A Stage Race!
Hey there little shavers,
Well, that was exciting! Last weekend i went over to Vancouver for my first real road racing experience, the finale of the dEVo Spring Series, their stage race consisting of a crit, TT and road race (circuit).
First tho, let's catch up...from last we heard, it was Operation Overkill a week from last Saturday. On the Sunday, i went out to Newton Heights to watch and cheer the 2nd VCL race. (Speaking of VCL, if you're on Facebook, join the group!) Rode longer than i really wanted, back into town with Shailie, Cory and Simon, but hey... TSS for the week was 981 - a new record!! I burned over 8,600kJ of energy, and 375km in 12hr45mins of riding.. *phew*
Tue & Thu were pretty easy days, i think 3hrs between them. I also went for a climb, checked out all the new routes (about 8), fun!! Cleaned several, some gave me some grief!
And then it was Friday... Chatted with Roland, debating whether or not to go. Also chatting with my friend and tv/movie star Stephanie Belding, who's leaving Van to go back to the T-Dot. Wanted to visit her before taking off, and this weekend seemed perfect (and she's into bike racing to boot!) Weather was looking like crap, so i finally decided to commit, and i'd head over, and if it rained, i'd just not race, and watch instead.
Saturday (Apr 3rd) - Crit - 5:30am, alarm goes off. 5:45am - Roland is early. Yip. 6:30, nice and early for the ferry, roads wet but the sky opening up. 9am, on the mainland, roads totally dry. I start to realize that i might be racing...!
We get to Abbotsford and the race course..still dry! Damn, this is it. Sign up, i'm #381 in the B race. Get geared up..it's COLD! Saw Alex Pope, chatted for a bit. Didn't recognize most of the people there... Did a few warm-up laps, legs felt kinda blobby.. They were completely hammered the prior week, and than this week did NOTHING. Far from ideal prep...ahh well. Course was good, one tight turn, the rest of no concern. Very strong wind tho.
Went through staging, the race begins..nothing much to report except it's the typical BC crit. Everyone brakes in the corner, and sprints out. No smoothness. Looking at my power file, i crest 900w over 30 times in 60mins. 600w is peaked nearly 3x that. Gaah. I was fine tho. Made a little attack with 10 laps to go, just as it started to sprinkle. Wanted to see if anyone would make a move, but when i pulled off, the group just recollected itself. Not much fun. I sat back in, practiced getting to the front a few more times, and then dropped back on the final lap to let them duke it out - i had no intention of contesting the sprint on a rainy day..
Result: maybe 20th? About 15 must have been shelled.. Roland finished behind me as well.
Garmin file: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/29107045
Nothing too exciting to report, average speed just under 40kph, 50mins..NP was 262w, but didn't feel particularly maxed out.
Saturday (Apr 3rd) - TT - 4pm, TT out in Fort Langley, lovely countryside.
Course was L shaped. Flat course, nice. Windy as hell tho. You head out in a cross wind, turn right directly into it....then turn-around, and back. My plan was to go hard to the corner, then bury it to the turn-around, try to recover a bit in the tailwind, and then hammer the final section.
And that's what i did! My goal was to average close to 300w.
So - ride to corner: 292w. Ride to turn-around: 301w. Ride back to corner: 280w. Final stretch: 305w. Managed to hold 341w for the final minute as well. Total average was 295w - a new PB for that length of time! Yay - i'm stronger!
Not bad...wish i'd put out a bit more just before the turn-around, but otherwise that was well-ridden. Unfortunately, my time and result did not reflect this.
Time was 18:53, average speed of 38.7kph, which put me, in the B's, in 22nd. !!!! This is insane!
Even looking at the C's, i wouldn't scratch the Top 10. 19th if i raced A. WTF?
All i can blame it on is aerodynamics. Typically in the Sidney Velo TT, on an ideal day, i'd end up 30 seconds behind Peter Lawless (Tripleshot), and Roland would finish 30 seconds behind me. On this day, Peter was ahead by a minute, and Roland was ahead by 30 seconds. The difference being that i didn't use an aero helmet or front wheel (never have for rear wheel.) I also chose a more 'comfortable' position for my aero bars, rather than lower.. Rollie and Pete both had helmets and wheels (and full TT bikes..but i'm used to competing with them on a road bike.)
Spoke with the A winner, Mike Sidic (H&R Block) - he finished with a 15:31 - insane! Over 3mins faster. Now get this - his average power was 380w - 85w higher than me. It's not really *that* much. Yet it made 3min difference over 12km. I really think it must have been aerodynamics, because that's fairly decent output..
Anyway, that's that. =P
The wattage is included in the Crit file, and here's the Garmin data: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/29107036
Sunday - Road (Circuit) Race - Actually felt pretty good. Course was tough. 10 laps, just over 10km per lap. Wind. Lots more wind. And a climb from hell, called 'Snake'. For Victoria people, imagine doing the main steep section on Newton Heights, then there's a steeper switchback that connects to the south side of King George Terrace. BROOOOOOTAL.
This course required something i haven't been working on at all..being able to punch it (400w in my case) for over a minute to speed up the climb.
I held on for 3 laps, but then fell off. After the hill was a long section that slowly descended, then the 'drop', and back to the flats. That descent was about the only place there was no headwind. Hurray.
So yeah, i was off, caught a few other shelled folk, and we worked together. Some others came and went..ended it with one lap to go, no point in doing another lap. I was pretty fried by the end, did a lot of work. Fun to chat with Rachel Canning for a bit, who i haven't seen in a long time (we won a Bronze medal together in the '08 Track Provincial Championships in the Open Madison. ;)
I was rather disappointed with that, but when i got home and looked at the numbers, i wasn't so sad. I got a new 1hr PB: 257w (up from 253w). The Normalized Power for that hour was 284w. WOWWIE. (My threshold is at 265w.) Looking at the file, there wasn't much coasting...and that include the last lap i hung in with the pack, and then was solo/chasing for the rest of the time. 2hr wattage was a PB as well, at 240w (up 4w.) NP was 268w. That's pretty freaking big for me, next highest is about 246w NP over 2hrs. If the hill were a bit shorter, i prolly wouldn't have had any trouble hanging in until the finish. It was jamming 400w for a minute that got me..but i'll have that in my toolbelt later this summer..
So, overall happy with my performance!
Results: unsure, maybe around 15th? Looked like a LOT of people dropped out.
Got a lift back into town with Chris Hillier (Colavita), thanks again for the ride. =)
Alright, it's getting late, will report on Tuesday's ride later, some neat info to come there.
Join the VCL page (linked above) if you're in Vic! =)
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