Sunday, June 10, 2007

Mill Creek Criterium

Snake Bite showed up in the Cat. 2/3 race with Tom Keller, Dave Steiner and myself. We lined up with only 18, but a very fast field of aggressive Cat 2 and Cat.3 racers. Definately a case of quality over quantitiy. The 1 mile course is great and I recommend it highly. Never flat, rolling with safe corners and a 700+' long steep (8%??) climb every lap for 25 laps!! We rolled out for a slow lap and Dave rolled off the front a bit but was quickly back. Then attacks started on lap 2. Off the front went two of Freddie Fu's team, Batke of Torelli and myself. As usual we got the big initial gap, but I heard afterwards that guys were flying off the front to bridge and finally when enough guys jumped the whole field filled the gaps and we were brought back. The course with its rollers and one steep climb already had me tired so I fell to the back and that was a BIG mistake. Counterattacks were tossed and from the back I watched them all go and I knew I was screwed. After I recovered I went to the front, reminded the other 11 guys that we are dropped, lets start working. NO reaction except some pulls from a Team Lake Effect rider and then Tom and Dave came to the front and started to set tempo. Not enough to bridge so on the climb I ride up to Dave and told him I was going now to bridge-he wished me luck and off I went as they shut down any chance of a counter or bridge. Luckily I drew out two strong guys (Freddie Fu's and Cameron (RGF)) and we set off to catch the breakaway of 7. We never did, but we got darn close and were catching for awhile and finally we were in no mans land and then the Freddie Fu rider started to attack us. I was dropped once or twice, but easily got back on each time and quit working except for the occasional pull. On the 2nd to last lap we dropped Cameron, but when we were lapped by the top three (who dropped the other 4) we slowed and he got back on just as we did the downhill to the climb. I stayed on the front to get maximum speed through the last corner and as I hit the hill, I picked too small a gear and was spinning to much as the two came around. I shifted down, but it was too late and these guys really left me behind as it flattened out and I rolled in for another top 10!! The race honestly was designed as a workout by Brent my coach and I definately got a good one. My NP (Normalized Power) was 303 watts (236 ave watts) for an hour and we averaged 23.4 mph. The lap early I was in the breakaway was 315 watts average and 26mph and many of the early laps we were chasing the break were also 25.5 mph and 290+ watts average!! Great threshold training was had today for sure.

I am bummed I missed the break today, but I am also happy that I initiated the 2nd breakaway that stayed away and I continue to ride aggressively. As I race more (10 weeks now) and ride another year I hope to be a real force in these races!! Although I realize I am already racing better than expected and already racing the Cat. 1's, 2's and 3's, I sure wish I was as strong as many of these guys already!! Patience grasshopper!!

On a side note Chris Bilowich won his first Cat4 race today at Mill Creek!! Congrats Chris!!


p.s. Thanks for the pic Dave.

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