Sunday, May 20, 2007

2007 GTC Championships

It was a really nice day to race. The temperature was low, the sky was blue, and pretty much everyone showed up. This included 3 previous state champions, an ex-pro, and many cat 1-3 riders. The race would be really tough for me and my goal was to simply hang on and see what happened. Predicably, there were a lot of initial accelerations and testing of the legs. Eventually a group of 5 or so made off the front and in the group were 2 former state time trial champions and a tri-athlete. The group of 16 or so just let them go. The eventual winner had the brains to bridge the gap while it was still 10-15 seconds and the rest was history as 12 riders tried unsuccessfully to chase them down. After many pulls at the front, I joined the 3-4 guys who did no work at the back and ended up enjoying a nice, fast group ride.

Eventually our club's star Cat 1 decided to stretch his legs a little and I gave up. This was after 50 miles and a 23 mph average. I enjoyed my nice cool down ride back to the finish where I saw a group of 15-20 riders waiting on the side of the road. None of them decided to finish the race since they were behind, so the only 3 left were on the finishing loop. In the end a very experienced racer and former TT champion took 3rd, the tri-athlete took 2nd, and the Cat 3 road racer took first. They worked hard and worked together and their ride was exceptional. In looking at the data, for the race (before the drop), here are the stats:

RACE (before the drop at mile 50):

Duration: 2:11:21

Work: 1767 kJ

TSS: 196.1 (intensity factor 0.946)

Norm Power: 270

VI: 1.2

Distance: 50.03 mi

Min Max Avg

Power: 0 938 224 watts

Heart rate: 82 179 156 bpm

Cadence: 32 141 97 rpm

Speed: 2.8 36.7 22.9 mph

Pace 1:38 21:27 2:38 min/mi

Once I was dropped my averages came down a bit. In looking at the power distribution and the training zone information, the conclusion is that this race was way too hard for me. I was anerobic for about 28 minutes which is a stupid place to be right now.

And here is the power line graph for the whole race-drop period. You can see my threshold (285watts) by the red line.

The ex-pro in the group complained at one point that we were riding like a bunch of Cat 4's, which is basically true since that is what most of us were. The biggest lesson from this race is this:

1. Pay attention to who goes off the front in a break. (2 state champion TT and 1 tri-athelete should have garnered an immediate response).

It was fun but I think that will be my last one as a racer. Although I like the concept, the race is a bit loose. It will be fun to watch the others try their luck though.

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