Lake Lincoln boat ramp – no alligators here 😦 – the circuit race basically circled the lake. The windiest parts of the course were exposed to the lake or surrounding fields on the far side of the lake.
Starting at the very back of the circuit race – at the bottom of the first long downhill, I was the last person in the entire field. I think that is the first time in more than two years that I’ve ever been at the very back of a race. It’s just not a very good place to be in a race. You can’t respond to anything, you have to hit the brakes and then accelerate – but the draft is pretty good on downhills.
4th (Pat) and 8th (me) in a late race break that ended up putting more than a minute into the field and boosting Pat from 14th in the GC to 5th and me from 18th in the GC to 7th.
Pat and I were pretty far down in the GC based on our time trial times, so the only hope of moving up would be a break that put time on the field. The circuit race course was the same 6 mile loop that we raced last year. I rode pretty aggressively last year, and every move came back so I decided to ride a bit more conservatively this year. I was in a good position on the second to last lap when Michael McBrien (Subaru) rolled off the front after the first turn on the course. I immediately thought “how cool would that be if he could win our race” because his twin brother had just won the 3/4 race about 2 hours earlier. As I was pondering this scenario, the current race leader Mat Davis (Team LaS’port) attacked to bridge across to Michael. I had an opening on the left since I was near the front and jumped hard after about 1 second of hesitation. It ended up taking about 30 seconds of chasing with a nasty crosswind blowing from the right to close the gap to Mat and Michael.
I was so focused on making the bridge that I wasn’t aware of what was happening behind and whether or not the field was hesitating or right there. When I turned to look, I saw that we had a gap and that there were people chasing. But the most important thing I saw was that all the major teams were represented – Herring Gas, Team La’Sport, Subaru, and ThinkFinance. So I immediately went to the front and pulled us to the beginning of the rough section of the course. Through the rough section of the course, the crosswind was pretty bad so it was hard to get into a rotation. Some people were hurting and skipping pulls so I ended up having to come around from a long ways back going into the final turn at the end of the lap. This left Russ Walker on the front for a while, and he absolutely drilled it all the way up the hill and across the top. Then we got into a good rotation again until Mat attacked – I think he really wanted to win the race solo this year. Caleb Fuchs (ThinkFinance) made it across to him – but Caleb was saving up for the sprint so they didn’t work and I was able to pull them back. Then from that point to the end, nobody wanted to work. I could see the field closing in on us, and I knew we needed the time split to move up in the GC so I sacrificed my chances at the final sprint and pushed it as hard as I could all the way until the 200m sign at which point Mat came around to start the sprint. He held onto it to take the win with Michael McBrien a very close 2nd followed by Caleb in 3rd, my teammate Pat Allison in 4th, and Caleb’s teammate Travis Kroph in 5th. Woody Boudreaux (Herring Gas) had a great weekend of racing taking the next spot in 6th combined with time bonuses from the criterium and road race to take 4th overall for the weekend. Woody’s teammate, Jordan Lambert, got 7th and I came in at the end of the bunch for 8th. We finished over a minute ahead of the field, which was enough to move Pat up to 5th place overall and me up to 7th place overall.
Again I had problems with data for this race … my speed sensor was bumped so my iBike shut off about 3/4 of the way through the fourth of five laps. Still, it did catch the moment that our break was established as annotated in the graph below.
CIRCUIT RACE - 8th place Missing last 1.25 laps (8 miles or so) Dist: 24.53 mi (0:57:04) Energy: 819.1 kJ Cals Burn: 783.1 kcal Braking: -0.9 kJ (-0.1%) Min Avg Max Power 0 239.2 1196 W Aero 0 185.2 1120 W Rolling 0 33.3 53 W Gravity -845 -5.0 832 W Speed 0.0 25.8 40.8 mi/h Wind 0.0 17.9 40.2 mi/h Elev 203 255 357 ft Slope -7.7 -0.06 8.8 % Caden 0 85.3 114 rpm HR 96 145.6 181 bpm NP:293W IF:1.06 TSS:106 VI:1.23 CdA: 0.342 m^2; Crr: 0.0039 168 lbs; 4/15/2012 10:56 AM 89 degF; 1013 mbar