Tag Archives: power

Pensacola Stage Race Day 1 – Road Race and Time Trial

Road Race Summary
I’ve got a 4th place streak going on here with two races in a row missing the podium by one spot. The race went well until the final sprint where I came in a disappointing 4th from a 5-man break after losing the wheel of the winner Grant Potter (Z-Motion). Phil Gaimon (Kenda) for sure deserves most aggressive rider since he realized that Grant would win the sprint from our breakaway group and repeatedly tried to dislodge him with attack after attack in the last 10 miles. But it was altogether for the finish with Grant taking the win, Jonathan Atwell (The Hub) 2nd, Serghei Tvetkov (Aerocat) 3rd, me 4th, and Phil 5th. Our break had a sizeable margin of 3-4 minutes over the field by the end.

Time Trial Summary
The time trial was amazingly fun and also went pretty well. I surpassed my predicted 6 minute power threshold by a few watts (see annotated CP curve towards bottom of this post). My goal at the beginning of the time trial was to focus on maintaining a lap average of 375 watts. After the first couple minutes, I was still well into the 400s, so I began to be really motivated that maybe I could maintain 400 watts for the entire TT. But then my legs started to fade and my power started to drop. I still had a lot of upper body strength left, though, so I stood up and cranked it back up to 400 watts a couple times. Normally, this would be a big time trial aero “no-no”, but with a massive tailwind, I’m pretty sure that it was OK since I was able to get my speed back up both times. In the end, my average speed was just over 29mph, and my average power was 395 watts. Checking the results today, it looks like I was somewhere in the top 15 maybe around 13th, but I was last place of the five of us in the break from the road race, which put me in 5th place on the GC going into Sunday’s criterium (next post). Time trial data posted at the bottom of this post. Also – kudos to John Hart for absolutely smoking the time trial with a time of 5’35” for an average speed of 33mph!!!

Road Race Details and Data

Here is how the road race played out:

1st lap – there were lots of attacks/chasing in the first few miles with one group of 3 eventually getting away and another group of 3 chasing. When we made it to the longest hill on the course, Phil Gaimon (Kenda) attacked hard. A few of us were able to hold his wheel as we caught the break by the top of the hill. They latched onto our group essentially turning the race into a field split. There wasn’t enough cooperation in the large front group, so after a few miles the rest of the field caught back up to us. I believe there were a few more attacks to finish off the lap, but it was basically all together by the start of the second lap.

2nd lap – Towards the beginning of the second lap, a small group of maybe 3 or 4 riders including Jake Brewer (Herring Gas) rolled up the road. I attacked repeatedly to try to bridge across, but every time field would string out and chase. John Hart (Friends of the Great Smokies) was able to escape, though, and set out in pursuit. A few more riders were able to get away solo and chase. Eventually, there were at least 8 guys up the road including Serghei Tvetcov (Aerocat). This group all came together into one lead group. I tried a couple more times to get away or form a second chase group before the long gradual downhill section, but I was reeled back in each time. So on the downhill, I decided to rest in anticipation of the downhill. I was near the front when I saw a rider getting ready to attack at the base of the hill. I grabbed his wheel and followed him knowing that the real attack would come a little bit later. Sure enough, Phil came flying around a few seconds later. I drilled it hard and was able to close the gap back up to him by the top with only one rider in tow – Jonathan. My teammate Pat Allison was caught in the middle behind us. I could hear him yelling across the top that he was coming so I stopped working so that he could finish the bridge to our chase group. Unfortunately, Phil and Jonathan were drilling it super hard through a heavy crosswind section so Pat was unable to make the bridge. I was struggling just to hang onto their wheel, so I can’t imagine crossing the gap alone. By the end of the crosswind section, Pat was swallowed by the field and we were getting close to finishing the bridge to the lead group. This was about 3/4 of the way through the second lap. As a large group, we rotated well for the rest of the lap and kept a pretty good speed.

3rd lap – A couple miles into the start of the third lap, we could see that the field was not too far behind us. At this point, the commitment level in the group really dropped. People were still pulling, but not very hard. At one point, after John Hart and Phil pulled I noticed a gap behind Phil. So I attacked hoping that the two of them would come with me to form another group. They didn’t, though, and so I ended up riding off the front solo for a couple minutes. When the group came back together, we continued rotating but the impetus was definitely gone from the group. This was right when we reached the rolling section on the front side of the course. I noticed another gap opening up behind Serghei as he was getting ready to pull so I attacked again and this time there were three of us together. Phil and Grant bridged up to us a couple minutes later to form the final break of five. At this point in the race, we worked together really well with everybody pulling hard because the rest of the break behind us was chasing hard. Eventually, though, we started to pull away and get a sizeable gap. Our group was an interesting one with one strong sprinter and four all-rounders (i.e., not sprinters). For the last 10 miles, starting with the long hill on the course, it was attack after attack. Phil attacked the most with Serghei counter attacking several times with me on his wheel. Jonathan attacked a few times, and I attacked once or twice. Grant was able to chase back each move and still take the sprint at the end!

Going into the final sprint, I was sitting on Grant’s wheel after Phil had attacked and strung out the group. Serghei countered to start the sprint in the final few hundred meters. As Grant surged for the sprint with 200 meters to go, I lost his wheel for a second but was closing it back up to him when Jonathan realized that Grant was the better wheel than Serghei. So Jonathan pulled over to grab the wheel in the space that I had opened up. It was my fault for letting the gap open up in the first place, but Grant’s surge was probably several hundred watts more powerful than mine and it took time for me to get his draft and move back up. In the end, the two of them were able to squeeze by Serghei for the finish and I only made it halfway around him – so the final finish order was Grant, Jonathan, Serghei, me, and Phil.

All-in-all, it was a good race with a somewhat disappointing finish. There were lots of tactical sections as well as flat-out sections as well as strategic battles. Fun, hard racing. Lots of data below …

Road race data

Pensacola Road Race (Milton, FL) – annotated power map

Pensacola Road Race – Annotated critical power curve from Golden Cheetah

Quadrant analysis (pedal force / cadence) – road race

Time Trial data

Pensacola Beach Time Trial – annotated power map

Pensacola Beach Time Trial – annotated critical power curve

Quadrant analysis (pedal force / cadence) – time trial

Labor Day Omnium Day 1 – Time Trial

I am really starting to like time trials. This was a fun technical course with lots of small rollers. The start was at the bottom of the steepest hill so I may have gone out a little too hard averaging 650watts from the start to the top of the hill, but dropping to 500 watts for the first 30 seconds having to coast into and around the first sharp turn over the top of the hill. I didn’t feel like I was going too hard, but I struggled keeping the power up on the downhill and sharp turn averaging 351watts and 304watts for the next two 30 second intervals. Then on the rolling part of the course, I feel like I lost some time trying to find the best gear to be in to ramp it up on the downhills and maintain speed over the uphills. To summarize, I ended up averaging 351 watts for 9’45” for the 4.5 mile course. That’s compared to 363 watts average for 8’30” on a 4 mile course last week at River Gorge. My time was good enough for 27th out of 55 registered starters (top half in an NRC time trial!!!)

Anderson Civic Center Time Trial Power Map annotated

Labor Day Omnium Time Trial – power graph

I left my heartrate monitor strap at work from my morning commute (Kristine picked me up at Samford) – so no heartrate data this weekend :-( On the plus side, it was really nice to race without having to fool with wearing a heartrate monitor strap and still have all the meaningful data from the power meter during the race.

River Gorge Day 1 – Time Trial and Criterium

River Gorge Omnium Day 1 went pretty well. I really like the new format with the time trial first on Saturday morning followed by the crit late in the evening. The primary benefit is that everybody is fresh for the time trial and yet the short effort isn’t going to really drain you for any of the other events. Plus, I was able to get my warm-up in by simply riding to the start of the TT doing the Elder Mountain climb and then half of Raccoon Mountain at a slow, steady pace.

Time Trial
My plan for the TT was to push as close as possible to my 5 minute critical power of 393 watts. This really helped focus my effort because previously I would be completely blown before reaching the bottom of the longest (0.3 mile) hill on the course. Within the first minute, I saw that my lap average was 500 watts so I knew I needed to back off a bit. This helped me pace so that by the top of the hill my lap average power was down to 417 watts. I knew that my wattage would come down on the steep downhill and as I started to spin out, I decided to tuck and save energy for the flat portion of the TT across the reservoir wall. I could tell that I had gone out too hard though as I really struggled to get my wattage above 350 across the dam. I took the sharp turn pretty good, but was still fading a bit towards the line to finish with an average wattage of 363 watts and an average speed of 28.5 mph. This was a new fastest time for me on this course by 20 seconds. Here is all the data.

River Gorge Time Trial power/heartrate graph

River Gorge Time Trial Annotated Power Map

The downtown crit was fast and full of energy. I nearly missed the start because I thought the race started at 8:30. As I went to take a lap of the course after the 3s finished, I saw what I thought was another race lined up at the start line. I figured there was still enough time to take a lap before their race started, so I maneuvered my way through the group and then started to take a lap when the announcer said “And for tonight’s main event – the Pro/1/2 race!” and I suddenly realized that this was my race that was about to start. Fortunately, I had one full bottle and a volunteer was able to get me a plastic water bottle to fill up my empty second bottle. There was still a lot of time before the start of our race (the actual start time was 8:15) but everybody was anxious to get a good starting position with the 80+ riders in the field.

I had an OK start and found myself somewhere in the back 1/3rd of the race after the first couple laps. The course was really wide open so it was easy to move around and pass people – particularly coming out of the last turn up a slight hill with the wind coming from the right. All you had to do was take the inside line and then you were sheltered from the wind across the top of the hill down through the start/finish line into the first turn. By the midway point of the 60 minute race, I was close enough to the front to start to try to cover moves and get into breaks. I made it into one good break towards the middle and tried to drive it after I realized my teammate Pat was also in the break. I made it into one other really good break with just 3 other riders with 8 laps to go when a crash took out or held up a lot of riders including Pat who had a wheel puncture after narrowly avoiding crashing. I worked hard, but it wasn’t a perfectly harmonious break. After we were caught, I counter attacked our own break to try to start another break but ended up just riding off the front solo for a quarter of the course. Then I worked hard to stay at the front and only could get 13th in the field sprint – 15th in the race with Oscar Clark (Realcyclist) taking a solo flyer for the win and Nate Brown (Trek-Livestrong) taking second in a solo chase effort. Frank Travesio (Realcyclist) won the field sprint for third so it was a great day for Realcyclist.

Downtown Chattanooga Criterium power/heartrate annotated

Downtown Chattanooga criterium course power map annotated

Commute from the hotel to the crit course via Lookout Mountain

Finally, here are the pedal force / cadence maps from the races that I posted about a few days ago.

Time Trial pedal force cadence quadrant analysis

Criterium pedal force cadence quadrant analysis

Day 5 – Crossroads Classic – Salisbury Circuit Race

Race Summary
15th place (9th in field sprint). This placing was enough for me to take 11th overall for the 5 day omnium. My hopes for a top 5 were dashed after a poor road race yesterday. And today, I just missed making it into the top 10 by 3 points. Still, this was a really strong field up here in North Carolina, and I was happy to have some strong races even if the results weren’t quite there.

The video below shows the field sprint for 6th place. (Caution – loud awesome cheering at the beginning) I was pretty far back still at the point that Kristine took this video, but the sprint was uphill, and I passed a bunch of people in the last 100 meters to finish 9th in the field sprint, 15th in the race.

The Details
The laps for today’s race were just under 1 mile long. The key feature was the finishing climb. I started out pretty well and fought hard to stay towards the front. I ended up bridging up to a good looking break with about 14 laps to go. The break was a bit too big, though, and our gap shrank from 20 seconds to 8 seconds in just one lap. I think we ended up staying away for maybe 4 or 5 laps total. Chris Harkey (Hincapie Green) and one of his teammates slipped away as a counter attack with a Mountain Khakis rider. The three riders quickly built a lead as nobody chased for an entire lap (I think this was with 5 laps to go in the race). There were two more riders that slipped away with 2 laps to go. I waited for the field sprint and ended up 9th in the field sprint, 15th for the race.

Here is the Strava segment data … I’ve included the 28 laps plus the finishing climb for the last lap … also, here is the link for the interactive strava data: http://app.strava.com/rides/1152324

Lap 1  0.9 mi 56 ft 27.4 mph 333 watts 145 bpm 0:02:00
Lap 2  0.9 mi 56 ft 26.7 mph 264 watts 159 bpm 0:02:03
Lap 3  0.9 mi 56 ft 26.5 mph 255 watts 158 bpm 0:02:04
Lap 4  0.9 mi 56 ft 25.4 mph 230 watts 158 bpm 0:02:09
Lap 5  0.9 mi 56 ft 27.4 mph 258 watts 159 bpm 0:02:00
Lap 6  0.9 mi 56 ft 25.6 mph 217 watts 156 bpm 0:02:08
Lap 7  0.9 mi 56 ft 24.1 mph 210 watts 155 bpm 0:02:16
Lap 8  0.9 mi 56 ft 27.4 mph 261 watts 164 bpm 0:02:00
Lap 9  0.9 mi 56 ft 26.5 mph 243 watts 166 bpm 0:02:04
Lap 10 0.9 mi 56 ft 26.3 mph 253 watts 162 bpm 0:02:05
Lap 11 0.9 mi 56 ft 27.1 mph 311 watts 172 bpm 0:02:01
Lap 12 0.9 mi 56 ft 26.7 mph 254 watts 171 bpm 0:02:03
Lap 13 0.9 mi 56 ft 26.5 mph 215 watts 161 bpm 0:02:04
Lap 14 0.9 mi 56 ft 25.6 mph 240 watts 162 bpm 0:02:08
Lap 15 0.9 mi 56 ft 26.9 mph 272 watts 173 bpm 0:02:02
Lap 16 0.9 mi 56 ft 25.4 mph 223 watts 167 bpm 0:02:09
Lap 17 0.9 mi 56 ft 27.1 mph 292 watts 175 bpm 0:02:01
Lap 18 0.9 mi 56 ft 26.5 mph 211 watts 174 bpm 0:02:04
Lap 19 0.9 mi 56 ft 26.7 mph 254 watts 170 bpm 0:02:03
Lap 20 0.9 mi 56 ft 24.9 mph 228 watts 175 bpm 0:02:12
Lap 21 0.9 mi 56 ft 25.8 mph 210 watts 168 bpm 0:02:07
Lap 22 0.9 mi 56 ft 25.4 mph 207 watts 168 bpm 0:02:09
Lap 23 0.9 mi 56 ft 26.7 mph 212 watts 167 bpm 0:02:03
Lap 24 0.9 mi 56 ft 24.0 mph 187 watts 165 bpm 0:02:17
Lap 25 0.9 mi 56 ft 27.4 mph 232 watts 169 bpm 0:02:00
Lap 26 0.9 mi 56 ft 24.5 mph 190 watts 164 bpm 0:02:14
Lap 27 0.9 mi 56 ft 25.1 mph 218 watts 169 bpm 0:02:11
Lap 28 0.9 mi 56 ft 30.7 mph 374 watts 183 bpm 0:01:47
Finish 0.3 mi 33 ft 31.1 mph 703 watts 187 bpm 0:00:30

Salisbury power map annotated (purple = low power, blue/green = med power, yellow/red = high power)

Salisbury power graph

Day 2 – Crossroads Classic – Salisbury Criterium

Kristine and the kids are here cheering me on for this race series, and Kristine got some good pics and videos from the race last night and the one on Wednesday night, too.

The video below would have been taken last night around Lap 11 or 12 as our third chase group was getting established.

Here is our finishing sprint for 6th place last night with Thomas Brown taking it and me getting second.

And here is one video from Wednesday night’s super fast short course criterium.

Quick summary
I ended up in 7th place after taking 2nd in the sprint from a four-man chase group that I was in for about 1/4 of the race. The four-man chase group emerged from a 15 rider group that formed after a 8 rider group merged with a 7 rider group. The 7 rider group was chasing a 5 rider group, which ended up staying away for the entire race. The 5 rider group slipped off the front of the 7 rider group at some point during the race when I was part of the 8 rider group chasing what must have been at that time a 12 rider group. Confused yet? Meanwhile, 6 riders from the original chase group of 15 stayed away from the remnants of the original 70-80 rider field and were chasing. I was very happy with 2nd place in the sprint from our four-man group to take 7th in the race.

The details
Here is a satellite picture of the barbell shaped race course. The map is from Golden Cheetah and is color-coded based on power output. Purples and pinks = lowest power. Blues and greens = medium power. Yellows and red = highest power.

Day 2 – Salisbury Criterium map color-coded for power

I ended up starting on the second row, but clipped in well and passed a few people to hit turn #1 somewhere in the top 10, but on the inside. I stayed on the inside going into turn #2 where there was a nasty 1-2 inch drop for a manhole cover. I nailed it and immediately lost position going downhill into turn #3. I was still on the inside and got cut off again and lost momentum going into the uphill out of turn #3. Turn #4 was a relatively straightforward righthander leading into a fast flat section heading into a lefthand turn #5 up a small hill which crested halfway before heading downhill to turn #6, which was an off-chamber turn with a pottery style small pothole cover in the middle that you tried to avoid. Then the course rolled upward again slightly before rolling back downhill into turn #7. Out of turn #7 was a small hill leading into the final turn, which was then slightly downhill all the way to the start/finish line.

All of that is to say that the course was somewhat technical and fast. Having hit that manhole cover in turn #2 on the first lap, I lost a lot of position for the rest of the lap going from somewhere in the top 10 to somewhere near the back. It was awful at the back because every technical corner involved a bunch up where you were going through a corner three and four wide hoping that the person on your inside didn’t fall. It took several laps before I found the spots to move up on the course and before I became comfortable enough with the corners to start hitting them hard. I am the type of person who really needs to pre-ride and know a course before I’m willing to take crazy risks. Other people seem to be willing to dive-bomb corners the very first time they see them!

After a few laps at the back, I decided enough was enough and attacked hard out of turn #4 passing probably 15-20 people (Lap 9). Then coming out of turn #8 on the same lap, I passed another 10 people. Then two laps later (Lap 11), I attacked hard at the same spot coming out of turn #4 and as I was attacking, I saw a chase group being formed. I made it into this chase group consisting of about 8 riders. This group worked well together and worked into a lead of about 10 seconds over the field. At this point, the chase group I was in was the third group on the road. The original break that had already formed with about 12 riders had split into a group of 5 and a group of 7. As our chase group started to close in on the group in front of us, I could tell from Chad’s announcing that that group was chasing a group of five with a small lead. It took about five or six laps to catch the second group somewhere around Lap 15.

At this point I heard Thomas Brown talking to Adam Myerson and could surmise that Thomas was about to attack so I swung to the inside coming out of turn #4 right as Thomas was attacking on the outside. I was able to pretty much immediately grab his wheel. It was a struggle though to stay there as Thomas absolutely drilled it for the rest of the lap. By the end of the lap, there was about 5 or 6 of us left as the second group on the road chasing 5 riders. Thomas had a Mountain Khakis teammate (Travis Livermon) with him. There was also a Bissell rider (Shane Kline), another rider with kit that has an eagle on the shorts, a Cleveland Clinic rider (Nick Inabinet), and me. We started rotating pretty well, but at least one rider was struggling and at one point the eagle rider opened up a gap coming out of turn #5. I was right behind him and was able to come around him and immediately onto the back of two riders in front of me. Only Nick (Cleveland Clinic) was able to chase around and catch back on so we were down to four riders at this point.

The four of us worked well together and brought the gap down to the 5 riders in front of us to 14 seconds. But we couldn’t bring it any closer and in the closing laps where we knew we weren’t going to catch them, the gap opened up again. With five laps to go, the Mountain Khakis duo attacked together, but Nick and I were both able to catch back on. We started working together again fearing the chasing group of six behind us would catch us. With two to go, Travis attacked going into turn #4 (popular place to attack for this race!) but took it too hot and almost went into the barriers. He recovered though and basically went to the front and drilled it to start a very long leadout for Thomas. Thomas ended up winning the sprint by 0.8 seconds with me and Nick tied on time behind him (I think it was my bike throw) and Travis only 0.1 seconds behind.

The data

Lap 1  0.8 mi 24.0 mph 339 watts 136 bpm 0:02:02
Lap 2  0.8 mi 27.5 mph 270 watts 161 bpm 0:01:49
Lap 3  0.8 mi 27.6 mph 271 watts 164 bpm 0:01:47
Lap 4  0.8 mi 27.3 mph 266 watts 168 bpm 0:01:49
Lap 5  0.8 mi 26.0 mph 268 watts 169 bpm 0:01:53
Lap 6  0.8 mi 27.8 mph 251 watts 170 bpm 0:01:47
Lap 7  0.8 mi 27.9 mph 282 watts 169 bpm 0:01:47
Lap 8  0.8 mi 26.9 mph 255 watts 170 bpm 0:01:51
Lap 9  0.8 mi 28.8 mph 343 watts 177 bpm 0:01:43
Lap 10 0.8 mi 27.7 mph 338 watts 182 bpm 0:01:46
Lap 11 0.8 mi 28.0 mph 300 watts 180 bpm 0:01:46
Lap 12 0.8 mi 27.5 mph 276 watts 181 bpm 0:01:48
Lap 13 0.8 mi 28.1 mph 299 watts 175 bpm 0:01:46
Lap 14 0.8 mi 28.7 mph 329 watts 184 bpm 0:01:43
Lap 15 0.8 mi 27.2 mph 285 watts 178 bpm 0:01:49
Lap 16 0.8 mi 28.1 mph 281 watts 183 bpm 0:01:46
Lap 17 0.8 mi 27.9 mph 267 watts 180 bpm 0:01:46
Lap 18 0.8 mi 27.2 mph 285 watts 182 bpm 0:01:49
Lap 19 0.8 mi 27.5 mph 287 watts 183 bpm 0:01:48
Lap 20 0.8 mi 27.0 mph 288 watts 181 bpm 0:01:51
Lap 21 0.8 mi 27.5 mph 269 watts 182 bpm 0:01:47
Lap 22 0.8 mi 27.6 mph 277 watts 180 bpm 0:01:48
Lap 23 0.8 mi 27.3 mph 267 watts 179 bpm 0:01:49
Lap 24 0.8 mi 27.5 mph 272 watts 179 bpm 0:01:48
Lap 25 0.8 mi 28.6 mph 341 watts 185 bpm 0:01:43
Lap 26 0.8 mi 27.5 mph 303 watts 187 bpm 0:01:49
Lap 27 0.8 mi 26.9 mph 270 watts 181 bpm 0:01:50
Lap 28 0.8 mi 27.7 mph 290 watts 178 bpm 0:01:46
Lap 29 0.8 mi 27.4 mph 263 watts 184 bpm 0:01:49
Lap 30 0.8 mi 26.3 mph 249 watts 177 bpm 0:01:53
Lap 31 0.8 mi 25.8 mph 258 watts 179 bpm 0:01:55
Lap 32 0.8 mi 26.3 mph 350 watts 177 bpm 0:01:53

The link to the interactive ride data on Strava is here: http://app.strava.com/rides/1104825.

Here is the graph from Golden Cheetah:

Day 2 – Salisbury Criterium – Heartrate/power/speed/cadence annotated

Day 1 – Crossroads Classic – Concord Criterium

Race Summary
This race was a new first for me … at just over 0.3 miles long, this is the shortest criterium course I have ever done. Despite the short distance, the course was safe with wide corners that you could carry your speed through. Turn 4 was the sharpest and most awkward corner that required the most acceleration coming out of, but even then you still could take the corner at well over 25mph. All the other corners, you could take at full speed (30+ mph on the faster laps). I ended up in two very nice looking breaks about halfway into the race and then later in the race. Both breaks were away for several laps, but both came back to the field. Ben Zawacki (Mountain Khakis) counter-attacked the second of these breaks and got away solo, eventually settling into a rhythm just behind the field less than 10 laps later to take the win solo. A couple other riders slipped off the front chasing and stayed away. The rest of us left in the field (maybe 30 or so riders out of 80 starters) were sprinting for 4th place. I ended up 18th wishing I had been more aggressive with 5 laps to go to be farther to the front when the pace ratcheted up for the final laps.

The details
Jockeying for a good position started before the race. I missed out on that battle, though, thinking that we had plenty of time to get a few practice laps of the course between the end of the 3s race right before ours. So I was on the backside of the course and joined in with the 3s on their cooldown lap only to find that the start/finish line was already packed with Pro/1/2 riders 4 or 5 rows deep. I slid in on the left and ended up starting 4th row. I had a good start, though, because the guy in front of me clipped in great but just about everyone else around him struggled to clip in. I was probably only 20 riders from the front by the 1st turn.

Keep in mind that with the scrum for the start line, we didn’t do any practice laps. So the first time I saw the corners was during the opening laps, which were pretty crazy. I hadn’t worked up the craziness courage yet to really rail the corners so I slid from about the top 20 to maybe somewhere in the middle of the group. It was hard to tell, though, because with the fast speed and constant turning you weren’t able to look much past the rider in front of you to figure out what was going on. And it was impossible to look behind you. I never once looked behind to see where anybody was – even when I was later in a couple breaks! I tried to gauge the race from Chad Andrews as he was announcing, and it sounded like Team Mountain Khakis and the Colombian National team were trying to get a break established very early.

I started to move up after maybe 15 laps or so when riders coming off the front were getting tired and looking for recovery. Also, even though the lap speeds stayed relatively constant, the group started to bunch up in two spots on the course. I took advantage of those two spots to pass five or six riders at a time. Sometimes, it didn’t work too well and I would get cut off in one of the corners or pushed to the outside if I was on the outside and end up losing all those positions back. I saw an opportunity about midrace to pass everyone and go straight into an attack. From the segment data (heartrate and power), it looks like it was maybe around Lap 34, 35, or 36. Chris Harkey (Hincapie Green) drove the break for the first two laps by himself. Then we started rotating pretty well and extended our lead to maybe 10 seconds? I was really hoping that we would see the back of the field soon and motivate us to lap the field. Unfortunately, the field was chasing hard and brought us back. A few laps later I found myself in another break. This one didn’t last as long, but it took us into the portion of the race where it started to rain. We were caught right as it started to rain. This is when Ben Zawacki put in a solo counter attack. I was thankful to be at the front for the light rain because it was just enough to make the course slick. I heard a crash in Turn 1 shortly after my own wheels started to slip in the corners. Then it stopped raining, and the course was completely dry by the time we hit five laps to go.

With Ben just off the back of the field deciding it was safer not to lap, Mountain Khakis was free to setup a leadout train and kept the pace really high for the last five laps. There wasn’t much change of position at all. I ended up 18th in the race which must have been about 14th in the field sprint with a couple riders slipping off in pursuit of Ben and staying away until the end.

Overall, I was happy with the race, but frustrated by the finish. My mistake was in not being aggressive enough with about 5 laps to go. If I had expended the extra energy at that point to move up, then the group’s momentum would have kept me closer to the front instead of sprinting somewhere mid pack to finish 18th, three spots out of the money. Oh well! Looking forward to tonight’s race which is a figure 8 (barbell) course. Should be fun!

Lap 1  0.3 mi 25.4 mph 421 watts 146 bpm 0:00:48
Lap 2  0.4 mi 26.5 mph 291 watts 172 bpm 0:00:46
Lap 3  0.3 mi 35.9 mph 321 watts 178 bpm 0:00:34
Lap 4  0.3 mi 29.0 mph 277 watts 179 bpm 0:00:42
Lap 5  0.3 mi 29.0 mph 272 watts 178 bpm 0:00:42
Lap 6  0.3 mi 29.0 mph 275 watts 179 bpm 0:00:42
Lap 7  0.3 mi 31.3 mph 288 watts 179 bpm 0:00:39
Lap 8  0.3 mi 29.0 mph 267 watts 178 bpm 0:00:42
Lap 9  0.3 mi 29.7 mph 264 watts 177 bpm 0:00:41
Lap 10 0.3 mi 28.4 mph 278 watts 176 bpm 0:00:43
Lap 11 0.3 mi 32.1 mph 276 watts 176 bpm 0:00:38
Lap 12 0.3 mi 29.7 mph 279 watts 177 bpm 0:00:41
Lap 13 0.3 mi 28.4 mph 229 watts 179 bpm 0:00:43
Lap 14 0.3 mi 29.7 mph 301 watts 185 bpm 0:00:41
Lap 15 0.3 mi 31.3 mph 263 watts 183 bpm 0:00:39
Lap 16 0.3 mi 30.5 mph 244 watts 180 bpm 0:00:40
Lap 17 0.3 mi 29.0 mph 314 watts 180 bpm 0:00:42
Lap 18 0.3 mi 33.0 mph 312 watts 183 bpm 0:00:37
Lap 19 0.3 mi 32.1 mph 280 watts 184 bpm 0:00:38
Lap 20 0.3 mi 30.5 mph 288 watts 183 bpm 0:00:40
Lap 21 0.3 mi 32.1 mph 290 watts 179 bpm 0:00:38
Lap 22 0.3 mi 31.3 mph 249 watts 179 bpm 0:00:39
Lap 23 0.3 mi 29.0 mph 283 watts 179 bpm 0:00:42
Lap 24 0.3 mi 32.1 mph 296 watts 181 bpm 0:00:38
Lap 25 0.3 mi 30.5 mph 277 watts 182 bpm 0:00:40
Lap 26 0.3 mi 28.4 mph 275 watts 181 bpm 0:00:43
Lap 27 0.3 mi 29.7 mph 279 watts 181 bpm 0:00:41
Lap 28 0.3 mi 29.7 mph 273 watts 182 bpm 0:00:41
Lap 29 0.3 mi 28.4 mph 264 watts 183 bpm 0:00:43
Lap 30 0.3 mi 33.9 mph 384 watts 184 bpm 0:00:36
Lap 31 0.3 mi 25.9 mph 200 watts 184 bpm 0:00:47
Lap 32 0.3 mi 28.4 mph 290 watts 175 bpm 0:00:43
Lap 33 0.3 mi 32.1 mph 287 watts 176 bpm 0:00:38
Lap 34 0.3 mi 28.4 mph 219 watts 178 bpm 0:00:43
Lap 35 0.3 mi 30.5 mph 279 watts 175 bpm 0:00:40
Lap 36 0.3 mi 30.5 mph 265 watts 177 bpm 0:00:40
Lap 37 0.3 mi 27.1 mph 328 watts 181 bpm 0:00:45
Lap 38 0.3 mi 28.4 mph 209 watts 183 bpm 0:00:43
Lap 39 0.3 mi 33.0 mph 304 watts 179 bpm 0:00:37
Lap 40 0.3 mi 29.0 mph 290 watts 179 bpm 0:00:42
Lap 41 0.3 mi 31.3 mph 317 watts 184 bpm 0:00:39
Lap 42 0.3 mi 29.0 mph 218 watts 185 bpm 0:00:42
Lap 43 0.3 mi 28.4 mph 275 watts 183 bpm 0:00:43
Lap 44 0.3 mi 30.5 mph 337 watts 183 bpm 0:00:40
Lap 45 0.3 mi 31.3 mph 315 watts 186 bpm 0:00:39
Lap 46 0.3 mi 26.5 mph 207 watts 182 bpm 0:00:46
Lap 47 0.3 mi 31.3 mph 334 watts 183 bpm 0:00:39
Lap 48 0.3 mi 31.3 mph 394 watts 186 bpm 0:00:39
Lap 49 0.3 mi 31.3 mph 319 watts 189 bpm 0:00:39
Lap 50 0.3 mi 31.3 mph 278 watts 188 bpm 0:00:39
Lap 51 0.3 mi 30.5 mph 281 watts 188 bpm 0:00:40
Lap 52 0.3 mi 29.0 mph 280 watts 186 bpm 0:00:42
Lap 53 0.3 mi 29.7 mph 298 watts 186 bpm 0:00:41
Lap 54 0.3 mi 29.7 mph 230 watts 186 bpm 0:00:41
Lap 55 0.3 mi 29.7 mph 245 watts 183 bpm 0:00:41
Lap 56 0.3 mi 29.7 mph 267 watts 182 bpm 0:00:41
Lap 57 0.3 mi 27.7 mph 261 watts 183 bpm 0:00:44
Lap 58 0.3 mi 30.5 mph 337 watts 183 bpm 0:00:40
Lap 59 0.3 mi 28.4 mph 201 watts 184 bpm 0:00:43
Lap 60 0.3 mi 28.4 mph 269 watts 179 bpm 0:00:43
Lap 61 0.3 mi 29.0 mph 248 watts 181 bpm 0:00:42
Lap 62 0.3 mi 32.1 mph 264 watts 183 bpm 0:00:38
Lap 63 0.3 mi 29.0 mph 226 watts 182 bpm 0:00:42
Lap 64 0.3 mi 29.0 mph 236 watts 181 bpm 0:00:42
Lap 65 0.3 mi 25.4 mph 263 watts 180 bpm 0:00:48
Lap 66 0.3 mi 27.7 mph 235 watts 181 bpm 0:00:44
Lap 67 0.3 mi 25.9 mph 224 watts 180 bpm 0:00:47
Lap 68 0.3 mi 26.5 mph 317 watts 180 bpm 0:00:46
Lap 69 0.3 mi 29.0 mph 234 watts 184 bpm 0:00:42
Lap 70 0.3 mi 26.5 mph 301 watts 183 bpm 0:00:46
Lap 71 0.3 mi 26.5 mph 245 watts 183 bpm 0:00:46
Lap 72 0.3 mi 26.5 mph 205 watts 182 bpm 0:00:46
Lap 73 0.3 mi 28.4 mph 324 watts 181 bpm 0:00:43
Lap 74 0.3 mi 30.5 mph 276 watts 186 bpm 0:00:40
Lap 75 0.3 mi 27.7 mph 244 watts 185 bpm 0:00:44
Lap 76 0.3 mi 28.4 mph 280 watts 186 bpm 0:00:43
Lap 77 0.3 mi 30.5 mph 259 watts 187 bpm 0:00:40
Lap 78 0.3 mi 29.7 mph 235 watts 186 bpm 0:00:41
Lap 79 0.3 mi 29.0 mph 284 watts 186 bpm 0:00:42
Lap 80 0.3 mi 33.9 mph 362 watts 188 bpm 0:00:36
Lap 81 0.3 mi 14.9 mph 17 watts  170 bpm 0:01:22
Lap 82 0.4 mi 4.1 mph  19 watts  127 bpm 0:04:56

Interactive Strava data is available here – http://app.strava.com/rides/1083519

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!