Sunday, April 18, 2010

2010 Flatlandia Kermesse, Leland, IL
-Road Race, 15 mile laps including three sections of gravel.
-CAT 5 was three laps.

I arrived early in fact way earlier then I wanted or needed to. Does that race day excitement wear off eventually? By now everyone knows, it was sunny, but windy, which made it cold AND there was some gravel. Not hard packed Cottonwood Pass dirt road stuff, but good old country living loose gravel road stuff. In fact, I do believe they grow there gravel rocks pretty darn big out there in Leland.

Let’s get rolling; as we roll out with a neutral start I immediately realize I am stuck on the right and in the cross wind. At least I was in the big ring and got clipped in. One of these days I will get the starting stuff right. I wasn’t sure how my legs would be since I was pre occupied with some allergies and a nasty neck/shoulder stiffness & pain. I was rolling next to and chatting up EC from BH. Everyone knew he was the guy to keep an eye on. He goes and I imagine 10 of us follow. It was pretty tame before that first section of gravel. The nasty crosswind blew me into the gutter, but my mad skills saved it without losing ground. Minutes later EC did the same thing, which we laughed about later. At one point I bumped into Bangert as I moved up and our bars got hooked. No worries, me and him are like Fonzie and avoided disaster without anyone noticing.

Mile 8ish of the first lap we made that left onto the first gravel section. I was midpack I believe going into it. No one went down, but everyone seemed to panic a bit including me. Next thing I know I am going backwards. Hey, so is Bangert. Hey, so is MCook. Hey, so is MZ. At least I had company. It did organize fairly quickly after that and we had one very long line of riders. I was worried, but everyone was still in sight, even if I was oh so way back. We took a left and EC took darted to the left side taking riders with him. No worries, I am still in the game. Next we hit a right turn with some seriously soft gravel right in the middle of it. I have never seen riders fall down so slowly. It was funny and it was not funny. They were falling right in front of me. I think 3 dudes just fell over.

They didn’t take anyone down with them, I think, but it fractured the group. I was way back now. Two or three groups were riding away, including the winning one with EC. I was on Bangert’s wheel with two other riders for the next couple minutes. It felt like we were slowing down when we needed to be hammering down. I got the sense that everyone was going into self survival mode. I don’t blame anyone for that, heck I was in that mode too. However, I needed to be in race survival mode, so I went. At some point MCook picked me up or I picked him up and we pressed on hard in that gravel.

As we rolled out of that section onto the pavement and into a tailwind we had passed everyone, but the leaders. We could still see them and MCook was ready to go go. I wasn’t sure. We had not even completed lap one. It would take a huge effort for only two of us to catch that group. I said we should wait for someone to bridge up and help. We needed help.

No one ever came. I don’t think anyone ever tried. Not sure. I don’t know how long we sat up, but eventually we pressed on. It was too damn late. At mile 10 our race for the podium was over.

The balance of the race was just as epic. MCook and I both took pointless flyers off our 5 man group at one point. After the race we were like, WTF. Lap two had me gunning it at 30 mph with that tailwind on the last section of gravel. I was floating on the crap. Ran out of water. Purposely shed some riders on the last lap to try to ensure top tens for us.

Last lap we hit the tailwind with a 5 from Half Acre. I try to drop him, he tries to drop me, does, but MCook brings us back. He made a great move on the gravel where he gunned it on a slight incline to pass some riders. I burnt my last match getting back to his wheel. As we are about to exit the gravel and turn to the finish I yell back, “MCook you still there?” and he is. I was hoping we could take the Half Acre rider, but we didn’t. No sprint, he just jumped and I couldn’t.

8th for MCook and 9th for me. Me and the kid had a great time out there. For sure.

Race stats for those who care. Max HR and CAD data is not correct.

Entire workout (232 watts):
Duration: 2:21:46
Work: 1972 kJ
TSS: 218.6 (intensity factor 0.964)
Norm Power: 251
VI: 1.08
Pw:HR: -1.2%
Pa:HR: -7.95%
Distance: 45.814 mi
Elevation Gain: 457 ft
Elevation Loss: 469 ft
Grade: -0.0 % (-10 ft)
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 819 232 watts
Heart Rate: 132 246 170 bpm
Cadence: 46 239 96 rpm
Speed: 0 31.2 19.4 mph
Pace 1:55 0:00 3:06 min/mi
Altitude: 688 745 717 ft
Crank Torque: 0 885 211 lb-in

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