Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Playing Catch-up Part 2: Sea Otter (4/19/15)

Coming to Sea Otter, I was stoked. I couldn't wait to get to the venue and check out all the booths to see what was new in the cycling world, as well as go out on the cross country course and see all the great views this place has to offer. After my pre-ride, I couldn't wait to race. The 24-mile course was full of fast roads and amazing single track sections that kept the course exciting and fun.

On race day morning I woke up with the goal to make sure that I stayed on the leader's wheel and be in contention for the sprint finish. After my performance last weekend, I felt that if I was able to be up with the top guys, I would have the ability to make my way to the podium again.

Once I completed my warm up, I headed over to staging and waited for the start of my race. By the time the tandem and single speed classes had gone off, I was ready to go. When the announcer said, "Go!" I was off. During the start, there were multiple attacks for the first 200 yards, but once we reached the first climb on the road, it seemed that everybody just sat up and waited until we got off the road and onto the gravel roads, where even more attacks took place. During these sections I made my goal to stay in the top five and try to do as little work as possible.

Leaving the gravel for the paved road again, someone attacked again, making it difficult to stay up front and I got shuffled to the back 10, where I stayed going into the single track. We soon came up on the tandems, and I found it very difficult to pass. The top 3 guys got around and then got a good gap on myself and the rest of the pack I was with. For the rest of that single track climb, I spent my time hammering to catch the leaders, who always seemed only a few yards up ahead. I was still chasing the leaders when the 17-18 juniors caught me. So, I hopped on their wheels, thinking that I'd have a chance to catch the leaders in my group. By making this move, I dropped all but one other guy in my class, and found that I was slowly catching the leaders. Unfortunately for me, this strategy also proved to be my downfall in this race. I spent so much energy chasing that my body ended up shutting down, losing power and gaining extreme lower back pain.

The other racer I was riding with soon passed and dropped me, moving into 3rd place. For the rest of the race I did everything I could to maintain my position. At the end of the race I ended up finishing a disappointing 14th place. I didn't finish nearly where I wanted to at this race, but I think it was another great learning experience. Additionally, I had a great time hanging out with my team and getting to meet or become reacquainted with our team sponsors.

1 comment:

  1. Great job. I enjoy how you critique your races and find ways to improve. Always proud of your accomplishments.