Monday, April 07, 2008

Yes it was a wall....

Talking about the pain to come.....

CCCX #5 Toro Park was a smakdown of a race. I had never ridden here before and I was really glad I brought my 20T cog. I switched out the gear and proceeded to do a warmup lap. The pavement "wall" I had heard so much of was indeed a wall. There was a telling sign at the bottom of the hill that stated "steep grade use low gear" ya that's for sure.

The above sawtooth graph was from an earlier race. We did the climb 5 times, something like 840+ feet per lap. I have to say I was not really to pre-paired for this race. A 21T cog would have made life a bit easier--Just a little. The course as indicated was an up and down affair. The downhill was fast and technical, very cool. For this reason I did a second lap to get a better look at the decent because there were a lot of places to get into trouble.

Pro/ Semi Pro Men and SS start...

I managed to barley cling onto the Pro leaders over the top of the wall. Howie was there also and a bit further ahead so I gathered myself after a flogging and set in for a very tough race. The rest of the climb was somewhat rolling but up. there was only one more steep pitch maybe 40-50 meters at the top before you headed down the roller coaster descent.

Lap 2, I am more focused on riding smart and not to sure where anyone is. The field had blown apart pretty fast. after the second time up the wall I could see Howie up the road. OK I had him in my sights. I figured at worst I would hold the time gap or at best I would make up time on the down hill. This bike goes downhill very fast and handles like a scalpel. 29er's rule!

OK lap3 I am not sure at this point if I am going to finish the race at all. I was starting to get cramp twinges on the last lap and although I was feeling good the legs were in question. I did everything I could to manage the on-set of cramps. Move up, back, drop the heels, toes down, anything I could to spread the work around and give different muscles a break when they started to complain.

Across the finish line on lap 4, I felt better. After getting over the wall I had a GU, drank alot and my second wind came from nowhere. I was able to pick up the tempo and started to catch and pass geared guys on my way to the top. Phew! downhill and one more to go.

Last lap and I'm feeling remarkably better and in 2nd place. Rod shouts at me "Howie is only a minute ahead, your closing!" Wow. I thought if I can get over the wall w/o cramping I might have a chance to pull him back. I think I was a bit faster than most on the downhill, the motocross skills were paying dividends in this race for sure.

Photo by Rick

It was a downhill Disneyland... Hi Rick!

Last lap and I manage the wall....barely. OK I just need to finish. I kept the pace high all the way to the final pitch and once over the top. It was W.F.O. to the bottom with a sprint for time to the finish. Overall it was 37.6 km/ **T 01:48:03/ avg HR 172, max 189 and 5 very hard climbs. It was a well earned 2nd place and this will no doubt help me to get stronger for the upcoming race in Napa next week, the Napa Valley Dirt Classic.

CCCX Toro Park Google Earth map.


Blogger isaiasjob said...

What an exciting report! Good job hangin' tough. Crap we're you running the 38:20 gear? Ouch! I ran a 32:19 and that was enough to cause pain at Boggs with about 1200ft climbing\lap.
Good luck at Napa!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thats awesome frigin dockin it baby!!

David Rod


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