Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Westlake 08/21/07

In a nutshell John E, Tom K and I were in the A race for Snake Bite Racing. Attacks started on lap 2 I believe and were coming hot and heavy. I jumped a few times when I didnt have to and jumped a few times because Tuesday's supposed to be a workout as much as a race. I chased down attacks SBR wasnt in, etc. I told John I wanted to race aggressively, but NOT STUPID because I wanted a top 5 tonight. Although A&F were not there, two TRH (Braumberger and our national Champion Paul Martin were) as were Torelli, Lake effect and RGF (Brink, Chernosky,Martin) among others.

When Paul started sending his warning shots (blistering attacks then sitting up) I jumped at a few, but then the real one went I was recovering and I HAD to let it go. So did Tris, Chernosky and some other heavy hitters. But up the road were Braumberger, Sroka, Paul Martin, Batke and Frueh. Yup-thats the race right there!! As I sat recovering and watching the race go up the road Tom K, John E and Stark Velo's Darrin Kert came up to the font and starting drilling pulls keeping the break within eyesight. Without them, they would have been gone. I too started to take my turns pulling. Tom and John would fade off then come up and take more killer pulls. Man was it impressive seeing them work so hard and at a crucial time in the race.

After John took another long pull I was finally feeling good and when he pulled off I drilled it. I felt bad because I knew if everyone jumped John might go OTB, but he didnt and when i turned around only Matt Weeks had come and we had a big gap aided by Tom in the field.

Up the road was Tris who was trying to bridge solo. It took forever to get close to Tris and then there was still the break to catch. Tris realized he wasnt going to make it on his own and Matt and I were starting to falter. So Tris checked up and then the three of us really started hammering for the break. Tris said we needed to go 28 to 29 to catch them so thats what i did. When we got within throwing distance Tris said "Hang On" and buried it to get us back on. I got gapped, but I still made it after 4 miles of relentless chasing. Now the break was 9 strong and we kept pulliing hard, but no one was attacking till maybe 5 to go when Paul and Tom Frueh attacked us.

So up the road they go and I am still recovering from bridging. But once recovered i start taking these monster pulls when its my turn and I shit you not, I am pulling back Paul and Tom and when I fade off guys are telling me "good pull". But not everyones pulling as hard so we seasaw and on the bell lap we give up the chase. Also, at some point Chernosky has bridged to the break as well. I have no idea where he came from.

So onto the bell lap and were coming into the S-turns, Rudy pulls off and then Matt Weeks drills it at 30mph steady. Thats exactly what I wanted and I am sitting 2nd and with the 200m sign approaching and wheels on my right and left i can see out of the corners of my eye I go first. I know I will get passed, but I figure when your not blessed with top end speed its wisest to go early and try and gap those whos position is bad. So after a short bit I think Chernosky and Braumberger go by on my right and left like rockets and I am hopeful that I will stay 3rd in the bunch giving me 5th place (in the money and in the points), but Rudy motors past and I sit down and spin to the line.

So I got 6th overall and missed top 5 by a few feet. All in all an awesome and fast race. Brent is working on my sprint and its helping for sure, but still a long way to go. I would have to say from my pulls in the break that the TT portion and maybe my recovery have really stepped up this last month.

Afterwards there was some good bench racing and coulda-woulda shouldas and it was fun to be in on the action. Jeff said I road super strong and could be a Cat.2 which was cool to hear. I'd like to hit some Cat.3 only races and try and get some top 3's for the experience and for sure the points, but I wont get that chance till next year.

Average power (259 watts) was 2nd only to the State TT and normalized power was definately at TT pace (277 watts). We averaged 26.1mph including the warm-up lap and slow first lap and race distance this week was 16 laps or 32 miles. I think this workout will really help in building some speed for my last few Time Trials before I hang that bike on a hook for a set of 700c knobbies and mud.

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