Saturday, April 16, 2011

Stages 1 & 2

The first two stages of the Tof WW are complete but not with some drama.  Stage 1 kicked off in Waitsburg, WA on Friday with a 63 mile road race. With a neutral roll out up the major climb on the course things started off mellow.  About 1/4 the way to the top the race was on.  Within 2 miles of descending, and rain falling, there was a major crash (not sure what happened) that took a few riders out of the race.  When the race was over and I was back at my car, I overheard someone say that a rider had severely messed up his face along with breaking a collarbone.  The weather wasn;t supposed to be a factor, but within an hour of the start it was evident that it would.  Temps continued to drop into the low 40's and the rain began to fall very hard.  Everyones hands wer numb and it was getting difficult to see at times; rooster tails were flying everywhere.  I stayed up near the front as much as I could, the pace of the entire race was very fast, and felt pretty good.  However, before the start of the race,. my quads both seized up with charlie horses.  I;m not sure what happened but it was very uncomfortable to pedal.  I thought it would eventually go away but it never did.  It was an unpleasant race from that stand point, however, I am surprised my legs were able to hold up as good as they did.  The finish was on the main climb and that is where the race was won.  About 1/2 way up the climb riders began attacking; I stayed with the main group but eventually fell off the pace and finished 1.5 min. behind the winner.  All in all a very hard race but another successful race for me.  My goal for these first two races (King's Valley, and Tour of Walla Walla) was to race hard, get some race miles in the legs and have fun...mission accomplished.   At the end of stage 1 I immediately changed clothes and turned the heater on in the car.  It took a while before my body began to feel warm again.  I think everyone suffered a little today.  These are the kind of races that you will never be able to simulate in training alone.

Stage 2 was the TT, and for me all I try to do is race at my threshold level (325-330 watts).  I don;t expect to do that well considering I have no aero equipment and don't train for TT's.   If I could I would just skip the TT, but unfortunately I wouldn't be able to start the other races then.  The TT course had 1 small hill and the rest was mostly flat, but the wind was blowing pretty hard so riding in an aero position helped considerably.  I think I was passed by 4 riders and ended up 4 minutes off the winning time.  For the 9.6 mile course I turned in a time of 24:17.

The crit is tonight and then Sunday is a 92 mile road race which has over 5500 ft of climbing.  Should be another good hard race; the good thing is that the weather looks to be much better.  More info to come later.

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