Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Cat's Hill Criterium

Date: 5/13/06
Course: L shaped very technical with some cracked/ rough pavement and of course, the hill. (12laps)
Category: Elite 4
Field: 97 starters
Teammate: none
Place: 12th/ 26mph avg speed
Results: http://www.catshill.org/2006results/cat4.html
Link to some photo's: http://www.cloverphoto.com/gallery/1456277/1/69426002

This race has a prestigious reputation in the area and It’s been around for a long time. I’d heard that this race was a tough one from lots of people and that it would be a good race for me. Being fast and technical with a brutal but short power climb “The Nicholson Avenue hill (Cat's Hill) is a gut-wrenching 23% climb” I knew it would be a big challenge. I walked over to the hill and scoped it out before I warmed up. Steep for sure but nothing we don’t have here in the city. I thought the tough part was a little dip after the top of the hill that led into a short false flat.

I got a decent warm-up of 35 min and felt ok. I didn’t get to do any hard workouts leading into this race and with Berkley Hills the next day I figured it would be the best thing to get me ready for the harder and longer race on Sunday. I lined up on the front and was relived to be there. Then to my dismay, the Los Gatos riders got a call up to the front. Kinda lame but they put on the event so whatever…. I still was in the second row and was confidant of a good start. Well all good plans at some point can go to hell in a hand basket and sure enough the guy in front of me muffed getting in his pedal bad and I was instantly 25-30th place! Knowing that it would string out fast, I tried to make my way to the front before the hill but there was too much mayhem and I had to work with where I was and try to move up. I had gone into this race with a Cyclocross race strategy in mind. The big hill was like a CX run up. Shoot we only had to do it 12 times, and we had a great downhill to get some recovery on.

I made me way to the front around the 3rd lap and proceeded to pull a whole lap with the idea of getting a lap at “speed” and try to figure out the course. After a lap across the finish line I fell back into the top 10 and was really feeling the effects in the legs. They just weren’t feeling too fresh and I was hoping they would clear out before to long. The pace picked up with 3 to go and a small break was off the front. I was content to play the waiting game and hope to counter attack with a lap to go. Last lap up the hill you need to be at the front really or your chasing till the finish. I managed to get back to the lead group on the last lap but was a little gassed. On the downhill we were going to fast for me to make up places so I sprinted off the last corner for all I had and got myself into 12th.

This was a tough race but I really liked it, because it’s so hard. Really no place to hide and very technical. At the end I was feeling a bit better and felt like I could have run more laps. I think I got a handle on the course and next year it will go a lot better even though as an Elite 3 you do 20 laps! Yahoo… I will be more prepared next year.

I went home and rode for 2 hours after, because our race was only 27 min! and my legs felt like wood. I think things will be good for tomorrow. The plan is to do whatever I can to help my teammates Said-Jon and Josh, even if I blow up and don’t finish. If they make it onto the podium, it will be worth it for sure.
Stay tuned, Berkley Hills up next…


Blogger linebrake said...

nice job, nick! haven't you upgraded yet?

Blogger isaiasjob said...

Dude, this is a killer race. Not a bad finish for not really feeling to hot going into it!

Unfortunately my 18 minute warm-up and riding in mtb pedals and shoes didn't help my race ;-( Still managed to finish 14th, with the lead pack in sight. Oh well, like you said, next year I'll have a much better idea of what I'm getting into. I'll still only be a lowly CAT 4 by that point. Then I'll be point chasing to move into the 3's.

Man I'm having so much fun on the road that I may sacrifice some mtb'ing next year to do more road.

Thanks for the emotional support when I realized my pedal\shoe situation was f*cked up!

L8r dawg!


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