Monday, March 31, 2008

Wild, Wild... West.

A big weekend of racing for sure...

Saturday...I hit the
Ronde Crit riding in the Masters 1/2/3 and it was a suffer-fest. Super windy and a very high pace had me gasping for air. I hadn't done my normal "day before opener" opting for extra rest leading into the weekend and even with a solid 45 min warm up day of, I was blown out the back 1/2 way into the race. This was not how I wanted to have it go down for my first crit of the season. On the other hand it seemed a perfect tune-up for the mtb race the next day and besides, more than half of the field got blown out as well-- not a slow race at all.

Sunday--I drove down to Monterey with plenty of time to dilly-dally around and be social before hand. While I was hanging talking to Rod, I noticed that a Sport and Spine rider had blown off his front tire not far from where the start finish is. I had time, so I ran over to see if I could help lend a hand and get him back into the race. I helped him pop a tube in his tire etc... and he was back in it. Ahh warm fuzzy feeling, it seemed like a good way to start the day....

I did a full lap at an easy pace and put the new course together in my head. The layout was similar but different in a few important ways. The looong 1/4 mile drag strip was cut in half (yes!) and a long flat/ downhill section was added that was fun. The climbs were reconfigured and while most were easier where placed, the
CCCX boys threw in a doosy with the two biggest climbs linked together ouch. That smarts... there were also a couple new deep sandy parts that were fun. Sand not a problem surfing with the 29er!

Anyway, we lined up with the Pro/ Semi-Pro men. I got a good start and managed to latch onto a fast moving group once on the dirt and was happy to be hanging on. I had the lead for the SS's at this point but closing down on the 1st lap was Mark, who had been chasing, bridged to my group. Five of us ended up riding a very fast dirt crit for the next 2 laps. I felt great and honestly was stoked to be where I was and going as quick as we were. Immediately I knew I was poised to have a fantastic race. Nothing hurt and my breathing was steady. It looked like it was going to come down to the last lap for the race between Mark, who won round #3, and myself.

Sure enough, while starting the final lap our group of 5 broke apart, some behind and some up front. Mark extended his advantage on the climbs to where he was no longer in sight. With a half a lap to go I focused on getting over the double climb (almost cramped) and then TT it to the finish and at this point, racing for time.

I had a great race. The course was the longest yet, we did 5 laps of 10 km/ 50km total. My avg speed was high at 24.7 kph. I finished 2nd and limited my time loss (1:22) to Mark who put just over
4 minutes into me last round. Cesar who won the first 2 and came in second last round, had a rough day and I am expecting him to come back strong and motivated for round #5 next week. It looks as it will be a battle down to end for the series overall between the 3-4 of us. Miles who rode well for rnds 1/2 didn't show for the last 2 rounds. While not out of the hunt, he has slipped in the overall and might need some wins to climb back into the top 3. It's going to be a good show.

No pics yet, I'll post some if they crop up.....

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

And he goes back for the wind up....

This last weekend was a fantastic one for riding. I managed to get out Sat before work for an hour and a half but Sunday was the biggie. 132 km 4:45 and lots of climbing with a low gear of 42X25... ouch. I had planned on a big ride but not as big as it turned out to be and got my $$ worth. I rode with Brad and Marc and we rode strong pretty much the whole way.

The ride started at the bridge and took the usual route up to Fairfax over White's and past Nacsiao out to Pt. Reys. We then rode up the coast (hwy 1) till the Bo-Fax intersection and proceed up. This is 3 hr's into the ride. The climb took me 25:12 @ 300wts. I barley hung on to Brad on the way up, which for me is an improvement. The mtb has really been helping with my speed uphill. After all was said and done I was out for the count after a cheeseburger and beer for 3.5 hrs. HA! Here is the Powertap data....

Coming up this weekend is a smakdown of racing for me. First is the Ronde Crit on Sat, which directly after I have to bolt to work. Then I drive down to Ft Ord for the CCCX #4 MTB race. The course should be the same for the most part. Someone posted a cool course map on Motion Based. We did 5 laps last round. Should be a very hard race once again. I managed to move up into 2nd overall for the series and although we get 2 drops out of 9 races I would rather drop my 2 lowest placings than miss any races....

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Zamora RR

Course: 10 mile lap/ 5 laps
Category: Elite 3
Field: 100
Teammate: Brad
Place: 23rd

Much like the burrito... the race today completely blew apart. The wind was the deciding factor for this race. 30+ mph gusts shattered the 100 strong field in the first lap. I managed to stay in the lead group until the end of the 3rd lap. I made a bad tactical error by dropping back to help pull Brad back to the group after he wandered off the road. I felt OK and he wasn't to far back so what the heck? Big mistake. I worked too hard leading to the base of the KOM and popped off and had to chase back after the climb. I did get back and things were OK until after the long, super windy front straight. What was left of the lead group started to break apart and I was to far back and had to jump gaps in the wind. I was left to chase for the remaining 2 laps TT style, pulling a few guys around. I was just wanting to finish as it was my first road event of 08 and all the while I could see the lead pack just up ahead. I held out if I could maintain a good avg speed I might close on the group fighting to stay out of the wind and catch riders popping off the back. That is what ended up happening and I rode myself into 23rd place. Given the circumstances and the 50% attrition rate I'll take it.

Start of the 3rd lap, cold and windy!!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

CCCX Round 3

Even the car had fun...

Well I finished 3rd... again. Not bad but I was hoping for a higher result. I changed my gearing and felt pretty good going into the weekend. The course was the same as the last round and while I ended up in the same placing, I cut 2+ min off the course time. Mark Howland showed up and took the win with Ceasar in 2nd. The opening laps were great as we started with the Pro/ Semi-Pro men, which worked great and the 3 of us rode with the lead pack until the long.... pavement section where the geared bikes took off and it was a 3 way battle until 2 to go. I started to fade a bit on the short climbs and rode it in for 3rd solo. The time gaps to 1st/2nd were smaller than ever so there is improvement there. It did move me into 2nd overall for the 9 race series. I'll spice it up for round #4 in a few weeks..

Check out this course!!! 7 miles long/ 5 laps T* 1:57