Thursday, June 10, 2010

State Fair Crit

Blockin' the wind for Dewie with 3 laps to go

With nothing going on the dirt within a 3 hour radius this weekend, we decided to keep it local and get some Snake Alley practice in at the Iowa State Fairgrounds crit. After doing several recon laps, I can see why people might liken this course to Snake Alley, with one exception, there are no flats on this course, either up or down.
I needed a good training weekend, so Julie and I went our separate ways the day before and did a 4 hour endurance ride. I felt really good throughout the ride and kinda thought that I would have a pretty good couple of races on Sunday. I planned to do the 40+ race, see how it goes, then decide on the P/1/2 race afterwards.
We lined up for the 40+ race to a pretty stacked field for a bunch of old guys, Dewey Dickey, Kung Lou, Paul Deninger and Babe (formerly known as Shrek) to name a few. I got off to my usual crappy start due to my inability to get clipped in before slotting myself into DFL. I quickly caught up to the lead group by the time we hit the top of the climb. A few laps later the lead group had whittled itself down to myself, Dewey, Babe, Paul, Lou…there may have been a few others. There were a few attacks going up the hill, however it was a half-hearted attack by Dewey that shattered the remainder of the group. I managed to stay with him and when we hit the top of the hill, I took a quick look back and saw that we were alone. I took the lead and kept the pressure on going down the hill.

Dewey didn’t appear to have any interest in sharing the workload, so I broke the wind over the next couple of laps, waiting for the inevitable attack from Dewey going up the hill. The attack never occurred and as we hit the top of the hill, I pretty much had myself ready to turn myself inside out to keep Dewey behind me. We hit the bottom of the hill, rounded the 180, and found the perfect gear to accelerate up the small climb to the finish. I never really considered myself to be much of a sprinter, but I managed to outkick Dewey for the win. It was great to finally beat Dewey after having gotten my arse handed to me by him over the last 10 or so years, however I also realize that he was most likely saving himself for the P/1/2 race.
I felt good enough after the race that I decided to sign up for the P/1/2 race. I think that I might have acted a little too quickly in my decision as my brain was still operating off of little to no blood flow from the previous race. This realization came at the bottom of the climb on lap 1 of the P/1/2 race. Randy Reichardt and a few others thought it would be a great idea to amp it up on lap 1. Once again my inability to get my feet situated into the pedals had me rolling up the hill in last place.
By the time that I gotten myself out of the chaos of the rear end, a lead group of six had formed and appeared to be long gone. It was at about lap 3 that everybody in my group appeared to be self destructing as they were dropping like flies when going up the hill. The 2nd group contained myself, Brian West and a few others. I could see the lead group ahead of us and the gap wasn’t growing, so I figured that we still had a small chance of catching up. Once again, I found myself doing the bulk of the work at the front and about midway through the race, the lead group was about ¼ of the way up the hill when we were at the bottom. They appeared to be going at a fairly slow rate, so I put in pretty hard dig and started to close the gap at a pretty rapid rate. As I was closing in, Dewey took a look back and appeared to notice me catching up. He took off up the hill right as I had caught up and that was the end of the battle for the top spot on the podium.
I settled into the back of the chase group, consisting of Randy, Bryan Moritz, Jared Osterloh, Clark Priebe and Chad Bishop. I did little to no work as I had already worked myself over pretty good in bridging the gap from the 2nd group to the lead group. I was actually feeling pretty good as long as the effort didn’t exceed my Zone 3. Whenever the effort forced me into Zone 4, my legs protested the effort by threatening to detach themselves and club me over the head.
Over the last couple of laps, the attacks up the hill began. I didn’t have the legs to keep up, but I was able to bring myself back on the descent. On the final lap, Jared put in a pretty fierce attack up the hill and once again, I was unable to respond with the group. I caught back up to Chad Bishop, but the effort to catch him pretty much drained me of any sprint for the finish. I ended up in 7th and was pretty content with the result at the end of a hard weekend of training.

Julie looks really good on a bike...purrrrrrr.

Takin' the high speed 180 like a mountain biker.

Julie wasn’t quite as fortunate in her race as she was still suffering from the effects of the previous days ride. She’s also still trying to get the road bike racing thing figured out, especially when going downhill on certain courses like the State Fair course. She put in a very respectable effort, finishing 7 out of 11 in a race that combined all of the women into one category. When she finished her race, she told me that her legs were pretty po’d at me. They got over it pretty quickly as we treated ourselves to dinner and beer (for Julie) at the Court Avenue Brewey with Maria Von Ruuuuutenberg, Lisa V, Jeremy and a few others.

Thanks for reading,


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