Monthly Archives: April 2010

2010 Historic Roswell Criterium race report

Kristine snapped this photo of me in the middle of a huge field right before the start of the 2010 Roswell Criterium Pro/1 race. I was only three or four rows back from the start line, so I had a pretty good start. One of the unique things about this course is that there is a built-in radar detector on the course. The first lap reading was 35mph — very fast with a tail/cross-wind through the start-finish. The pace stayed very high topping out at almost 38mph by the end of the fourth lap. Keep in mind that is the speed of roughly the front third of the pack during the race — not for the finishing sprint. The poor guys at the end of the pack would have been going maybe an additional 1mph. Our average speed ended up being 28mph when factoring in the hill and bunching up that happened in Turn 3 on just about every lap. I fought hard to stay towards the front, which usually meant looking for opportunities to pass people using momentum on the backside hill, or whenever the pack would bunch up going into a corner. Still, I was never really happy with my position and never once made it close enough to the front to attack in pursuit of a prime or to try to make it into a break. Kristine said that she was impressed with my position in the pack as I was always in the front third. That should give you an idea of how large the field was — considering as how I thought I was in the middle or back 1/3rd of the field! In the final few laps, I ended up maintaining about my same position and ultimately finished 45th. Not a great race, but good training, good experience, and fun racing with the pros.

Finally, here’s my heartrate data — a little bit lower than expected considering as how I should have been pretty fresh for the race. This is probably represented by the fact that this race was more about jostling for position at high speeds than a flat out drag race all the way around the course. Only the start/finish stretch was super fast.

Athens Twilight 2010

Even in the pouring rain, this race is awesome. I raced the computrainer qualifiers on Friday and placed 83rd, but that still meant I was starting towards the back — maybe 10th row on the start line? After all the call-ups, we were finally off and the race went well for the first two corners — bunch up on the first corner, faster through the second corner, and then a big crash on turn 3. I made it through but it was single file, strung out, and very fast coming out of turn 4 where more guys had gone down (keep in mind this is lap #1 of 80!!!). By this point we had already lost 30 guys or so and I was at the back of the pack. I came out of Turn 2 on the second lap and passed some guys and started to move up – but there were a lot of guys taking the corners tentatively so gaps were opening up everywhere. I eventually had to chase around a couple gaps and then found myself chasing around a gap I couldn’t close about 15 laps into the race. I chased hard for 5 or 6 more laps before it became clear that I was not going to catch back on and so I pulled off at the top of the hill as the pace car and lead motorcycles came into view at the bottom of the hill. A couple positive things from the race — I love my Specialized All Weather Pro rain tires — I could take corners pedaling at full speed even in the pouring rain and my tires did not slip a single time in the race. The other positive thing is that I survived without breaking anything on me or the bike — so I’m ready and excited to be a bit fresher than normal for the Roswell crit tomorrow! No heartrate data b/c I didn’t feel it was worth the risk of my Garmin bouncing off the bike during the race — plus no guarantees that it would have been working right in the pouring rain. Thanks everyone for cheering out there – I heard people screaming on Turns 1, 2 and 3 — you guys are awesome!