My sleddogs

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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Ste. Genevieve State RR(#12) and the KOM!!!!

Today was the Missouri state RR. I've had some disappointing finishes this year so my main goal was to finish with the main group. I also took it very easy on the bike prior to this race. In some past races I've done too much riding during the week and not enough resting. I made it a point to turn that around. I did an hour recovery last Sunday after the O'fallon debacle. Then on Monday I rode three hours, Wednesday an hour, and friday another hour. It must've worked because while the legs didn't feel 100%I could tell they had a little jump to them. The race had three short climbs per lap and in the end it was almost 4000' of climbing. I lined it up in the front row and stayed towards the front for the first lap. Two miles in Sean, from momentum, went solo. Nobody followed. He's done this before, but it's like rolling the dice. While it was almost a 70 mile race he has the ability to stay away, but still we let him go.

The first lap was uneventful, except for one guy who always dices things up in the first few miles of a race and then gets dropped. One of these days he's gonna cause a crash. He's always the most animated in the fist 10 miles of a race right before he gets dropped. I find his antics somewhat amusing though. When we came to the first little climb it caught me by surprise and I couldn't shift to the little ring and had to tackle the first climb in the big ring. It was fairly easy in the big, but I didn't want to put to much lactic acid in the legs. The next two climbs went fine and I was able to stay near the front. I was able to stay near the front after the KOM and we blasted back into town. At the feedzone both Denny and Brian grabbed bags of waterbottles. I got mine and we gave a couple others away. I was prepared for it to be another hot one, but I don't even know if it made it to 80*. I only drank one bottle that first lap.

The second lap was a bit more animated with several breaks trying to go away, but all were brought back. I could also start feeling cramps in my legs so I stretched them out on the bike and tried the best to shake them out. Maybe I should've drank more water that first lap. The first and second climbs I could feel my legs cramping a bit more. I started to foresee myself cramping to a halt, but I tried to shut it out of my mind and just kept spinning. The last climb came and I was still towards the front. For some reason I could remember suffering a lot more on these climbs in previous years, but it was still took an effort. This is also where the final selection was usually made in the past. I was able to hold off the cramps and make it up in the top 10 or so. Luckily I was able to somewhat recover before the surges to the finsh started. I was able to stay around the top 15 as we hauled ass into town. We made a left onto the main finish straight, but I wasn't sure where the finish was which was my downfall. I thought we would go around town and finish in the same direction we started, but we finished in the opposite direction. This effected my positioning and when I started to kick it up it was too late. I ended up in 13th and Brian was just out of the money in 6th. Denny, Aaron K., and Dwayne were just behind.

The team is growing and looking pretty strong. We had several guys make some moves and animate some of the race, but in the end it was all together. If I could ever get any consistency I could be more useful to the team. I can tell my climbing is coming around and if I could just lose that extra five pounds I'd be that much better. We also have two more CAT 4's that are getting consistent top five's so we should have a few more strong riders soon.

Now for the KOM, it wasn't me who won that, but my girlfriend Jess. It was also her first roadrace. I do a lot of training with her in tow and know she's got some ability. While she's done triathlons before she was a bit worried about riding in a pack which she's not used to also. She also looked like a rookie because she usually rides with a tanktop and I didn't know that she had to wear a sleeved shirt. She ended up pinning her numbers to her t-shirt. Denny and myself gave her as many tips as we could think of. I also know how good of a climber she was so she may want to go for the KOM. I told her if she got up the KOM in the lead and depending on the gap then she should just bury it and TT it to the finish. She took that advice, but a couple girls were able to close the gap for a three girl break for the finish. They made it back onto the finishing straight before getting caught by the group, but was still able to hang onto fourth. This race was a learning experience. She took a couple extra pulls on the way into town because the eventual winner skipped a couple. It was one of those things where that could've been her strategy, but then if she didn't pull they could've got caught a lot sooner. I'm sure next time she'll think twice before taking those extra pulls. All in all it was a great first race, she got paid, and I got a great KOM jersey out of the deal..............just kidding Jess!

Another great race Todd and thanks to the folks of Ste. Genevieve.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Races 8, 9, and 10........

The last three races I've done I've DNF'd, pack finish, and DNF'd. This is not quite the season I've been striving for. Since I moved up to CAT 3's I have yet to be in the same form I was back then. I used to be able to mix it up and go on attacks back then and be competitive. Nowadays the struggle is just to not get dropped. While there is additional stress of working and commuting to Kansas City I refuse to let that be an excuse. I think my biggest downfall is my lack of races, lack of pre race preparation, and being about 5-7lbs. over my ideal weight. i know that doesn't seem like a lot, but for cyclists, that can be a lot.

My last race was the Hot as Hell O'fallon Grand Prix road race. A 75 mile tour around southern Illinois. It was in the high 90's and it just really felt like an oven. By far the highest temps I've ridden in this year. I figured this race would be a race of attrition since there were no real kickers or places to get a split in the peleton. The race started out easy enough. It was pretty much a parade lap. When we came into town up the hill I was up in front with no issues on the climb. I ended up being the first one to take a feed. I actually had a good gap and could've rolled off the front with a good lead, but I knew I didn't have good legs and I had Denny and Brian's bottles. It didn't matter. We were neutralized shortly after the feed because a bunch of guys were crossing the center line and one guy was dq'd. I ended up staying out in front for most of that lap. I even rolled off the front to see if anyone wanted to follow to catch the few riders off the front, but nobody followed so I drifted back to the peleton. Everyone was just content in staying put with the heat........so I thought. As I drifted back to the middle a few attacks started and there was a group of seven, then everyone turned it up and I had to go. My only problem was my legs would not go into overdrive. I had too much lactic acid in my legs from the previous weeks training and not giving them some rest. I paid for it, I couldn't latch onto the effort made by Brian and I was shot out the back. That was the race for me. I rode with a few other guys, and caught and dropped a few more. There were two Chicago South Wheelmen guys riding really slow. Later, I found out that they were in the lead break and one of them rode onto shoulder and caused a pile up. One of them was Brian who went over the handlebars. Luckily he was ok and stayed in it to get a top 10 along with Denny. As for me, I really thought about doing another lap, but with as hot as it was I just called it a day and chalked it up as a training race. The fact that I rode three hours two days before the race didn't help. I really need to start being smarter in my training and learn to take it easy the week before big races. I've got a new approach for next weeks race at Ste. Genevieve.