Monday, July 25, 2011

Babler Circuit Race + GEO Crit Reports

Babler Circuit Race [13/17]

Babler was my first race as a cat 2, so there was a lot to learn going in.  Add to that a 3 week break from racing and I was fairly nervous.  The course was a 4 mile loop with 2 big hills – one up and one down.  I don’t have numbers (no computer, just feel!) but Adam (RecycledCycles) said his Garmin topped out at 18% on the climb.  Let’s just say it wasn’t easy.  With 8 laps I was looking to follow wheels and try to help my cat 1 teammate, Kurt.

I felt good up the climb the first two laps as an early move dangled off the front.  I felt comfortable in the group but was definitely working hard on the hill.  The two-tiered climb usually played out with a steady pace on the lower section with riders kicking it up on the second slope and over the top.  Once they saw that everyone was together the pace would slow a little and the pack would take a deep breath.  It’s funny to me how the first couple times up the climb you keep your breathing quiet and try not to show your cards but by the third or fourth time up the hill you don’t care that you sound like a sow in heat!  By the seventh time up the climb my back was a snare drum and my legs were empty.  I gave in and let the pack go up the road.  I was in the race until the real racing started.  Ouch.

The race highlighted the need to be judicious in the use of strength and cautious to put one’s nose in the wind.  Next time I plan on being around when the fireworks go off!  I’m also taking steps to move past the back pain by getting a bike fit with Russ of Mesa Cycles.  I’ve waited too long to do this!

Kurt rode well and placed 3rd - another podium for 708 Racing!  

Thanks to Gateway Gastroenterology, Off The Front Racing, and the Park Staff for putting on a great race!

Note: only 17 riders were scored but I thought I counted 25+ at the start – this was confirmed by Daniel (Lindenwood) at the GEO crit as he thought there were ~30 guys in the race.  Suddenly 13th doesn’t suck so much.

Great Egyptian Omnium Crit

After attending a friend’s wedding in Indiana Saturday, I stopped by Carterville, IL for the GEO crit Sunday.  Keith and Erik rode well in the Omnium but had to finish the crit as a t-storm rolled in.  Dead air became 30mph+ gusts uncomfortably quick.  The boys kept the rubber down to seal a good weekend of racing.
For the P/1/2 crit I was hoping the race would be a quiet affair – another chance to get my legs going before the MO state crit and Gateway Cup.  I knew Daniel (Lindenwood) and Eduardo (Bigshark) were going to be there but as I had suspected, Jonathan (Nuvo, National TT champ) showed up.  It would be anything but a slow race now!  Not only that but more firepower came to play via 5 IsCorp riders – this would be quite a race!  Unfortunately, that t-storm that escorted the 3’s to the line poured out lightning on John A. Logan College for 1.5 hours, scrapping our race.  It looks like another 3 week gap between races.  Motorpacing time?

Big thanks to Chad Briggs who put on a great race (from what I could tell about the rest of the omnium) and had super community support (I heard a GEO ad on the radio while driving in!).  Not only that, but Chad refunded the P/1/2 crit entry.  This is definitely a race to attend next year!

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