Saturday, August 3, 2013

TDB RR Report Cat 5

Best described as “Ugh!”.
No doubt this was a harder RR than in years past.  The distance was greater, the hills were bigger (ok, geologically that takes longer than a year.. just sayin’) and the wind was stronger.
We had a big crew, 13 of us plus the ‘Swede’ who, if he was able, was willing to help out the best he could. The plan was to protect Lampros to the best of our ability. If he started to fail then we were to switch to Cody or Waleed depending on who was around.
The race started off in a gentlemen like fashion.  The pace picked up as we headed north but not so hard that anyone was really being taxed.  A few jams on the minor hills got my heart rate towards the redline but easily recoverable.  I kept my eye on Lampros in case he was left out in the wind but our trip out to the turnaround wasn't as hellish as I was expecting.  I did expect to see a lot more riders being shed on the hill returning but either the pace was easier or I am in better shape.  My bet would be on the former as it seemed the entire pack was with us at the bottom.

The return trip into the wind was moderately taxing.  As Lampros would move toward the front for his rotation I would move up to take his pull.  Not that this happened often but I made every attempt to keep track of him. I would lose track of his whereabouts from time to time in the mob.  The pace had increased into the wind so a turn up front caused some damage.  As we approached the turnaround I had taken a couple of turns up front or was adrift to help protect Lampros unaware of the hell that would be unleashed after the turn. 

The turn went well (Thursday Night Skill Session!) but I was 2 or 3 bike lengths off.  Lampros was right behind me and I was doddling a little not realizing an attack was in progress.  By the time it sank in, (I blame ‘ODBS’ - Oxygen Deprived Brain Syndrome), we were probably 10-20 meters back.  Lampros was in tow and I put the throttle wide open but was soon failing.  I made some ground but soon realized I could not pull him all the way up and waved him through.  He put in a monster effort and was on the lead pack.  I was pretty cooked and was more or less on my own.  I reeled up Glenn Miles, or he reeled me in (ODBS). We worked our butts off but were gaining little ground.  We picked had a small group and we worked together.  We got close to the lead group, then we got far, then we got close again, then we got far. Ugh!  My Kingdom for a few more watts! Finally, I let it all go and caught them after one of the chicane turns.  Sadly we hit a little rise and the pace picked up. With no recovery time I was too cooked to stay on.

After that 4 of us rode together.  We didn’t slack off and we made good efforts to catch the lead pack. I knew that it was all over if we didn’t catch them before the turn.  We didn’t.

We worked together bucking the wind. We picked up a young fellow and another Bici guy pulled us in for a group of about 6 guys. My tongue was at risk of being caught in my spokes, and my aging heart was at 911 levels on a regular basis. My legs had a long conversation with my head about the abuse they going through however, my ODBS head was unable to process the information so the legs and all the other parts had to keep going. 

We made the final turn to the finish line and we all started slacking off getting ready for the sprint.  I did the math in my head…” knot, knot, double-knot = maybe 16th place”.  No sense in sprinting.  The boys headed off in a flourish of lactic acid, sweat and spittle, I enjoyed the last 200 meters without ODBS.

All in all it was a good race but I was little disappointed I couldn't hang on to the lead group.  I have excuses, but I simply didn't have the jam when it counted.

Congratulations Waleed - 1st place!, Lampros 10th and Cody 14th.  It was good seeing such a large contingent of STC guys and gals.  I was really pleased to see new riders out for their first race!  


Clarence Poon said...

UGH was right Tom !
After the first time up that #%$%$ hill after the turnaround - that was it for definitely NOT a climber ! Looking forward to a SHORTER hill climb today at COP and a FLATTER criterium on Monday ! See you all there ! :)


Clarence Poon said...

PS> Way to go WALEED !


MattJ said...

Nicely done Waleed! Must have been the Wheelers Ride tune-up last weekend. Cat 4 awaits you.

Darcy G said...

CongratS Walled!

Mark said...

Congrats Waleed!

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