Sunday, May 31, 2009

Fulton Road Race Report

Pensive Mike Pouting pre race.

The first part of this weekends attempt to make myself very tired by Monday took me to Peach Bottom, PA. I didn't make that up, its really a place. So there is a bike race in Peach Bottom entitled the Fulton Road Race. Cat 4 had over 50 people pre registered, making the quest for upgrade points an interesting prospect. Race strategy was also a concern as I was slated to race my mountain bike at Iron Hill Sunday, therefore the goal was maximum placing for least expended effort. I failed on the expended effort potion of the deal.
The race profile had two medium sized hills immediately following a tricky descent. On the first lap a BikeBarn rider lost his front wheel leading the group through a hairpin and put it into the guard rail he popped up, but looked in pretty bad shape. I think he ended up going to the hospital. The rain had left a lot of crap covering the roads which made descending a bit tougher than I had in mind.
Here's how the race shook out, Lap 1 o f 4 saw me feeling like garbage on the first climb, nearly to the point where I doubted my ability to hang with the leaders. I started feeling a little better as time progressed.
Lap 2 showed up and after the first climb 4 or 5 riders got away. I was sitting behind 3 or 4 others on the front of the main field. They didnt seem interested in working to catch the break, but I was interested in thinning things up so I attacked and bridged the 10 seconds up to the break. Big energy burn, but proved worth it. I caught the break, although nobody came with me when I jumped, two others followed shortly thereafter. We were able to work a bit and cooperate and stayed off the front for 15 minutes. We were caught right at the start of the 3rd lap. the field now only consisted of maybe 25 of the original 60+. Heres a shot of the break about to be caught.
On the 3rd lap I really tried to conserve as much energy as I could.
Lap 4 saw everyone pretty much spent. The lap was hard from an effort standpoint but lacked the punch that laps 1 and 2 saw. In the end it came down to 15 guys lined up for the final 1000 meters. The run up to the line is a false flat followed by a 6% climb for the last 200 meters. At 1000 to go nobody had jumped yet and the game of cat and mouse was shaping up ans nobody wanted to lead out the sprint. I sat on the front on about 3rd or 4th wheel. We fanned out a bit at 200 meters and I sat right behind Tim from Bikebarn, he went, I immediately followed. He got a nice gap and I started to close maybe 20% of the 8 feet he had on me, I ran out of room and my sprint wasnt strong enough to come around him. I was surprised nobody else came with us, as the field was a good 20 feet off of my wheel at the line.
Here is how I felt.
39.73 miles
1540 kj of work
TSS 166, vi 1.22
237 avg w. 288 normalized.
172 avg hr. 202 max.
22 mph avg, 43 max
Why Lauren wakes up so early to take care of me I'll never know.
Off to go race at Iron Hill now...

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