Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Masters Nats RR

My race today was at a reasonable 11am...lots of sleep and a casual morning then we headed down to the Cherokee Park course.  LL and Ryan's race was at 8 so they had already gone and raced by the time we got there.  Charlie, Jay and I did a lap warmup then lined up with 90+ other riders.  The field wasn't your typical 35+ group as you had hard men from across the country flying in for a shot at the national championship.  Everyone was strong and fast.

For me I had a good start position and had decided to just roll along for the first few laps and try to stay in good position.  The race was 50 miles...ten 5 mile loops.  I really felt good the first half of the race...the climbs were "easy" to me and I could pretty much go where I wanted.  Last year on the one grunt hill I climbed it in my small chainring but this year had no problem big ringing it.  Again...I felt really, really good.

The course was very crit like with lots of hard off camber high speed corners...I was a bit tentative on some of the harder corners at first and was content to just close the gap but later in the race I decided to just bomb the corners with everyone else and hope my Vittoria's held.  They were super good, sticky tires.

There was constant attacking so the pace was pretty high most of the race.  Finally a group of about 9 got away.  Lots of cat and mouse ensued then Jay and another dude got away.  The only thing I did at this point was to mark last years winner, John Korioth (Lance's "college" buddy).  So when he attacked I would follow.  

The second to last lap was pretty brutal and it took just about all I had to stick with the now small field over the last climbs...I realized that I could go hard and burn some matches to stay near the front as there was a long descent to recover before the final 1k finishing climb.

On the last lap Jay was close to making contact with the break but on the run in to the finish most of the break took a wrong turn and just continued on another loop (the start/finish was off on a side road).  It was a really bone head move...I guess some official was waving lapped riders off the course but it really is the responsibility of the rider to know when the finish is!  So the result was Jay got 7th insted of 11th...for a while we thought he had gotten 2nd.  That would have been pretty crazy.

My goal for the last lap was to stay on Korioth's wheel and that's just what I did.  He attacked on the 2nd to last climb and I let him go but got his wheel back shortly after.  On the last climb to the finish he gave me a great lead out and I got 19th.  My legs were totally cramping at the end but I just powered through it...I wasn't about to slow down.

Overall I felt awesome, had the usual few bad moments but finished about as well as I could have hoped considering the dynamics of the race.  I've totally happy with the result.  My NP for the 2 hours was 277w or about 98% of my FTP!   Ave speed was 25.1mph on a very hilly course. 

Full results HERE

My training for this race was totally spot on...those 1' intervals were perfect and on nearly every climb I would say to myself "this is not as hard as training at the crit course"  so I was really prepared physically.  Mentally I was relaxed and confident.  I knew I could ride with these guys and when it turned out to be easier than last year that was a big boost.  

All for now...Nats Crit on Saturday and I'm gonna be super aggressive!


Utah Cycling Assoc said...

Congrats man! Glad you felt good! Good luck in the Crit!

- Lozy

Anonymous said...

I am not sure why I am utah cycling assoc....

- Lozy

mdrogalis said...

Great report, nice job in the race!