Tag Archives: circuit race

GCGP Day 5 – Newton County Circuit Race

2012 Georgia Cycling Gran Prix Overall GC podium. L-R Dan Holt (Team Type 1), Alexy Schmidt (Team Type 1), Brian Toone (Tria Cycling p/b DonoohooAuto.com and Infinity Med-i-spa). Photo by Barbara Dowde

Three days, three podiums! This podium was for 3rd place in the 5 day stage race overall. Unfortunately I didn’t see anyone with an iphone taking a picture of the podium – but there were a lot of people taking pictures with regular digital cameras so hopefully I’ll be able to post a podium pic in the next day or two. UPDATE: Joey Rosskopf (Team Type 1) passed along this podium pic (and the one at the bottom of the post) from Barbara Dowde. Thanks Joey and Barbara!

GCGP third place tile trophies over the years

This race played out very similar to last year’s race, but the way I personally raced the race was completely different this year – and I ended up in the exact same position! Go figure. Last year a late race break of 15 formed when I bridged up with a small chase group to an original break of 10 riders that had gotten away a bit earlier. That break of 10 riders was an amalgam of smaller moves. A small break emerged from our group and I ended up something like 6th or 7th in the sprint from the large break to take 9th in the race. I was nursing a groin injury so I decided to start at the back of the race and wait as long as possible before doing anything.

This year, I was also nursing a bit of a groin injury from my cramps at the end of the Covington crit – but it wasn’t as bad as last year so I decided to be a bit more aggressive this year. I went with several of the early moves and eventually made it into a two-man chase group (me and Alexy Schmidt from Team Type 1) … we were chasing Alexy’s teammate Joey Rosskopf so Alexy wasn’t happy that I wasn’t contributing very much to the chase. I was pretty tired, though, after covering so many of the TT1 attacks and breaks from the first 10 laps of the race. So as the field was closing in on us, it looked like Alexy had given up – but instead he had only eased up for a second and then attacked really hard to finish the bridge by himself as I drifted back to the pack.

I was really tired at this point so I drifted back to the very back of the large field. It was much easier but I couldn’t respond to any moves. A chase group of about 6 or 7 riders emerged from our field and started to put some serious time into what was left in the field – eventually merging with Joey and Alexy. I still sat at the back resigned to just try and do whatever I could in the field sprint to get the 5 points I needed to make it into 3rd position for the general classification. Then a chase group formed, and I decided that I had to at least try so I attacked really hard from nearly the back of the pack because a nice string of coincidences led to a strung out pack that wasn’t going very fast. I took the momentum of the group and used it to slingshot myself sheltered from the wind all the way across to this chase group of 5 or 6 riders.

All of the attacking that had been going on in the field had dramatically reduced the gap to the lead group – so when I bridged to the chase group, the lead group was less than 15 seconds in front of us. Unfortunately, the momentum had gone out of the chase group. I went immediately to the front and ramped the speed back up, but the field was closing in on us fast when Jeff Mcgrane (Friends of the Great Smokies) came across the top of the feedzone hill absolutely drilling it down the hill into the course’s sharpest turn. This brought out the people who were willing to work in the chase group and we had about five or six guys killing it with three laps to go. We had nearly caught the leaders by halfway through the last lap – but they must have ramped up for the final sprint which meant that we were sprinting for ninth place in our chase group. Jeff led out the sprint, and I was able to come around him at the line to take ninth in the race.

Ahead of us – Alexy Schmidt took the sprint win followed by Joey Rosskopf (TT1) in second and Emilio Asconeguy (Rossetti Cycling Team) in third.

This gave me enough points to move up to 3rd in the overall general classification for the five days of racing – definitely my highest placing in such a long race (5 days). Very happy with the outcome, the training, and racing with everyone!

Alexey Schmidt (Team Type 1), Jimmy Donahue (Savannah Wheelmen), and me attempting to bridge to the lone leader (Joey Rosskopf, Team Type 1)). Photo by Barbara Dowde

Labor Day Omnium Day 3 – Circuit Race

I took 4th place today in the final race of the labor day omnium, my highest placing ever in an NRC event, and I fell just one lap short of taking a solo win. It was an amazing experience even though it was a bit disappointing to miss the podium by one spot. Still very happy though! Here is how the race played out:

The course was the same course as the long first lap of the time trial on Friday – technical 2.6 mile course closed to traffic but wide open for a fast tactical race. With 25 laps and nearly 70 miles of racing ahead of us, I figured that we would average 25mph. As soon as the race began, however, I realized that 25mph was definitely underestimating the speed of the group as we continued to average well over 27mph lap after lap. Once the race blew up into several small groups, the average speed dropped to a final average of 26.1mph … here are the lap splits annotated -

NAME    DIST    SPEED     POWER      TIME     Comment
Lap 1   2.7 mi  25.7 mph  220 watts  0:06:25  
Lap 2   2.7 mi  27.6 mph  284 watts  0:05:57  Fast
Lap 3   2.7 mi  27.7 mph  256 watts  0:05:55  Fast
Lap 4   2.7 mi  27.5 mph  283 watts  0:06:00  Fast
Lap 5   2.7 mi  27.5 mph  284 watts  0:05:58  Fast
Lap 6   2.7 mi  27.9 mph  245 watts  0:05:53  Fast
Lap 7   2.7 mi  26.8 mph  227 watts  0:06:07  
Lap 8   2.7 mi  25.3 mph  257 watts  0:06:31  Points prime (1pt)
Lap 9   2.7 mi  24.8 mph  244 watts  0:06:36  
Lap 10  2.7 mi  26.8 mph  246 watts  0:06:06  
Lap 11  2.7 mi  26.6 mph  256 watts  0:06:10  
Lap 12  2.7 mi  22.9 mph  188 watts  0:07:09  Slow
Lap 13  2.7 mi  27.3 mph  238 watts  0:05:59  
Lap 14  2.7 mi  26.4 mph  207 watts  0:06:13  
Lap 15  2.7 mi  27.3 mph  222 watts  0:06:01  
Lap 16  2.7 mi  27.6 mph  271 watts  0:05:57  Points prime (1pt)
Lap 17  2.7 mi  26.6 mph  290 watts  0:06:09  
Lap 18  2.7 mi  26.5 mph  271 watts  0:06:13  
Lap 19  2.7 mi  27.3 mph  272 watts  0:06:00  
Lap 20  2.7 mi  25.1 mph  254 watts  0:06:32  
Lap 21  2.7 mi  24.7 mph  267 watts  0:06:39  Points prime (3pts)
Lap 22  2.7 mi  26.1 mph  306 watts  0:06:16  Solo
Lap 23  2.7 mi  25.6 mph  283 watts  0:06:25  Solo
Lap 24  2.7 mi  24.6 mph  263 watts  0:06:39  Solo
Lap 25  2.7 mi  24.6 mph  244 watts  0:06:40  Caught finished 4th

The first few laps were really fast with splits in the field and large groups rolling off the front. I made it into one of these splits with about 15 riders, but there wasn’t enough cohesion in the group to stay off the front. At this point, it’s hard to remember exactly how the final break materialized. I was riding aggressively on the points prime laps to try to get omnium points and managed to snag 3rd place on two of them good for 1 point each.

On lap 16, I was already in a break of about 12 riders when I led out the sprint for the omnium points hoping to get a jump on the faster guys. I managed to hold on for third but the sprint itself had shelled a few riders. At this point we were down to 8 riders. About midway through the next lap, a group of three including Alexey Schmidt (Team Type I), Serghei Tvetcov (Aerocat), and Demis Aleman (Jamis) rolled off the front of our break. For the next three laps, the five of us that were left – me, Oscar Clark (Realcyclist), Shane Braley (Chemstar), a Mountain Khakis rider, and Team Cocos rider worked to chase back up to the three off the front. When we finally caught them, it was back to a break of 8, but one that lacked any cohesion at all as everyone was tired and everyone had strong riders in the field and chase behind us. I didn’t want to get caught so I kept trying to push the pace and would roll off the front either by myself or once with Alexey and once with Shane. The rest of the group would always get itself organized again and work its way back up to us.

With 5 laps to go, they rang the bell for a points prime. Without any cohesion in the group, I rolled off the front again this time getting a pretty good lead. Realizing that there were three omnium points on the line, I drilled it hard to try to stay away for the points. I looked back and was shocked at the gap I had opened up. So that helped me to keep pushing harder hoping to have enough of a lead so that when the group started to chase I would be able to hold on for the points. About 3/4 of the way through the lap, I realized that I was going to get the points and that I had a big enough lead that there was a realistic chance I could win the race! I settled into as hard a rhythm as I could maintain and stayed away for the next three laps. I couldn’t even sustain 300 watts by this point in the race even with the extra motivation of a chance at winning an NRC race. So by the start of the last lap (2.6 miles from the finish), a group of 3 that had split off from the rest of the break caught up to me.

At this point, I no longer had any thoughts of winning the race, and I was still concerned about the remnants of the break or even the 1st chase group from the field catching up to us by the end so I went to the front one more time to try to keep the pace up into the rolling section. There was an attack at the bottom of the climb, then a counter-attack by Serghei at the top that saw him get away solo. A couple seconds later, Demis attacked hard up the right-hand side with Oscar and I on the far left. He immediately got the gap and closed the distance to Serghei. Oscar and I were left behind to fight it out for 3rd. In the final sprint, I tried to go early attacking on the feedzone hill but Oscar was able to hold my wheel and come around to take third with me getting 4th. Ahead of us, Demis took the win just ahead of Serghei.

Gene and the Swagger crew put on a great VIP tent with food/drinks for the riders, and the podium ceremony was in front of thousands of people gathered for an annual concert. With the 5 omnium points that I got during the race, plus the 14 points for finishing third, that was enough to move me up to 11th overall for the weekend. At the beginning of the weekend I was hoping for a top 20 in the omnium, so I was able to almost get a top 10. Great way to wrap up the NRC racing calendar. I’m excited for two more races to end the season – Pensacola in two weeks and then the Six Gap criterium and century the week after that.

Here is my power data (no heartrate this weekend, left my heartrate monitor in my office on Friday) -

Annotated power map

Annotated power / speed / elevation graph