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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
Fresh off cat 2 upgrade. 83-mile road race is the standard now. San Marvelous was this weekend and I decided to give it a go. We drove with Freedom in the morning. All equipment was ... moregood and nothing broken, weren’t late. Awesome! Freedom was going for the cat 3 race. Michael Sheehan and Nick were in my race. Both professional cyclists. We had about 20 people start the P12 race. My goal was to stay with the pack. Apparently, smaller races are actually harder. It’s counter intuitive. But it’s true. When you have a lot of people you can just hide & suck wheels in the pack, but when you have 20 people when half of them drop in the first lap there’s nowhere to hide, single file and you are in for 80 miles of pain.

In a normal cat 3 race the first half of the race everybody usually chills in the pack and the second half is where the action is. Not in this race. From the gun. The guys attacked for a whole lap, as many times as it took, until the elastic broke. Nick averaged 336 watts with the 700 watt attacks for the first 26 minutes, once we made the turn, and he didn’t even get into the break. And that was just first lap warm up. It was brutal. This is how it works. You have guys launching like a missile from the back. Some people hesitate then someone decides to chase and the pack stretches out. Once the guy is caught somebody else goes and the process repeats until a break establishes. And they did it 20 times. I chased couple of those and even went to the front myself. Soon I realized I can’t do it for 80 miles so instead of chasing first wheel I would chase 3rd or 4th wheel. At one point, I got caught in the back and had to bridge - pedal to the metal for 40 seconds. Luckily, 3 guys Sheehan, Das Wow & CCR got away and 7 of us started the chase. That was the end of the first lap. Out of 20 guys only 10 remained.

The next 5 laps were pretty much time trial / break-away pace where the guys would echelon for the whole time. 5-20 seconds pulls in the front. We were rotating. It was 6 of us. 1 guy dropped after deciding to smash it up the hill. That was super stupid. At about lap 4 I realized If matched their watts I wouldn’t make it the whole 80 miles so I started chilling more and more in the back and skipping pulls. At the same time, I was trying to eat those shot blocks I got in HEB. Never again. GU Gels work for me Shot blocks made my stomach cramp really bad. I felt like puking. It was horrible.

Lap 5 we managed to catch Michael Sheehan break-away. 1 das wow and 1 CCR guy that was with Michael dropped so now it was 7 of us. All that remained of the race.

Last lap was again like the first. Constant attacks and lulls. But nothing would go. I guess people were tired. They are human after all. It all came down to an uphill sprint. I decided to go. Managed to get of out the saddle for probably 50 meters then had to sit down. Every pedal stroke was a cramp. Real Pain. Managed to get 5th of out of 7 guys that finished. I stayed with the pack. All I could ask for the first race.
Report Date:
Sunday, 14 May, 2017
Cyclist:
Report Date:
Sunday, 7 May, 2017
Cyclist:
Report Date:
Sunday, 7 May, 2017
Last Sunday I wanted to race with my bros Freedom & Alan. This was our first cat 3 race together. You know, special occasion type of race. We got to the start late as usual (not ... moremy fault this time) and barely made the race. I had time to put one or two pins in my number before the race started. And was trying to put another one at the back of the race with one hand. No dice. Just pricked myself. I need to work on my fine motor skills.

Anyway, the goal was to try and help Freedom and Alan since I was thinking for sure my wheel wouldn’t last till the end. I just got those new 62mm Reynolds tubeless wheels. But I didn’t put sealant in the front tire testing to see what would happen. Well, without sealant it loses about 20-30 psi an hour. Unfortunately, I found that out too late on Sat night and all the bike shops were already closed. So, I asked Jake to give me his CO2 during the beginning of the race since I didn’t have a baggie. Thinking I would top it off during the second lap. We tried to get it out, but it’s not so easy when you are in the middle of a race. We gave up. Chased back on.

It’s was a 55-mile flat windy race. 2 loops. Perfect for plus size dudes & dudettes. During the first loop, couple miles in, 2 guys went ahead and the pack didn’t react. Fine with me. I was happy & preoccupied, sitting in for the whole first lap probing and waiting to see what would happen to my front tire. It was super windy and chill pace if you knew where to find the sweet spot to draft to avoid the wind.

On the second lap, to my surprise, my front tire was still fine. Great! The pace didn’t really change and the break in the front was nowhere to be seen. At this point, something needed to be done about that break, I felt good, didn’t hit the front even once on the first lap. I decided to rock the boat little bit. Start attacking. Figured, I’ll attack once or twice see if we can get something going. Freedom came along couple times with me, then other guys went to the front and we picked up the pace and the attacks. Freedom was having his own issues with brake rub. So, bad day for him. I went again to the front in the tailwind section trying to inject some pace. All of a sudden I hear go, go, go! I turn around and I see this strong Elevate dude sitting on my wheel and we have a 30-foot gap. Damn, wrong dude on my wheel but ok, he’s strong - so I’ll work with him. I’m thinking we’ll go and make the other strong fellas chase us & tire them out while Alan & Freedom chill and suck wheels. It kinda worked. Alan managed to win the pack sprint at the end.

Back to the break. Our break happened about 16 miles to go and the pack was chasing, keeping us in sight, 30 seconds behind. We kept working & rotating every 30 seconds. The Elevate dude kept motivating me: “So and so many miles to go”. I kept thinking those new wheels really work well. Man, I felt like I got a 30 watt boost to my FTP. Or maybe, it was the old bearings on my 8-year-old Easton’s. Who cares? It works.

We passed through those Texas cobbles once again and I noticed that my back wheel all of a sudden is way out of true. Shnit! Those pot holes! Later I found out that 3 of the non-drive side spokes were completely loose. Good thing I didn’t taco that wheel.

Anyways, we finally get to the final headwind section. The pack is still 30 seconds behind. And I see one solo guy in the front. He managed to drop his companion that we passed couple miles back. I’m thinking we got this. At one point, he was 90 seconds ahead. Now we only have to close about 45 seconds. I actually love the headwind in a break for 2 reasons. First, it’s suits me better. You hammer for 30 seconds then completely rest for 30. Kinda like short sprints. It’s not consistent FTP effort. Second, the pack usually gets really disorganized in a headwind. Nobody wants to pull into the wind, and torture themselves. No good rotation. Everybody is thinking – why me?

2 K to go and we finally catch the solo dude. Wait, What? I look up and see Jonah Norton. Hellloo! I’m happy to see him. He was probably not happy to see us. :/

1K to go. It’s 3 of us. I’m getting flashbacks to the classics I’ve been watching. The pack is nowhere to be seen and I’m thinking. We are almost there! We made it! Let the cat & mouse games begin! Nop! The Elevate dude just went to the front and drilled it. Why? Fine, I’m happy to get dragged to the 200-meter line.

At this point, Johan is for sure spent from his solo massive effort and the Elevate dude just drilled himself. Nothing left to do but sprint to the line. I cross the finish line with around 2 seconds gap. No more cat 3 RR for me. Will upgrade for next RR.

Driveway Update.

I managed to get the driveway 3/4 leaders jersey last series, courtesy of Lucas not showing up. Many thanks to his parents for not driving him anymore from Houston. Phew!

So today was the first Pro 1/2/3 race where I didn’t have to race the 3/4 before. Definitely makes a huge difference. The P123 crits are a lot about position. Unlike the cat 3 road races where the strongest usually wins and crits to some extent. Unless you missed the break.

Here, every single guy is a beast that can handle the bike really well. We had TDF pro race with us today. This causes the bikes to go a lot faster and closer. Especially in the last lap. Whereas in Cat 3 I could somewhat easily get the position that I wanted, here it’s an all-out d$#k punch in the last lap. Super aggressive! If you make a mistake you will lose couple bike lengths in a second. The bikes are so close that if you look back – down you go by slamming into the wheel in front of you. That’s what happened today. Bad crash! 2 feet to my right side. Broken collarbone, punctured lung. Sounded & looked horrible. Catching wheel at 35mph sucks a#@ bigly! I had to fly out to a small patch of grass and then catch on to the field. Heal up buddy. 😊

Back to the race. It’s the speed loop. Last lap, I see Tolley. Great, just the right amount of watts to follow. I manage to get on his wheel as he passes by. I make a mistake on the turn and lose 2 positions. Shnit! 800 meters to go. Sitting probably around 12th. I can’t get a good draft. The guy to my left - won’t let me in. He couldn’t care less. Not scared and won’t let me in. Can’t make him move or get in. Fine! Eating wind! 600 meters to go. Somebody yells from behind. Go Dennis Go. Damn! I’m thinking they want a good wind block as lead out. I’m also thinking that somebody has confidence in me that I can go at all at this point. No idea who it was. We are probably at 36mph now. Cool. So, I go. Sprint! I managed to pass couple guys. The problem is that I can’t put my head down and be aero. We are at around 40mph at this point. Some guys pop. I have to go around some people and see where I’m going. Manage to cling to …. 7th. Alright! Alright! Alright! Pretty excited about it. Top 10 in the P123 is a big deal for me.
Report Date:
Friday, 5 May, 2017
Most intense race I’ve been in. Race started fairly easy. Then, first lap people started trying to break away. Nothing went. I’m not sure why it felt like a 62 mile criterium race, ... morebut nothing could stay away. Maybe because it had all the top dogs (Eli & Lucas the national champs, winners of Sealy & Fayettville from previous weeks, strong dudes from Dallas and Oklahoma). Maybe it was the hilly terrain, maybe lack of wind, maybe the turns, but people would not let anything go. It took me a while to warm up and I started feeling good only in the second half of the race.

At one point around lap 6 or 7, I rolled to the front and did my 30 second pull. Waved the elbow, then the hand. Then I heard “sandbagger”! I tried to go left then right. Nobody would pull through. Fine, I did another small 30 second pull. Same thing, snaking around the road nobody would come through. I felt like that Utah GOP congressman, Jason Chaffetz, at a town hall. Chairs were about to be thrown at me any moment. Honestly, it was not my business to go fast, especially with all those hills. I’m happy to go 10mph and wait for the sprint. Crowds wanted balls to the wall, I didn’t. I was happy to sit on their wheel and wait. That’s the game. Though, I did have to chase 150 foot gap break a lap later.

Lap 8 or 9, I was again chilling in the pack and all of a sudden Eli attacked up the big hill on the north side. Dropped everybody except 4 guys or so. I was a bit boxed in and once I got to the top of the hill they were already 150 feet away. Started chasing and managed to connect at the right turn to the south. At this point the field was neutralized. Actually, I’m not exactly sure when the field was neutralized but I think it was at this point. It was great for me since I could rest, but I still think I could have sat on their wheel as at this point and recover as it was a downhill section and one thing I do well is go downhill. But it was horrible luck for Eli to do all this work and then get neutralized once you get a break going.

Lap 10, learned my lesson, Eli goes and attacks up the big hill again, stretches the whole field into a single line. All of a sudden I hear that sound as if bones are breaking behind me. Crash #1: Up the hill! Now, we started going at a pretty good pace I’m sitting top 10 position. Feeling good. Great place to be.

Around 3K to go. Official’s motorcycle rolls in on us. We are neutralized?! What?! It’s 3K to go and we are hammering it full force. All kind of expletives start flying at the official. I was pretty upset as well. Adrenaline red lining here. P/1 field is passing us to finish. Most of the front pack passed without a problem but now there’s a trail of P/1 “stragglers” and they are not able to pass us quickly. Finally, at 1K to go we are released like a raging bull from a cage. I’m sitting a bit to the side 4th or 5th wheel. Going downhill… All of a sudden: Crash #2 behind me somewhere. Don’t look back! Sounded really bad. 300 meters… 3rd wheel. I’m trying not to sprint and see if anybody will start first so that I can get some draft. I feel like the front 2 begin to slow down. Ohh hell no, I’m not going to slow down I’ll get swamped alive. At this point I was feeling fresh, angry about the neutralizations (even though probably in my favor) and full of adrenaline. The best way to sprint. Got in the drops started hammering with anything & everything that I had. I was passing a bunch of P/1 that gave up. All of a sudden I heard another: Crash #3 right behind me around the 200 meter line. Apparently 2 people we fighting for position behind me. Lucas and the winner of Fayettville. Feyettville dude went down hard…. I cross the finish 4 or 5 bike lengths in front. Yes!

Felt lucky to not go down and nobody touched my back or front wheel. Others had worse luck. One guy from Dallas wasn’t moving on the course and had to be taken in an ambulance to the hospital. Horrible & Intense! I've friended his teammate and waiting for a status update on his condition.
Report Date:
Monday, 27 Feb, 2017
Cyclist:
Report Date:
Sunday, 26 Feb, 2017