Monthly Archives: August 2011

Topsfield Circuit Race – Race Report – August 27, 2011

Submitted by Jeff Fisher

The good news; we missed the rain.  The bad news; we missed the break.

We had a pretty good showing for Topsfield.  Eric W. Ta, Jeff Y, Bruce, and I showed up to do the Pro 1/2/3 race.  This was my first time doing the race so I had no idea what the course was like, but with 107 guys pre-registered, it was going to be tight racing regardless.  My main concern and it looked like Eric’s as well, was to make sure we got to the front.  That meant standing at the start for quite a while.  So what warm I had done was certainly gone by the time we started.  The first mile of the race was rather sedate which I thought was pretty nice.  But that lasted all of about three minutes and then we were full gas with everyone trying to jam their way to the front.  I don’t know about the rest of the guys, but that put my legs into the hurt locker.  Being old, one needs a certain amount of time to get the blood going and the muscles working efficiently.

It has been 10 years since I’ve done a longish Pro 1/2/3 race and I forgot two things: the first was that the pace never slows down and the second is that the real racing starts in the second half of the race.  That would turn out to be a costly error.  For the first hour of racing, O/A was active at the front.  I don’t think there was ever a break that didn’t have an O/A person in it.  Between Eric, Jeff, Ta, and I, we covered just about every move.  I bridged up solo to two breaks that I thought for sure were going to go, only to have them get reeled back in.

I hadn’t looked at my computer once, mostly because it was too hectic, but when I did it happened to be at the hour mark and we had already gone more than 27 miles.  Yikes!  At this point I decided I needed to take a break which also seemed to be what the rest of the team was thinking.  So with about five laps left I started going backwards.  At the same time I noticed Bill Yarbroudy, who hadn’t been at the front at all, moving forwards.  If there ever was a guy who is always in the right move at the right time it was Bill.  Mentally I knew I should be watching him and all the warning bells were going off in my head, but my legs were complaining so I just hoped nothing would go.

With about three to go, I started moving back up through the field.  I could see Ta was still up near the front having a great race, but Eric was back in the middle of the pack and I had no idea where Jeff Y and Bruce were.  At this point I was maybe 20 guys from the front when I saw the break starting to form.  I could just feel that this was it but I was too far back.  I was trying to send Ta and John Grenier psychic messages to get in that move, but it didn’t work.  I guess I need to work on my mental powers more.  With two to go I was now back up near the front but it was probably a 15 second gap that needed to be closed.  At the speed we were going I wasn’t sure I could close that on my own so I hoped that there were some motivated and strong legs left in the group.  Unfortunately there weren’t. The gap stayed at about 20 seconds and that was it.

On the last half of the last lap, I figured I wouldn’t have much of a sprint since I was paying for early aggression.  I led it out hoping that Ta or John would have something left for the field sprint.  So definitely a mistake in tactics this time around.  One of us should have held back for the second half of the race.  I really think we could have been in the eventual break if we had been saving our legs.

So, how fast was Topsfield this year?  51.5 miles in 1:54; yes that was fast…

Jeff F: 34th

Ta: 42nd

Eric: 54th

Jeff Y: ?

Bruce: ?

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Ride Updates

Please know that the Monday night rides from Shaw’s in Falmouth have been canceled for the remainder of the season.

The women’s rides, both Monday and Wednesday nights, will depart from their respective locations at 5:30 after Labor Day. Also note – there will be no regularly scheduled ride on Labor Day.

Blunt Park Cyclocross Race, Springfield, MA – Race Report – August 21, 2011

Submitted by Paul Weiss.

This is a race report for Blunt Park cyclocross which was held last weekend in Springfield Massachusetts. I usually don’t race this early in the season but I have been training on the cyclocross bike 1 to 2 days a week this entire summer so I was anxious to get out and test the legs out.   Since it was such a long drive to Massachusetts I decided to race in 2 races. I signed up for the Masters 45+ race and also the Pro 1/2/3 race immediately after the Masters race. Call it insanity, but I wanted to get a workout. I figured it would be easier to really do a hard effort in the Masters race and then just use the 1/2/3 race for training.

My race was at 10 o’clock and I got to Blunt Park about 9 so I had to rush a little to get on the course. There was already a race in progress so I would only had 20 min. to pre-ride the course, which is the bare minimum. In general, you want to get 3 to 4 laps in before your race, and I got the bare minimum 3. I took note of some interesting course obstacles such as 4 separate log hurdles and a really long set of (6) barriers. Generally a flat course with a small pavement section and some pretty long single-track in the woods and some extensive tape mazes. It looked to be a pretty hard course.

You never know how you start out early in the season, so this was a test of how I felt.  My focused race was the 45 race. I got on the line and was prepared with an extra bike in the pit and water and food next to my bike for the short 10 min. I would have to recover between races. I got on the front line start position, but my start was not perfect I ended up about 3 riders back from the front, going into a very tight hole-shot. This course was a true “hole-shot.” We came off the pavement and went into 180° turn onto the dirt and there was very little room for the entire pack of about 35 riders to make it through that tight corner. I think I was back about 15 spots, this made the beginning difficult because we then funneled onto, and over a log that had a single narrow gap on it that you could ride.  Everyone was single filing it over that log. Then a long section of single-track in the woods with very few places to pass. It’s always very difficult being behind the rider going really fast on single-track, you get very little reaction time when riding up to and over objects, and there were many objects from roots to rocks to ruts, you name it.  I was very patient and emerged out of the woods having passed one or 2 riders. We came out to the “tape maze” which I was not in my best form on. You can lose a lot of time in a tape maze, they are great places to recover your breathing but if you’re not technically savvy you can lose a lot of spots. I held my own in the 1st lap but did not gain anything in that tape maze.  I then settled in for a long, long hot ride. After lap I seem to pick off one or 2 riders and moved up to the top 10 spots. In cyclocross you look for targets and attack them, chase and chase until you pass, I did this for several laps. I remember chasing down Eric Marrow and then chasing for several laps Mark Suprenant and then Doug Aspinwall. These are folks that I race with every weekend and it is fun to compete with them. Doug and I were together for 2 laps and were very closely matched. It was only the 2nd to last lap that I opened the gap on Doug after a log in the woods. I that gap to the finish but could not seem to reach the group of John Moser and Paul Nyberg. I felt strong in the finish but could not see how far I was from the leaders. As it turned out I was only 15 seconds from the leader and winner of the race Matthew Domnarski, who I raced with a lot, last year.

I felt very good about this finish, since 15 seconds is a very little time from the leaders and feel I’m going into the season in good form. I am looking forward to the early-season races including the upcoming Verge Series Race in Williston Vermont.

Just for giggles and to get some good training in I started the Pro 1/2/3 race. In between I barely had time to suck down a quart of water and a Gu.  This was critically important because you are really sweating. I started off the back of this field and just took my time keeping pace with the last few riders I wasn’t taking any risks or doing any strong efforts. The advantage of riding a 2nd race is that I knew the course down pat. I knew every corner in every log hop and where line your bike up, and this is really important in racing. I could relax in my racing because I could make up a few seconds in each corner because I knew the course so well. The Elite Races are 60 minutes, so I had to hold on and pace myself.   I was also really tired and it was really hot.   Cyclocross is a cool weather event, and you really throw out the heat, so this was killer.   After a few laps I had picked off a couple riders but had to ease off since I really began feeling the effort of the last race.   I reset my goal, to finishing this race, …….not in last place.   With 4 to go, I felt my body really hurting and the last 3 laps were like torture.   Due to my genetic advantage of lack of cranial nerves I made it to the final lap and was happy to finish.   I think I drank a half gallon of water after that race and was so tired I only took a few pictures of one race.   I normally start up my photography business after my race and go through to the end of the day.   This day, I called it early and relaxed for the 3.5 hour drive home.   Happy and excited to be ready for a new cyclocross season!

 

Tokeneke Classic Road Race – Masters 50+ – Race Report – August 14, 2011

Submitted by Hank Pfeifle

Hi All,

VINI, VIDI, VICI – That was the succinct yet powerful message Caesar sent back to Rome in 47 BC describing his efforts against King Pharnaces during his campaign in Pontus (old kingdom on the south shore of the Black Sea).  I too, as the lone OA/CM representative, wanted to send that message from Tokenoke to my fellow 50+ year olds racers around New England. This coming in 8th, 24th, 35th was getting old. But the less than stellar results were all in preparation for Tokenoke, which served up a perfect race course for me – 2 x 22 miles around a reservoir with 4400’ of climbing highlighted by two 2 mile long climbs on the incoming 12 miles of the course. The last 2 mile climb was up to the finish. The climb was not that steep but it started with one mile of very straight road at a consistent 6%. Some can find that seeing 5 minutes into the future with nothing but quad pain to be discouraging. I had toiled on the long climbs of Europe, practiced my break-away jumps and speed at Norwell and Concord, and suffered behind Joe Lynch at the Maine TTT. It was now time to put it all together at Tokenoke.

60 of us lined up and were soon off down the mostly descending initial 10 miles of the course. Across the flat dam at the bottom of the reservoir, and then almost immediately a right hand turn onto the first, relatively short, climb. Three guys were off the front (trying to get a head start on the climbing), so I quickly solo’d up to them and then through them. I had climbing business on my mind. No sissy compact gearing on the Cervelo. This was a 42 tooth high octane wattage throwdown. As hoped, nine more guys bridged to me and they included all the consistently strong guys – John Funk, Kevin Moser, Jerry Clapper, Bill Thompson, Rick Sorenson, Bob Roldan plus some guys from NY. Onto the first two mile climb we went and a pattern started to emerge – I was doing most of the work! Yeah, 14 miles into the race. I’ve had enough of that BS over the course of many races and this time it put the anger in my belly. I drifted to the side of the paceline like an X15 dropping from the mother ship and, like the X15, I exploded away from the group. I peeked under my armpit and saw that they were all still riding with their hands on top of the handlebars. Perfect. My magnificently muscled legs spun to life and whirled the cranks into a delirium of speed. Sonically I was soon 30 seconds ahead down the road. Now I had 30 miles to make good.

On an escape it is important to know the dynamics of chase group psychology. The most important thing to understand is that everyone in the group wants someone else to do the work. That reluctance for each individual to step up and commit to the chase offers many micro (sometimes macro) pauses in the group’s speed. Meanwhile, the individual escapee is in full time committed TT mode and consistently pushing the pace. Those group micro pauses allow the escapee to accumulate further distance from the chase. I gave full effort up each climb (I know that gained me time), and I hammered the headwinds knowing that they would silently be arguing among themselves as to who would sacrifice their precious energy and lead into the wind.

I hit the last climb with a minute lead and there was no way I was going to relinquish that. Or was there? Suddenly the motorcycle that had stayed with the chase group was at my side. W-T-F? I was going fast. Could they be telescoping up to me? I looked back. Uh-oh. Out of the saddle sprang I. More work to do. Mercifully the road tilts down with 1k to go. Up into the 53 and out of the saddle again. Then full on go to the line … VICI !! Yeah, vini, vidi, vici – I came. I saw. I concurred. It’s good to win every now and then.

Concord Criterium – Mens 45+ and 35+ – August 6, 2011

Submitted by Jeff Fisher.

This year at Concord was the great chess match; the battle between breakaways and the pack.

45+ Race

Graydon, Hank, Ron, and I did the 45+ race. Graydon and Hank had already put in huge efforts in the 55+ race so they were going to do the work for Ron and me in the 45+ race. Ron and I had a brief discussion about tactics before the race and we figured that no break would go away since it sees like it never does. Hank told Ron and me that he would do all the chasing so just sit in. Ok, that sounded like a good plan. We took off and the first lap was semi casual; got to love the old guys. The next lap we were racing and the field was getting strung out. Ron and I were up near the front where it was safe and could keep a watch for any serious attacks.

The primes started coming quick and often. After about three of them a pattern started to emerge. We would go hard for the prime, some guys would drift off the front and then we would reel them back in. Each time it would take a little longer to bring them back. It was decision time, go with an attack or save the legs for the sprint. I told myself that with 10 to go, I’d go with the attack if there was one, because I thought it would be too early otherwise. At 12 to go after the prime, the attack went and this time we weren’t bringing them back. One lap later the gap had gotten bigger and I was starting to fear we missed it. Four or five guys up the road and a pack not interested in chasing was bad for O/A.

At the top of the hill I was riding next to Ron and asked him if he’d seen Hank because he was going to chase. It must be an O/A thing because five seconds later Hank was on the front driving the pace and pulling the break back. After a lap Hank had cut the distance in half and I knew now was the time to go. Just after top of the hill I attacked. After a quick look back I saw I was clear and went full after burner to get to the break. Yep, that hurt. I got on just before the “S” turns. Ron had the same idea and made it on not too long after me. That was it. We now had 10 guys off the front and the group behind gave up, especially since half the teams in the race had someone in the break.

We rolled through steady but not everyone was working; the break was too big. With a little under three to go Gary Jasdzewski took off. I thought I should go with that but I was feeling tired and didn’t have the confidence in my legs. Plus I thought there was no way he’d stay out by himself with nine of us chasing. The problem was that there weren’t nine of us chasing. Almost none of us were chasing. With one lap to go, Gary had 15 seconds or so and the rest of us were trying to figure out where to be for the final run in. I knew Ron would be a great lead out so I made sure I was tucked on his wheel and I knew someone would attack on the last little pitch after the round-about.

Sure enough, that’s what happened and it was Ron in second wheel and me in third wheel. We flew down the back stretch, flew through the “S” curves where I carried too much speed and ended up side by side with Ron instead of behind him. Gary was just up the road though so this was going to be close. Ron opened the sprint I think and I went to the other side and got blocked a little. Bad move on my part. After that it was a full on drag race between four of us. With about 50 meters to go, Ron seemed to have one more gear than everyone else and pulled a bike length ahead while I faded just little (not a pure sprinter). All that speed at the end nearly brought Gary back. Another 50 meters and that would have been it.

Great teamwork by Hank and Graydon and a near perfect sprint by Ron.

Ron 2
Jeff 5
Gradon 33
Hank 35

35+ Race

Ron decided to call it a day and head home to rest up for the TTT so that left me as the sole O/A rider in this race. By now the temperature was in the low 90s so this race was going to be a suffer fest. I barely warmed up, got to the start and we took off like we were shot out of a cannon. The start of this race and the 45+ race couldn’t have been more different. The first time up the hill I was already 10 meters off the back and when we went through the round-about I was the last guy and digging to stay on. Luckily for me after having already gone through the “S” turns 20 times I had it dialed in and made up 10 places through the corners without even trying.

After three laps the legs were coming back. There were a number of attacks but nothing was sticking, but just like the previous race you could see the effort taking its toll. With about 12 to go, I put in an attack up the hill and took Tobi S, Bill Y, and someone else with me. I thought we had the juice but we were too dangerous and we got caught at the top of the climb. That’s when the counter attack went and I saw Bill go with it. I KNEW I should go, but once again a doubted myself and was prepared mentally to go again. That was a mistake because that was the winning break.

As the race progressed I noticed that the pack was sitting up more and more and going slower on the back side each lap. At one point we were tooling along at 17mph on the climb. Ok, time for chess game number two. I did a quick appraisal of how my legs felt, how far I thought I could time trial on my own and how fast that would have to be. I decided that if there was a prime with five to go then I would attack right after the sprint. I thought I could hold out for four laps if the pack was lethargic.

Sure enough, there was a prime with five to go and I attacked right after the prime. I went up the hill as fast as I could go, rounded the corner and looked back. I had a lone CCB guy chasing me so I eased up just a little and to let him on and then it was into the hurt locker. We came through with three to go and we still had good gap. I was doing about 60% of the work, but I was feeling OK. We came through with two to go and I was pulling through the finishing straight keeping 27mph. Around the corner and up the hill and a quick look back and we still had a good gap. However, I was now starting to really feel the two races and our speed started to come down some. Ok, just hold it together for 1.5 laps. We came through with one to go but now my speed was down to 25mph, that wasn’t. Just before the top of the hill I could see the pack had already rounded the corner and was totally strung out behind us. Oh man, this was going to be close.

We were giving everything we had and I thought if we could just make it to the last corner we’d have a shot. Just before the “S” turn one person came around us and we followed him through to the final corner. The sprint from the final corner was forever. I took off and passed the two guys in front and was going as hard as I could. 150 meters to go and I was still clear. 100 meters to go and my world was becoming a tunnel with darkness creeping in. 50 meters to go and I couldn’t feel my arms anymore and I thought I just might make it. 49 meters to go and the first guy came past followed by four more until I got to the line.

So close… I ended up finishing 8th.

That’s the great thing about bike racing. There are so many different strategies and sometimes you just have to believe in yourself.

See you on the road.

Tour of Catskills – Cat 3 Mens – Race Report – August 5-7, 2011

Submitted by Joseph Reis

The Tour of Catskills is an event that can only be described as epic. Anthem Sports and Dieter Drake do a fantastic job with these events. The tour consisted of three days of racing based around the Tannersville, NY area and featured a 12 mile out and back prologue TT, a 65 mile road race, and a 60 mile road race on the third day. The highlight of these three days was certainly the two road races as they each featured a number of scenic back roads and lots of epic climbs. The first road race had close to 5000ft of climbing and the second one had over 5000ft. I raced in the Category 3 field which had about 80 riders in it.

Stage 1 – Time Trial, August 5, 2011

I arrived in Tannersville, NY on 8/5 for the TT with plenty of time to spare as my start time wasn’t until 5:41pm. The spare time allowed me to drive the TT course and the first road course. It was good to see the first road course as it featured the famed “Devil’s Kitchen” climb towards the end, but more to come on this climb later.

After a 20 minute warm-up, I rolled down the Hunter mountain resort access road to the start of the TT. I shook out my legs, did my junior gearing roll-out, shifted into my starting gear, and was off on the course before I knew it. The course was slightly downhill on the way out with a bit of a headwind. There was enough of a downhill grade to spin my gears out pretty quickly though so I just focused on keeping my cadence as high as possible. By the turnaround, I had caught one person and had spotted my next targets up the road. Even though the way back was almost all uphill, I still ended up spending most of the time with maxed-out gearing due to the wind which was now to my back. As I edged closer to the finish, I couldn’t see anyone else for a ways so I just dug and kept pushing. I hit the town of Hunter and went through the few turns that brought riders up to the access road. As I hit the final couple hundred meters and the finishing hill, I unloaded the tank and gave everything to get across the line. I finished feeling that I had given everything, but my legs still had more power for the days to come. My finish was good enough for 19th place, which I thought was a good starting place for the tour.

Stage 2 – Tannersvill Road Race, August 6, 2011

Stage two was the Tannersville Road Race. This race was to begin in the village of Tannersville with a neutral start for about a mile. There was a slight delay in start times, but other than that, the race started problem-free. The attacks commenced once the flag was dropped with two riders getting a couple of seconds on the downhill coming into the first climb of the day. The peloton made the turn onto Scribner Hollow Road a few minutes later and the break was brought back about halfway up the ~500ft climb. I may have burnt a few matches on this climb to stay towards the front, but I was glad I had as the descent afterwards was very steep and fast. As everything regrouped on the flats after, a break of a few riders slipped off the front for the first KOM that was roughly 10 miles away now. Everyone seemed quite content with letting this move go as there was a 5 mile downhill after the KOM climb and things would more than likely regroup.

I was able to relax a bit before the climb and latched onto the wheel of the yellow jersey on the early foothills. The break was suddenly in sight and the yellow jersey took off up the climb with a group of about four or five of us. We crested the climb to find that the break was bigger than expected and there were no more points to be taken. Unexpectedly, the break was allowed to go once more. It wasn’t until about 10 miles down the road that the peloton regrouped. The pace seemed to drop here as I think everyone wanted to conserve for the upcoming Devil’s Kitchen climb. A few flyers went and gained time before the climbing began, but as soon as the base of the Kitchen was in sight they were brought back almost instantly.

The race picked up at the bottom of this epic climb. Having driven it the day before, I knew it was nothing to joke about. It was incredibly steep with pitches reaching 22%. I did the only thing that I could have and got to the front where a group of the fresher riders was forming. I stayed with this group for a few minutes until the grade really ramped up and then it felt like I hit the wall. I was just barely able to turn over my gears and didn’t have anything to stay up with the leaders. As I started to fall back, I noticed riders coming past me spinning their gears at a nice cadence while I was grinding in the 40rpm range (hit 34rpm at one point). I suddenly looked down in agony to realize that I was still in my 19! I was trying to crank a 39×19 up a 20% grade! I shifted to my 25 quickly, but by that point my rhythm was gone and all I could do was suffer up the remainder of the climb. By the top, I was sitting in the top 30 somewhere, but my legs and rhythm were starting to come back. The climb flattened out momentarily and I was able to get on top of my gearing and clawed my way back into the top 20s somewhere.

As the road flattened for good, a group of us formed a paceline and started to bring riders back. I gave everything I had to keep the group together and pull back time. Luckily, we managed to work well and the group now held about 15 riders. Instead of pushing through the line and taking back a few more seconds, riders in our chase group decided to attack with 1km to go. It pretty much turned into a bunch sprint by this point and I had done all the work I was going to for one day so I sat in and didn’t worry about placing. I finished same time with this group for another 19th place. This bumped me up to 14th in the GC. I wish that I had realized my gearing situation sooner, but I am glad that I got back into the race by the top of the climb. After a short post-race spin, the mind was thinking about the next day.

Stage 3 – Windham Road Race, August 5, 2011

Stage three was the Windham Mountain road race. I decided that I couldn’t hold anything back on this last race as I needed to make a serious move if I wanted to get any time back. I thought that a break would go early for the first KOM, but I was planning on sitting in and waiting until the yellow jersey made his move. With even more climbing than the day prior, I knew that the group would likely be shattered. Sure enough, a break with the KOM jersey holder was off the front and gaining time on the roughly 7 mile descent that started the day. A few attempts to bring this break back were tried, but nobody made any serious progress. I stayed close to the front leading up to the first climb of the day and focused on minimizing my surges and conserving my energy. With a few miles to the climb, I accidentally dropped one of my bottles. I knew that this might be a problem later in the race, but I wasn’t going to worry about it. By the time the base of the 4.5-mile climb was within reaching distance, a few of the stronger riders moved to the front. I followed the yellow jersey who soon joined them and before I knew it, we were on the climb. This was a beast of a climb. It was much more gradual than the Devil’s Kitchen, but it seemed to go on and on. I was sitting third wheel pretty much the entire climb and after about 10 minutes, I looked back to see that the 80 man peloton was out of sight and there was only one more guy with us. Our group of four caught riders falling from the break and soon had the two remaining riders in sight after going through the KOM line. I was happy with the position I was in at the moment, but I knew that there was a lot of work to be done as there were still 30 miles to go and another extremely steep climb.

After the mid-race feedzone, our group was able to catch the two remaining breakaway riders and we all started to work together. I was lucky enough to have my father in the feedzone with a bottle for me and was also able to pick up a neutral bottle to replace the one dropped earlier. After a few more hills, we were on the flats and working in a paceline. The moto-ref kept giving reassuring time gaps and my hopes of staying away were now becoming a reality. Before I knew it, we were on the final KOM climb. I shifted fast and watched one of our six breakaway companions drop off on the first section of the climb. I was able to stay in it and the legs were starting to feel pretty good as the road flattened momentarily. The next section was brutal however as the road kicked up to 25% (I have heard some reports saying that it was higher than this). I hung on for as long as I could, but I needed a 27 or 29 instead of my 25 in order to turn over the pedals quick enough. Once again, I was dropped on the steep part. I did my best to fight my way up the hill, but I realized I would not be rejoining the four riders ahead of me.

By this point, I knew that I had two options. I could either sit up and wait for the rider behind me or I could put everything on the line and solo the last 12 miles to the finish. I suddenly realized that I had not driven all that way to sit up and wait so I shifted down and started to lay down some watts. This was a very painful 12 miles as it never really flattened out, but as the finish came closer, I was starting to see that I had a shot at a fifth place finish. The moto-ref gave me my final time gap with a few miles to go and told me that there was a solo rider about half a minute back with a chase group about 2 minutes back. I was now suffering, but I knew I had to keep pushing all the way. I made the final descent through a little town and rounded the corner onto the Windham mountain access road and knew I had put enough effort out to maintain my place. I would finish a few minutes later in fifth place. This bumped me up to eighth place overall in the GC.

Overall, I am very happy with my Tour of Catskills experience. I had made mistakes with gear selections that had cost me, but I am glad that my legs were there for the third day when I needed them. I had a great time and will definitely make the trip out to the Catskills again next summer. A new challenge will be present though as I have now gained enough points for my Category 2 upgrade.

Norwell Circuit Race Results – Masters 35+ – July 31, 2011

Submitted by Jeff Fisher

I got back to the starting area a little late and had just enough time to get my first number off, try and down some water, and get back to the start.  I rolled up to the start line as the official said “30 seconds”.  Talk about cutting it close.  There was no neutral start to this race.  I was off the back from the gun thinking WTF?  We flew up the hill and I was probably the last guy in the group.  Hmmm, that’s wasn’t a good place to be in, time to move up.

Now the 45+ race may have been slower, but it sure felt harder.  Maybe because I was more involved or there were more attacks.  The 35+ guys were racing like a bunch of cat 4s (no offense to all the 4s). Our field split in half probably three times and guys were so damn lazy they wouldn’t even roll through.  I was on the wrong side of one of those splits and took a massive pull and got us within 20 meters and pulled off.  Everyone pulled off with me and one guy even yelled at me to keep pulling.  We just sat up when all anyone had to do was just keept the momentum going.  Eventually we got back on, but I saw this happen a number of times.

With two laps to go, I thought I might actually be able to sprint at the end.  With one to go I was passing guys up the hill and wasn’t feeling horrible, but was tired.  I was second wheel going into the hill and the lead out guy pulled over into my line which caused me to slow down.  I tried to get back up to speed but that was it the sprint was over.  I should have done what I did the first race and jump sooner to avoid that, but when you’re tired you make silly mistakes.  I just sat up and tooled into the finish.

It was definitely a fun race and great training for Concord next Saturday.

All results from this race HERE