Hill Climb - 3.8kmWell, certainly NOT my finest hour, or 8 minutes more specifically! Not really too sure what happened here tonight.
I was a bit conservative in the beginning, keeping an eye on my wattage soas not to overcook too soon (A la TdB HC). I recovered a little in the 2nd km, with my watts being nearly 100 lower than the 1st km.
Then on the steep part up Springbank road I stood up and did a consistent 400W up the hill, coming over the crest and then hammering on the final stretch.
Finished 13th, with a time of 8:14, 51 seconds behind the winner (congrats Andrew!! At least there was no 0.5 second controversy this time!)
Comparing to Mike's (who finished in 7:35, 4th in Cat 3), it's clear to see that during each of the 2 major climbs I lost about 20 seconds. Also, his watts were actually slightly higher than mine, which is a sure sign of something gone wrong considering our weight difference.
I rode with the carbon wheels again to give some advantage in the wind and weight, but left my aero helmet in the car. Meant to come back for it after warmup but never did.
My HR was perhaps a little low, and took a little while to raise too. Perhaps due to my conservative start, or a sign of some building fatigue/injury recovery.
|Sizing up the competition before the crit!|
Downtown CriteriumWell, when I woke I still had that fire in my belly. You know the one, where you feel like you've let yourself down, embarrassed yourself? Well, it's the feeling I've had. Often, actually. Nearly every time trial or hill climb where I think going in that I'm going to crush it, but end up on the 2nd page of the results...
The beauty of these stage races is that you can channel that fire the next day. I guess it's only a benefit if you are physically ready for it, otherwise, the next day may not be good enough. I think of it like a goalie in hockey that is pulled after letting in 5 goals in the first period, coming back the next game and getting the shutout.
Well, JayLap crit. Third year racing and in each race, in pretty much each category, the story line has been the same. No escapees, no breaks, few lapped riders even. Then sprint for glory.
So, we came in with a game plan. We had 5 riders from STC, well represented. The race unfolded just as predicted. A few half-attacks, easily reeled in by various teams, including ours.
I, however, was not going to be doing the heavy lifting on this night. No, I kinda figured I'd done my share all week and this was my marquee event, so I sat nicely in the back 5 or so, right next to my bud Mike Hoang (winner of this race in 2010).
Each of my guys took some good turns at the front; Peter, Derek, even Darcy, and another chap who's name I don't know.
3 primes went by, and I didn't blink. Let them go.
Bell lap, I notice Mike H is a little boxed in the middle. I pull up behind Peter as we take corner 2.
Go! Peter takes off along the left side, into the long headwind stretch where guys start thinking about conserving energy for the final sprint. On his wheel, we pass the front of the peleton right into corner 3, taking it wider but probably 10kmph faster than the pack.
|Mike H and I preparing to duel!|
200 meters to go, I stand up briefly but I'm in too small of a gear. Sit and give it everything... silence for what seems like an eternity. Keep expecting the entire peleton to come flying past, laughing at me for going so early (Ok, I got issues!)
It doesn't happen! I cross the line 1st! Peter caught back on my wheel when I sprinted and finished 2nd!
Wow, all I can say. After missing out on the podium a few times, and the inopportune crashes, I finally did it.
What amazing teamwork this week. For the first time since I started racing, we've had (mostly) the same guys for the last week and it's paid off, not just for me but for Isaac and Peter as well, who'll both have their Welcome to Cat 3 emails coming on Monday.
Tomorrow is the road race so I gotta wrap this up.
Read Part II