Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Post-Carl Dolan

Route 1 Velo / Arrow Bicycle pulled a 2nd, 4th, 6th and 8th in the 3/4 race on Sunday.

One side of me reads that and says that we did pretty well placing four guys in the top 10. The "process improvement" side of me looks at it and sees a problem and is trying to come up with solutions for solving it.

Steven Wahl was the strongest on the day and earned the win. The timing of his jump was good and the fitness he has right now is spot on. Well done. Now, saying that, let's figure out how to never let that happen again.

Our strategy really is no secret. Put our sprinter in the best position to win at the end of the race. Nobody was getting away in this race, and we knew that going into it. If anybody had tried, we were going to go with them and "bring them back" to the group...boring tactics, but effective. With the numbers we had, and the constantly improving "train", we'd have as good if not better chance of sticking it in the end than the other teams in the race. I was itching to put a couple of digs in during the race, but the plan was to just sit in the top 10 and let everyone else pull us around till about 5 to go, we would group up, go to the front, kill it on the last lap and send Brandon off for the win...simple, right?

I think this is where it broke down a little. With one to go, I was sitting pretty in 4th position while NCVC pulled us toward the "turn", the pace was good, but not break-neck speed. Brandon was on my wheel but we were too far out to really put in the final pull from the turn to the finishing hill. It would have been Tyson's corner all over again where I dropped Brandon off too far from the line for him to hold his speed. I wanted to get him to about 100 meters to go and then let him unleash the sprint. We got to the base of the hill and I jumped..unfortunately for us, I think Steven was carrying more speed than us (pace up front slowed) and his momentum carried him up the hill quicker and to the line before us.

Thinking back on this, I should have been on the front pushing the pace in the upper 35 to 40+ mph range coming off the turn and had it single file coming into the finishing hill. The more strung out it was, the less likely someone stronger would have been able to make up the difference and then had something left to come around at the end. The pace was too slow coming off the turn and we were "bunched" up a bit. Live and learn. A course like this needed the "train" all together, on the front, dictating pace. Relying on the other teams to keep the pace high is too risky. I know this will bother me for a couple of days...but it'll pass.

I like 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 8th. But I would have liked 1st, 25th, 36th, and 49th more.

Of all the ABRT guys I'm glad Steven got the win. Can you imagine if Lance got it?? I get nauseous just thinking about it. ;)

Cheers.

11 comments:

Cliff said...

from last turn to the hill... what was going on?? you guys looked good

Sigberto said...

I was one of the NCVC guys pulling before the hill. I was on the left and the train on the right wasn't moving, so my boy told me to go. I did, with any energy I had left (not much).

I got back into line right before the turn - and yeah - it was not fast enough. Some in 3rd or 4th wheel totally ruined a lot of the momentum after that turn because he couldn't keep with the front two guys (my teammates). I stuck his wheel hoping they'd have a slight gap, because they went WAY early.

Oh well, it was a fun finish for me... I was drillin' it. It was my first 3/4 race but I'll try to make it faster for us all next time, haha...

Cliff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robb said...

I was right behind you and Brandon last lap all the way up to 150 meters or so. Spot on report. Brandon knows how to stick on you like glue. Very frustrating for others!

I do remember teetering the fine line of having to use my brakes during a lull and then jumping off your wheel right before things got all 'surgey'. A few more dedicated folks to make it fast up to 200 meters or even closer would have been great!

It's going to be a fun year with quite a few balanced teams.

Good job!

Cliff said...

just trying to figure out what went down according to the experience fo others...

Kyle Jones said...

You guys still had great results, both days. I never complain about a top 10 finish. I know you were going for numero uno. If it is bar points your team is going for you sure racked them up right there.

Now is your plan to always bring back break attempts. Your team is full of pretty good sprinters. I remember jose and brigham and brandon trying to get into breaks. I would think it would be to your benefit to let those ones go. If it is 1 in 3 chance of winning a sprint than 1 in 50(field) why wouldn't you take it.

Steve is a great guy and I am happy he took it. That Lance guy is such a douche. I have to say you guys race as a team and that is a lot better than most and it shows. We on abrt are focused on racing as a team also. Just makes racing so much better. And hopefully it makes these races more virtuous for us who race as teams.

Chris H said...

that's pretty funny because I was 5th wheel right behind a R1V and a BD guy who let the two NCVC riders open up a decent gap after the turn because they sat up looking around. I closed the gap to them on the down hill, passed them at about 500m then led it to 400m when I saw Stephen come around on my left.

Nice race, just shitty no one else is willing to make breaks work.

Cliff said...

Chris H said, "I was 5th wheel right behind a R1V and a BD guy who let the two NCVC riders open up a decent gap after the turn because they sat up looking around. I closed the gap to them on the down hill, passed them at about 500m then led it to 400m when I saw Stephen come around on my left."
1. 2 NCVC let a gap open behind WHO after the turn?
2. Who did you gap up to and pass on the downhill/500m?
I got swarmed on, somewhere at the bottom of the hill...

Cliff said...

aw crap, nevermind, I just re-re-read it

Jesse said...

Just Sunday (re: bringing breaks back)...but then again, if we get organized, I wouldn't mind putting up the Cat 3 R1V train up against the field...

We're 0-3 so far this season, but we'll get one soon. :)

Lance Lacy said...

they way you guys talk about this Lance guy the more he sounds like a jerk....or maybe you guy's are just jealous of his strength and beauty