Monday, April 24, 2006

Wente Road Race

Race Report: Wente Road Race

Date: 4/22/06
Course: 15-mile loop- (3.6) laps with the finish on the main climb of 3, lots of in the wind straights and rollers thrown in.
Category: Elite 4
Field: 100
Teammates: Said-Jon and Josh. Tony and Eric rode the Masters.
Place: somewhere around 40 something / 21+mph avg speed
Results: (should be posted later in the week)

This was my first ever road race way back in 2003 as a cat 5. I was looking forward to this race, the course suits me and it’s a blast. With Josh, Said-Jon and myself riding well, It looked like we would have a strong trio.

First time up the hill and I’m thinking huh…. The hill doesn’t seem as steep as I remember. I figured that would change on the 3rd time up, and I was right. Sort of…..

On the backside of the course are a long section of rollers and you are generally out in the wind. The pace was pretty slow and Josh and Said Jon were on the front riding along and talking. It seemed that none of the other guys were in any hurry and content to just ride along and no one else wanted to go to the front. While I was sitting 4th wheel, I jumped on the short but very steep hill that I knew after a brief respite and shallow kick up, then went down hill quite fast. I opened up a gap big enough to loose sight of the group. I had hoped that by being “out of sight” it would put a bit of panic into the group and the boys could just sit in and get a free ride, while wearing down some of the pretenders.

When I got to the bottom I could see the group coming back and I was already recovered and re-integrated back into the group. The group hadn’t split like I had hoped but I got to open up the legs a bit and it felt good.

Up to the 3rd and last full lap. It was a pretty boring race. The great thing though was all 3 of us were patrolling the front. The last time up the climb, in with the lead group I started to feel the twingy-ness of cramps coming on. “Not now I thought” I was having a solid race and could feel I was still strong. My legs were to have the last laugh though.

On the backside, halfway to where I took off earlier in the race, while in the lead group of now around 20+ riders my left hamstring “locked” up and I had to stop. While shaking my legs out the main chase group went by and I had to stand their wincing and watch them speed by.

I was bummed to have missed out on a chance to help my teammates when it could have really made a difference. Oh well, there’s always next time.

On the plus side, I managed to regain my composure and do a solid 25mph solo TT to the base of the climb (6~miles) and managed to catch and pass a group of 4 that was just ahead on the final climb.

A very hard day in the saddle indeed. I still posted some great numbers (training wise). Comparing with 2004, my HR avg (164), was 7 beats lower. I spent a noticeable amount of time under threshold and less above. All this is a decent increase in fitness numbers but what is exciting is the avg speed was over 3 mph faster with a extra lap! Good stuff.

Josh and Said-Jon were riding strong all day and Fusion had a strong presence in yet another race. Tony and Eric rocked the Masters 35+. 3 top 10’s… Well-done guys!

With the MTB race tomorrow, it was all about getting home and recovering.

Next up: Napa Valley Dirt Classic


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