Race Report, CT Stage Race (May 30-31)
Stage 1, 8 Mile ITT.
I have been told that the key to a good time trial is a good warmup. I have also been told that said warmup should be at least 35 minutes, with some zone 4-5 heartrate work in there. We pulled in to the parking lot with about 20 minutes to change, sign in, get some sunscreen on and use the urinal. We parked across from our friends on green line velo, put on some metal, and tried to get properly warmed up before our 8am rollout. My performance can be summed up by the following equation:
5 minutes of warm up time + 192bpm avg heart rate = piss poor time trial.
Let us never speak of that again.
Stage 2, Circuit race.
After an abysmal time trial, I stretched out on the grass with Nick (sadly, it was somewhat less romantic than it sounds). As we laid under a tree with a few other sweaty racers trying to stay out of the sun, I mentally laid out A Totally Infallible Plan for redeeming myself. A few minutes later, I began finding flaws in my scheme. After the third or fourth Infallible Plan, I began to accept the fact that I know next to nothing about stage racing and should just get out and try to race the best race I could.
We got out on time, starting on a side road; nick and i were towards the back of the group. The first lap was uneventful, though the sight (and sound) of 60ish roadies frantically shifting on the first steep hill on the circuit was reminiscent of when one of those harvard square bike cops tries to chase you down for running a light. This being my first race as a cat 4, I was somewhat impressed by the lack of pack handling skill demonstrated by our skittish and oddly hesitant bunch. From what I hear, threshold and cambridge were running the show up front - I could be wrong; truth be told, I hung out in the pack until the end. This resulted in a weird "speed up/ slow down" thing that was frustrating to me and completely unacceptable to Nick, who opted to ride at his own pace. I was fine with the odd pace, but the OH SHIT OH SHIT WERE DESCENDING BRAKES NOW BRAKES NOW situation on the 45 mph downhill was extremely irritating. I did, however, get to find out what expensive rims smell like when they begin to delaminate (like burning money...). There werent many moves, we stayed together as a pack for the 8 laps and wound up for a bunch sprint at the end. I need to work on my positioning at the end of these races, although the cones (!) in the middle of the road didnt help much. I finished in the front group after mowing down at least one piece of road furniture.