Posted by: Travis | May 31, 2010

Race Report: Memorial Day Crit (Morgan Hill, CA, 5/31/2010)

Race: Memorial Day Crit (E4)
Location:Morgan Hill, CA
Date: May 31, 2010
Result: Pack finish (34th of 72)
Course: 1.0 mile 4 corner crit – right, right, right sweeper, right
Weather: Cool (60’s) and clear, no wind to speak of
Teammates: Allen (56th), William (7th), James (53rd), Juan (42nd), Martin (40th), Mike (63rd)

Today was one of the most fun days i’ve had on the bike in a long time. It was a perfect storm of a ‘no chain’ day (when your legs feel like there isn’t any resistance in the chain), racing a course that suited me, and racing with a good team of guys committed to a team plan. We parked and prepped separately, but huddled a little bit before the start. Even though i stopped my warm up 25 minutes before the start of our race, i was still somehow rushed for time.  For the first time i rocked a skin suit (jersey and shorts in a single, tight fitting garment, mostly used for time trials, but increasingly becoming popular in crits) and shoe covers in a crit. When you toe the line of a crit wearing a skinsuit it says one of two things: ‘i am a total lemming, willing to follow any cycling trend even though i have no idea why it is done’ or ‘i am planning on doing a hell of a lot of work on the front or in a break today’. I was hoping for the latter.

Since we didn’t get a warm up lap, i decided to sit in for the first lap and get a feel for the course. William has been killing it lately, so he was our protected rider for this race. He didn’t get a warm up in before the race, so he used the first few laps as a warm up to stretch the legs.

I spent the second lap working my way up to the front. From then on it was a repeating cycle of get on the front and jack the pace up, keeping it fast and safe, then dropping back a few spots to recover before doing it again.

I felt better on the bike today than i have in a while. Efforts on the front, while not quite easy, were about as close to easy as you can get pulling the front of a bike race at 30mph. I haven’t been on the front of a race in a while, so the first pull there was definitely a feeling of ‘well, here we go, i hope this goes well’. After finishing the first pull and realizing that i had really good legs today, i was like a junky going back for another hit over and over. There’s something exhilarating about being on the front of a race, pulling the group around laying it all out for a teammate while the crowd goes nuts and the announcer screams ‘Webcor on the front really stringing things out!’. Knowing that i wasn’t going for a result myself was liberating because it meant that i could just bury myself. At that moment, there’s nothing in the world more fun than racing your bike.

With 3 laps to go William was sitting in about 15th wheel. I pulled up and asked if he wanted a ride up to the front. Since we were the only two AV guys up at the front, we decided it would be better for me to drift back and help bring other teammates up to the front. I drifted back into the field and was able to get everyone organized pretty easily, but at the point the pace was fast and the group was bunched up (usually when the pace is high, it gets strung out). We would try to move up and then get pinched off, over and over again. It was just too crowded.

We were unable to get up to the front to help William with the sprint, so he ended up having to go it alone, nabbing a top 10 spot. It was unfortunate because most of us were saving something for a lead-out, and because we got stuck in the traffic, a bunch of us crossed the line with a whole lot in the tank. In the future we should do a better job of just meeting up at the front with ‘X’ laps to go. We had the firepower today to get William the win, but we botched the execution.

Still, this team has progressed a lot in the last month or so. Guys were riding as teammates, getting on eachother’s wheels, giving each other rides to the front, pace lining on the front keeping the pace nice and high, communicating, following a plan. We rode a picture perfect race until 4 laps to go, and it was a blast. Still, there’s progress to be made. A win will come. We’ve got a group of guys that have the fitness, the smarts, the mindset, and the commitment to work together to kick ass. Good things will come, we’ve just got to keep plugging along, communicating, and pushing each other. I love racing with these guys.

Damn, i love bike racing.

Race Stats
Time: 33:31
Distance: 14.6 miles
Work: 453kJ (calories)
Avg Power: 225 watts
Normalized Power: 253 watts
Max Power: 1150 watts
Avg Speed: 26.1 mph
Max Speed: 34.1 mph

Note: I’ve got outlines written for a few non-cycling posts, i’ve just been too busy to sit down and fill them in. A lot of cool stuff has been going on. Memorial Day weekend was just incredible. Hopefully i’ll have something up about it in a few days.

Also, Tour de Cure is coming up on June 13. Rachel and i really need some help on the fund raising end, so please visit our fund-raising pages (Travis’ page, Rachel’s page) and give what you can to support us riding our bikes in the fight against diabetes.

I hope everyone else had a great holiday weekend.

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Responses

  1. […] morning i had a bike race down in Morgan Hill (which you can read all about here). Though we had the firepower to go for the win, we botched the last 3 laps and ended up with a […]

  2. Never go backwards in a race!

    For what it’s worth.

    Tyson


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