Thursday, July 28, 2011

weeknight racing

Westlake went weird again. No AussieRob, Paul, and Ernie flatted so everyone was licking their lips for top 5. Me too, except my lip-licking only happened because of the heat. I don't quite understand how a field split continues to happen (or how it gets pulled back) but it does. This particular night Chris Riccarrdi was in a long 4-man breakaway, when soon after about 12 riders were off the front. I am thinking someone ramped it up to about 28mph and like 4 guys in a row just sat up not wanting to close the gap. 3 of them were LE members so their was no real concern, but when I saw Shawn trying to go across I hopped on for the ride.

Together it took about 1.5 laps or 6 minutes to get across. We had a pretty substantial (15 second??) gap on the field and Matt Weeks even came back when we were about 50m off the field to make the final connection. I sat on for a lap and then the whole field came back, though slightly depleted. I was very suprised. Bridging a 30 second gap happened quick for us, but even quick for the field!

Either way, with 4 to go, everyone was back together. I peaked out the corner of my eye once and saw captain sprintfrogger chernosky on my wheel. With 1 to go I slightly "backed off" through a corner and "happened" upon his wheel. I was prepared for the bunch gallop as I had yet not cramped when I saw the 1 to go sign. Bob Martin and the RGF pain train hit the front with about a 'k' to go and I was pretty much right there. But, as always, something has to get *slightly* thrown off.

Into the final turn and I got a little bowlingball pinched by an actual phat guy and pushed back to about 10th. I still sprinted and got 7th, I believe. The bowlingball rolled in for 5th so I guess I should have not let him in and risked my life for a point at Westlake. Whoops. If I would have survived on chernosky's wheel I would have gotten 2nd, as it looked like he had it by a bike length or two.. So an actual 7th, basically last of the people trying in the sprint this week, contrary to the usual 6th place everyone "gets"

I wrote this before we left for LeRoy last night:
[Tonight we are going to go the LeRoy "Merckx Version" TT. No aero equipment. Without my aerodynamic position, my time will be around 20 minutes I would assume. This should give me a good chance to set a true 20 minute power. Right now I haven't done any intervals yet this year, and all the racing I have done with the powermeter, are shorter courses where you coast a lot. So, my 20 minute power in trainingpeaks is a measly 247 watts from last Westlake.

If my threshold truly is 320 watts as Sean thinks, 105% of 320 is 336 gwatts. 336 is what should be my all time maximum for 20 minutes. At the first LeRoy, I used my powermeter on my TT bike, and I averaged 304w for 18:1X minutes, but then stopped pedaling so my average dropped and my record was gone. I'd like to think I can push out a few more watts since early June, and with my ultra-effecient road bike I figure that is some watts right there, right?!?! In re-reading my post I also cracked half way through so maybe the magical 336w is possible. That would put me at a phat 4.8w/kg for 20 minutes, or 4.57w/kg for 60 minutes.

Man, all this pressure and I thought doing Merckx would let me not worry about anything but going hard!!]
Well, everyone confirmed not only due to the merckxiness of the TT but due to the humidity, heat, and wind, times were very slow.

I actually started relatively conservative and kept an eye on my heart rate. Kept it dialed to 181bpm before the turn, a steady 185 up the grade, then 190 on the kicker. Then semi-recovered to 183 on the downhill but up to 193+ the final 2 miles.

The Results: I crossed the line behind downtubeshifter dad and we both said we didn't feel that great, but pushed hard the whole way. Starting conservative I don't think helps me, though. I seem to always settle in after a mile at the same pace so I should just try and get there quicker next time!! I tried to keep going after I crossed the line for a full 20 minutes but I was pretty shot and my heart rate was already at 195bpm... so my new 20 minute power average was 296 vs. my measly 247 at Westlake. But, my normative power for the 18:55 (~25mph) was 308w (@ 70kg so...4.4w/kg) which isn't too shabby. I think my power was a little erratic on the downhill, turns, and turn-around, but with maybe a 20 minute 3% grade with great legs I could do 336w...

Anyway, my dad finished at 18:53 (~25.2mph), so, we were once again very very close. But, his time does have an asterisk next to it because downtube shifters were a ten second bonus (is it still called a bonus even if it subtracts time?!?) This tied him for best time of the night with Emillio. Here is how close me and my dad have been over the past few LeRoy outings.
closest_ever

Monday, July 25, 2011

unseasonably motivated.

I don't really have anything new to report on the racing/training front but I figured I could throw some new pictures up here to keep the reader occupied. On eBay, I swapped frames so I could get a larger size, and the white was very appealing as always. Here is a more complete picture of my 2011/12 cross bike. It looks strikingly similar to my road bike...
For some reason I've been organizing a bunch of small stuff as of recently. I think my mind has been getting sidetracked to easily in mass quantity of heat (or the air conditioning) I go to find more brake pads, let's organize them all! I go to put together my single chainring setup for cross, let's organize my chainring bolts in color order! Holy crap my motivation in this heat is overwhelming! I am thinking it must be all the JeoPardy I have been watching lately. What do you think Alex?
Speaking of TV, I realized why I had mass amounts of time today: no more Thor to watch. I guess the only exciting parts to me of the thor were Jeremy Roy (pronounced waaa according to Phil) and the defender of yellow, whomever it may have been that day. Maybe I've watched too much jeopardy and lost my love for the thor, or am just too uneducated about road racing, but everyone saying its the best thor in recent years- I'll take watching the doped up guys going up Alpe d'Huez 3 minutes faster. I am still glad old-man Cadel got one though. Either way, I now am not drawn to the TV for 10 hours a day. Maybe I will find some time to train now and not just link up things to their wikipedia page.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

weekend and westlake update

Vulture's Knob was hoppin on Saturday with the Enduro Race. Someone mentioned how "in-the-middle-of-nowhere" you feel when you ride there on a day without a race. I would have to agree with that.

My dad, Julie, and I are in what are thought of as the slowest cat 2 categories (grandmaster, female, and U18), so in turn, we start last, next to last, and 3rd from last. This makes a lot of passing necessary. Knowing the race always comes down to who enters the singletrack first, then gets to pass first, I started the hardest ever.

I won the holeshot and was well into the grandmasters' going into the drops before Mike's Upper Lip. The course had been cut down to a shorter and less dangerous loop with the removal of the over-under so things were looking good for me.

Best legs ever by the way. TOTV/Westlake must have put this overweight kid into shape, because I could literally recover behind people, then spprrrrinnnt ahead to the next person, repeat. It was going well until just before the Over-Under, I started having some chainsuck issues.

Then I broke another chain, I think. I managed to fix it up enough to keep going but was so far back I just bailed after only one lap.

Dad, Toad, Johnny, and Julie still crushed it though.
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Sunday I wished I would have been able to make it down to the State Crit but I didn't. We still ended up going to a very local time trial in Deerfield, Ohio aka right behind Westbranch. I didn't have very good legs but I had all the cool-guy-gofast-stuff so I managed an Ok time for the 20k course, at 29 minutes 50 seconds. That is only like 25.5mph but everyone said the course felt slow from the humidity/heat, so that is my excuse, too. Even with the pathetic speed, that was good enough for 4th overall of about 50, so there is that.
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Last night we ventured to Westlake for Worlds. Chris, Dad, Vanucci, and I had a few more teammates to work with. For some reason, the field split has been the common theme this year at Westlake. I missed it initially, but jumped with Chernosky/Stiener. Chernosky jumped us and Stiener didn't want to ride up to his teammates so I missed the split again. Whoops. Luckily we had Chris and Greg "back from the dead" Flecher up there, so not too much panic ensued. Not to mention it was hard enough just riding in the field!

Somehow, Matt Weeks/ Andy Clarke/ Jeffrey Pendlebury all missed the split so they started taking digs. None of them would let the other go across by themselves so we'd cover (or one of the mass # of Spin dudes) that after two of them followed the initial attackee. And we'd all bunch up again, then one of the three fast guys would throw down again. I thought it was too fast slow fast slow to catch but apparently the front group was messing around more than us.

So, Jeff pulled it all back together with one to go. I was expecting to hear the superheros had launched and there would still be a few off the front, but neh. Everyone was ready for the bunch kick. I tried to give it some gas from a mile out when everything was going to slooowww, but I started to cramp again.

I rolled in with Flecher somewhere in the back of the people who tried to sprint, ie. top 15. I just fell like I've been stuck at 90% with this crazy heat/humidity lately. But my 90% this year is still 100% better than last year, so hopefully, by cross season I can be going well.

Friday, July 15, 2011

more westlake and more weekend

It feels like I have been racing a lot lately. I haven't quite settled in on it yet, because other than racing, I've only being doing a few recovery rides a week with maybe one longer ride thrown in. I promise next week (and therefore the rest of summer) to actually focus on gaining some endurance and doing some racing still.

Anyway, Westlake went well for about 22 of the 23 laps on Tuesday night. I felt awesome after suffering for a little bit in the beginning. I found myself in the lead group that swelled close to 15 riders and became more as a field split. I can remembering "bridging" across through the parking lot thinking "why did I just pull the whole field with me?" but in reality I think I was one of the last few across the gap the whole night!

Our group was relatively cooperate with at least one person pulling on each team (so there were like 8 people actual pulling, including me rotating at least) and having some of the bigger dawgs do the attacking. For once I never felt on the verge of being dropped.

It wasn't until about 8 to go until I started seeing Shawn chirp into Matt's ear, and 6 to go, when Dave C. was chirping in Cameron and Mitch's ears'. I followed a few moves each time thinking "Oh man, were going fast this is the winning move!" only to see one of the other singles pulling it back.

Finally the elastic broke with 4 to go when Steiner mashed away and Batke followed when everyone seemed to be catching there breath. Perfect timing on Steiners' part, not to mention Brian had just come back from a one lap solo endeavor. Cameron bridged with Ernie and they had an instant gap. The first four places were gone with each of the major squads represented (team ernie, too) and all the singles/team members seemed content to sprint for 5th.

But wait...the Zak Attack Dieringer and Steady freddy 32 Weeks have other ideas. Both starting throwing down again trying to get away for points. I tried to follow them but I cramped up and had to roll the last half lap solo. Whoops, I think I worked a bit too hard early thinking I made the final final cut.
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In more racing unpreparedness, I am planning on the DoubleDown Enduro tomorrow at Vulture's Knob. To be honest, I am very nervous I won't be able to "race" the whole thing. My longest ride of the week has been at Westlake recently. This little thinger will be closer to 3 hours for chunky robert. Even if I can't race around fast, it should be a fun time.
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If we (Julie, Dad, Johnny) aren't totally toast from Saturday, the plan is to go to our first Deerfield TT out in Ravena. It should suit me better (flat) but I wouldn't expect too much after Saturday.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

totv wrap up

stage 3 - the basic 45 minute crit. right. wrong. well, a good uphill (I guess there was a downhill too) was put in this year. It made everything harder than I think anyone planned. The recovery on the downhill was trying to avoid manhole covers and potholes. I barely turned the cranks warming up but hoped the legs would wake up after a few efforts. They didn't really, but I suffered and followed the right people as much as I could. There was one long solo attack but thebikeshop team had 8 guys and brought it back relatively easy. Fast forward to one to go. I am maybe fifteen riders back and literally think "how'd I get so far back?!?" I realize this is a poor place when the road narrows to one lane wide in the final 300 meters. To move up I rode dangerously but got up to tenth before the last turn. I sprint hard out of the last turn and keep my momentum up the hill for 6th place. Ouch...Crossing the line that could have went a lot better I just wish I was better positioned at the end. Luckily I had my cheat sheet #'s to watch (people around me in the Gc) I think 4th place swapped with 2nd in the end. Either way, I still got 3rd in the Gc which I was content with.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

I mean, you could be second, third, fourth--hell Ricky, you could even be fifth!

Totv stage 1 - Ended up 3rd with an average speed a few clicks over 26 mph. Not what I was looking for, but considering I never had the legs to really get on top of the gear, not bad. It just felt all uphill in my opinion. My plan was to break 20 minutes but I barely broke 21.

Totv stage 2 - Crazy hard road loop. It was fast, too. WASLABS set a hard tempo up to the KOM climb around 26 miles in where the race blew to pieces. My loyal teammate Craig got me well positioned and I only came off the huuuuuuuge climb about 15 seconds down from the front group. I bridged more or less with Brent Thompson up the rollers. We looked back and the group of about 15 was gone. I think that left like over 40 4's dropped on the hills. We ended up catching the remains of the masters' field who started 5 minutes ahead! Three snuck away but we reeled them in with bridging distance (5 seconds) but my legs could not have it. I sat in the field and had a nice leadout (not on purpose) from Dave Yohe and I got the field sprint for 5th. I was very content, though, considering phat kids don't climb phast.

Gc - I know for sure the winner of the road race (max max max points man) isn't in the Omnium for the weekend. So I think that puts me probably in 3rd going to try and hold on for the podium in the crit tomorrow! It will be tough with 9 WASLABS and 1 puny Lake Effect but I'm willing to suffer, again, I hope.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

weekend plans

Somehow I've been talked into doing the TOTV again. Last year it was probably the worst weekend of racing bikes I've ever had. That's saying something when you suck a lot like me. Man it hurts to link to that even. This year is more or less the same set-up as last year with TT friday night, a loooong/hilly/death march of a road race on Saturday, crit Sunday, except the criterium on Sunday appears to have a pretty good hill in it.

I was also informed from superstar Matt Celek at Westlake on Tuesday, that the upgrade points will probably be based off a stage race setup. So, one should do well in the overall with a lot of competitors if one should need upgrade points. (Matt was also auto-upgraded as he was sitting on a whopping 52 points of a necessary 20...fyi all cat fours you can come to races again without getting smoked) I realized now I should have asked him for a few! I wasn't planning on trying to upgrade after leTour but I actually want to now. I don't know why it just doesn't feel like I am doing well in this cat 4 thing so let's try cat 3. So I need to do well this weekend in the overall for real. It is supposed to be realllllly hot this weekend so don't expect much even after all this cat 3 talk.
Speaking of going well, this Alexey kid has also ridden to superstar status winning nationals a few weeks ago along with a few other significant results. When he does well this weekend against the likes of Panther/Carbon/GPOA/RGF, you heard it HERE FIRST.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

battle royale

My dad and I are getting pretty competitive at the local Thursday night time trial in LeRoy. This week we each brought out even cooler wheels- my dad was on the team disc and julie's 404 front and I was rolling dad's disc and chris martino's 808 firecrest front. All Zipp all the time.

I think was the first time I haven't set a PR at LeRoy but I have a few solid excuses: it was by only one second compared to only two weeks ago, I had put splits on my garmin for the original course, therefore was 7/10ths of a mile ahead of myself most of the time and thought I was on a PR run (so I now think I would have went harder), and I also rode 2.5 hours on the TT bike the night before.

Either way, my dad started 30 seconds in front of me, and we both agreed I did put some time into him on the way out, but on the way back...ouch. My legs weren't turning over quite as well but I still thought I was going well enough to equal dad after denting his lead going uphill. And I almost did.
Later I got this email from Jim:
Guys,
I found that I didn't see two of the numbers correctly, one for Rudy and one for Matt. Rudy's actual time was 17:23 (a gain of two seconds) and Matt was at 17:20 (also a two second gain I believe). Sorry Robert, I didn't find that second you thought I was off. Jim
We still both averaged slightly over 27 mph (dad got my time from last time) but noooo, now Dad is now up 2-1 in our LeRoy TT series. Also I should have went faster to beat Matt "no aero wheels" Weeks...sometime.