|GMSR Circuit Race||bikerbob|
Aug 30, 2003 4:15 PM
|This was a 19.4 mile loop. We did 47.1 miles, the pro's 64.7. The race starts off controlled as we ascend the hill used for the KOM.There isn't anywhere good to warm up, thus the controlled start.Once past the KOM hill,it's downhill for the most part till the finish line, which serves as the sprint marker for the first lap. I didn't know there was only one sprint, and wasted energy on the second lap, sprinting for non-existing points. This is a points stage race, no accumulated time. The system is nice in the respect that if one has an off day, or does poorly in one of the stages, there is still hope for a decent GC finish. Last year I did this race in the 4/5 32+, and we had a sprint finish. This year I was hoping to stay with the pack, not knowing how hard the pace would be. Much to my surprise, it was rather civilized, with surges here and there, but no one got off the front.The masters races are definitely better paced than the 4/5's I've done and there are team tactics that are gratifying to see and partake in. There were 56 starters, and I think there were 50 of us vying for the win as we came to the final sprint. I tried to sneak up , but wasn't aggressive enough. I think I was around twentieth, give or take a few spots. It is quite the thrill, the mass sprint. It makes one question one's sanity. And just hope everyone holds their line. And yes, we started five minutes before the women pro's and beat Genvieve in by two minutes,she must be slowing down.Tomorrow is the "Beast of the East" a 65 mile double gap ride. The first, Middlebury Gap, gains 1500 and gets real serious the last 1/2 mile. Going down is quite the rush, I hit 54 MPH last year. After the rush of the descent, one heads back north to tackle the Appalachian gap from the west side, but before that, there is Bristol Notch, a short section of 10%-12%, that is followed by 2 miles of dappled dirt road. Always an exciting part of the race. Then it's off to Rte. 17 and the App GAP, 1800 ft. of climbing, with the real test being the last 6 Km, and then the final Km, 18% after 64 miles. My legs feel good now, I'll let you know tomorrow. For more info, go to GMSR.info. All the race results, course descriptions, and elevations are there.