Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Race Report: Tuesday Night at Chapman Lake

I decided to pin up for this week's Tuesday night extravaganza of suffering. And I had such ideal preparation. I've ridden twice in the past week and have been suffering through a springtime chest cold. Good times.

The good news is that there's zero chance that I was coming in overtrained.

So I showed up at 5:40 for a 6:00 start. That left me ample time to register, pin on my number, change into riding clothes, switch the brake pads and wheels on my bike, find a pump, pump up my tires and get to the line. 

Of course, what it really meant was that it left me barely enough time to register, pin on my number, change into riding clothes, and have Quicksilver and Nick find a pump, pump up my tires, change my brake pads, and switch my wheels. It's nice to have nice friends.

Warming up is overrated anyway. In retrospect I should have done some mountain climbers on the start line. It would have totally intimidated the other teams.

I'd love to provide an exciting blow-by-blow of the rolling chess match that is bicycle racing. Sadly, last night's reality was that the race was boring and frustrating. A group of three rolled off in the first couple of miles. I tried to bridge up to them (now THAT is the way to warm up!) but we were chased down within a half-mile or so and never made it. 

So here's how the rest of the race went. We'd chase, then things would get disorganized and everyone would sit up. Then we'd try to get the group organized and start to chase, followed by more disorganization and everyone would sit up. Then someone who refused to pull would attack, get chased down instantly, and everyone would sit up. Are you catching onto the trend yet?

OK, not to get preachy, but there were a couple of teams in the race that need to revisit team tactics 101. Case in point, after one of the many micro-chases I asked a fellow worker-bee how many teammates he had in the group. 

"Where are they?"
"I think they're tired."
(Well we're chasing and it's a bike race, of course they're tired.)
"I don't think they want to get dropped."
"Well, go back there and tell them to get up here and bury it at the front until they get dropped. What do they want to do, hang on to finish last in the sprint? Get them to help you."

My motivational speech evidently didn't have the desired effect. Oh well, it's all in good fun and I'm sure next Tuesday will provide another teachable moment.

Anyway, the final 5 or 6 miles was fast and curvy, with a few rollers. I followed an attack about 4K from the finish, did my best to drive the break, but (surprise!) we got caught and everyone sat up. At that point I said to Quicksilver that I was cooked. I kind of thought he was going to try and pull a Cancellara in the final K (except at a somewhat slower speed), but alas it wasn't to be. 

Thankfully I recovered enough to win the field sprint for fourth place. Mio dio, I do enjoy a fast sprint.

1 comment:

  1. Great writeup, and congrats on nailing the field sprint :)