Farmersville Road Race
Saturday, April 24th, 2010
34M in 1'12" (21mph)
19th in 51 (63 pre-reg'ed)
sunny, windy, cool
sunny, windy, cool
The cat4 Famersville Road Race was my 3rd race on the roads (as in not a mountain bike race) and my 1st "road race" (as in not a crit or a circuit) this season. The course was not nearly as hilly as advertised and was overall a very easy course. I had 2 strong teammates in the race and the 3 of us helped the race take shape.
We raced 5 laps around a 6.7M loop. The first 4 laps were pretty uneventful. I stayed mostly the the front part of the race and nothing serious really developed in the way of breaks. It seems everyone was content to hang out for the sprint. It reeked of horse shit. The yellow line rule was making it real hard to move around the peloton -- your typical PA race.
So let's talk about the last lap. That's where the excitement happened.
Somehow I ended up on the back of the peloton. Not sure what happened but I ended up there. Getting back up required equal parts patience and pain. The road only allowed maybe 3 abreast (yellow line rule in effect) so I had to wait for windy sections or a rolling hills to open up gaps and then attack the shit out of them. Occasionally something happening off the front would string things out and I again would have to attack. I really put myself in the red but finally made it to the front.
Now both my teammates (Eric and Brian) and I are all sitting in the first 15 wheels and we all took advantage of it in different ways.
Eric, who had solo'ed for a win at SoYoCo 2 weeks earlier, tried to go off the front on a hilly section but got brought back in. Brian put in a huge set of pulls to drag back a guy who did get off the front. I took another series of pulls in the last few miles to try and get everyone strung out before the finish (didn't work). I found out later that because of our attacks and pulls we had 2 teams marking us coming into the finish.
I have to say it's pretty cool to finally be "marked" in a race -- unfortunately they did a good job of it.
Then with 1M to go my two teammates and I were sitting 1,2,3 on the front of the race. Unfortunately 1,2,3 w/a mile to go is not where you want to be in a bike race (in general). 1M is still a long way out. Too long for 2 guys to bring a 3rd across the line. You need one guy in the last 400m to be the leadout man for your sprinter. That leaves a 1,200m pull for your 3rd guy -- that's a real long pull at the kinds of speeds you'll finish a race at. It's also a real nice long break for your competition to sit on your wheel.
So we got swarmed at the end.
My dumb ass thought we still had another turn to go so I came around the last corner maybe 20th wheel thinking:
Hey, why is everyone sprinting at ... oh shit ... that's the finish. I'm an idiot.
I threw it in gear as best I could and come away 19th with teammates in 13th and 7th.
And I have to say I'm at the point in my riding where that's not good enough anymore. In my last 2 seasons finishing was considered a good day but that's behind me. With 3 guys feeling as strong as we were we should have gotten a guy in the points/money even with 2 teams marking us. Also, I needed to be more heads up coming into the sprint. I was ready to start working from a few miles out but I need to focus on the last 200m. This is the 3rd race in a row I've blown it at the end.
But I'm learning and I can feel myself getting stronger in my workouts. I went MTBing for the first time in a few weeks yesterday and the bike felt 5 lbs lighter. Just need to bring it all together.
Two more chances this weekend.