This past weekend was the third of the Ohio spring training races. After the race last weekend was neutralized at the finish, I was interested in getting some good racing in. Last week I rode to the race with Gabe and after short changing myself on the recovery bit of a 110 mile day (with racing) I made myself sick and spent most of the week getting over it.
Fortunately by the weekend I was beginning to feel better. Even more fortunately was the fact that Gabe and Ryan Knapp who were both racing, were also getting over some illnesses, so we could all be coughing up lungs together as a team.
The race was at Harrison’s tomb (no idea who Harrison was, but he had a sweet tomb), which was an awesome course. the course started with a 2 mile climb, then followed a ridge line that had a very distracting view across the Ohio river, before diving back down the other side of the ridge and rounding the end of the ridge to follow the river back to the start.
The race started out pretty relaxed, everyone knew the hill would be the deciding factor of the race. A small group of 3 got off the front early on, the move wasn’t gaining a ton of time so we were content to sit and let other teams do the chasing. With about 3 laps to go Nuvo went into all out chase mode, and cut down the 1:30 gap in about 5 miles. Ryan hit it on the climb to lead me out for an attack. My legs we’re feeling like bricks but I managed to get around him and attack over the top of the climb.
Like it usually goes for these hard courses everyone knows where to be on their game and we weren’t able to create a split. The final time up the climb we tried the same thing. Ryan was really putting the hurt on and not only could I not attack but he straight up dropped me. He continued pushing it up the climb and I tagged onto a chase group hoping for a free ride.
When we got back down to the flat river road running into the finish everyone had regrouped. There were still two guys off the front, including a Nuvo rider. That meant it fell to Panther to take up the chase. Ryan and Gabe both put it some massive efforts. I tried to tell them I was feeling like crap and I would work for them but Ryan told me to just sit in and wait for the sprint. I spent the next few miles trying to shake cramps out of my legs while the guys drilled it on the front.
We caught the riders within 2 km to go. After we caught things we’re a little disorganized since Gabe and Ryan just spent the last few miles chasing and were recovering a bit. I surfed the front of the field a bit, with around 500 to go I looked back and saw Gabe, I think he got the message and started coming up. I jumped on his wheel with about 500 m to go and yelled at him to sprint.
I opened up my sprint WAY too early, but figured since there was a bit of a chicane in the finish it’d be better to dictate my line and make others navigate around me. The technique seemed to work pretty well:
Now that I have one of those fancy pants quarq’s I can really analyze these sprints, which pretty much confirmed how crappy my legs felt:
Not even close to good sprint numbers I’ve done in the past. But it’s pretty interesting how the sprint broke down into two pretty distinct parts. There’s the initial jump to go around Gabe (and where I saw a guy starting to come around my left) for about 5 seconds at just under 1100 watts, but after that it’s just kinda cruising in @ 800.