Big thanks to Carson Glasscock for another great Tour de Cullman ride/race/party! Lots of folks lined up for the start in front of Carson’s house with Smith Lock, Velocity Pro Cycles, and Tria all having good representation. We rolled out under beautiful weather and made our way through the rolling countryside. I had been sick all week, and my lungs were full of congestion, so I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel.
When we made it across the two-lane plank bridge, my teammate Paul Tower leapt out of the pack first on the steep 10+% opening hill on his commuter box bike with another teammate Stuart Lamp close on his wheel. A BBC rider kept the pressure on in the chase with me waiting on his wheel. Paul and Stuart continued to pull away until Omar Fraser (Smith Lock) came to the front with additional horsepower. Omar led the group as we turned left onto the super steep first hill. My teammate Sammy Flores gave it a go at the bottom of the 12+% hill with an attack, but Omar slowly brought it back. By the top of the 1/2 mile climb, Omar’s steady, hard pace had also brought Stuart back and shelled most of the group. I wasn’t going to be driving the pace today not feeling well, so our pace eased back enough across the top that we had a group of six or seven riders coalesce, but the next hill whittled us back down to five. Omar attacked across the bottom of the hill after that, and only Stuart and I were able to keep up. Ed Whitehorn (Velocity) and David (Smith Lock) clawed their way back up to us. We went hard over all the rollers, and Ed put in a good attack on one of them. I attacked to bridge up, and the two of us started working together, but Omar brought us back.
So our group of five was all back together at the bottom of Skyball: me, Omar, Ed, David, and Stuart. Omar led us onto the climb with a tailwind this year up the climb. Omar pushed the pace hard at the bottom whittling the group down to just three — me, Ed, and Omar. I pulled through towards the end of the false flat / downhill after the first step of the climb. Then Omar came back to the front right as we hit the super steep part turning onto Fat Dunn rd. I felt that I could climb that part faster so I went back to the front and drilled it getting a gap. By the top, I had extended my lead a bit, but I was still worried about the rough road across the top knowing that Omar could make up the ground he lost on the steep part. So I pushed hard all the way until the final turn, final sprint, accordion player, and the finish line. Omar came in a minute or so later with Ed about another minute behind to round out the podium. David and Stuart sprinted it out for fourth with David coming in just ahead of Stuart. Paul came in next — pretty impressive on the box bike — with Kevin just behind him. Then I believe it was James Hall and Rick followed a little bit later by Sammy, who was having an off-day feeling sick, too.
Beautiful tailwind on the way back, awesome pasta dinner and beer party, fun time reminiscing about the ride, the season, and life! Thanks Carson for making this fun event happen year after year!
Check out my heartrate and power data for the KOM portion and the complete ride:
Power data - KOM/race Dist: 17.26 mi (0:55:38) Energy: 748.0 kJ Cals Burn: 715.1 kcal Climbing: 1988 ft Braking: -8.3 kJ (-1.1%) Min Avg Max Power 0 224.1 765 W Aero 0 95.2 762 W Rolling 0 24.8 55 W Gravity -1505 47.7 658 W Speed 0.0 18.6 41.3 mi/h Wind 9.7 18.2 35.6 mi/h Elev 244 559 952 ft Slope -11.0 0.75 15.2 % Caden 0 77.3 141 rpm HR 94 162.1 190 bpm NP 298 W; IF 1.076; TSS 107.3 CdA: 0.342 m^2; Crr: 0.0039 173 lbs; 10/23/2010 1:29 PM 83 degF; 1011 mbar
Power data - complete ride Dist: 60.09 mi (3:17:38) Energy: 1900.9 kJ Cals Burn: 1817.3 kcal Climbing: 4256 ft Braking: -114.1 kJ (-6.0%) Min Avg Max Power 0 160.3 765 W Aero 0 85.9 1137 W Rolling 0 24.3 64 W Gravity -1821 2.8 693 W Speed 0.0 18.2 48.2 mi/h Wind 9.7 17.0 37.9 mi/h Elev 243 473 952 ft Slope -12.8 0.05 15.2 % Caden 0 77.5 141 rpm HR 76 136.7 190 bpm NP 239 W; IF 0.861; TSS 244.4 CdA: 0.342 m^2; Crr: 0.0039 173 lbs; 10/23/2010 12:07 PM 84 degF; 1011 mbar
- The steep hill after the two-lane plank bridge
- Omar comes to the front
- Omar pushes the pace up the first steep hill
- Omar attacks, only Stuart and I able to follow
- Ed attacks, I bridge, Omar chases
- The bottom step of Skyball
- The top step of Skyball
- The easy ride on the way out
- The KOM/race portion of the ride
- The fun/hard/fast ride with a tailwind on the way back in