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That was definitely a learning experience. I placed myself way too far back in the pack and didn't have the room to move up when it mattered. Overall, course was fantastic, weather ... morewas beautiful, and the organizers did a great job of hosting one fun bike race! I wish I could rewind the clock and stick in the front of the group, because once the race got rolling it was pretty tough to move up. Oh well, there's always next year!

Thanks to Gu for providing me with the delicious, and performance enhancing Gu Roctane Energy Drink mix! It kept the legs fresh for the final sprint even if my own tactics prevented me from being able to contest it where I wanted to be.
Cyclist:
Report Date:
Saturday, 20 Jan, 2018
First race of the season was a memorial race for Tommy Ketterhagen in Oatmeal,TX just west of Austin, TX. We raced here exactly a year ago together with Tommy. I took some pictures ... moreof him. One week later he was hit by a shady schoolmate driving recklessly in a truck in a hit and run that killed him on the spot.

This year I was in the 80 mile Pro / Cat 1 / Cat 2 race. Racing as a Cat 2. The field was 80+ strong with 3+ professional riders. The wind was pretty strong yesterday. We raced on a loop that had couple hills with head wind and 2 sections with side wind that were perfect for guttering people. Everything stayed together for almost a lap. Group was pretty large, road was fairly narrow, and it was extremely hard to move up. There just wasn’t any space.

Right before the side wind section I saw some activity and decided to move up. A bunch of CCR (race team) went on the attack and the rest of them were acting like a bottle cork, blocking the road for the rest. Once the cork loosened up on the turn the first selection was made. I chased on to the CCR majority group, got there in time for the hammer drop, looked back and… we had a gap that started growing.

After the race 2 people came over and told me that I made “The selection”. Apparently, “The selection” is a fancy, fairly large, breakaway where the pros drop the hammer on a crosswind section and gutter everybody only to see who can hang. If Seinfeld was a bike racer he would for sure make an episode called “The selection”.

Right before lap 4 fairly large group of about 20 riders made the bridge to us. Alan was in it. Alright! Now we were a decent sized group again. I was near the end of the group when we hit the same sidewind gutter section. Big mistake. The hammer was dropped by about 15 guys in the front and a gap started opening again. 10 of us started chasing. Alan & Eli pulled the plug, since they were probably gassed from bridging before. It was about 5 of us left. I was pulling full gas. Everything I had. My only thought was to get to the downhill section so that I can crash into the aero tuck and die. I managed to get to the downhill… aero tuck… I’m closing on the group…. I think… I just looked at my front wheel… heart rate coming down… I look up and I see the group… another pull I look back and I see only David W behind me. I’m thinking he’ll just pull to the front and finish the bridge since I was pulling him. Man was I wrong. He just attacked me and joined solo. It’s rough out there. I just got dumped. Ouch. I dug extra deep for another 30 seconds gave it all I had and managed to bridge. So much pain. Now we were about 22 guys. Later on, I looked at Gevin G strava on this section. His average heart rate for those 7 minutes was 185 with max at 193 and he was dumping 400 or 500 watts when he was pedaling while being somewhere in the group.

After that chase my legs were shot. Winter training was about long steady miles. This was not it. Definitely was not ready for those kinds of efforts. Never the less, I was in the group and determined. Somewhere in here my favorite German in Austin, Stefan Rothe(rothetraining.com), asked me if I was going to write this report, not long before going on a solo attack for half a lap. Watts!

Last loop, my legs starting to cramp. I see the downhill section coming right before the finish uphill sprint. I get into the tuck… passed the whole group to 3rd wheel. Great position, if only I had the legs for the sprint. Nope. I managed a measly seated sprint for 18th place.

Considering only 20+ guys finished in the front group and all of them Cat 1s, my 4-hour/week average training in Jan with two, week long, trips to Chicago in the past month and a half. I consider myself lucky to be among the finishing group.

My dad would always ask me to write those reports and would religiously read them. He kept asking me when was the next race. He passed away 2 weeks ago from cancer. Wish he was still here to read this.

Our NightOwls.Bike team did great. Mark Bozarth-Dreher finished 2nd in cat 5 race. Andrew Martin and Ramsey Foster both finished top 10 in Cat 3 race.

Can’t wait to get out new kits in Feb. They are sick! We are long overdue for a new look.

Thanks to our sponsors: @bradleylhouston @313longboards @neloscycles, rubble trucking company, Thea.com, Tudor McLeod Asset Management
Report Date:
Saturday, 20 Jan, 2018
Texas Road Race championships went better than I was expecting. The course was 103 miles with close to 6000 feet of climbing. Being 6’4” and 193 pounds I’m not big on climbing.... more

Race started super easy. It was about 40 category 2’s from around Texas with some guests from Colorado.

First attack went when everybody was just talking and warming up. I didn’t even pay attention to that one. Lots of strong guys in the group were with me. After 50 miles or so they had over 3 minutes. At that point people started getting worried a bit.

The course was hilly. I could use my Froome super tuck to bring couple breaks that went on the downhill and even go on an attack myself with another guy. Didn’t stick.

Feed zone broke the elastic. The pack was getting guttered before and people dropping. Only 50% of the starters finished the race. I had a choice of getting a water or chasing. I chose water. On the downhill I tied to close the gap but didn’t have much help and Preston & Lucas really hit it out of the ballpark. Good for them.

I used that Froome super tuck quite a lot. I’ve been perfecting it. It’s amazing how much faster it is. Science! Most people can’t even hold my wheel when I get into it, even when they pedal. I can easily create 200 feet gap on a good downhill. Also, it’s a nice position to rest in and it’s pretty stable. I would not call it dangerous. In order for it to work you really need to have your shoulders on the handlebars. It actually makes your handlebars more stable and it’s impossible to get the speed wobble (on old Trek 5900 I had) that way, but definitely takes some practice.

Last half lap it was only 8 of us left. You could see everybody was suffering. It was just a matter of who can sprint through the cramps. 1K to go. One of the good climbing dudes decided to try his luck. We brought him back in. 600 meters to go. He goes again. I react. Maybe he’s got it. Nop. He fades quickly. At this point I don’t have a choice. I’m at full speed might as well try and stick it. I can feel 2 guys on my wheel. I slow down a bit on the 200-meter line. Too see if anybody of them would go so that I can get on their wheel. Nobody goes. I get out of the saddle and bury myself. I’m not even looking forward. Trying to stay as aero as possible. I could hear somebody behind me. 30 meters to go. We are all cramping bad. I hear…. shit…. and I know somebody gave up. The guy behind me had a bad cramp. I knew I had it. Well, at least the pack sprint.

Managed to get 5th on the Texas podium and 7th overall. First Cat 2 podium. Barely squeezed in. So awesome to be there. Everybody on the podium was between 17 and 21 years old and 50 pounds lighter. I’m pretty sure I’m going to see all those guys on TV in a couple years. Great group of guys. My best result for far.
Report Date:
Saturday, 16 Sep, 2017
my last cat 3 race. not the result I wanted, but looking forward to doing some real racing in the future.
Cyclist:
Report Date:
Saturday, 16 Sep, 2017
Good race today. We only had 2 guys registered in the p12 so they combined us. Chris Hanson and couple guys decided to go from the gun. I tried following. Got out of the saddle and… ... moreclick click... click. Broken rear spoke the first 100 meters of the race.

Those are brand new Reynolds wheels. Figured if I bent the spoke around I might be able to continue. By the time I got back was already couple minutes down.

I could see people dropping off the back and tried to get some of them on my wheel. Maybe we could get something going. You know the pace is high when people dropping on the first lap. Not good timing to be off the back.

One guy got on my wheel and rotated with me for 2 pulls. I was thankful for that. But the pack was gone. Figured I'll just time trial it as hard as I can and make it a good workout.

Kinda sucks, after a month off my road bike because of broken cranks and now this - broken spokes. But I'll take it.

I was still going hard solo. Around the the beginning of the 3rd lap I started seeing the pack was ahead. I put in another extra effort. I was closing. I got them right before the beginning of the 4th lap. I’ve soloed about 35 miles by myself. Was spent and cramping in my glutes.

Thought to myself. That new position is working great. Those are the exact muscles I want to use and make larger & more efficient. Large muscle group, non rotational weight.

Once I got to the pack I just sat in it and tried to recover. Lungs were good. Legs were shot. It all came down to mass sprint. I couldn't even get out of the saddle. Hurting bad. I saw Samir going for it. Managed to pass couple guys and got on his wheel last 50 meters & rolled for 2nd. Congrats to Samir! Good job. Chappell hill next week. Good to be back racing.
Report Date:
Saturday, 2 Sep, 2017
Good week on the bike. Didn't crash and didn't cause any crashes. Got 10th in DW P123 & 7th in Crockett, TX in P12. Figured out how to hydrate and eat on those long 80 miles races ... morewithout cramping. I'm trying to do 100 miles in hotter than hell in the P12 front group. Hard task but probably achievable. Learned a lesson or two in the last Crockett 80 race. What worked in San Marvelous didn't work this time around. The biggest difference was how people react to attacks when there's one very dominant team. When there were no teams in San Marvelous race everybody chased everything. So I could just wait till the 3rd or 4th person and then go. When there's a dominant team in the race, like Giant from Dallas. Nobody wants to chase. Because they know that once they bring the break, another teammate will go. Also, once you have the magic makeup of correct colors in the break the rest of the team will just sit up, even the strongest member of the team will sit up and not work. So if you are solo, you either have to know which break to go with (experience) or try and chase everything. The most important part is not to sit 3rd or 4th wheel. Because the attacks usually go from 7th or 8th wheel. So sitting around 10th is probably ideal for chasing. I was trying to sit on the Giant's leader rear wheel usually in the front. But all he was doing is lifting his finger, and another loyal teammate would attack from the back. It took me couple tries to figure that out. By that point it was too late. His team mate went and would not return. As far as hydration and nutrition, for me personally it takes about 3 Gatorade bottles, 5 water bottles, 7 gels and 2 salt pills to not get cramps and feel good at the end of 80 miles.
Report Date:
Tuesday, 18 Jul, 2017
Cyclist:
Report Date:
Sunday, 9 Jul, 2017
It's not easy to race after driving 20 hrs! That's just how I want to preface this report. This was a Cat 2/3 combined race featuring many national caliber teams and even some international ... moresquads. It was a fast paced, 281 weighted average watts, 184 bpm, 50 min sufferfest through beautiful downtown Waukesha, Wisconsin. The course was phenomenal, featuring beautiful pavement, and a brief uphill, and then a blistering hairpin turn back onto the finishing stretch. I held my position in the middle of the pack the whole race, despite having to unclip and put my foot down behind a crash after about 15 min of racing. At the start/finish line on the bell lap I took a flyer from the group and went into the next three turns first but didn't get much of a gap. Heart rate for the last lap averaged 199 bpm, and after that acceleration I didn't have anything else left in the tank for the finishing sprint. I ended up mid pack, but still on my bike, which I will call a success.
Cyclist:
Report Date:
Sunday, 18 Jun, 2017
Cyclist:
Report Date:
Thursday, 8 Jun, 2017
Cyclist:
Report Date:
Tuesday, 30 May, 2017