Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Westlake A Race-pondering the outcome...

Westlake Worlds-thy name is true. I saw a whole bunch of sweet hardware last night (Zipp 808 and 404 tubulars out the wazoo) and teams were out in force. I am feeling outclassed on my clinchers. Oh well, someday I'll be rolling some carbon deep sections too!!

RGF, Spin, Team Lake Effect all had at least 6 to 8 guys I think. I didnt count, but it was impressive. I sure hope they all come out for races like Milk Race, Mill Creek, etc. I mean its great to have such good turnouts for Westlake Worlds, but I'd love to see these numbers in all the Cat1-3 races I do. More bodies to draft off of right?

For me its still a training race and another old saying, each race is just preparation for your next race is true. So this race like every race I enter the goal was to actively conserve energy as much as possible between attacks and as always get in THE break. But given the firepower and what I would say is apathetic team racing nothing could stick. The first breakaway of any length was when Shawn Adams (TLE) got up the road. I bridged, but we got reeled in about 2.5 to 3 laps later. But not bad, not bad. We worked well together and we averaged 26.8 while the race pace was 26.3 so we were going pretty hard, but alas, with no PM, RGF or Spin in our break, we were destined to get drawn back in.

So on and one it went like that. A couple guys up the road, PM attacking hard out of the field, riders jumping on his wheel one by one till the field was strung out and the break was caught. Counter attacks and then PM attacking hard out of the field and bringing it back, riders jumping one by one till the field was strung out and the break brought back. Counter attack and them get the picture.

I was feeling pretty hosed by now and picking when to jump after PM, but always staying in the front. A few times I got off the front with a small group, but when the other riders wouldnt/couldnt pull through hard enough I knew we were going to get caught so I'd sit-up and wait for the next attack. But I was hoping if i was feeling pretty hosed, maybe just maybe the race was about to crack. I dont know how many times I looked back to see us down to 5 to 10, then look back again and it looked like 30 guys were behind me.

My thought today is that the race was hard and it was fast, but it wasnt hard or fast enough for only an hour long race. Especially with so many Elite and Cat1/2's sitting in the field. Everyone can convince themselves that thye can hang on for 5 more laps, 4 more laps, etc. But no bother-it was good to corner in a bigger field again, get boxed in at a bad time to remind myself to not let myself get boxed in and dive hard into Ranney Parkway corner when off the front. All good technical training.

So were into the last lap and were nearly a full field. Like i said I am feeling pretty hosed. I had no team mates today so I had to go in all the promising moves, but otherwise feeling alright. And I am not in perfect position out of the last S-turns, but I figure with a good sprint maybe I can move into the top 5 by the line. But as we come out of the last corner theres a tractor trailer rolling slowly on the start finish straight and its not going to be over the S/F line by the time we get there, or barely over it.

Heres the crazy part, loads of guys sprint it out anyways while I and a bunch of more sensible people sit-up. It really, really sucked for me because I worked hard to get in a break all race long not sitting in and still positioned myself up front for the sprint. I saw a few guys sprint hard to get ahead of me I didnt see all race long to get in sprint position who undoubtedly were fresher. I really wanted to know what my legs were going to do when I stood up for the charge to the line. So I wanted a break-away, but I get a bunch sprint. Thats cool, they are fun too in a sick and twisted sort of way and I was ready to fight.

As Rudy said, "what, were they going to sprint into the back of the truck?" This brings up an interesting point. When the race finish (or any part of the race) needs to be aborted, how can we do it? Maybe a whistle or air horn? Seriously, its nuts when youve got 15 guys head down sprinting like mad and 15 guys sitting up and slowing.

Thats something we should talk about at the next race. Racers need to be more sensible about these things. if theres anything in the start finish straight, abort it or maybe go another lap? That decision will be tough too as there may be B racers cooling down littering the course. anyways, that why this needs tot be thought about.

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