Monday, June 2, 2008

The Race For Alex Double part one.

Breaking away-not the movie
Everyone made sure to tell there friends about Race For Alex it seems as field sizes doubled vs last year. Also a lot of riders doubled up with Masters fields running in a seperate time slot from Cat4 and Cat 2/3. Some did Cat4 and then Masters while others did Masters then Cat 2/3 which is what my Team Columbus team mates did.

Weather was sunny, mild temps, but oh so windy. Like watch the long blades of grass bending to easily see the direction of wind, windy!! It was a real grind up the hills after the train track jump (which was so easy to clear this year for some reason vs 07).

Bumpy tracks

I told Brian and Tris that i was concentrating on the Masters race where as they were more likely to save themselves for 2/3. Brian was a bit sick still too so I I planned on early aggression if the race allowed. After one easy lap with no attacking we were climbing up the finish hill with Brian on the front. I drilled it seated over the top, hoping to draw out Ponzio of MVC, Keller of Snake Bite or maybe Derek Wilford of Team Lake Effect for a long break. I was also prepared to go it solo Quinlan style for the 22 miles left.

So I am unmarked and I build a big lead quick. My pacing is simple, really hurt, but at a level I think I can hold for an hour. Simple!! I think I do a good job of keeping the pace even and I concentrate on being aero, relaxed breathing (more or less)and a good cadence. After a few laps I dont see the pack and I am catching the 30-39 Masters pretty quickly. But I see a small group in chase and I can see the tall shape and Italian colors of Tris with them. So hes covering the dangerous move which is good tactics.

As I pass start finish the official tells me I have to blow right through the 30-39's-no drafting. Well, thats great, but I catch them just about the train tracks and I yell at them to not draft me. Yelling and racing threshold pace is not great, but oh well. Luckily Gary Burkholder and Chris, etc recognize me and get the other teams to stay off my wheel. I take the time to notice Daves not in there, but a lot of guys are. So it appears Dave Steiner is up the road in a break, hence the lazy speed of the group. When I make the right hand turn at the top I am literally hyperventilating from the effort to "blow by".

I recover quickly no doubt due to the training Sean's been giving me and I keep looking back, looking back to see if a group of 3 emerges from the Masters, but I dont see them for awhile. I feel I am home free now!!

But eventually I do see a small group or maybe its one?? I keep hammering as hard as ever and my average HR is threshold now for 15 miles straight. What keeps me motivated? Well the chance of winning of course, but also I keep thinking "great TT training!! Keep it up." hey you take motivation from anywhere you can.

The shape is getting a bit closer and my eyes keep playing tricks on me as it looks like two. It turns out Ponzio and Wiford were trying to bridge when Tris noticed they looked a bit tired and pushed the pace up the hill after the track and dropped them.

When I was finally sure that I could not see them and Tris was by myself there was only 2.5 laps to go and I felt fine, but I backed off a bit and waited for Tris. We continued the pace though we were able to talk to each other quite easily and Tris let me know that we were in no fear of being caught and the win was mine. We backed it off for the entire bell lap to help to recover for the 2/3 race and I got my first road race win since coming back to racing!! YAHOOO!! Thank you Tris, Brian and Team Columbus for flawless teamwork.

Pictures from Thom Domonic

3 comments:

GB said...

AWESOME Job!!

Feel It: The Factory Rider said...

GOOO RAYYYY!!!

Nice job dude, keep up the great work.

Ray Huang said...

Thank you guys. It was fun and so was the cat 2/3 race racing for Tris.