Monday, June 25, 2007

Deland Cup Omnium (6/23/07 - 6/24/07)

This past weekend was another blistering hot two days of racing...each race beginning at 11:00 am! The action took place in Deland, Florida, which is the home of Stetson University. This time we had Clint, Curtis, Jeff, Victor, our new recruit from UF, Mitch Hall, and myself

Saturday was a 70+ mile road race in the mid day heat, followed by a 7 mile time trial in the late afternoon heat. On Sunday we had a 80-90 minute circuit race in the mid day heat. Does anyone else see a theme here?? (Hint: Caliente)

When you race bikes, there are some days when you feel like you can cover any move. There always seems to be a tailwind at your back and you can attack at will, or bridge to any break. This only happens a couple times a year, but during those days you feel like everything around you is happening in slow motion. Now, think of the opposite of that kind of day, and it will describe how I felt this weekend...

Saturday - Road Race
The first 7 mile lap felt ok, but it was all down hill after that. The course wasn't difficult, but there were constant attacks. Our new recruit, Mitch Hall, rode great covering a series of early attacks. Clint and myself also covered several early attempts to gain freedom from the shackles of the peloton.

I knew I wasn't feeling great, and this was reinforced at the bonus sprint. Since this was an omnium, there were points awarded at the finish of each stage, as well as a bonus sprint during each race. Curtis brought me near the front, but we ended up getting caught going into the headwind side. I was a little far back, but sprinted anyhow...and ended up 4th in the place out of the points. A huge effort, with nothing to show for it. I really never recovered, and would drift to the back of the pack to try and conserve what little energy I had left for a final sprint at the end of the race. Curtis, Jeff, Victor, and Mitch were all active and covered almost all of the breakaway attempts. Each lap saw the pack get smaller and smaller due to the heat, and everyone looked pretty tired.

In the end, two riders were able to just barely hold off the hard charging pack. I was able to sneak into 5th place in the sprint for 7th overall. Victor was 14th, Mitch 18th and Jeff 20th. But the sprint wasn't without incident...within the last mile there was a big wreck. Luckily none of our rider went down, but judging from the large mound of blood soaked towels, someone was hurt pretty bad. Hopefully everyone will recover quickly.

Saturday - Time Trial
Without getting involved in too much detail, we all rode as fast as we could. The race was behind schedule, so in the ensuing chaos, the officials had to nullify all of the results. At least we got in a good training time trial, but it wouldn't count towards the overall.

Sunday - Circuit Race
Another super hot 11:00 am start. As with the prior day, my legs didn't have any power. This was too bad, especially considering how our team rode! Curtis, Victor, and Mitch covered all the moves...and chased down the ones they missed! Jeff and I were saving ourselves for the closing laps of the race...well, I was just hanging on. With about 3 laps to go there was a breakaway or 3 riders that included Jeff. This would have been a stellar result, but Jeff rode a little too hard in the break and was dropped with 1 lap to go. The remaining 2 riders stayed away, and in the ensuing field sprint I gave what I had left to get 15th. Not the results we would have liked, but we really rode well as a team. I was very impressed by everyone's efforts, and only wished I would have had a little more power at the end of the race to pick up a good result for the team.

This was the last race before Jeff, Curtis and I head to Superweek on July until we return, drink a few cervezas and stay out of the sun!


Thursday, June 21, 2007

Florida State TT Championships (6/17/07)

This past Sunday Jeff and Curtis traveled to Olustee, FL to represent ABRT at the State Time Trial Championships. Both of these guys have been gearing up for this event, and have been riding well.

Jeff had a blazing time of 54:54 for the 40k event, which put him as the 4th fastest time of the day. He placed 2nd in the Masters 35+ category. This time smashed his personal best, and has shown that all the hard training has paid off!

Curtis went even faster...with a 54:48, which was the 3rd fastest time of the day. His time was also a personal best by over a minute. This placed Curtis 1st in the Masters 30-34 age category, and successfully defended his state title from last year.

Both of these times were incredible, and were accomplished aboard their Trek TTX time trial bikes. Proving that good results are accomplished through hard work, and having quality equipment.

Congrats to both!

Friday, June 15, 2007

State RR Championships (6/9/07 - 6/10/07)

This past weekend was the Florida State Road Race Championships in Ocala, FL. It was super hot!

Age Graded Championships - Saturday
On Saturday was the race for the age categories. The state championship placings would be given out in 5 year increments (30-34, 35-39, 40-44), but we would all race in the same race. This made for a HUGE field, with varying levels of ability. The race was about 55 miles, and didn't have any climbs or crosswinds to make it difficult. The finishing stretch started with a slight downhill section with a tailwind...which made for a very fast finish.

The race basically stayed together the whole time, except for a few breaks that couldn't get established. About 3 miles to go there was a wreck that took down several riders. Heading into the final rise before the finish, about 1 1/2 miles to go, Jeff attacked hard. About 1/2 mile later there was a huge wreck, that took down dozens of riders. The leadout started, and Jeff was swept up 150 meters from the line at 45 mph. Curtis was able to finish 2nd in the 30-34 category, Victor placed 3rd in the 40-44, and Jeff was 4th in the 35-39. Two podium spots, not a bad day!

Our best wishes go out to those involved in the wrecks. I know that riders had broken ribs, broken collarbones, and at least 1 concussion. Get better soon.

Pro 1,2 Championships - Sunday
This was a very, very hot wind, it was like an oven. The last time I raced in heat this bad was in Tobago, which at least had some wind to help cool off a bit. Throughout the race there were several breaks, but nothing would stick. Jeff, Victor and Curtis were in many very promising breaks, but none really gained any time until about 5-6 laps to go. Victor was able to get in a break of about 13 riders, that would eventually parse down to 9. Victor was riding great, but unfortunately we weren't able to get another rider in the break to help him. He did a lot of work to keep the break from getting caught, and then paid the price in the sprint...he cramped up really bad. He rolled across the line for 7th, a great result considering he wasn't able to pedal during the sprint!

The weekend was pretty successful, and we only missed out on a state championship jersey due to some poor officiating...but that's a story for another time. Our next race is the State Time Trial Championships this coming weekend. Jeff and Curtis are ready to go, so we hope they bring back a win for ABRT.