I’ve scheduled my first race and it’s going to be the 5430 Sprint Triathlon in Boulder. My form, so far, is coming along nicely to the point where I think I will be in contention for a top 10 overall or better. The biggest question mark for me, at this point, is the swim. My plan of attack is to continue to work on my form as well as get some more solid endurance swim sets in. Additionally, I plan on going to a few Master’s swim sessions to gain a little more top end speed. Read more
A New Direction
Firstly, I apologize for my extended absence. Between going back to school, training nearly full time and general laziness, I’ve been short on time to post. Needless to say, a lot has changed. I was on form, ready to demolish the collegiate season when I was in yet another bike wreck. This time, I broke a small bone in my wrist into a couple of pieces (hopefully I can find the x-rays and post them). It was actually kind of funny, you didn’t even have to be a doctor to see that I had seriously messed something up. There was a piece of bone just floating around my wrist, attached to nothing. Unfortunately, this has led to a change in my life. Read more
A Lesson in Bad Position
The Bannock Criterium started off like any other, a sprint off of the start line in order to position for the first turn. In fact, this race was pretty standard and I even felt like the race was downright easy until about five laps to go. This is where I started having problems.
In a criterium, position is everything (I’ll write more about this in another post). If you’re not reasonably near the front, then you can’t respond to attacks very well. If you’re boxed in the middle of the peloton, you also can’t respond to much. From this point in the race (5 laps to go), I did a poor job of creating escape routes and staying near the front. What would happen is I would move up, but, once I attained good position, I wouldn’t fight hard enough and ended up getting boxed in by other racers trying to do the same thing. Once this happened, I would generally get sent four or five position back, which I would then have to make up again. This constant battle is no way to race a criterium.
So Close I Could Taste It
Today was the Vic’s Expresso Criterium in Prospect Park, which is located in Longmont. Coming in to this race I had a lot of confidence after coming in third at the State Criterium Championship as well as second at the Sanitas Sports Criterium. As usual, I showed up a few hours early to get registered and walk the course. I’ve found that walking the course (or riding it slowly) is a great way to get a feel for how things are going to play out. I’ll also generally watch a previous race from various places to know where the good lines are in the corners as well as where I can pedal and where I can’t. I did my standard 25 minute spin the on the trainer and rolled up to the start. Read more
The One that Got Away
North Boulder Classic is, well, a classic in Boulder. A criterium with a rich and storied history with numerous big names coming out to race, and win, the event each year. This year was my first attempt at this technical criterium. In fact, given the nature of the course, I came into the day with extremely good feelings about the day.
As has become the norm the last few weeks, BRC Reality decided that they would drive the front for the first several laps, attacking and then slowing the peloton at the front. This tactic is particularly good at a course like this one because they were able to keep everything strung out most of the race. I’ve been taking a different approach to my racing in that, instead of hiding in the middle of the peloton, I have been ensuring to stay in the top three to eight riders. From previous experience and basic logic, this should work out as all of the action naturally happens at the front (this also helps avoid crashes that happen from people diving corners. Read more
Ups and Downs
It’s been a long time since I’ve updated everyone on my racing and I figured it’s about time for an update. It helps that I’m on a road trip to Nebraska.
Racing has been hit or miss so far. The season opened, for me, with the CU Criterium where I rolled in for a pack finish; also winning a prime. This was a great result for me as I was looking to sit in as much as possible in order to get some speed work in my legs.
The next weekend was the Oredigger Classic. This modest sounding event was a hill climb up the famous Lookout Mtn in Golden, Colorado. Sadly, I was having stomach trouble during my run up the mountain, which left me in trouble. I still managed a top 10, but was far from hitting on all cylinders. Read more
Whoa, you blink and two weeks goes by. I apologize to all of my viewers who read my blog on a regular basis for not updating! I just started a new job and I don’t have as much free time at work as I used to.
Things are going wonderfully. Over the weekend I saw my tempo power go up by a good chunk. It was so windy on Saturday that I ended up doing most of my intervals up a canyon (Lefthand Canyon, if you know the area), which has an average gradient of 3% for the majority of the climb, but does pitch up and down along the way. Read more
First Weekend of Cat 3 Racing
This was the most brutal weekend of racing that I’ve ever had and I got my ass kicked…….hard. I guess I should have anticipated the big guns showing up since it was the State Championship Road Race.
On the plus side, I’ve discovered two key weaknesses in my ability and am currently working those out with my coach. My two weaknesses are
1) Recovery between hard efforts
2) Short, steep climbs (less than 1min)
I’m planning on removing a few of my time trial preparation days in hopes of getting a few sessions in to work on these two issues before Steam Boat Springs Stage Race.
Sorry the posts have been incredibly short the last few weeks, but life is crazy and I’m spending all my time on the bike!!
Power Records (Pre: 8/14/10)
Power Records (8/14/10)
5min: 315 +4.5%
20min: 267 +1.2%
FTP: 254 +1.5%
I’ve reached one of my goals for the season today! I was told that my upgrade request to Category 3 has been approved.
What does this mean? More opportunities to race with the team, more opportunities for upgrade points (in the form of stage racing) and more fierce competition/tactics. The three’s is where the action really starts to heat up and I’m going to doing the cooking!
Look for posts in the, relatively, near future on my first races as a Cat 3 rider. I suspect that the Scott Kornfield Classic will be my first, which is at the end of the month.
When all the pieces come together.
Before I start, I want to give a HUGE shout out to Nate Llerandi and Tim Srenaski for really putting me through the ringer and taking me under their wing to become a better crit rider. Nate, on more than one occasion, pushed me to the point of near nausea and Tim has spent countless hours talking to me about where to be and what to be doing over the last several weeks. He, Tim, even went so far as to take me around the Niwot course a few times to show me the “ins” and “outs” of the course.
On to the race! Warm-up was smooth and predicable as always, except for the fact that my repaired Powertap from Saris was still broken. Disappointing, but it brought about an opportunity to race without any distractions. I have a weird obsessions with the numbers while riding and tend to not do well when I can see how bad I’m suffering. I took two warm-up laps after the SM 35+ 4’s race to get a feel for the course again and settled at the front of the group with Isaac, Brandon, and Chris knowing that the first two turns were going to be decisive. Isaac said to me before the start, “I don’t feel great, so I’m just going to go off from the gun.” I chuckled thinking he was joking.
“Riders ready, GO!”. Sure enough, Isaac took off like Willie Nelson from the IRS. I slotted at the front of the group and just soft pedaled through the first two corners hoping that I could block and give him the opportunity to gain some space. The peloton was not please with me. Isaac was shortly swallowed up by an agitated field. I was very good through the first ten laps; extremely aggressive in the corners and holding my position unafraid to bump elbows every now and then. Unfortunately, after the first ten laps I started thinking and starting have problems keep position without too much of a fight, though I managed to always stay in the top fifteen.
The crit itself was fairly uneventful until around twenty-two minutes to go when the guy in front of me slid out on the back stretch causing me to take extreme evasive action and almost literally scaring the piss out of me. I ran over his back wheel (sorry whoever you are) and proceeded to take the scenic route though the lawns of downtown Niwot until I was able to get back on the course and over to the Ref to take my free lap.
This time before the bunch came around was critical for me mentally. I knew I was going to get put back in at the back and that I would have to gain around fifteen positions to even be competitive for the field sprint, so I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t stop moving until I was sitting between fourth wheel. Three laps later, I was fourth wheel as we went from time to laps.
The pace was high as the laps counted down, but was more than manageable at the front because I was able to enter the turns at full speed and pick the line that I knew would be best. With one lap to go the fireworks were really starting and I was having to dig pretty deep to stay where I was and this is the moment of my final mistake. Coming down the stretch into the last corner I hesitated as four guys jumped. As Nate would say, “I started thinking and stopped reacting.” They got a ten foot gap going into the last corner that I couldn’t close in the final sprint, landing me sixth overall.
This was by far my best result in a crit this season and it’s something that I think I can easily repeat. It wasn’t a result of strength but of aggressiveness. With that said, I still have some work to do when it comes to cornering while in a group as well as keeping the proper aggressive mindset throughout and entire crit, but this race was certainly and gigantic step in the right direction.
POST MORTUM: While I was awarded sixth at the race site, it was later discovered that the rider who placed second was actually Cat 3 and was subsequently disqualified. My placing has been updated to fifth and I honestly couldn’t be happier.