Any of you who saw me race today know very well that I have little to report other than sitting in the field and clenching my teeth to get over the hill six times without getting popped. Today was a relative success, compared against last weekend, when I could not get out of my own way in the Quabbin Pro Race. I have done solo 3-1/2 hour training rides this past week, that were faster than my speed at Quabbin. Long story short, I'm coming off of a huge disappointment from the week before, and expectations for today were not high. Last year this race was only four laps and raced in the cold rain. In 2008, your hero was off the front for about a lap, then dropped, then swarmed and passed by the 35 field.. ditto for the 45 field. Past experience was not a positive experience at Blue Hills. Today we did 2 extra laps! Understandably, I went to today's race with mixed feelings about my chances of doing well. With about 1k to go, I positioned myself aggressively- top 8-12 guys. McMark was on my wheel as I was hugging the yellow line, observing those around me, trying to be ready to react to something. Next thing you know, Mark has sprinted around me, away from us and up the road- instant 5 second gap. There's a 35mph speed limit sign that marks about 2 minutes to go and I can't remember if we were past it yet. I got out of the saddle and followed whichever wheels I could tag onto, making it up the lower half of the climb in the top 10. But that final part of the climb appeared and I was hurting- I had buried myself a little too much, a little too soon. By the time I was up the hill and on the flat approach to the finish, I was pedaling squares and being swarmed on both sides. In the last 100 meters, I passed about 5 guys but was also passed by about 15 guys, ending up right smack in the center of the results- 26th out of 51 finishers. 25 beat me to line, 25 did not. You can't get any more mediocre than that! But all things considered, I'm satisfied. No flats, no crashes, no broken chains, no getting dropped. The hill was a lot easier this year than last, and I have data to prove it. I weigh about 3 kilos less this year, and it has definitely helped me. Here's a comparision between Blue Hills 2008 and Blue Hills 2009:
The dashed line represents 2008, where overall watts were much higher because I was either off the front or off the back- riding alone for the most part. The solid line shows you 2009's peaks for Blue Hills. The charts intersect at the 3:45 duration. Keep in mind that there's a 3kg difference between the two sets of data.
Here's the power distributions for 2008 and 2009. Can you tell which is which?Seems I did three times as much coasting today (0-10 watts) as I did one year ago..
Thanks for reading.