Tuesday, May 1, 2012

April Showers

April showers
A thanks to Fred Jordan for all the great
pictures of all the Abra races
April was a interesting months for racing. After a 64th out of 75 racers I was feeling a bit worried bout how the season would start out. Later that week the ACA Crit Series had started and I managed to win the 4/5 race and had a strong 3rd place finish in the 3/ 4 race which blew some life back into my confidence. Though the weekend of the 15th the Mountianeer Classic took place and I was struggling to stay latched on the back of the field of the 3/ 4 race I ended up place 24th out of 30 but i wasn't to disheartened by this I held on till about 4 laps to go and managed to hold off and not to get lapped to stay on the lead lap.

The Greene County Road Race.
 I arrived early to help set up what I could, after awhile Jeff showed up and set up the team area. It was a chilly morning then the addition of rain only made it colder. The team was under the tents some on trainers warming up the rest of us standing around talking about how we were feeling and what our tactics for the day would be, we initially were planning on setting mike up again but we soon found out that he was doing the 3/ 4 race for the mileage since he didn't feel he'd be competitive in the 4/5 field.
our team area

 Now that mike was out we had changed our plans a bit but instead of focusing on mike it would be more on Jonathon, James, and myself since we are slightly stronger climbers on the short steep climbs in the area. With the race having 2 climbs within the last half we had thought we would have the best chance to make a move on the last couple of climbs and our teams power houses Jeff and Jerry would hammer it out and make attacks on the flats of the first half of the course. Now that we had a basic plan for the day we set out on how the weather was going to turn, and what should be worn. Now I opted to not warm up seeing as the first 4 miles of the race were going to be fairly neutral due to a sharp 170 or so turn with a drop in the pavement on the inside, and I had thought that would be enough of a warm up for me. As they called our field to line up I was wishing I had actually gone to warm up even just a little bit and checked out the finishing straight in case it came to a sprint finish. 

We line up and the whistle is blown and we're off and the first 4 miles are easy and neutral which allowed me to get a decent warm up. Now after the sharp turn it strung out and not long after I see Jeff and Jerry attack off the front and gets some distance, it wasn't enough the field chased them down not long after. Over the next few mile pretty uninteresting since it was raining I was sitting toward the middle to the back of the pack since I felt uneasy in group. I watched Jeff and Jerry attack a couple more time but with similar results. They attacked not to far from the first climb of the day, the peloton didn't react as quickly as before and slowly pulled them back on the climb, by this point I was sitting mid-pack and keeping up with them on the climb. They caught Jerry first and he started to fall through the pack and by the time I had reached Jerry the front of the group had just caught Jeff. 

Since the hill turned down hill immediately down after you reach the peak, I spoke up to Jerry to try to give him some motivation to try to stick to the back of the group. As it headed down hill I slipped to the back of the group eventually lost contact for a bit, my rear tire felt like it was low on air and thought I had a slow leak and just felt really uneasy, I eventually caught the back of the group, when I did I asked some one to take a look at the tire and tell me if it looked low since I couldn't get a good look at it. While I was doing that Jerry had caught back up to the group after getting dropped, he suggested moving up through the field since I was last in the pack now. I followed him up and slotted in behind him and Jeff towards the front of the field. I eventually got pushed towards the back again and there I saw Jeff go on a solo move and there was no reaction from the field. A few miles went by and Jeff managed to pull out of sight with the help of Jerry, James, and Jonathon on the front blocking, I was still in the back and couldn't move up to help block. But a few miles later the field were organizing a chase and brought him back into sight at the bottom of the second climb but he still had 20-30 seconds on the field. They finally caught him towards the final half mile of the climb then it leveled off slightly before there was a short kicker, were Jonathon made his attack and managed to pull away a from the field. As the hill started to turn downhill. I once again found myself at the back and dropped again through the couple of hair pins on this decent, through the turns Jeff caught back on and I tucked in behind him since I know he can get down the hills faster than I.

the profile of the final climb
 We caught the back of the group before it leveled out and we saw Jonathon still had just a little bit of distance on the rest of the group but the was quickly erased as it leveled out and we headed for the final climb. I knew this would be where the climbers would make there attacks so I worked my way towards the first few rides of the group as we hit the false flat right before the climb, I saw Jonathon just behind me as it start to gain in gradient. As the hill started to turn steeper David Cornett moved to the front and started to turn the screws and pull away from the field but me and Jonathon stuck to his wheel I eventually felt as I was going to pop so I eased up to wave Jonathon through but he couldn't the look on his face said it all he was right with me doing what he could to keep up, I grab David's wheel and went to put a little acceleration to go around and get some time on the field by the top of the climb but as I did any hard push while standing my wheel would slip. As the climb peaked I was second wheel and only a couple seconds behind David but as we were heading down the hill I kept looking over my shoulder seeing where the field was which wasn't far, and decided to hold off on catching him and just let the group catch me and then pull him back. Over the final few mile Jonathon and Jerry (I was surprised to see Jerry with the group still after that climb but happy to see that we had 4 of us in this group) made a jump from the back to try to get a break going I was on Jeff's wheel when he went to hope on their wheels as the went by, the field had the same idea and they couldn't get away. As the mile to go sign came and went I did what I do, I tucked in towards the front and did as little as I could to try to go for the sprint at the end.

 Now this is why I wanted to look at the finishing straight before the race started, I ended up getting boxed in and when I was able to move out I was in the wrong gear and was to close for the finishing line for my sprint to ramp up and just had to push what I had to hold on to the 5th place, and Jeff sprinting for a well deserved 3rd place finish after being off the front for more than a third of the race. Over all this race was a lot of fun even though I was numb most of the race, it was awesome to see the team tactics are starting to iron out and that we are learning more as what we are able to do and what works.

this one here contains about 300-500 calories
Now for the baked goods, I had a bake sale I originally was asked to bake for so I decided I would just do a second batch of stuff and sell it at the race to help off set the cost of ingredients. So I ended up making whoopie pies(gobs) first attempt at these, they turned out good. I also did my chocolate truffle cookies since people really liked them at the Morgantown road race. I also had vegan oatmeal craisin with white chocolate, which were my favorite of the group and were my pre-race fuel, since Ive had to much chocolate recently.  Recently I've gotten in to making bento  lunches (a bento is a boxed lunch in simple terms, they look good and are usually healthy for you).