All I want to do is drink beer and train like an animal.
- Rod Dixon

I'm feeling rough. I'm feeling raw. I'm in the prime of my life.
- MGMT


Race Report: Millport Cat 4/5 Road Race

The Millport Cat4/5 road race on Saturday, March 28th was my first race of the season. Coming off a week in the mountains and with 110+ hours of training already logged this year I was looking for a good result. In the end I feel I did have a good race though not in the way I had hoped.

The weather was overcast and cool in the low 50s. The course was 9 laps and came to about 24 miles of racing. There were a couple of rolling hills, a few 90 degree turns but it was not an especially technical or challenging course. The roads were narrow with a yellow line rule in effect. The road surface was damp from overnight rain. According to the online start list 63 people were registered in the race. I think the results show everyone who started even if they DNFed.

Here are the top 5 results:

1 JACOB GORKE CRCA/JR DEVELOPMENT
2 WES KLINE YOUNG MEDALISTS/TEAM DUAL TEMP
3 THOMAS DREYER EASTERN MOBILE CYCLING TEAM
4 CRAIG ALABOVITZ SPOKES BIKE SHOP
5 BILL GOLEMBIESKI CRCA/JR DEVELOPMENT


And here are the results for the Kelly Benefit Strategies / Lateral Stress Velo Team:


6 STEVEN ERLEMEIER KBS/LSV
12 CLARK VANDERGRIFT KBS/LSV
15 LANCE JOHNSON KBS/LSV
25 CHRIS GONCE KBS/LSV
29 ALEX VIANA KBS/LSV
31 ADAM BERG KBS/LSV
50 CARL PHELPS KBS/LSV

The race more or less went down like this. The whistle blows, I clip right in and the guy in front of my almost crashes a couple of times clipping in. By the time I get past him and rolling I'm in the back 1/3 of the pelaton. Once I got stuck in the back I never made it more than 1/2 was up the field. I spent too much time yo-yo-ing off the back of the pack. I tried to hold onto wheels but when your on the back of the pack those are the wheels that are dropping off. I had no idea how to move up in the pack and was basically stuck.

Eventually with 3 laps to go I got popped and rode it in on my own.

I was pretty pissed for about an hour. With no disrespect to my teammates or the other racers that day I am younger and in better shape than the results would indicate. But the nature of bike racing is that there is more to it than being fit. My main frame of reference for cycling is running. When you train for running races, given a few small adjustments, what you do on the weekdays to train is same as what you do when you race on the weekend.

But when it comes to road cycling training is very different from racing. Even in large group conditions don't really prepare you for what it's like to race in a pelaton. In the end, the only way to get better is to race more and gain that experience.

Upon further reflection I realized I had wanted to develop 2 things coming into this race - cornering and overall fitness. During the race I felt strong (even if I fettered away my energies at the back) and comfortable on all the corners. That being said in some strange way I accomplished my goals. Lastly, as many of you who read this blog and/or know me in person are all too aware, just being able to handle a disappointing finish in a mature manner like this is a significant accomplishment for me and I have to give myself credit for that.

We all want to be superman. To start off the season with a blazing performance that leaves the competition gasping for breath. But the reality is that improvements comes in small almost imperceptible increments. The trick is to enjoy the process and I am doing just that.

Still, I want to win some shit this season.

I'll be in Philly this weekend racing Saturday and Sunday in the Philly 2-day classic with tank and about 1/2 dozen other LSV guys. Should be fun and a chance to pack in some more experience. Plus, I'll get to see some friends from high school who are in Philly.

Best of luck to my TWSS peeps this weekend who will be running the Cherry Blossom 10M this weekend.

Thanks for reading ~a

2 comments:

  1. "...what you do on the weekdays to train is same as what you do when you race on the weekend."

    and that, my friend, is why i only ride bikes for fun.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Clark did well...I love that he races as a 4/5 when he really should be a 3.

    ReplyDelete