Valley of the Sun
This weekend Rick Ellwanger, Leo Masursky, and I did the Valley of the Sun race … it was tough and had lots of excellent riders. There were 18 in the MM60+ category and only 8 were from Arizona, the other ten were from New Mexico, Canada, San Diego, Utah, South Carolina, and Connecticut. I ended up 9th in the GC. Here’s a brief report for each stage:
2011 VOS TT : Headwind going out of approx. 7-9mph. Finished in 37:48, 23mph. This was 1:32 faster than when I did this in 2009. Overall pleased with my finish in the middle of our group (11/18). Thanks to Bryan Schlegal for the loan of his TT bike!
2011 VOS RR: Came in 10th. In 2009 finished in 2:07:09, this year I finished in 1:55:46. Cut off 11:23!! Got gapped from the lead group after the first climb of the long hill, worked with five others to catch back on with the leaders just at the lead up to the long climb … got gapped again and couldn’t catch back on … after riding alone I caught a 50+ guy that got dropped from the lead group, we worked together until the lead up to the climb and I was able to break away at that point. Lost about 3-4 minutes to the leaders, but I’m overall pleased with my improvement and hope with more work next year I can finish with the lead group and contend for the win!!
2011 VOS Crit: Came in 8th. Crazy fast at the start and got dropped by the leaders on 2nd lap. Worked in a small group that included Richard Thompkins, AZ Masters, and several 50’s .. was able to nip Richard at the wire (he had won quite a few crits in our age group last year).
Leo: For the RR (this was my inaugural VOS), I felt good and was climbing well in the group. I got an excellent feed from Will after the third climb and was really happy. I then hit a massive pothole just before the turn into the wind and chased with Richard Hurst for the rest of the day. I was tired at the end, but Jimmie’s program really worked.
For the crit, I was feeling fine, and flatted with five laps to go; dnf.
Having raced the previous weekend (McD, and Bike Haus cr’s), and this weekend, I’m feeling great about the season, but I’ve got to up my top end for TT’s.
Rick: The TT came off pretty much according to plan in terms of effort. My objective was to maintain a HR of 158 out and back and I in fact did 158 out and 159 back. My AT is 161 so I kept just shy of threshold pursuant to the training plan. Unfortunately, my overall management of the TT sucked and I forgot my TT helmet and didn’t think to pre-treat my aerobars with carbon paste or chalk to keep them from slipping. There was significant vibration on the road surface and by turnaround my right bar was loose and I had to literally hold it in the aero position. In addition, I failed to pay proper attention to the start and allowed my start time to sail by while the Starters lollygagged, which cost me another 30 sec. Bottom line, I finished 15/18.
The RR was a whole lot more fun. I got in the breakaway the first time up the big hill and managed to stay close enough to the front for the next lap to get 1 KOM point the 2nd time up the hill. I got gapped a little bit with half a dozen other guys just after the summit but we worked pretty well together and re-acquired the lead pack a few miles later. For the final time up the hill to the finish line I turned the corner with Roy Quaid from Canada and commenced my final grind up the hill; hitting HR 160 at the 3km mark, and 164 at the line; definitely anaerobic. While I was struggling just to survive, Roy rode away from me like I was standing still and just kept going like a machine, in due course passing everyone in our group to win the RR with a time of 1:51:04. I finished 7/14 with a time of 1:52:30; a good result and a pretty well managed training ride.
The Crit was enlightening. Since there were going to be about 60 guys in the combined 50/60 field and I wanted a position ON the start line I hung out on a side street shortcutting the course while the previous race finished. My plan was to insert myself at the front of the riders as they came around the backside of the course during the warmup lap. After a while when no riders appeared I began to wonder what was going on and I went back to the other end of the block where I could see the start line and the last riders in my group were just disappearing around the first corner. Oops – there was no warmup lap! I had to cover half a block to get to the start line and I was at 28+mph when I crossed the start line. I remained at 28+ and at the end of the first lap I had slightly LOST ground. Yikes! I still felt good so I hammered a 2nd lap at 27-28 and at the end of that lap I was even farther behind. At that point I collapsed to 23 mph where I remained until 4 laps to go, when I got lapped by the leaders and pulled from the race. I’m afraid you all will just have to take my word for this part since I noticed I’m not even on the finish list. My ONLY redeeming action for this race was that I managed to pass two 50+ dropees before I got pulled.