Tag Archives: omnium

Huntsville Omnium Day 2 – Wrapup

Summary – 2nd in the masters 35+ criterium, 3rd in the pro/1/2/3/4 combined criterium, plus 5 points on a bonus points prime gave me just enough to tie Beth Hollingsworth (Velocity Pro Cycles) in the overall, combined omnium. With the tiebreaker being the time trial time, I ended up winning the tie breaker to take 2nd in the omnium behind Chris Brown (Litespeed – BMW).

Masters 35+ criterium – this race started out fast, so fast that the field split at least once before the first prime. The field was back together by the first prime, but I wasn’t in good position to go for it. A couple laps later, however, there was another prime that I thought was for a bouquet of roses. In a field full of masters, I thought that this would be hotly contested (to bring home to give to our wives) so I jumped really, really hard on the inside on the short flat stretch before the final turn. I was sheltered from the cross-wind by the pack when I attacked and then when I made the turn I had a strong tailwind. It turns out that I jumped hard enough that nobody else contested the prime, and I had opened nearly a 10 second gap by the time I won the prime — (unfortunately, after the race, I found out that it was a gift certificate to a restaurant named Rosie’s).

About halfway through the next lap, I looked back and saw Chris Brown closing in fast bridging the gap by himself. When he got close, I jumped back up to speed and together we worked to try to fend off a chase group of 5 riders that had split off of the blown apart field. We worked together well, but the gap stayed at just a few seconds for several laps. Then finally after several really hard laps, the gap started to increase by a second or two every lap so that it eventually got out to 20 seconds. But then it started coming down again — by 5 seconds in a single lap to take our gap back down to 15 seconds. Then, the next lap it was down to 13 seconds. Fortunately, by this point we only had five laps to go in the race. So we turned on the gas one last time and held it to the end where Chris took the sprint.

Monte Sano – climbing
The Rapha Rising climbing competition had also begun today so I headed out after the masters race to do some climbing. I ended up breaking a spoke at the bottom of Monte Sano, turning around and getting my spare wheel, before doing the climb again. It was a long, steady, gradual climb but my legs were tired and I needed to rest for my the pro/1/2/3/4 combined crit later in the day so I only did the climb once. I’m in a deep hole for the climbing competition right now, but I am hoping to make up ground by Wednesday.

Pro/1/2/3/4 combined criterium
One of the unique things about the Huntsville omnium is that it is combined over all the categories. And to finish the combined omnium off, there is a combined Pro/1/2/3/4 criterium for the last race of the day. By the start at 2:00 – it was very hot – well over 100 degF in the sun on the start line. Combine that with the humidity that somehow hadn’t burned off from the morning, yet, and it was going to be a sweltering race that I wasn’t sure I could finish.

On the start line, as the race official said “go”, they also rang the bell for the race’s points prime – 10 pts, 5 pts, and 5 pts for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. I was on the front row so I thought about just taking off and going for it from the gun — especially since Chris had started farther back. But I also knew that it would be a long race and that if I won the prime, I stood a very good chance of not being able to finish the race at all. So I hung back in 2nd and 3rd position as a couple riders drove the pace pretty hard anyway. I started the sprint for the prime, but Chris was able to come around me just before the line. I figured that the race was over and that Christian Parrett (Global Bike) and maybe one or two riders would bridge up to us for the break. But instead, the field came back together.

Shortly after that, Christian began a series of attacks that eventually saw him get away solo. Chris’s teammate Anders got away in a chase group of 3. But one of the riders got shelled making it a chase group of two. Our average pace in the field slowed way down as there would be an attack and then when the attack was chased down the pace really dropped. After only 20 minutes into the race, Christian lapped the field which was down to less than 10 riders by this point – but the chase group of two still hadn’t caught us. So Christian went immediately to the front and began driving the pace. He very slowly started extending the gap on the chase group (we had been getting splits to the chase group behind us). At one point the gap from the chase group to the back of the field was only 20 seconds.

I had won a couple field primes during this time, but then while Christian was driving the front they announced a $230 giro helmet prime. I need a new helmet, so I went really hard for this one. Will Fyfe (Birmingham Bicycle Company), however, just got me at the line. Our effort for the prime, however, shelled some more riders from the group and later when Chris attacked I was able to go with him. He was in an awkward position because he couldn’t work too hard or we would catch his teammate. At the same time, though, it was safer to be off the front then contesting the field sprint. So we settled into a rhythm that looked like would keep us in front of the field but behind the chase group of two.

The chase group had been out front for a long time in the hot conditions so we ended up catching them with about 5 laps to go. This put four of us working together to stay in front of the field. In one of the corners, I felt my rear wheel slide a bit. It felt like I had a flat tire. But I bounced on it and it didn’t seem to be bulging out too much so I kept on going. By three laps to go, though, the tire was rolling on the faster corners. I went to the front to drive the pace so that hopefully I would have enough time to get a wheel from the pit and stay in front of the field since there was no more free laps. But in the end I decided to just risk it since it seemed to have enough air to not be rolling on every corner. Fortunately, the sprint at the finish didn’t start in earnest until after the last corner and I was able to give it max effort up the hill to finish just behind Chris for 3rd place. Here is a picture I got right after the race – I’m guessing that the slow leak had taken it down to maybe 40 psi by the end.

All the data
With five separate races this weekend, I have gobs and gobs of data. So I’ve highlighted what I consider the most interesting data and then put the rest into a gallery. First, I set three new power records this weekend … the first was during the masters road race over the range from 17″ (916 watts) to 20″ (878 watts). The second was during the time trial over the range from 1’07” (607 watts) to 1’30” (545 watts). And the final power record was during the P/1/2/3/4 combined crit (probably sprinting for either the points prime at the beginning of the race or the giro helmet prime) over the range from 2″ (1107 watts) to 16″ (930 watts).

New power record set during the Masters 35+ road race.
New power record set during the 1K time trial.
New power record set during the P/1/2/3/4 combined crit.

The next two most interesting data items are the heartrate plot and summary for the Pro/1/2 road race Saturday morning. This was a particularly difficult race to start out the weekend with!
Pro/1/2 road race heartrate summary
Pro/1/2 heartrate and power plot (power smoothed with 30second smoothing filter)

The time trial power plot is interesting … speed data is from GPS, but it looks like there is a second in the middle where my Garmin dropped the power reading right around the time that the GPS-based speed was getting goofy. I wonder if it was because the Garmin was devoting more processing power to trying to pin the GPS signal and dropped the power reading. I stayed big chainring the entire time trial and never stopped standing so my power should never have dropped to zero.
Heartrate plot for the timetrial

Finally, here is my lap data from the two criteriums on Sunday.

MASTERS 35+ criterium - 2nd place
Lap	Time	AvgPow	NormPow	MaxPow	AvgHR	Avg Spd
1	1:47	234	205	725	138	23.6
2	1:38	197	176	626	144	25.6
3	1:38	197	169	528	142	25.4
4	1:38	215	186	668	145	25.8
5	1:39	188	155	636	150	25.3
6	1:38	220	204	664	149	25.7
7	1:38	267	238	1092	146	25.6
8	1:31	323	268	647	170	27.6
9	1:27	364	319	1067	167	28.5
10	1:29	333	281	775	180	26.6
11	1:32	306	259	594	179	26.9
12	1:34	299	251	610	177	26.4
13	1:30	299	243	624	178	25.8
14	1:31	281	229	718	178	25.9
15	1:36	291	242	643	179	25.8
16	1:38	286	242	546	179	25.4
17	1:36	267	231	577	176	25.4
18	1:40	268	223	539	176	25
19	1:39	268	229	536	174	25.2
20	1:34	290	239	548	176	26.1
21	1:35	281	235	639	176	26.2
22	1:31	269	212	499	176	25.8
23	1:31	287	234	699	177	26.1
24	1:33	284	225	571	176	26.8
25	1:34	263	222	600	174	26.4
26	1:36	270	224	696	173	26.2
27	1:34	234	194	613	172	25.1
28	1:42	252	226	759	165	24.3
Pro/1/2/3/4 combined criterium - 3rd place
Lap	Time	AvgPow	NormPow	MaxPow	AvgHR	Avg Spd
1	1:37	398	321	1108	151	26.6
2	1:28	326	265	801	171	27.8
3	1:28	344	297	1086	170	26
4	1:30	341	282	1039	171	25.9
5	1:31	262	232	1033	176	25.3
6	1:36	234	202	673	165	26
7	1:40	214	181	784	162	24.8
8	1:38	166	146	451	158	23.7
9	1:49	168	149	773	150	23
10	1:44	216	190	931	152	23.9
11	1:46	254	253	968	151	23.5
12	1:37	247	198	780	168	24.2
13	1:25	361	303	1110	171	27.7
14	1:43	238	205	918	171	22.8
15	1:26	270	240	897	170	26.5
16	1:40	241	208	793	168	23
17	1:46	212	187	933	158	23.8
18	1:47	186	167	722	157	23.3
19	1:42	218	192	951	153	23
20	1:36	205	184	645	162	23.8
21	1:33	232	192	910	156	25.2
22	1:31	222	182	568	156	25.3
23	1:33	213	176	775	156	24.9
24	1:39	220	186	662	156	25.1
25	1:33	221	184	674	155	24.9
26	1:37	284	253	1125	154	25.6
27	1:36	230	193	623	165	23.9
28	1:30	405	378	1044	168	27.9
29	1:28	289	239	627	181	26.5
30	1:29	274	222	619	179	26.3
31	1:32	292	238	654	178	25.1
32	1:32	243	200	630	176	25
33	1:34	283	235	899	171	24.7
34	1:33	274	230	862	174	24.8
35	1:33	348	292	1111	177	24.8

And here is a gallery of all the data and photos from the race weekend… organized by race.

Bates Road Circuit Race (Day 5 – Georgia Cycling Gran Prix)

HOT! Those three letters describe my day yesterday with the air conditioning in my car broken. Here are three temperature graphs from the day.

Drive from Winterville, GA to Newton County outside of Covington, GA!

The Newton County circuit race – the race had some good shade on half the course.

The three and a half hour drive home to Birmingham without air conditioning

Race report
Our race was again combined with the cat 3 race making for a total of 79 riders in the field. My right leg was still tight/sore from cramping hard at the end of the crit on Saturday, so I decided that I would race this race pretty conservatively for at least the first part of the race. I also guessed that with a large field on a rolling course, it would be unlikely for an early move to stay away. I was halfway correct on this because all of the moves (and there were a bunch of them) in the first few laps came back to the group.

Then somewhere around the fifth of twenty-five 1.8 mile laps, a good group got away with John Stowe, Alexey Schmidt (Team Type I), Sabastian Cancio (Aerocat), and a couple other riders. They quickly got a big gap as our pace plummeted in the field. At one point, I was thinking that the break might actually lap us. There was usually one attack on every lap, though, that ramped our pace way up for half a lap before slowing down again. Gavin Landsden (BBC), Jan Kolar (BBC), and me put in a one-two-three attack on one lap that I thought for sure would have gotten something away – but my attack was swallowed by the field on the descent.

I drifted back to the back 1/3rd of the group on the next lap to recover. During the next couple laps, a strong group of riders including TT1, Aerocat, Oneal Samuels, and maybe one or two other riders got away from the field. After about two more laps and our pace had been really high for a long time, I decided that it was probably a good time to get a chase group going with the field probably tired from the conditions and speed. So coming through the start/finish line, I moved up sheltered from the wind to the left of about 30-40 riders strung out single file and then immediately onto the back of an attack with a few riders maybe six or seven? As the field started to catch us after the course’s long downhill, there was another attack on the gradual hill. This is the spot on the course where the field had been slowing down quite a bit, so when that attack went I knew that it had a good chance of sticking. I went with it and worked with about five or six riders to get a gap.

We worked really well together as the third group on the road and were able to pull back the second group on the road after a few laps with only the lead break ahead of us with more than a minute’s advantage. Once the two chase groups merged, I could start to feel my leg giving me problems and knew that my best bet at not getting dropped is if there were no attacks. So rather than sitting on the back, I tried to work hard mashing a big gear when possible to reduce the total number of pedal strokes that my leg had to make. Even though we had a few people who weren’t working in the chase, there was enough people working that we didn’t have any attacks from our chase group until maybe 4 laps to go. From this point to the end, I stopped working to try to save my leg to be able to go with any attacks and try to get a decent finish. Dan Holt and Joey Rosskopf were drilling it at the front of our chase bringing us up to a shattered lead group of about 3 or 4 riders with two riders from the original break (Alexey Schmidt and Sabastian Cancio) still off the front with a 25 second advantage with one lap to go. This worked well for me because the TT1 duo kept the pace high enough that nobody was going to attack and I didn’t have to worry about any sudden accelerations until the sprint at the very end of the race. Even then, I was in great position for the sprint, but decided just to ride wheels to avoid any further damage to my leg. When I was ready to pass a couple people before the line, I got blocked in by one rider on either side who must have had the same idea about 1/2 of a second before me so I lost a couple spots.

Still, I was very happy with the race -

1) My leg was OK enough to not only race, but also attack and make it into the break
2) No cramps at all thanks to the way the race played out and thanks to the person in the feedzone who gave me a bottle with two laps to go
3) Still had a lot left for the sprint
4) Didn’t die from heat exhaustion

You can see how the race played out in the Strava segment data below. I think Lap 7 may have been the lap that had the 1-2-3 attack from Alabama. Lap 10 is probably where I thought to myself that if we kept that pace up, we were probably going to get lapped. Then look at how the speed ramps up over Laps 11, 12, 13. Then Lap 14 is where the third chase group was formed. Lap 19 is probably where we merged with the second group on the road. Then you can see the high speed / low watts for the last couple laps where TT1 was pulling hard to bring us up to the lead group.

Lap 1  1.8 mi 85 ft 24.4 mph 209 watts 142 bpm 0:04:26
Lap 2  1.8 mi 85 ft 24.5 mph 176 watts 146 bpm 0:04:24
Lap 3  1.8 mi 85 ft 27.2 mph 233 watts 151 bpm 0:03:58
Lap 4  1.8 mi 85 ft 25.5 mph 212 watts 156 bpm 0:04:14
Lap 5  1.8 mi 85 ft 27.1 mph 252 watts 156 bpm 0:03:59
Lap 6  1.8 mi 85 ft 23.6 mph 192 watts 147 bpm 0:04:34
Lap 7  1.8 mi 85 ft 25.9 mph 297 watts 162 bpm 0:04:10
Lap 8  1.8 mi 85 ft 23.2 mph 179 watts 153 bpm 0:04:39
Lap 9  1.8 mi 85 ft 26.3 mph 267 watts 167 bpm 0:04:06
Lap 10 1.8 mi 85 ft 20.6 mph 119 watts 142 bpm 0:05:14
Lap 11 1.8 mi 85 ft 25.3 mph 199 watts 147 bpm 0:04:16
Lap 12 1.8 mi 85 ft 25.8 mph 214 watts 149 bpm 0:04:11
Lap 13 1.8 mi 85 ft 26.4 mph 217 watts 153 bpm 0:04:05
Lap 14 1.8 mi 85 ft 28.0 mph 290 watts 168 bpm 0:03:51
Lap 15 1.8 mi 85 ft 26.0 mph 252 watts 163 bpm 0:04:09
Lap 16 1.8 mi 85 ft 25.7 mph 260 watts 165 bpm 0:04:12
Lap 17 1.8 mi 85 ft 25.1 mph 234 watts 163 bpm 0:04:18
Lap 18 1.8 mi 85 ft 25.8 mph 223 watts 157 bpm 0:04:11
Lap 19 1.8 mi 85 ft 24.6 mph 230 watts 158 bpm 0:04:23
Lap 20 1.8 mi 85 ft 24.6 mph 212 watts 155 bpm 0:04:23
Lap 21 1.8 mi 85 ft 25.6 mph 228 watts 155 bpm 0:04:13
Lap 22 1.8 mi 85 ft 27.1 mph 247 watts 158 bpm 0:03:59
Lap 23 1.8 mi 85 ft 26.0 mph 226 watts 157 bpm 0:04:09
Lap 24 1.8 mi 85 ft 27.3 mph 239 watts 157 bpm 0:03:57
Lap 25 1.8 mi 85 ft 28.0 mph 304 watts 170 bpm 0:03:51

Here is the link for all of the interactive Strava data – http://app.strava.com/rides/1003919.

You can also see how the race played out in the Strava performance graph below which shows heartrate and power. You can see how much smoother the power output is once we made into the chase group.

Strava performance data annotated (click for larger image)

Golden cheetah performance map annotated (click for larger image)

David Gearhart won the field sprint for 19th with my teammate Justin Bynum a few places behind him to take 1st in the cat 3s to bring home the overall omnium win! I ended up 6th in the omnium. Great racing, great training – next up is the Crossroads Classic August 3rd-7th in North Carolina.

Also, I almost forgot that not only did my AC stop working on the way to the race, my GPS took me on three different dirt roads to get there. At one point, I was convinced the dirt road was about to turn into a 4 wheel drive only road as it turned to what I would call a car’s version of double track … took a couple pics to document the experience but was pretty panicky by the time I hit the double track that I was going to miss the race. I had stayed to watch the end of the Tour de France and only left myself less than 2 hours to get to the race. I arrived at the race at 1:40 for a 2:00PM start, but fortunately they were running a little late. I think we started at about 2:15 or 2:20.

Digby Road – third dirt road of the drive to the start
Gravel/dirt double track – beautiful country!