Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Longsjo Race report

me leading the pack in the circuit race

so this was my first big boy race since my cat 1 upgrade. Everyone has told me how crazy i am for upgrading right before the "big race", that is the fitchburg lonsjo.

Being from Fitchburg, i wanted to show that there is someone actually competing from the local area. I made the paper a few times

The first stage was the circuit race. This race is said to be one of the harder races in the NRC race circuit. i had talked to a couple pros before the race and they said this race was really hard. So i was in for a good time!!
I started in the first row to make sure i was up front for the climb at the beginning of the race. it was pretty fast from the beginning, but not all that bad. I stayed up front for the first 5 laps or so. I even came in second for the first sprint lap and snagged some point which was pretty cool.
After racing about 20 of the 25 laps, things started to get fast as the pros started pushing it at the front to try and set up there riders. I was still sitting very comfortably in the pack at this point. But with 4 to go, there was a crash around a corner right before the fastest part of the race, i got gapped off the group pretty good. My teamate dan greenfield who had already been lapped, worked with me to try and shoot me back up to the pack. He drained himself to get me back up, we were just reconnecting with the back of the pack on the hill when there was another crash that we got caught behind. This caused enough of a hesitation that i couldnt reconnect with the pack and rode the next 3 laps with a few other guys. I finished about 1 minute and 45 seconds back from the field. Not to shabby.

Me and teammate Adam Sullivan before the first race

The second day was the Road Race. This is the one race i was looking forward too, and i was also very nervous that i would cramp because it was going to be hard, hot and a long day in the saddle. The first few laps i stayed up front and raced my bike for some early breaks. I was in a couple splits that looked promising, but the leader of the race wasnt in the first one, and the second one i was in noone seemed to care wether is stayed away or not. The race was pretty difficult at this point with people trying to escape the main field. The 4 time through the feed zone and up the finishing climb a group of strong guys started to get away and gained some good time on the field. I didnt think they would get away through the feedzone area because we were chasing hard. I was wrong, and while we were riding at a blistering fast pace at this point, a few riders at a time tried to bridge up to the break. Noone really made it up to the initial break, but there ended up being about 35 riders up the road with significant gaps on the field. So the rest of the race was the main peloton riding around at a relaxed pace as the main break away gained about 10 minutes on the field. I finished in 40'th place on this stage, i rode at the front to bring in the peloton.
This stage was good, it was a great test for myself. I didnt cramp, i raced early for breaks, and i felt great all day. The pros race really hard. But its almost as if they have a script that says "These riders can get away, and once they are gone we get to relax". This race was a real learning experience, because it was very well known among the pros on how the race would unfold. I was unaware of any of this, and i learned a lot about how they race.

Next day, TT. Now originally i was looking forward to see how i would do against the pros, but after lots of hassle with my borrowed bike being very illegal, i went out hard in the TT and then realized that the position that i was in was not comfortable at all and rode the rest of the TT at a nice tempo pace so i didnt kill myself for nothing.
In these big races there are some strict rules for the TT bikes. My boss let me borrow his TT bike and i have been practicing on it a lot and feeling really comfortable on it, but the seat was about 2 inches to far forward and the aero bars were about an inch too long. So that made for a lot of changes to be made about a half hour before my start time. Needless to say, i didnt get to warm up much because i was freaking out about being able to make my start time with a bike that they would let me ride. I finished in about 20 mins and 9 seconds. Thats a minute faster than my time last year, which is good because i didnt do a full effort.
the first time ive had a feed in a criterium. I had some pro feeders too!

FINAL RACE. the criterium. This race i was going to try and get into an early break and be the local home town hero, or something like that. So i started in the second row and was ready to race aggressively. I raced for a bunch of early breaks, was in about 6 or 7 little moves that ended up not getting any time on the field and after about 15 laps of racing hard and trying to follow all the moves, i decided to take a breather and sit in the pack for a little bit. and just as i did that, a break of about 6 riders gets off the front. Weird... that sucked but whatever. so then i surfed the front for most of the race, and nothing really got away until the final laps. with 8 to go i remember the race getting very fast. I was right up behind the Kelly Benefit train on the front and accidentally mixed into there riders a little bit. They dont like when that happens. so i had one of there riders come right next to me and push his elbow and knee into my side and got pushed out around a corner. I then lost about 25 positions and ended up just hangin out until the finish.
a cool grainy photo by some dude. Me trying to get on the jamis train

It was a good race, i had fun. I forgot to mention tho that it was a million degrees out and i think i overheated a little bit because i had a really bad headache, i could barely eat or drink anything after the race and i felt really bad all night. I tried going down to hang out with friends at the Boulder, i drank one beer and could really keep it down. so i went home and fell asleep.

This was my first big NRC race and i am very happy with how i felt during the race. Those guys race really hard, but not at a pace that is too unbelievably hard. so thats a good thing. I will definitely be racing next year and looking to do better and maybe get the pros to notice me.

This is a funny picture of my teammate brad warren feeding me. A feedzone in a criterium can be dangerous!! bottles be thrown everywhere. I think he almost lost an eye!!

Also, you should come to the Jeremy Powers grand Fundo on july 17'th.
Beers and pig roast after the nice ride!

o, and i finished 77'th on the GC.

good bye internet