Sunday, April 5, 2009

Walkersville & Tysons Weekend

I got a lot of effort in with not much to show for it except for some experience that will hopefully help down the road.

Walkersville 1/2/3:
I had no idea what to expect in this race, but I was going into it with the idea of trying to hold my own against some of the areas best and see how I stacked up at this time in the year. The race started pretty quick and I was fortunate to make the main group that was chasing a lead group up the road. I mainly stayed out of the wind and towards the front of our group for 6 laps while ABRT, Vaughn, and NCVC did a pretty cool job of pulling back the break. On the 7th lap, we caught the break and the pace picked up quite a bit. I had a mental lapse and started slipping towards the back and was in the wrong place (trying to catch a draft of Jared Neiters in the gutter (during the period that he called "...the hardest point of the race..." and just didn't have the fitness to hold on. It was a weird sensation. At one second right before I was feeling fine and thinking that I was going to be able to finish and the second, I was off the back wondering what went is bike racing I guess. DNF for the books.

Lessons learned:
1. Stay towards the front of a road race early, especially when it is windy.
2. If your in a chase group that does catch a break, move up quickly because the counter and the up in speed is guaranteed and you don't want to be off the back when it does.

Tysons 3:
Tysons isn't a race that I'm totally fond of. The hill takes a lot out of me over the course of an hours race. Maybe lack of fitness, maybe the huge carcass I'm carrying around, or just maybe something else...who knows. Also, the downhill makes breaks hard to stick as the pack can really carry a lot of speed if it wants to. I felt pretty good going into the race. I got in an early move that seemed to stay away for most of the race. There were two guys who were definitely stronger than the rest of us in the break and they were barking orders the whole way for the 3 of us (who weren't as strong) to pull through. Problem was that they were setting a pace on the uphill that left the us in oxygen debt by the time we got to the top and worthless on the backside. I told the guys that they had two options: Ride away from us and try to go at it alone or slow the f#@# down on the uphill so that we could be of some help on the backside. If I was in there shoes I would have ridden away from us...which they agreed with and did. One guy stuck it and hopefully he puts in for his upgrade because that mofo was as strong as an ox and isn't going to be challenged in the 3's. Once the pack caught us I was hoping that my team would be relatively fresh since they probably wouldn't have been doing much work trying to chase down the break. I found Brandon and we made the silent agreement that I would lead him out going into the final turn. Joel strung it out going down the backstretch and right before the final turn we were sitting 5th and 6th. There was a lull, so I took us through the turn 1 & 2 and started the sprint. Problem is that it is a looooong way to the finish to be going from the turn. I was good for maybe 200 meters and guys started coming around slowly. Brandon saw that and he jumped from my wheel to the line. I hadn't taken us far enough (nor could I) and he got swallowed up before the line...probably top 10 or 20, not sure. We'll have to wait for the results to see for sure. I rolled in with what was left of the non-sprinters. Finished somewhere between 20 and 30th...maybe.

Lesson's learned:
1. If you're in a break with 5 guys and there are two who are obviously stronger and WILL win the sprint if it comes down to a sprint, stop working so hard and sit in. Either you get pulled around and are fresher for the finish, or the pack comes back and you get your team to take a shot at the finish (better odds).
2. Don't sprint from the turn at Tysons.
3. A leadout at tysons needs at minimum 3 guys (2+ a sprinter) to work successfully (at the 3 level).

Tough weekend of racing and some good hard miles are in the bank. Just wished there were some better results to show for it. At least I got some inspiration for training...



Greg said...

hey dood, those 2 guys probably didnt shred themselves at Walkersville like you, Stephen and I did. But yeah, he was a monster. He lapped me and just zoomed by screaming all the way uphill. I was genuinely afraid!

Bryan Vaughan said...

Jesse-good to see you at Walkersville. Trust me, that race was hard. 3/4 of that course you were exposed to real suffering. Two 30 mph side wind legs and one straight into the wind. Builds character ; )

I was rooting for you guys to stick that break. I walked down the hill to try to get you guys to trade pulls every 5 to 10 sec and work together instead of taking those long pulls. Reading your description, I see what was going on. Keep it up though. It's only April.

DJ Bike Police said...

technically speaking, would a leadout even be necessary on a finish hill like tyson's?

Jesse said...

DJ..three options:

1) you come through the turn first and try to hold off the entire field to the line.

2) you follow the wheels of several other people and and hope that they sprint from the turn to the point where you want to jump for the line.

3) you have two teammates that are willing to sacrifice for to get you through the turn first and the second to take you from the turn to where you want to jump.

I say option 3 is your best bet for success. Maybe I'm missing some options for a sprint finish though..what do I know anyway?

chris said...

Option 3 is the right one ...there was two other guys at walkersville working to pull in the move up the road spot must be given to james Wagner..he has had some very impressive results in hard ass road races in the past I must say, and ..yours truly...and Vaughn is right in that the Sat. event was difficult and to go as far as u did was impressive...3 s are not a void..just a stepping stone so keep it up you is on the right track fo sure yo.. and be gratefull you dont have to buy another frame n fork in hindsight I would have been much happier to be in the you got dropped limelight as opposed 2 the you got a bill to drop.