Posted by: Travis | April 16, 2011

Snelling Road Race

Race: Snelling Road Race, E4
Location: Snelling, CA
Date: February 26, 2011
Result: 29 (of ~100)
Course: 5x ~12 mile loop of short, rolling hills, one stretch of very bad pavement, uphill sprint
Weather: Cold (high 30’s) and clear
Teammates: Ryan, James, Barrett, Juan, Ivan, Amin

The plan was for Barrett and Ryan to trade attacks trying to get into a break. Once in a break, we were to block for them, and mark bridge attempts. If the group came to the line in a sprint, Ryan and I were to lead our sprinter, James out for the sprint.

Barrett and Ryan came out firing shots from the get-go. I think Barrett made his first attack in the first 2 minutes of racing. For the first 2-2.5 laps, it seemed like every single attack had Ryan or Barrett in it. Considering we only had 2 guys playing this role instead of the planned 3, they deserve huge props for their efforts. For pretty much the entire race a break would get a gap, the field would let them dangle at 10-20 seconds (never out of view) for up to half a lap, no one would try to bridge, and eventually a team would go to the front and shut the move down. I think this was largely due to the presence of big teams. If i recall, there were 5-6 teams that had more than 6 guys in the race. Chances are if there was a break with one guy from each team, it would have had a chance, but that never happened. Rio Strada and Roaring Mouse seemed to be the most active teams at the front of the group. We didn’t have to do much at the front because Barrett and Ryan were constantly in moves and no one really tried to bridge.

For the first lap and a half or so my legs felt pretty dead. I wasn’t struggling to hang or anything, but any time there was an acceleration, it hurt to keep up. I was freezing my butt off up until the end of the first lap, so that may have had something to do with it. For most of the first 2 laps, my legs prevented me from performing my duties for the team — marking guys trying to bridge up to breaks we were in. Luckily, from where i was sitting, it looked like there wasn’t a whole lot of that to be done (guys weren’t bridging up to breaks). During this period of time Juan did a hell of a job picking up my slack. He was constantly sitting top 5 in the group, keeping an eye on things. James, Amin, and Ivan were also sitting in the group, looking good, not wasting energy, communicating, and seemed to be able to move around in the group at will. Definitely not sitting on the back huffing and puffing and struggling to hang on.

Midway through lap 3 i talked to both Ryan and Barrett. They were getting pretty tired from constantly attacking. For the 3rd and 4th lap they were a little more judicious with their efforts. With Roaring Mouse and Rio Strada controlling things, it was pretty easy to figure out what breaks we needed to be in and what breaks were doomed. On the twisty section of Keyes Road in the 3rd lap a pretty threatening group of about 8 went up the road, but the pack immediately strung out and brought them back. This was definitely the hardest acceleration in the race. It hurt pretty bad.

On the fourth lap we turned onto Olsen and the pace slowed waaaaaay down to about 18mph. I took the opportunity to down a gel, eat a bar, and drink a bottle so i didn’t have to worry about anything on the last lap. James, Ryan, and i got together on Figmond (the rough road) on the fourth lap. Ryan said he was pretty knackered from attacking all day and probably wouldn’t be able to lead out James in the sprint. James said he was feeling pretty tired too and the rough road was taking a lot out of him. They gave me the green light to see what i could do in the finish.

During the last lap i tried to move up to a top 10-15 spot, so i could see the front and make sure nothing threatening went away. The hills on the back side hurt a lot. I did my best to be near the front for each hill so i could fade back during he hill. We turned on to Figmond and things were pretty hectic. Rather than being fast, stretched out, and well controlled, the pack was spread wide across the road and churning. I picked my way through the field up the left side of the road, eventually finding a top 5 spot with the final right turn in sight (roughly 1k to go). The field surged up the right side and i got boxed in on the left, losing about 20-30 spots. We came around the last turn and guys started sitting up in the middle of the road. I kicked hard, weaving through fading racers, but never getting a clean line. I rolled across the finish in 29th place.

Race Stats
Time: 2:56:41
Distance: 63.3 Miles
Work: 1779 kJ
Normalized Power: 223 Watts
Max Power: 965 Watts
Avg Speed: 21.5 mph
Max Speed: 36.4 mph

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