Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Ninigret Crit No 1
Having a warranty service call at a school project in New London- ideal to set up the appt for Wed afternoon, because afterwards, I can go straight to Ninigret for the first smack-down of 2009. I'm not alone in getting there early- lots of guys showed up at 5:00 and took off to get a nice 60 minute spin/warm-up before hand. I timed my arrival such that I ended up doing a nice little loop with Dave K, Mike M and Mike C- what could be better? Funny- first half of the ride I can't get the new Ergomo to work- I try everything- no watts, speed or rpms. Then 15 minutes into it I remember that the Ergomo doesn't automatically connect to the data like the Powertap you have to plug in the wire yourself, dummy! Phew! For a few minutes there, I though that my $650 investment had gone up in smoke.. We got back around 6 and I decided to change out of my short sleeve Under Armor and into my long sleeve thermal Under Armor. Temps were 55 at first, but now they were dropping and I was sweaty. More warm-up on the race course while the B's raced- which seemed to really screw up their event- 'A' riders were all over the place, getting in their way.. We lined up at 6:30 with a pretty good sized field- about 40-45 guys. Maybe more. I worked really really hard in the first 15-20 minutes. At the front for some duration pretty much every lap, and for many laps in succession. Primes are being given, but I'm not ever really feeling strong enough to go for any. Then about 1/4 way through our race, right after a prime sprint, about 15 guys roll away and leave about 30 of us behind. The gap is small- if I hadn't buried myself the lap before, I could have jumped across.. but timing was not on my side. This 5 second gap grew and grew and grew until it was basically about 1/2 a lap and they surfed the field until the end. This contained the usual Mark M, Tobi S, Bill Y, Adam S, Gary A and others- didn't get a real good look at all of them from behind as they hit the throttle. There was a crash in the breakaway group in turn No 2 and bodies were scattered all over. I heard that a collarbone was broken, don't know who.. The break was whittled down to 8-10 guys after this (see the deep valley in the HR chart, as we all coasted through to avoid hitting the casualties). I'm happy to go to the front and take some pulls, do some work, maybe get close to the break, whatever. This is a training race. On one lap I decided I'm going to turn myself inside out for about 1 minute and see if I can drag some of the stronger guys with me. My team mate Mike S. is the only one who can follow, and by the time I ease up, I can't even follow his wheel, I'm so cooked (see the peak in the HR chart). Then three other guys blow past me and I try to latch on, but the field was onto us by the time I caught my breath. We picked up quite a bit of time on the break- [that lap], but we weren't really organized and the host team had a lot of guys in the field- maybe they were blocking- I couldn't tell. Later on.. with 5 laps to go I resolved to freshen myself up for the finish and avoid those 1 minute intervals which I so love to do while racing. Sat in and let the HR drop to the low 160s (you can see it in the chart) Last lap, an NBX rider went for it a little past the finish- opened a nice gap. 4-5 guys were in pursuit of him on the back stretch and I followed these wheels after making it through the crunch that was the 2nd to last corner. As it turned out, I had the freshest legs of the front 5 because I accelerated past the pursuers right before that final dog leg corner, passing them on the right and accelerating up to the NBX whose last match burned out about 200 meters before the line. I got myself a field sprint by a few bike lengths, thanks to a good recovery and a well-timed acceleration. It doesn't sound like a big deal, but it's one of those things that you NEED after falling apart in a road race and finishing one hour down on everyone. Confidence is built a little bit at a time.. I also took a nice prime. Does your mouth water just thinking about the taste? Thanks for reading.