Tuesday, July 13, 2010

MASS D&Q Summer Sizzler (pronounced Sizzzlllllaaaah)

I like racing at this venue. I don't like the Sizzzlllaaaah though. The Sizzzzlllaaaah is what I describe the typical Mid Atlantic weather this time of year... humid... upper 80's low 90's temps and bright sun. Conditions not so bad for a nice day at the beach, but for racing bicycles, care must be taken or else you will end up on the ground with a pouty face.
The usual cast of MASS characters lined up for the race. Scott's team had a big presence. The start at this race is super important as once you get in the singletrack, the speeds are so high there is little room to pass. The start is also a bit odd as you sprint 100 yards to a tree, turn 180 degrees then sprint 100 more yards to a short steep hill, then enter the singletrack.
I dont think I will ever get it correct. I got it more correct than some of the dudes as there was a pretty solid crash behind me when a rider had the misfortune of hitting a hole in the ground and attempting flight.
 I always end up lining up inside and end up doing a limbo under the tree. Last year I totally screwed up my start went for the reverse holeshot and sat in the mid teens all of lap 1. This year I figured getting a somewhat better starting position would keep me in the race a bit longer.
I hit the singletrack somewhere in the top 8. I was sitting at the back of a group that contained Gunnar, Matty B from Bikesport, and Chris Michaels. Gunnar was setting a solid pace but I saw Aaron and the twins start to ride away a bit. I made a move to get around the group somewhere around mile 3 and started attacking from there. Only Chris was able to follow. He came around me at one point and I spent the rest of the time chasing after him, burning a lot of matches up super early. The Sizzzzzzllaaaah factor was sitting at about a 7 out of 10 at this point. It was hot, there wasnt a lot of room to eat and drink and the temperature was rising still. Chris and I continued to try and chase down the leaders as I played Tokyo drift a bit on the abundant wet roots.
Soon we were joined by a surging Topher and Ron Harding.
The Sizzzzzllaaaahh factor was not at a solid 8.5 out of 10 and rising. I was taking feeds from Lauren, but I wasnt able to really do much with the bottles, as the only good spots to drink were the same spots everyone was throwing down on. On lap 3 I sat up to drink and Ron and Topher went flying by. I attempted to jump to get back on their wheels but there was nothing left. I lost the ability to surge for the next 15 minutes. I rode a steady tempo, I just couldn't find the afterburners.
Entering the last lap I took my final feed from Lauren. Sizzzzzzlllaaaah Factor was maxed out. I dont think I even looked at her. Under my glasses the 1000 yard stare was focused on nothing but getting the next 25 minutes over with. I couldnt even think. I was melting under my skin. When I entered the singletrack again i saw Mike Joos maybe 30 seconds behind me. I was fading and he had already caught and passed Chris. I launched a series of fear induced surges for the next 20 minutes. The gap was holding and I figured I was safe. I took the last bit of twistys safe, but that didnt stop me from nearly flying a few times. I crossed the line for 6th overall well in the money.

Odd things. My back, which isnt the most dependable muscle group in my body, was completely effed. The spasms in the car on the way home were fantastic. More odd things. My bike was perfect. Not a single thing went wrong and it felt fast... everywhere.
Maybe filed under odd things, but this is on the sweet side, Matt Harris ripped it up in the SS division. I am glad to see I continue to corrupt my "cross team with a bad case of roadie" as Matt himself would say.
Here's a link to the SUUNTO file for the race. Some of the HR data is a little scary.

I didnt eat enough immediately after the race, which left me in a bit of a haze. After getting home we decided to hit up Teresa's for some food... This is what I ordered. There is a burger under there somewhere.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Fear induced surges are the best kind, nice work out there!