Sunday, April 5, 2009

Can we descend already??

This week's training began at the port ride Tuesday night. I went harder than I've gone before, mainly due to Jim being there. By going hard I mean I didn't spend the first 45 minutes bs-ing in the draft as I'm wont to due.

My IT bands were bothering me Wednesday and so were classes so I took the rest of the week off. I had done the same thing last week and it turned out alright.

Saturday came and Jim and I headed to Crockett. I got there just in time for five minutes of warmup and the next thing I know I'm sucking wheels in a TTT. I made it about halfway down the descent before I fell off. The lack of warmup really hurt, not to mention riding with some really strong guys. I wasn't too bummed though because it was a nice warmup for the road race.

Lesson 1: out of all the minute details, getting the legs warm is the most important.

Afterwards I had time to work on my aero positioning which also helped.

An hour or so later we're lined up for the road race. We start at a decent pace, at least for the first k and then two guys began pulling up the hill. I sat on their wheels and stayed near the front. We descended and then began climbing again towards McEwan (similar to South Park Road). As we got closer to McEwan it became a bit eery. A Cal Poly guy flatted right before the climb. He was pretty strong so I was happy.

The first time up it I led the field. I smelled fear in the peloton and was hoping to split things up early on. Ok, maybe that was just my breath but I figured if we could lose some guys going up the first time we could lay off a bit next time around. I made it up without hurting too bad and was ready for more.

The second time up it I didn't lead but stayed near the front. This time hurt more than the last and I began thinking about the next two laps.

On the first descent of the next lap, before McEwan, a UCLA guy got a gap. I, being infinitely wise in two-wheeled matters, decided not to chase. This turned out to be the winning break. I think all the Tour videos have killed my judgement. Yes, breaks get pulled in, but that's because the field actually chases.

Brad went with him and so did a Davis guy so Nitish and I sat up a bit. The attacks continued until we reached McEwan the third time. Both times up I had stayed with Jordan (who finished second in the UCSC Hill TT only to Paul Mach) so I figured I was doing pretty well.

At McEwan Jordan took off. There was no way I, or anyone else could stay on his wheel. He flew up the hill at Ricardo Ricco speed and before I knew it he was out of sight. (Editor's note: by this point I wasn't thinking too clearly so he might have done this the 4th time up. I can't really remember.)(Editor's Editor's note: it was the third time up, because on the 4th time up I went with three other guys. Just to clarify.)

A few more attacks went off and we let them go. Nitish is really good with tactics so he told me not to chase.

The fourth time up McEwan I went hard and stayed with the lead wheels. We formed a group and I sucked wheels until the line was in site. Santa Clara attacked really early and we stayed on his wheel. I was planning on pipping them all because I hadn't been working. As it were I could barely stay in the draft and when pip came to shove, I made a mean face and died.

I ended up 12th. I think not doing hill intervals during the week really hurt. I also just wasn't as strong as some of those guys. We have an off weekend next week though so I plan on big miles.

After the race I went home and at 7 I layed (or lied) down for a short nap. I was planning on going over to Nathan's part at 9 but woke up at 1. Aha! I'd just out-rest the competition for Sunday!

Okay I'm losing faith in this post but bear with me.


Woke up at 630 and was ready to head over to setup for the crit. However, I checked to see if Flanders was on and I happened to catch the last 10k. Don't worry, I won't spoil it for you.

I dallied around for a while then after course marshaling I went home to get ready. I warmed up at my house but again didn't get the 45 minutes I was planning on.

Lesson 2: ibid.

I made it to the start line nice and sweaty. The first lap was super fast and before I knew it I was near the back. I wasn't able to make up as much on the climb as I thought I'd be able to. Before long I was in a gruppetto fighting to not get cut.

Eventually I got dropped off and was on my own. I would have been really embarrassed about this, had it not been for the pain. Eventually I was pulled, but only after a UCLA guy. Yes, I did just distinguish myself as the second loser.

Lesson 3: one book of matches per weekend. I've got to get more matches.

Here are the rest of the pics.

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