Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Spin City Classic (3/24/07 - 3/25/07)

Curtis told me this morning that memory fades with time, so I had better fill out this race report soon...actually, I was waiting in hope that the memories of the pain from this weekend would fade!

Saturday - Downtown Criterium
We lined up Saturday night around 8 pm for a criterium in downtown Orlando. Before they started putting this race on, I had no idea Orlando had such a cool downtown area. There are lots of restaurants and night clubs, which are surrounded by brick streets near Lake Eola. All that being said, the course has 4 corners and is very bumpy. There are many exposed man hole covers, storm drains, crosswalks, and other obstacles that are pretty jarring at 30 mph.

We had Curtis, Victor, Clint and myself vying for the larger than normal prize list. Our team had chosen to take the last 2 weekends off from racing, and I really felt the lack of speed in my legs! The race was 90 minutes, plus 5 laps...so it was also fairly long.

I hate racing from the back, so stayed toward the front mixing it up the best I could. It took a lot of effort to stay near the front, so I went through about "30 books of matches" or "a case of bullets" or...whatever you want to call the energy used during a race. Curtis said he was at the back with a heart race of around 150 bpm! I was near redline 75% or the race...in retrospect, I should have dropped back and took a breather. A break of 7 or so were off the front for the majority of the race, which was pretty astonishing considering our speed. But, as the race started it's final laps, they started losing their lead. I wasn't feeling very well at all, but Curtis and Victor brought me to the front with about 4 laps to go. Curtis kept going and pulled the break back together. With about 2 to go I almost puked, not a good sign...on the last lap Victor came by me before the last turn...but I tell him I don't have it, and it turns out he doesn't either. I sprint out of the last turn, but I can't make up ground on anyone...so like an idiot, I let up halfway down the finishing straight. I end up 26th place...and they paid the top 25...hmmm, nice move. Curtis, Victor, and Clint all finished right behind me. For the last 12 minutes of the race my heart rate was 180-193 bpm, ouch.

Sunday - Circuit Race
This race is ALWAYS windy, and in the gutter all day long. For some reason, I have never had good luck during this race weekend...I was hoping that would change. On Sunday we had the same team as last night, but added the fresh legs of Andy and Jeff. Nice...a full squad! The race started pretty fast, and the wind made it really hard. We all took turns trying to cover different breaks, and pull back the ones we didn't make. At one point, I was in the gutter...on the rivet...in the hurt box...only to look up and see it was Jeff on the front chasing a break! If I had the strength, I would have went up and told him to slow down before he dropped me!

As the laps wound down to about 6 to go, I looked back...and there was nobody there. Around 80-90 started, and only about 45 were left. At that point, there was a big break up the road of about 25, which had Victor and Andy in it. Jeff attacked to try and bridge the huge gap. A few seconds later Jason Snow attacks, and I chase after him...Jeff and I get together with Jason and start chasing. Jeff is pretty cooked from his work throughout the day, and does his last hard turn to bring us closer to the next group. By this time my legs are cramping pretty bad, and Jason does 75% of the work to bring us up to the split. Now there are around 2 laps to go. I look up ahead and there is a break of 5 away...then Victor bridges across...nice! I'm still hurting, and just trying to follow wheels. Our group splits up a bit more on the last lap, and I end up 17th. Victor does the lion's share of the pulling in his group, and takes 6th. Victor is finally starting to recover from getting sick while racing in the Dominican, and showed it today.

It was a VERY hard day/weekend, especially with the break we all had since our last race. It was great having everyone together on Sunday...overall our results weren't exactly what we would have liked, but unless you win...they seldom are...

This next weekend we do a 3 day stage race in Perry, Georgia...with the road race called Perry-Roubaix, and part of the course is on dirt road. It should be a tough course, but a great weekend of racing.