Sunday, February 22, 2009

Snelling Road Race Report (Elite 3)

3:45am. Bagel. Peanut butter. Coffee. Banana. Go.

Snelling Road Race was my first race of the 2009 season. Aside from the inevitable lack of sleep on the night before race day, I felt pretty good. Mark's Saturday workouts have really helped me maintain fitness over the winter.

That said, I was pretty damn nervous. It was a full field on a nearly flat course, and I was all alone. The Elite 3 category is very strong but also generally unwilling to take risks.

Race highlights:

  • For most of the race, and especially in the last stretch, there was literally nowhere to go. The mostly intact field was stacked across the ENTIRE road. It wasso bad that people more desperate than me were using the dirt shoulders to try and move towards the front.
  • On one of the rollers, I was forced into the shoulder and hit a BIG bump. My right foot came off the pedal, but I managed to recover, clip back in, and continue on my merry way. I got some props from other riders for that one. :)
  • On the second lap, I jumped on one of the rollers and was joined by my friend, Carmi, and a few other guys. We pushed hard for a bit, but the pack responded so fast that I decided just to sit in after that.
  • A Metromint rider soloed away (on the 3rd or 4th lap) and ended up holding the pack off, but only barely. Talk about impressive! I think Metromint played that one well, initially blocking for a bit while he got away.

Overall, I'm extremely disappointed with my race. I left feeling that I didn't make any good moves and that I wasn't aggressive enough to nudge my way forward. And while riding hard tempo with surges for 2.5 hours hurts, I felt less worked than after a few repetitions up Bonny Doon Road.

Things to do differently next time? Well, do something! If I had even a small opening on the last stretch, I would just gone for it. I'm really hungry for a victory, and hopefully will perform better in a race that strings out the pack.

Props go to my girlfriend Lauren—bless her heart—who woke up around 4:00am and drove for nearly 3 hours to get me to a race that I didn't even do well in. Also, a huge thank-you to the Bicycle Trip mechanics, who tuned up my bike to perfection the day before the race.

Points of amusement / interest

  • Some pissed off cyclist (probably a crazed masters racer; some of those guys take themselves far too seriously and have more drama than adolescent girls) had vandalized the mens restroom in the park. Simply put, it stated that a certain CVC rider likes to perform a certain sexual act. I found this found amusing and incredibly pathetic.
  • Sonic Burger, though rare in California, is inferior to delicious In'n'Out Burger.

Check out NCNCA Racing's blog post for photos and results.

1 comment:

Dennis the Mennis said...

Great report Nils! We can all relate, and also learn from each other.