Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A day of racing

This past weekend I managed to get my bike all the way to the race site without it falling out of the truck and going boom. I still haven't figured out how the bike fell out last week, but it is now behind me and the bike now has shiny new parts from World Bikeman HQ so all is good in the world.

The day was a perfect blue bird day, but cold. The warm-up laps were done in full snivel gear, winter tights, winter jacket, mittens, etc. It may have been overkill, but I wanted to be warm during my warm up! Eli had put together a good course, a few small tweaks from last year, but for those who have raced up at Great Glen in the past couple years the course was pretty similar.

During my warm-ups I was feeling pretty good on my remounts, but I wasn't able to hold any speed on the fast dismount/run-up. I couldn't figure out what was going on, especially since last year that was my fastest section of the course. I guessed I'd have plenty of chance to figure that out during the race so I headed back to the base lodge to get into dry clothes and get ready for the race. K and the girls were inside and helped me get my number pinned on and find my knee warmers. I lobbied to have a lemans start from inside the building so we didn't have to go outside before we were going hard and staying warm- my idea fell on deaf ears.

We lined up for the start and I found a place near the back. I'm just not that comfortable in a cross start. I need to find a way to work on that, but I get a bit sketched out in certain starts, especially the first corner or in the this case the first hard transition between hill and pavement. I also find that my legs take a few minutes to get up to race speed- so I tend to work my way up from the back (or that is the theory).

The start saw me stay in the back, per normal, but within the first lap I did start to see opportunity to start to move up. I figured the high speed dismount run up would be the place where I could pick up a place or two- but in the first lap I actually lost a place on that portion of the course. I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong, so I spent the next lap watching the rider ahead and I realized I was trying to ride too far up the hill instead of pushing hard and coasting, with my leg already up and over as I rolled in- once I did that I was going fast on that part again. I find it amazing how much fun that can be- rolling along at a speed much faster than I can run- but still being able to hit the ground at full speed and carry that momentum over the barriers and then to blend right back onto the bike- such a cool feeling.

Anyway I worked my way up through the field and chased hard a couple of guys in all yellow that were about 25 meters ahead of me for a couple of laps. I slowly made progress, but could never make the connection. With two to go I did make the catch and pass, only to be passed back half a lap later. I descided I had the kick so sitting back wouldn't be a bad way to go. As we passed through the start finish Eli yelled two to go, but less the ten seconds later the leader came through for the bell lap- so I knew there was a good chance we'd get caught- and that we were likely on our bell lap as well.

I tried to stick to his wheel- and was able to for sections but as we climbed I lost a bit of contact- then the leader caught us and I knew I had to go. I chased and finally caught back on just as we hit the tunnel, I waited to pass until we were on the grass sidehill and then just went- I got the pass but I think it was more due to surprising the rider and not giving him time to respond, but I was glad to get the pass.

I finished third for the day in the intermediates. So I was good with that.

After K and I took the girls out to lunch and I ate the largest omlette I've ever seen. I'll be carryign that pile of eggs for weeks!

Next up- Porky Gulch.

Ride on.



bluecolnago said...

sounds like good racing! way to go!

weak and feeble said...

Dea, hillclimb time and crit time splits head to head. Loser cooks dinner and beer some night. What ya say?


Sven said...

Game on.