Sunday, May 18, 2008

UCI meets Wells ave?

Don't get too excited...yet. Its only a race report :-) I went down to Wells today to get in some tempo riding and change up from the boredom of my usual 3 hour sunday rides. I've done wells, what feels like thousands of times, and most of the time am falling asleep waiting for our races to start, but today there was a bit of a buzz in the air. Out in back of the school there was a rider warming an argyle blue and orange outfit. Looks like Slipstream-Chipotle kit, but I'm thinking no effin way one of those guys is showing up to Wells. After circling around the parking lot waiting for the B's to finish, a couple of MRC guys are telling me "he's the real deal". So, in my mind i'm thinking A.) who is he (hard to recognize...maybe one of their developmental riders?) and B.) how soon after the race starts can he make his split so i can resume my usual Wells ave pace and not die trying to chase. With ego checked at the door, we start.

The pace was fairly standard Wells' A race for the first 5 laps (26-27 mph). I'm just sitting in, thinking about how bad i've been feeling all week getting over a cold/allergies, and promised myself "I'm just sitting in". After about 10 laps, i notice that the S-Ch rider isn't all that intrigued about setting the pace for everyone. A bunch of breaks go away, somme big, some small. I get tired of weaving around the back of the field so I bridge up to the lead group of about 20 guys. they're just putzing along and soon we're caught. Maybe it was the ease to which i bridged to that group, but against my own best advice my limbic system over-took my rationale (as it always does during racing) and i thought..."maybe i don't feel so bad"....let's look for a move. The S-Ch guy goes...i grab his wheels he pulls me for about 200 m, i pull though...he sits up. I'm clearly not the guy he wanted to go with him on the big move.

Halfway prime comes and goes and another 20 rider break goes up the road with about 5 sec over the field. then, from what i remember, like a shot out of hell Mike Norton comes up the left side of the finishing stretch and i grab his wheel. We promptly catch the break in short order, and next thing i know it's me, Mike, S-Ch man, a sakonet rider, and about 5 other guys and we go right past them. I took a quick look back and noone was chasing us. Ambivalence, or accepting fate? i don't know, but the field let the strongest dude in the pack go up the road, and with about 18 laps or so to go we're off and i'm sitting in what will be the winning break-away with a S-Ch rider. Where the hell am I? Not on earth clearly.

Out of no fewer than 120+ races i've done, I've been in about 10 break aways my whole life. 9 of them went nowhere. One ended up with me placing 6th. this one however was made to stick. We spent the next 30 min setting a decent tempo, taking turns, with a bit of discoordinated attacking going on from some of the riders, but all in all a manageable pace. At about 5 to go guys are starting to miss pulls and i'm sensing a move. S-Ch rider goes with sakonnet...we cover it. 2 to go and S-Ch says good bye. Thing about it was, his "jump" was not that explosive...but after 30 min of FTP level riding he ever so slowly just outpaced us and rode the last 2 laps solo. We fought it out and in the end i crossed the line last in the break...eighth or something. I've finished better at wells, but man did i turn myself inside out to get that spot today. Probably could have moved up some places but i tried to chase down the sakonett guy on the last lap and he toasted i sat up in the final turn and cruised across.

Final stats for the breakaway: 30 mins, 13 miles, 26.5 mph, 301 watts avg, 500 kcal, 50 TSS.

The beauty of this was that is was exactly at my FTP, and i'd been doing 30 min intervals for the past 2months at about that level so i was right in my zone. any harder and i would have had to throw up :-) thanks for holding it steady guys.

So, not to let the air out, but turns out it wasn't a UCI pro (no sh*t)...but it was however, Kirk Carlsen one of the S-Ch U23 team riders: . He won Sunappe yesterday as well. So, not pro-tour yet, but a hell of strong dude who was clearly way ahead of everyone else in the field. Not sure what i was doing in a break with him but like Kevin McHale said: "even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while".


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