First road race today!
I accomplished my primary goal of not crashing and finishing in the main pack. I started with the CAT5 men that left Ravensdale park at 9:30am. The starter told us the first mile was a rolling neutral start but it turned out to be closer to 3 miles. I can’t complain about the slow start though, the easy pace helped me relax a little bit.
The race got going in the 5th mile, it was interesting that the pace would pick up and slack rapidly w/o much rime or reason. 7 or 8 miles in I moved up near the front of the pack for a while, never actually taking the lead though. From roughly mile 10 to 16 I hung out at the back of the pack with a guy from recycled cycles.
For several miles there was a solo rider leading the pack by several hundred yards, at some point before mile 20 he was joined by a second rider. The pack didn’t seem too concerned by this, I guess because they were in sight and not that far up the road. Mile 21! I got tired of hitting the brakes at one point so I decided to hit the gas! The right shoulder was open and well paved, I shot forward from the back of the pack. As I was passing the leaders in the pack the bikesale guys (a team that had 5 riders in the pack) yelled “break up the right side”. This made me puff up a little and I really hammered it as I went off the front, my HR hit 187bpm! I stayed away for 2-3 miles on my own. I got within 25yrds at one point of the 2 leaders but couldn’t close down the final gap. The bikesale guys gave me props for the “nice attack” as the pack gobbled me up. I actually had a tough time slipping back into the pack and ended up jumping on at the back, 3rd to last in less than a minute. The 2 riders in the break away were caught right after me. The pace had picked up a bit and I had to fight to not get dropped for the next ½ mile.
As the race turned on to Kent/Kangley around mile 28 the pace really picked up. I was near the lead of the pack or actually leading from mile 28-30. The course takes a sharp left on to the Cumberland/Kanasket RD at the start of mile 31. I was leading at this point and gave myself a good scare entering the turn at over 35mph! I scouted the course yesterday and thought the race finished at Ravensdale park sooo that sharp turn and the climb that followed were a surprise. Right from the start of the hill I started getting passed. When we crested the hill I was still near the front (10th or so) I was starting to catch my breath when I saw the 200M sign. CRAP, it was on and I was not prepared for it. My “master plan” was to launch an attack in the last mile so I wouldn’t be caught in a sprint, heck, I don’t even know how to sprint. Long story short I hammered it the best I could, passed a couple guys and got passed by a couple others.
End result I was 13 out of 29 finishers, just a few seconds behind 1st. I learned a lot and plan on racing again in a couple weeks!
1:27:00 – 22MPH – average HR – 163bpm