Saturday, April 19, 2008

RATL-Stupidity and luck and more!!

RATL Cat1-3 race. This was the fastest group of riders I personally have lined up with. Kirk Albers and Paul Martin were there as well as a HUGE contingent of RGF and Team Inferno (including the decked out SUV of theirs). And of course the whole gang of fast guys we always race against of Spin, Team Lake Effect, UPMC (from PA) Raisin Rack and others.

So anyways, not to make excuses, but this has been a good week of workouts. So many hard efforts that come Friday I could barely do my intervals. Wednesday I reset best 20 and 30 sec power numbers and was close to season bests all the way up to an hour. Thursday I was doing intervals at just below threshold. I went to bed hoping I would recover for Saturday as the rumor had already started about a stacked RATL field.

I wont bother with race details, except to tell a few stories from the race. Brian Batke had already raced in a long breakaway in the Masters field. He and all his breakaway partners all lined up for Cat.1-3 race. And all of them over 45. Studs!!

6 minutes into our race Kirk attacked and I was near the front. So I of course took off and chased and sort of made contact. 6 minutes into the race and I was WAY deep and hit my max HR. Either I or we came back and then bridging attacks were being shot off. I dont know when, but I got in another move when Dan Quinlan took a dig. Its funny because I was on him at the time, waiting for his move. It seemed like a good time to go and he did. So I again took off and he pulled hard, then took a bit of a breather, but when we hit the parking lot he pulled again-holy cow did that hurt.

14 miles into the race I was on the verge of getting dropped. I was dropping away from the front group and thinking all kinds of nutty things like how its ok to get dropped sometimes, you trained hard this week, dont worry about it. But then I got a hold of myself and drilled it with what little I had and got back on the tail end of the field. Had I let myself get dropped I wouldnt be a happy camper right now so I am glad I gave it one more shot.

Our field split and Brian made it into the front group so I stayed shodowed in the field. OH, btw-5 riders were up the road. I only know that it was Jeremy Grimm and Kirk Albers. I dont know who else made it yet. They were gone and no where in sight. I was in the back group and at first I was able to follow bridge attempts by Rudy, Dan to get to the front group, but I didnt work. At best, pulled through. Eventually some teams got on the front and pulled us back to one big (but getting smaller) field.


OK, so next story. I recover enough to finally move to watch the front. With only maybe 2 to go I get in a good move with a strong rider from PA, RGF and I think an Indiana University guy. My power file shows me bridging at 800 watts, several peaks at 700 watts and pulling at over 400 watts. I take my pull after the parking lot, very tired, head DOWN mind you....I look up and I had drifted so far left that I was in the entrance to another lot. The curb was coming up fast at a good 30 mph!! As quick as I could I stood up, bunny hopped the tall curb (and i am not saying it was tall to spice up the story-it was freaking tall). Now in the grass I go left of a huge drainage hole (look for it next time your warming up there), bunny hop the next curb and land back in the breakaway. Thank you Cyclocross-no thank you hypoxia! So thats the title, Stupid as hell on my part, but lucky I looked up just in time. To say it would have been bad.....

We eventually got brought back and I got in a good position for the finish in the same part of the course (sans curb hopping). I could have been really good, but the dynamics of the sprint had me get boxed in just before the bridge killing off some momentum. Determined to sprint my butt off no matter what I go UP the hill and I pass a lot of guys and end up 7th or 8th I am pretty sure. With 5 up the road I am about 12th to 13th!! I'll take it even though it means nothing except the experience of another bunch sprint.

What an experience too and I dont just mean my off road excursion. It was painful, but fun to race in a field like that for the 2nd time in a week. And to try and stick in a Cat.1 breakaway, well lets just say it was as hard as you can imagine. I think I almost puked!!


Feel It: The Factory Rider said...

Nice Race Ray. Top 15. Eh?

Ray Huang said...

Robert-13th!! Though i was told someone ahead of me flatted and got back in the race and sprinted in the finish. So if it was contested I guessed I'd be 12th and maybe 2nd cat.3 across the line!!

I need upgrade points, so why do i race up all of the time??

steevo said...

You should be dead.
I liked how you hopped back into the group as if nothing happened.

Indiana Regional Medical Center, not university.

Ray Huang said...

Yeah-had my pockets been full it would have been a yard sale for sure. I was in no shape to play breakaway after that I can tell you.

Thanks for clarifying on the team! Did you win the group sprint?

steevo said...

I led it out, teammate won it.