of warm up ,so I could get the body feeling good after having a Grilled chicken on wheat brad for breakfast. So I proceed to the start line. To my surpise I got off with no problem. I proceeded to stay with the pack for the 1st 15 miles of the 33 miles loop. My race consisted of Juniors and Cat 5 racers which is a recipe for disaster, not to mention starting after the Pro 1/2. Somewhere in the 1st 10 miles I have someone ask me "how fast are we going now". Which should have been a clue that something was about to happen. The pack proceeded to roll at 20+ mph while someone dropped a water bottle in the middle of the road. Which cause the Juniors/Cat5 to swere to miss the water bottle. And then I had to deal with the yo-yo effect. And last of all I had to avoid someone who came up from behind me and brushed my back wheel at 25 mph. I manage to finish the race at 48th place . Need to work on hanging on longer with the pack and finishing the race with the pack. Well that my race report. Don't sound similar to yours? The course was flat torolling hills with no major climbs.


Here's some more suffering...noveread
Apr 29, 2003 9:18 AM
So this was my first road race. On Friday I was not sure if I was even going to race as I had been a little under the weather last week and especially on Friday with a little cough and tightness in the chest. But I felt fine on Saturday and the legs felt good so I thought I'd give it a go. I've always read that crits and circuit (road) races are two different animals so maybe this race would be better for me. If you've caught any of my other race reports, they weren't pretty!

It was a really nice course. Rolling hills about 3.5mi/lap. Right from the start you were climbing a hill that today, was dead into the wind. Race was for 50min + 1 lap. The wind was really blowing, WSW at 15-20mph. 40 riders lined up for the Cat 4/5 race. I was really concentrating on staying out of the wind. Perhaps too concentrated as the Cronometro boys decided to lay down the law about halfway up this first hill.

So I got caught behind some of the splits and was frantically trying to make my way back up. Within two miles I had worked my way back to the front of the 2nd group and was feeling quite comfortable really. Then of course, after a turn, some guy on a Trek in a plain blue jersey took me into the ditch! No shoulder on the road, just a drainage ditch along side that was 3 feet below the surface of the road. I kept it upright but the group was gone. Bummer. It was partially my fault too I'm sure. The strong wind was from our front right quarter so I was back and to the left of the guy. Then he swung over to the left side of the road and I had nowhere to go.

I extracated myself from the ditch and was in between groups and not able to catch back onto the 2nd group. The 3rd group caught me and I rode with them. 4 or 5 guys that swelled to 7 by the end of the race as we picked up a couple more that had been dropped. We worked okay together as we called a truce to see if we could catch the second group. We couldn't, but we still rode pretty well. I took out the sprint from this group which ended up as 20th position.

So it was a good race. My legs felt good and I thought I raced well. The results were my best yet but I wondered where I would have been had I stayed with the second group?

Hey, I'll be at the WI Champ RR this weekend too.

Here's some more suffering...BeeCharmer
Apr 29, 2003 4:52 PM
Hey Noveread,

Pretty freaky reading about myself in your post. I'm the guy in the blue jersey and I'm sorry about you going in the ditch but... did you really deserve the foot or so of pavement in my wind shadow? It seems that sometimes folks let you in and sometimes they don't. Sorry it ruined your race for you.

The guys in the first pack really pushed the pace on the first lap and I kept kicking myself for not making the break with them; they seemed to keep a pretty even pace with our chase group after that. Good luck in your race this weekend.

ne iowa
Don't sweat it...noveread
Apr 30, 2003 6:11 AM
Like I said, it was partially my fault as well. I was just eager to see if we could close it down to the front group. But as Carl said, it is the obligation of the rider in front to hold his line, obligation of the rider in back to stay clear. I should have given you an indication that I was there and ready to pull through.

And you didn't ruin my race. That was actually the best I have ever done! That says not so much about me! But really, I had a good race, I worked hard and had fun. The six of us that made up the third group worked well together, mostly...

Good luck in your racing as well. You seemed quite strong.

re: Needed: RACE REPORTS - suffering needs company (nm)Spunout
Apr 29, 2003 9:36 AM
My tale, not a race, but a brutal 120km group ride. Hard, steep rollers (up to 14%) through West Quebec.

Our group of 14 worked well, until the three strong guys at the front just rode the rest off of their wheels. I tried to get everyone working together, and that worked for about one turn. I kept reaching the front, waving someone through, looking back, and I have a five metre gap. So, you know what that means!

Drop to the back, rest 30 seconds, and jump the group! 50 metres instantly up the next roller. I was 10 metres at the closest point to catching the leaders when we came out of a forest onto the valley floor...dead into a 20km/h headwind. I'm seeing spots in front of my eyes as the trio ahead steadily leaves me in no man's land. Oh well, we caught up at the water stop and had a good laugh.

One of the guys in the lead is 54 years old; he told me "that's the difference between a Senior and a Master"...

My best ride this year.
Did athens this past weekendYoungRcR
Apr 29, 2003 12:48 PM
Got 2nd in the cat. 3 qualifier then got 4th in the finals that night. It was a good weekend and both finishes were sprints and i dont consider myself much of a sprinter. Its all about being in the right place at the right time. Stay at the front of the race and you will do well.
okay here's my versionlonefrontranger
Apr 29, 2003 8:39 PM
Saturday I went out with my SO on the Saturday Morning World Championships, aka the bike shop group ride. Some of the SimpleGreen guys (Cat 1/2 Masters) showed up and things often get ugly when that happens. I took a fair dose of ear-bleeding pulls on the front and we went from Louisville (CO) to Lyons at a rockin' tempo; my HR never dropped below 170. A highlight of my day was pulling the group into six pieces on a short, 3-step climb going north into Longmont. In Lyons the group stopped for a major discussion of route, with half wanting to do the "Froot Loops" and go home, and half wanting to ride South St. Vrain canyon to Peak to Peak to Ward (then home over Lee Hill, one suspects). My SO just plain went home at that point. The 'greenie-meanies' talked me into going to Raymond, a
13-mile climb which corresponded nicely with my coach's directive of a hard hill effort. My unspoken goal was simple: glue myself to the wheel of the smallest 'meanie (their climber) and suffer as long as I could until he dropped me, as I figured this would keep me honest on a "hard hill effort". We rolled out of town and hit the base of St. Vrain Canyon, which is a moderate to steady 5% grade. My stalking horse held a fine pace hovering between 15 and 20mph, and showed no signs of slowing. I ignored the smoke coming out my Polar HRM, and managed to hold onto his wheel for 13 minutes, or until the road steepened to 8-9% in the tough middle section. I fell off but held a hard effort all the way to the turnoff to Raymond, and reached it evidently not so far behind the fastest guys. We waited a darn long time for all the stragglers, and last year that would have been me we waited ten and fifteen minutes for. My plan was to go to Raymond, then turn north on Peak to Peak and hit Allenspark, call my SO up where the cell coverage is adequate, and thus have him meet me in Lyons as my goals for the day were met. The SG boys tried to talk me into going to Ward with them, and very nearly succeeded except for the part where when I got about a mile up the first climb on PTP going south, I suddenly remembered that there is TWELVE MORE MILES of climbing to Ward, some of the steepest climbing of the day no less, I'd already done 2:30 at or above LT, and to add insult to injury there was a stiff headwind. Not. I gave them my regards and turned north for Allenspark. My faithful SO met me in Lyons with food and the car.

Sunday I "doubled up" on what has to be my least favorite crit course. Anyone familiar with the AST crit course will sympathise, and if there are any Cincy racers on the board, think Ault Park. A circle on a sidehill, yawn. In the 4/35+ race my teammate and I rolled off in a break of 5 after the 2nd prime and gained a nice 15-20 second gap. The others in the break made a solid effort to keep us away, and Patsy sat on like a smart girl while I helped the rest to maintain our advantage. After about three laps of this, the break cashed it in, and as they collapsed under the strain, I released my teammate past them up the climb, and she was off like a kite with 18 minutes to go. She's been a force to be reckoned with at the local TT series, so I feared not and soft pedaled on the front until the field caught us, at which point my teammate was no longer in view. I sat on the front for a while longer doing very minor amounts of work with no one the wiser. My teammate took the day, her first win and maybe her fourth event! I rolled in for 6th in the sprint, anticipating I'd not want to burn any extra matches for the afternoon's effort. The 1/2/3 race was indeed ugly. Bigger, faster, longer, harder. My Polar data showed that compared to the 4/35+ race, I raced 15 minutes longer, 6.2 miles further, averaged 2mph faster at 7bpm higher average HR, 20 minutes longer above LT, 380' more climbing, and still got shelled. Ugh. Back to the drawing board...
Race Report - Wente CritMatt Britter
Apr 30, 2003 9:49 AM
After taking the whole week off from riding after the Sea Otter (transition week) I did my first 4's crit. Though the last 3 were 4/5 races anyways.

As my saddle time was little low over the last couple of weeks, my goal was to just sit in and work on moving around in the pack for the close quarters experience. The crit from my wind shellered point of view was not very taxing. Couple of interesting numbers for the season, this was the fastest average speed 26mph (most have been 24-25mph) and the lowest avg HR of 164 for a crit. There is probably some good lesson here, but not sure what it is?
I did do a couple of hard jumps and followed the sprinters for the primes.

This race was a good tune up for our clubs race this weekend. We are holding our annual (3rd) crit this weekend and I'm planning to finish top 10!