Sunday, November 23, 2008

Race Day 2 (much better result!!)

So only 9 starters today though. We started with 100m straight on pavement then a 180 degree turn. Got a bad start and was 8th through the corner. Lovely. Rode hard around a few people and was riding in 6th place. Top 3 guys were long gone. They are super fast and shouldn't be in our race anymore. Anyway, I was on the wheel of the guy I want to beat (name is Keith) on the first lap. I passed him on a flat since he was lully gagging and he passed me back on a sketchy corner. I knew he felt bad yesterday, so I was not sure how he felt today. I decided to sit on his wheel for a couple laps and see what happened (can I hang on?). There is a long uphill that hurt me everytime and he'd gap me. There were other parts where I caught up to him and could recover in his draft. Those spots I think I could power away from him if I wanted. We caught this guy that was ahead fo us and it was kind of weird. I actually thought we should work together to reel him in and pass him hard, but decided to just sit in as along as possible to save my energy. No one was close behind us and my teammate crashed, so he was just back there watching our race.

Anyway, this YMCA rider we caught would fall back to us and sit on the front, then take off and fade again. Didn't know what to make of it and I also wasn't sure if I passed Keith that he'd work with me to drop him. Keith and I didn't talk at all.

Sadly for me, the tough part of the course for me was the last quarter lap. So I sat on Keith's wheel for 4 laps, wondering if I could attack and keep away without blowing up. So just before the last lap my teammate yelled at me to go go go and not sure if it was the right time, I went all out. I sprinted up a hill and just gunned it with everythig I had. I got a 20m gap immediately and held it for a LONG time. I was calculated in my dismounts, turns, etc. and went more aggressive at the same time. The best part of the course for me was the first 1/2 so if I was going to atack, that was when I HAD to do it. I had to get the gap and hope to hold off his attack in the end where I was struggling. As we approaching the barriers on the last lap (which is near the start of the lap), that YMCA rider that was ahead of me crashed going over the barriers really hard (he didn't get up for about 30 sec and he quit the race, he is ok). I was right behind him and managed to go to the right and pass him.

It was then just Keith and I fighting for 4th and 5th. I had the gap and just took every corner, flat, hill as hard as I could. I had no choice. On the long climb near the finish he didn't gain on me so I was figuring he didn't have my left to catch me. I had a 20m gap before a TIGHT left turn on a hill descent and I locked the rear wheel, skidded a bit, but stayed up. I had a 20m gap going around the last corner and sprinted a bit to the line. He came back, but I beat him by a second or so. He came back hard! I finally won a big battle.

Not sure my tactic was right to sit on his wheel so long. We chatted about it afterwards. He said he felt bad and almost told me to just pass him mid-race since he couldn't hang on. I think he really didn't feel good, but not sure I could have dropped him earlier in the race. Maybe I should have attacked early, but I could have cracked and gotten worn out and he'd caught me back. I took 4th of 8. My best % placing yet and obviously 4th is nice. Just missed a prize. Who cares. I beat my target, even if he didn't feel good. I didn't know that and my tactic worked out. I rode strong and evidently smart enough to go full gas for the last 8 minutes. Felt awesome!!! I felt like I won the race! I did even pump my arm like I won something big.

My teammates said it was awesome watching us battle the entire race. I think I surprised a few people in my power today, including myself. I'm proud I didn't crash and that I took corners and everything much more aggressively and was ok. Practice is good, but racing is the best. Helps when you're chasing someone and if you don't get out fo your comfort zone and take risks, you get dropped and lose. I know we only had 8 finishers, but it was a good race for me.

I ended up 9 of 13 yesterday despite my acrobatics.

I did ride my busted saddle since it didn't bother me and wasn't unsafe. I am looking to buy a new one though.

Will post picts eventually.

1 comment:

e2 said...

Awesome job Scott! I wish I could have been there to watch.