Race: Horse Country TT
Date: 13 Mar 2010
Placing: 3rd, Collegiate Men's C
Time: 34:48 / 21.4mph
I began this weekend with some serious muscle soreness from my triathlon class on Thursday — I ended up running 5K for the first time in probably 6 months, and my quads were quite sore going into the race. I figured I'd give it my best shot.
I've been training a lot in the "invisible aero bars" position, and used that extensively throughout the race. It really seems to help at higher speeds, and I didn't have any trouble controlling the bike. It was mentioned to me that I should have ridden closer to the left edge of the shoulder to catch more of a draft from passing vehicles.
I was expecting the course to be a bit flatter. I was moving quite fast along most of the course, but feel I lost significant ground in the hills. I stayed seated almost the entire course, because my quads were still sore and I didn't want to push them too hard.
I feel like my warm-up, though short, was relatively effective. Longer and more gradual would have been prefered.
The start was something I haven't done before. I ended up starting in the wrong gear, but that was pretty easy to fix. From Beer-bike experience, I expected the guy holding me to do a little more than let go, but I didn't fall over, and I'll know that for next time.
No Frills Collegiate Criterium
Place: 7th, Collegiate Men's C
This was my first crit, and I think it was quite a good race on my part. I never would have expected my handling to have been that good, but I was eventually pulling the corners at about 24mph. I was leaning the bike farther than I ever have before, and it worked pretty well. I feel more confident in my handling now.
The first lap was pretty slow, everyone was just getting a feel for the course. Finally, one of the UH guys (Oliver) made a comment about the pace, and someone took off. We then blasted up to 23mph, and started dropping people right and left. I thought I was left behind when the pack split, but apparently I was in the pack, and I ended up lapping several people.
Race: Ranger Roundup Road Race
Place: 14th, Collegiate Men's C
I felt pretty nervous about the course, seeing as it was so hilly. I shed my base layer shortly before the start, which I feel was a good decision.
The roll-out was pretty easy, as expected. There was a lot of nervous chatter in the peleton, and as the lead vehicle moved off, the attacks began. I felt pretty confident moving up as the pack strung out.
I made a move to bridge with one of the first breaks, but they sat up as soon as I made it across. We got caught, but I stayed near the front, and the lap continued. A couple breaks were made, but I didn't go with them, and helped reel them in. At the start of the second lap, I made a move on a downhill that moved me up toward the front of the pack. I ended up practically coasting faster than the pack was moving, so I soft pedaled off the front, and caught the guy trying to break. We worked together for about a mile before we got caught.
When we got to the flatter backstretch, I tried to take a bite to eat, with my Gu packet I screwed into my bottle lid. It was a little harder than expected to get it and eat it, and I ended up dropping a few places. At this point, some of the LSU and A&M guys decided to break, and I was nowhere near them. I hammered it trying to catch them with a small group, but ended up dropping the group as none pulled through. I almost made it back to the pack, but got dropped. This was a purely tactical mistake that I probably wouldn't even have considered last year.
I ended up riding the rest as a 18 mile TT, but felt pretty good about my time — one of the guys behind me later said he was trying to catch me the whole way. I caught an LSU guy about a mile from the line, but didn't consider that he'd probably sprint. If I had sat on his wheel, I might have gotten him for the sprint, but I was completely gone from the TT effort.
Thanks to Mark Knight for the photo.