My sleddogs

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Sunday, May 31, 2009

O'Fallon GP.....

What does one do when it's 2:30am and can't sleep, well, you write on your blog of course. Actually, I've got to get up at 3:30 anyways for work, but could've used that extra hour since I didn't got to bed until 10pm.

Anyways, the O'Fallon Grand Prix was 67 miles of short power climbs, headwinds, crosswinds, and twists and turns. Accelerations were the norm out of each turn, not as bad as some race though. Normally, a 19th place finish wouldn't be cause for celebration, but with my legs cramping like mad during the last 15-20 miles and riding on a back tire that was slowly going flat it was a definite victory, well, sort of. I had four teammates with me for this race, although one guy is new and don't really know him.

I didn't do this race last year and didn't know what to expect. It was a weird course doubling back on itself several times. It wasn't too bad though and the climbs were as stated, big ring climbs. The first lap was just to get intimate with the layout. I ended up staying towards the front and before I knew it my teammate Ron was off the front. I thought it was a bit early, but he thought he had the legs to go. Who am I to judge and if anybody could do it he could, he's done it before. He had another Bigshark guy with him, but with just the two of them with headwinds and 45 miles to go it would have taken an exceptional effort. We, I should say they, ended up catching them before the end of the first lap. It was a good effort, but short lived. Not much to speak about on the first lap other then a guy making one hell of a recovery when his wheel got caught in a crevice. He was directly in front of me and had he gone down I was sure to follow.

There was not much to speak about on the second lap. Now I found myself fading towards the back of the pack as more riders were getting a little revved up to get in better position. A few attacks started, but were all extinguished. There was even a strong group of seven that went away, but they were brought back too.

I made my way back up to the front and as the third lap started myself and a bigshark guy found ourselves at the front. We made a left turn after the feedzone and we soon found ourselves with a little bit of a gap. We both looked at eachother and talked about how neither one of us wanted to go on our own break so we started to let off the gas. About that same time we got attacked by Russ, an Indiana guy, and then a few others. I think it was five up the road then myself, bigshark, and a hub guy with the pack breathing down our throats. We gave it a bit of an effort, but the five was too far for the three of us to bridge. A little too few and a little too late. Soon I found myself pulling pretty hard into the wind on an uphill grade. All I did was tow everyone else. I decided it was more work then I was willing to do with 20 miles to go. The pace picked up and as we were going up another hill a guy bumped my back tire and just hoped I wasn't gonna go down. A close call averted. It was about this same time I noticed my back tire really losing pressure. As the race went our group was now around 15 guys. With about five miles to go a mack guy wasn't paying attention and bumped the wheel of another guy. That created a little chaos, but i think those were the only two to not make it back on. Myself and Ron were on each side and made it around unscathed. The next thing I know I'm once again driving our group into a headwind, don't ask me why, but I just ended up there. With about a mile and a half left and a tire that propably had no more then 70psi my legs locked up at the last climb before the final stretch. I fell off the back of that group to finish about a minute behind. Ron was able to finish 12th, myself 19th and Matt and Justin just behind. As for other CATS' Brian got 6th in 4's, and Mark got 3rd in the pro 1,2's.

It was a fun race even though I suffered through cramps on the last lap. It turns out I propably didn't drink enough as I found I still had about half a bottle left out of the three I brought. The little bouncy ball I waas riding on propably didn't help either. I was lucky to have finished because it was completely flat about an hour later. In any case I'll call it a personal victory with the problems I had on that last lap. My fitness is starting to come through as I found myself doing a little more work than I had in previous races.

It was good to see a few guys from Indiana that I knew. Russ, the guy who got second, was a strong rider that I'd ridden with when I lived in Indiana. He used to go out on solo breaks on our training rides, much like he did yesterday.

Next up is the state roadrace, but I just may go to Indiana and do their state rr which is next weekend.

Monday, May 18, 2009

hellbender, 2009 edition

I gotta say I thought I was feeling pretty good. I got a lot of rest in and only did the tuesday night crit. I actually got to a race early enough to do everything withou being rushed. The race started about a half hour behind so that didn't help my nerves out. I usually like toget going when they say it's supposed to start. I guess I hate waiting around just like anybody else. Last year I got 12th, but I was also about seven pounds lighter. My fitness was also much bettrr at this time last year. Anyways, the race was uneventful for the most part with the exceptuion of a few failed atacks. Then the one major decisive climb came. It's usually make or break on this climb. You either make it with the lead group or your chasing. I was actually towards the front at the crest of the hill, but soon faded and was falling back. I ended up in a chase group of four. I was still redlined and fell off that group and was in no-mans land. A few minutes later a freight train of about six guys came trucking past. Denny was in this group. I latched on and we attempted to bridge. This took a major effort from everyone. I was definetly the worse off in the group. I took one more pull then went to the back and soon faded. I was so close to the main group that I could've thrown a rock and hit them. I was pretty much done at that point. Another group of five riders cam by that included another teammate. I hooked up with them into the feedzone, but two quit and I had to persuade a couple guys to do anoth lap with me. I ended uup dropping my bag at the feedzone and went back to get it. Another mesa kid decided to turn around because he had no water. I had two fresh ones and gave him one. We were now four until one guy decided he'd had enough and turned aroun.. it was his first cat3 race. The three of us ended up just cruising along the rest of the way. It was aggod first lap with some good efforts put in, but in the end I just didn't quite have the gas. Now if I can just lose that extra five pounds I might be alright. Next up is the wildwood tt. I hpe my typing wasn't too bad since I did this on my g1 phone. It's not that bad typing with thumbs.

Monday, May 11, 2009

o'fallon gold cup and other stuff....

Last week was just another week of training, it's hard though not to go on long training rides because of the upcoming races. I tried to make the Tuesday crit last week, but wouldn't you know it, I got out of work late and could only make the B race. I suited up only to find out I didn't have my helmet. I asked a few people and nobody had an extra one. I thought about asking a few guys just getting done with the A race, but the thought of wearing somebody else's sweat soaked helmet didn't really appeal to me so I just went home. I don't know what it is with Tuesdays, but i can get out at 5pm on the dot every other day, but then Tuesdays roll around and it's like pulling teeth!!! Somebody just doesn't want me to do those races. Fast forward to Saturday and I was taking my dogs out for a run in the morning, actually they ran, I rode my mt. bike. I had skates on the leash. Skates decided to turn on the gas and try to catch Bailey, so I stood up and tried to sprint to catch up. Next thing I know I'm on the deck. Grabbing the handlebars with the leash wasn't the smartest thing I've ever done. I ended up with a bruised shoulder, and hurt ego, hopefully nobody saw me.

Later in the day was the O'fallon Gold Cup race. The legs were a little fatigued from my long ride on wedensday....the legs just don't recover like they used to. My teammates for the race were Denny and Ron. We had quick talk about a game plan and then the race was on. Things started out uneventful. The three of us stayed towards the front. A few breaks tried to go away, including efforts by ron and denny, but all were brought back. The course had a little hill in it just to shake it up a little bit. It wasn't really anything special, but just enough. About half way into the race I noticed a kid from maplewood going to the front. I was pretty sure he won Hermann so I figured he could climb and that he might try to make a move on the hill. I marked him and was second wheel up the hill. I started to pick up the pace and then I heard it was a prime lap and so I turned the screws a little more up the hill. I guess I got the jump on everybody including the maplewood kid. I figured he'd be right there with me and we'd have to fight it out, but when I looked back I had a good gap. Later I found out I had a little help from my teammates and eduardo from bigshark. They were in front of the pack and just rode tempo. I redlined it up the second incline to the backside of the course. At that point I had a pretty sizable gap. I ended up riding another lap solo and by the second time up the hill a bigshark guy joined me. I tried to go with him but was pretty gassed from my effort and told him I was going back to the peleton. As I drifted back Denny made the move of the day and joined the lone bigshark guy. They rode off the front for a while then waited for a hub rider who decided he wanted in on the break. Meanwhile, us and bigshark just worked for the break the rest of the way. I guess another gateway guy caught the break at some point, I don't even remember when he got away. It stayed like that until the end. Denny ended up finishing in third. It was good to see him get a result. He's one of the hardest working guys in the peleton, and finally got a well deserved podium. All in all it was a good day for dogfish, I ended up in 14th and a prime and ron in 16th, he made his move a little too early for the bunch sprint. Up next is Hellbender, actually, also the tuesday crit, but we'll see if I make that one.