velodrome track race - kissena queens new york

Monday, May 05, 2008

Jiminy Peak

Saturday 5/3 I raced at Jiminy Peak in Mass. There was a strong headwind on a long descent and breakaways were difficult. The weather was cold and damp in the high 40's / low 50's. The main characteristic of this race is a long gradual climb (4%) that dips for a moment and then becomes a steeper (7%) climb to the finish. My rear wheel flatted before the start so I raced on the powertap.

On each lap it felt like we were moving too slowly up the gradual climb. My team mate attacked once on this section - and came back - then I attacked - and came back.

On the steeper climb I nearly got dropped on each of the 3 laps in the circuit, the second lap being the worst.

I was able to chase down the group on the first and second laps… I passed lots of riders as I flew down the hill at 53.5 mph spinning out my 53x12. I eventually made my way to the front to learn that Dave was still attacking the group, but in the worst possible place. Into a headwind on a long descent! He and a few others dangled off the front for a few minutes but the pack had an easy time closing the gap sustaining about 28 or 29mph.

There’s not much to report from this race since I finished last of the second group across the finish line, about ½ way between first place and last place. I used the powertap numbers to pace myself on the final climb, it may have helped me to avoid popping and I passed a few riders who looked spent.

Lots of racers told this race is boring, or that they hated the course. Having raced it once I disagree. I didn’t love this race - but it wasn’t boring, bike racing never is. It wasn’t beautiful, and it didn’t have any sharp corners or long sweeping turns. But it was technical, a waiting game, much like some of the track races – pursuit comes to mind.

The patient riders are the ones who had the most strength to attack when it mattered.

Lessons learned: I could have conserved more energy, especially since I thought I might need more power than what I have available.

Or... if I was racing my strengths I might have tried to make the gradual climb more difficult for the other racers, instead of conserving energy.

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