Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Lunch at Hains Point

Riding Weight: 192
Mood: Decent
Fitness: Feels good

What a day...if you weren't down there, you missed out. Lot's of people, Lot's of fun.

Will had 72 degrees on his computer. Unreal for the day before Thanksgiving.

Dave, Mernon, Will, Jose, Blake, Travis, Esmonde, Ryan, Christina, and myself were all there. Word was that the Manzke experience would show, I didn't get visual on him though. Ten to 11 in the same kit on one ride is pretty remarkable, especially during lunch and even more so when it's not 'your' ride. Not much respect for work, eh?

Back on topic; on the third lap we almost put it together perfectly:

Travis, Will, Esmonde, Jose, and I were sitting about 10th wheel as we came towards the point. I was on Esmonde's wheel on the inside echelon curb side, with Jose on my wheel. Will was on Trav's wheel on our outside. The group was rotating counter-clockwise as we rounded the point. As we started heading past the first bathroom, the speed started to pick up as guys started to string it out. Esmonde and I were sitting about 3rd wheel when I saw Travis and Will sneaking up on the outside (they were on the water side on the other side of the group while we were on the curbside). Esmonde saw them and Travis hit it hard to get out in front of the group with Will in tow. Esmonde got his wheel, followed by me and Jose and then the rest of the pack.

So at this point, we're at 30ish mph and it's Travis at the front, Will, Esmonde, Myself, Jose, with the rest of the group strung out behind. Travis is burying himself, sacrificing himself perfectly for the team effort. Esmonde is coaching Will, telling him to stay seated and be ready to power past Travis and then start the sprint as we close in on the second bathroom (about a mile away from the first one). Travis pulls off. Will goes to the front, seated, holding the speed but not max effort yet.

With these numbers, and the distance needed to cover, all we need is about a 10 second max effort from each of us and nobody is coming around Jose. Esmonde gives the word for Will to start the sprint, but he pulls off to the left, the pace slows for a second and Esmonde jumps to the front with me and Jose still there.

Right before Esmonde jumped the pace slowed just enough that I slid up the right side of Esmonde's rear wheel and was out of the draft enough that it became more of a drag race. The wind was coming left to right, so it wasn't too bad, but I wasn't getting full benefit (not that I ever do behind his 5'nothing frame). He's out of the saddle drilling it and I jump hoping that Jose is still there. I come around E's right side, out of the saddle, going hard for the line. Line is fast approaching and no Jose yet. I look back to see no Jose and that I've gapped the group slightly, so I try to hold the speed to the line. Come across the line first...very tired.

So what do we learn from this:

1) If you strung out with teammates in tow, it is your responsibility to keep the pace as high as possible to make sure nobody else sneaks up to the front.

2) In our example, once Travis pulled off, Will should have started the sprint. We were close enough to the line with enough of us behind him that max effort for just a couple of seconds would have launched the rest of us without the need for that much acceleration (much smoother leadout).

3) Having 5 guys from your team strung out on the front of a "peleton" (if you can call the hains point lunch time group that) is awesome.

4) Winning sprints in the offseason is much easier than winning them in-season. :)

5) Although I happened to be the guy launched at the end this time, there is satisfaction knowing that you gave it your all to get your guy to the line first. This is technically the "offseason", but there are skills that I hope we learn and put to practice so that when race day comes...we're ready.


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