What a brutal fucking day! According to accuweather.com the wind was blowing out of the north/west 35 mph with gusts up to 60 mph at USAFA. The was the course sits meant every climb was into a gale force head wind. My group did 4 laps of the "worlds course" for a total of 54 miles with 4000'+ of elevation gain.Normally the course at AFA suits me well and I really like it but today was not a day for the climbers it was a day for smart well placed rouleurs.
The day started off tough I felt like I was always on the wrong side of the pelaton spending to much energy in the wind. Our group was riding hard and with the crazy wind the day was only going to get harder. My teammate Wade was looking good riding towards the front but always protected from the wind, he just looked perfectly positioned in the group. I found myself this I wishing I was where he was at and thinking i am riding like an idiot. I figured if I kept riding like this it would be a very short day. At the start of the first climb I went to the front as a show of force, Fucking Hell! I rode near/on the front through out the first climb. I figured we might shed the field down some then I would rest the second lap and then ride the last 2 laps for Wade. My thinking was that with the wind the course now suited a strong all a rounder better than pure climbers.
At the base of the long climb on the second lap I looked around to find Wade to tell him I was going to hide this lap then ride for him but I couldn't find him in our ever shrinking group. So I sat in and tried to conserve.
On the third lap there was a bunch of attacks but I didn't go with any because my plan had change to go all out on the last lap so I was still in conservation mode and I figured our group was working well enough to bring back any breakaway. A small group did get a gap but it looked more than manageable. I know when you have to draft going up hill it will never be a good day for me, and on a steep section near the top of the climb the guy in front of me let a gap open and with the wind I could not close it as the group went over the top of the hill.
I was now riding solo trying to close the unclosable, on the flat a small group caught me, but I shed most of them on the climb as we caught more remains from the group. Three of us sprinted on the final short up hill finish more for fun than for any real glory.
I didn't stick around for results, I just felt beat up!
Sunday, April 10, 2011
I raced the Mad Cow Classic in Grand Junction today, the threat of crappy weather kept a lot of folks at home and it seemed like a GJ locals only affair.
I like the course a lot. It is a lollipop shaped deal. You ride out about 8 miles then do multiple laps and round a 12 mile circuit. The climbs are steep and punchy and in general just a fun ride.
Our field was small and was whittled down even smaller on the climb out to the circuit, a guy attacked shortly after the climb but no one reacted and there was 4 riders from one team so I figured they knew him and didn't consider him a threat. Later I did find out they did know him and just didn't want to do the work I guess this guy was an Iron-man finisher and also the winner of today's race. After the first lap I knew I wasn't going to win but I still wanted to shake the rest of these guys but it was the 4 guys from the team vs me and two others. You could say the race was very tactical but it was more like an exercise in frustration, cat and mousing followed by crazing fast pace lining then more cat and mousing! This pattern continued all race long. On the second lap we caught another rider from their team from a different group so now it was 5 against 3, complete fucking BullShit! This fucking guy started setting tempo and totally interfered with the outcome of the race. On the Last climb of the circuit I attacked dragging two with me one from the "team" and an independent.We got away and stayed away till the end but the guy from the "team" wouldn't help. After a short descent right before a short little climb I found myself in the wrong gear at the worst possible time and a gap opened that I could not close with the head wind so I TT the last few miles in for 4th place.
Side note Laura race with the Cat 4 men and finished 4th overall and 1st woman.