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Continued from Saturday....the Road Race(4 posts)

Continued from Saturday....the Road RaceSadlebred
Sep 15, 2003 9:45 AM
Barnesville, GA Omnium Road Race
Distance: 33.5 miles
Speed: 20.5 mph
Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

The road race course was a 33 mile loop. The first 28 miles were rolling to flat along two lane country roads with a 6-7 mile stretch of shake and bake to make it feel a little like mountain biking. At about mile 29, a short, steep hill was poised to break up the field. The climb leveled off and went downhill a little bit until about 3/4 mile from the finish when it went straight up for about 1/4 mile. The final half mile was twisty and turning back onto the Gordon College Campus. The Women's 1/2/3 and Cat. 4 fields were combined because of the small size. About thirteen women lined up for the race. The 1/2/3's were to do 66 miles, and the 4's did 33 miles. My goal was to hang in until the bottom of the first climb. My legs were tired from the time trial the day before. Temperatures were in the mid-80's, and the air was very humid from earlier rain showers. That did not bode well for my breathing. I had been looking forward to a day with cooler temps and lower humidity. Still, I was determined to make up for the terrible crit the day before. My goal was to hang on until the bottom of the climb and then decide if I was going to do the second lap. We started nearly an hour late because of delays with the earlier races. The first mile was neutral until we crossed over Highway 41, a large 4 lane road. I did not expect the first lap to be that fast because of some comments the other ladies made before the race. It was going to be a long day in the saddle. No one wanted to be in the wind by themselves for three hours. The Cat. 4's sat in the back, and the stronger 1/2/3's pulled us along. Knowing how I was feeling, I did not think I could take a pull. I sat on in the middle of the field on a wheel. The first 10 miles passed uneventfully. No one was talking; everyone was riding. A few spectators were out on the course in front of their houses cheering the peloton on. A father and his daughters were out on the roads for a family ride, including the dog, which decided to run straight into our pack. A few of us had to swerve, and there was one handlebar bump, but everyone stayed upright. The group settled back in and just rode until one of the Genesis riders decided she had to go to the restroom. I had never experienced a pee break during a race, but there is a first time for everything! We waited for everyone and got back on to resume our race. More of the same for the next few miles although we were now on the shake and bake. Teeth rattled as did bottle cages, shifters, and loose things on bikes. I was thankful for my mountain bike calluses. On one hill I had a little VCD attack, but I was able to recover because the hill soon crested and went down. I sat in the pack and stayed with everyone. Out of nowhere, we came to the first hill. "Hello big hill; good bye pack," I thought as I started up it. I sat up and decided to ride it at my own pace. I got to the top only to see everyone pulled over to the side of the road. The officials had stopped, not just neutralized, the pack in order for the Cat. 4 men to pass. We waited nearly 5 minutes for the leader to come by and another 2 for the field. By this time, even I'd had a chance to catch my breath. Finally, we remounted and continued on with our race. I stayed with the group until the bottom of the big climb. My legs completely seized up and screamed as I crawled my way to the top. I knew that I was done. I got to the top and recovered for a few seconds. I decided that I might as well finish strong. I had second thoughts about quitting as I approached the finish line. There, I saw a friend of mine that had also gotten dropped. With the skies threatening rain, I decided to call it a day. I came to race, reached my goal, and got 6th in the omnium.
You need more, and harder trainingMR_GRUMPY
Sep 15, 2003 10:14 AM
If you keep on doing what you are doing now, you will get the same results, next year. You need to find some groups that you can barely stay with. Ride with them at least once a week. Find a group that you can ride with on the weekends, and do 60-65 miles at at least 19-20 mph. Set aside one day a week to do TT intervals. Ride two miles at 22 mph, rest.....repeat, rest......repeat. Soon you will be able to do it for 5 miles. After a month or two, you'll be turning in 1:08 40K's.
Once you build up your indurance, you'll be able to just sit in durning a crit, until the last three laps. Then it will be you, that makes the other women cry for their mother.
Good job on meeting your goalhrv
Sep 16, 2003 9:08 AM
Setting goals and achieving them gives you a positive feeling that can stay with you a long time. This is what breeds success. Way to go!

You sound like a pretty strong rider who would dust a good part of the racer wannabe's on this board, including me! You must be if you're going to Cross nationals. They're in Portland, OR, this year, right? Only about an hour or so from where I live. I might go just to see how the big dogs do it. Also, I just started mtb. last fall and thought I would do a couple of races but didn't; mostly didn't feel good about my tech. abilities and wanted to keep mtb. for fun. Might do some next year. Will prod you for tips if I do!

Good luck,
Good job on meeting your goalSadlebred
Sep 17, 2003 7:34 AM
Yep...CX Nationals are in Portland, OR. I'm debating about doing the Women's Elite or Women's B race. I'd do much better in Women's B, but I really want to do the Elite race. I'm a Cat. 3, so I have to check on Elite eligibility.)

MTB racing is a lot of it! I've done more road in the last year and a half but plan to get back to almost exclusively mtb racing next year.