First things first. The Deer Trail Road Race was cancelled/Postponed today because of weather. Sounds familiar doesn't it. This year the weather has not been cooperating. I think this is my fourth race this season that has been cancelled because of weather. Hopefully the race will just be postpone until May but I'm not holding my breath.
My plan is not going as planned!
Here are some photos from last weeks' Air Force Academy Road Race.
Yesterday I was supposed to the the AFA TT, and Crit but bother were cancelled because of weather, i.e. Fog Rain and Wind. The college kids got to race the crit because many of them need points for nationals. However, It looked fucking miserable! All the USAC races were cancelled.
Today's race went well for me I stayed on or near the front and out of trouble. On the second lap there was a horrific crash splitting the field and sending at lease two guys to the hospital. After that it we sat up for a few to recover mentally from what we just witnessed and see if anyone else would catch on a few did and the fun started again. On the third and final lap I went to the front again to set the pace on the climb and to try to break down the more powerful guys. I was successful and caused a split of six guys. I set tempo a little to long and when a couple of guys attacked again I could respond. I did panic because there was a guy behind me and I thought he would work with me. Wrong! when I asked he stated he had a team mate ahead. I understand the tactics so I went again and all I accomplished was dragging him back to the group. So I just kinda road up the the last power climb content with my sixth place.
This was my best race tactically. My biggest mistake was I probably did to much work at the front early on, but my thinking was to try to break people down for the last lap( and I don't want to be the guy who just sits in and never puts his nose in the wind). I would rather climb at my pace than someone else's. So I still need to work on my ability to recover between hard efforts. I still have a lot to learn.
Today Laura, Keith, and I lined up for the Cheyenne Canyon Hill Climb i-TT. It might be in the running for hardest 3 miles in America. OK that is probably a bit of a over statement, but it is definitely not pleasant. 3.2 miles and about 1250' of elevation gain, 8 % average grade with a few sections topping out of 18%. FUN! If your idea of fun is a puke fest.
So the start of my race was a little ominous and reminiscent of yesterdays clipping incident. I clipped in just fine but on my second or third pedal stroke a pulled my cleat out of the pedal.(I need to buy new cleats!!!), So I sat down re-clipped and took off again. The first mile and a half were uneventful, but I could see the guy that started 30 seconds before me and I was closing the gap when the grade kick up I caught the another guy that I didn't even know we were close to, shortly there after I caught my 30 sec guy. I ended up catching 1 more guy with 400 meters to go. I finished in Fourth place today and only a few seconds out of top 3.
Keith had a very good ride today and finished in ninth place, not bad for a guy who doesn't consider himself a climber. Laura had a great ride today and ended up finishing in second place, beating her PR by 3 min. BRAVO!!!
Not much else to say about a race that takes less than 20 min.
"Sometimes your the hammer and other times you are the nail." I don't know who said it first but today I was THE NAIL! Its no big secret that I get nervous in crits, especially when I have to race with the young guys. Today was no exception to that rule and I was a bit of a mess before and during the race.
It is a cool course as far as crits are concerned. It starts with a straight going north on cascade and after a few hundred yards does a 180 degree hairpin turn and head back south on cascade for a few blocks until it makes a right turn down a hill and a cross a short flat section before a steep little climb followed by a left back onto cascade.
As with any day I race this year it was windy no crazy windy just enough to make gaps very difficult to bridge. So at the start I was more than a little anxious and when the starters gun went off I miss clipped and fought with my left pedal all the way through the hairpin turn. By the time I was clipped in I was DFL(dead fucking Last!) I started chasing and catching but the main group all ready had a big gap on the rest of us field fodder. I would occasionally catch stragglers off the back of the main field but they were to tired to help chase, so the race ended up being the Individual Time Trial. I knew going into this race and the wind out of the south east I needed to stay near the front from the word go, but I managed to screw that up.
It also made me realize I need to work on some of my explosiveness i.e. 30 sec power to close gaps. I still have to except this is only my third crit, I totally avoided them last year and if I am going to live by the bullshit I preach I have to start working on my weaknesses. So for now a am content with my base fitness and I realize that if not for a few mental errors I could have been there with the contenders. I just have a lot to learn.
On a happier note Keith had a very good ride and finished in the main group. YEAH!