Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Night at the Oval

I guess I can do a short write up on this one. We showed up and I could see guys I have not seen at the Oval before, but I knew who most of them were, and that means tonights A race would be that much harder.

First race was a 12 lap scratch race, and after 5 laps I was off the back and ended up getting lapped. Then we did a 13 lap points race, and sprints for points every lap, after about 7 laps I had a go for some points, and that didn't work out for me, so I just tried to not get lapped, but that didn't happen either. Next we had an 8 lap scratch race, and the pace wasn't quite as high, and I don't think I got shot off the back for this one and finished at the back of the pack. Then we did some team time trail races, we ended up winning, but my legs were shot and I couldn't do much at the pace of the other guys. Finished the night off with a Big Gear race which I was in about 4th place coming into the last corner, and I cross wheels with a teammate at about 20 mph, and almost went down, so that was it for me, and then a granny gear race which I did well in, maybe top 5 on that one, with a max cadance of 170 rpm's.

Night at the Oval

Monday, June 1, 2009

IMBCS #3 Summerset Shootout

Yesterday brought the next mountain bike race in the series, and after my performance last weekend I wasn't sure how it would go. I know I still haven't nailed down any structure in my training this year, so heres how it goes.

Headed down there early because they had a kids race, so the boys were very excited about that, and I wanted to get a lap in before their race, but I would have to wait till after, but I had 2 hours before I raced. The first 2 miles of trails were very technical, with some steep drops that shot you right back up the other side, some loose climbs, and a lot of tight off camber sections, so the start would be important. After that you hit about a half mile road section before the next singletrack, which was nice to get some water into you and keep a high pace. The next section of trails were basically flat, some sand sections, and lots of tight turns, but nothing too hard.

Lined up after they started the experts, and I was on the front line, good place to be, look back to see roughly 40-50 others, and knowing it was a local race for more than half of them I would be in trouble if I let some of them get ahead of me. From the start line there is about 1/4 mile road section before getting into the woods. Locked out the fork, was in the big ring, they give is the go, and just hammered it. I was able to get the holeshot, and enter the woods first, good because right after entering the woods there was a log crossing, and then a really tight tree section which if you had wide bars you wouldn't fit. Also knowing the first 2 miles wouldn't allow any passing I was sitting good. I did have a guy pretty close, and I just kept going as hard as I could. I made it through most of the first lap without too many issues, other than the one I had to run up since you come down, take a more than 90 degree turn, and then straight up a short 50 foot or so climb that was pretty loose. By the time we hit the road section I got caught by another guy, and we kinda took turns drafting each other and made some good time making to the next section, he got a better line in a few corners, and was ahead of me by about 20 seconds at the end of that lap.

Second lap I entered the woods following a Singlespeeder that had a mechanical, and he was gone, but I just kept at it. I was caught by the one junior in the sport race about halfway through the first section, and I bobbled a climb, and had to get off, and he got by me. We did ride together for a little bit, but he was able to pull away after a couple more stupid moves on my part. Just before getting out of the woods we ended up passing the guy that was in the lead due to a mechanical. Onto the road section and I knew I couldn't bridge up to him, so I just tried to maintain the gap. Came out of the wood section, and didn't see him on the next road, so I knew he pulled away some. Got through my feed zone and grabbed a bottle for the final lap.

Third and final lap and I am sitting in 2nd place at the moment, and I am starting to feel it in the legs on every little climb. By this lap I had figured out what gear to be in for certain sections and was able to ride the entire first section cleanly. I did hear some guys coming up from behind me, look back a section and see what I thought was 2 guys, but must have only been one because within the next couple minutes he was closing in on me. Got to one of the loose climbs and I mis-shifted and sent my chain over the top of my cassette, and I stopped to make sure it didn't get stuck and break, which allowed him to pass me. So I get right back on and try to hold his wheel, but didn't happen, so he was gone by the time we got to the road. I looked back and saw nobody, until I was about 1/4 mile out onto the road and someone popped out of the woods, so it was go time for every last little bit I had in me. Thankfully I was able to get some second wind and keep up a good pace through the last wood section. I didn't see him gaining, and once back on the pavement heading to the finish line, it was big ring time, and just hammer it home.

Came across the line in 3rd Place overall for the Sport Class, a really good finish despite how I felt beforehand, and I was very pleased with how the 29er handled the tight stuff.

IMBCS #3 Summerset