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…

2 Comments:

Blogger linebrake said...

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

11:52  
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!
isaias

13:56  

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