Monday, April 12, 2010

Olympic View Road Race 4/11/10


Garmin file:

Cat5 race report.

Note to self: Five beers on the golf course the day before a road race is a bad call! I hadn’t swung a club in almost six months due to a broken finger playing football in November and a serious ankle sprain in January. It was good fun and I played much better than expected after such a long layoff. That said, getting up at 6:00am and starting to drink beer at 10:30am the day before a race wasn’t ideal preparation.

The alarm went off at 5:30am this morning, boo I need more sleep after yesterday! And another thing, damn my back is sore as hell, wonder if that has anything to do with golfing, DONG.

The race starts in Brady, a small town 30 miles or so West of Olympia. Anessa drove and we arrived about 45 minutes before our scheduled 9:15am start time. Plenty of time to check in, use the rest room, and prep everything. Today’s race consisted of three 18 mile laps. The terrain was flat with several rolling hills but no significant climbs. The neutral rollout was only a few blocks so the race got started pretty quickly. Nothing to report on the 1st lap other then the fact that the bike-sale team had eight riders in the race and one of their guys was in an early break away. When we crossed by the start someone at the timing tent yelled out that the gap was 1:16.

Lap2 – I really wasn’t concerned about the gap since we still had 36 miles left. I was generally sitting in the last 3rd of the pack up to mile 20, I hadn’t seen much of Rob but I knew he was only a couple bikes behind. It was becoming clear that the bike-sale guys planned on controlling the front and keeping the pace down since they had a rider up the road. I wasn’t sure how many riders were in the break (I think it ended up being 5 riders after looking at Hunter’s video) I started chatting up another unattached rider (Travis) and in mile 21 we went off the front to try to close the gap. Travis was strong, we shared leading for several miles pushing it pretty hard. We were alone for 6-7 miles but never really got more than a few hundred yards clear of the pack. At one point my HR hit 189bpm, is that possible for a soon to be 37yr old? Up to mile 32 Travis or I were at or near the front of the pack, Travis tried hard to rally some others to get up front and do some work but there was absolutely no appetite for it. OK, I guess it’s a race for 5th? I did think it was funny that while I was out front (and had been for a while) one of the bike-sale guys actually had the stones to tell me not to “change my shirt” if I was up front. This really pissed me off, I was simply pulling down my arm warmers. I let my F-U reflex go and told him if I was up front working I’d do what ever the fuck I wanted, there was no response. Around mile 32 I slid to the back of the pack and Rob was gone, he’s a total animal so I figured he probably had a mechanical issue.

Lap3, final lap – In the first mile or two I hear “hey dr, J”, Rob was back? Somehow he had fallen off the back and managed to team up with an unattached rider who had been DQ’d for crossing the center line earlier. Pretty awesome that they clawed back into the pack. Nothing to note for the next 20 miles. At mile 51 I moved up to the front and pushed a little off the front for a very short stretch. The most significant hills hit on mile 52 and it blew the pack apart. Rob passed me halfway up the hill but I managed to stay with him. The 53rd mile we raced past a cemetery and down a steep hill with a sharp turn at the bottom. Coming out of the turn I was out of position and near the back of what was left of the pack. I managed to hang on a wheel and move up a few positions.

The Finish – CRASH! With 200yrds to go right in front of me on my left a rider went down very hard, he was immediately hit by another rider who flipped over him. I swerved hard right (Anessa confirmed this later, she was relieved to see me still upright) a piece from one of the bikes hit me in the cheek. Well, this is the CAT5 crashes that everyone talks about. I yell out wholly shit Rob, I saw he swerved left and was also safe. I jumped back on his wheel and finished right behind him. I’ll update the post when the results are posted.

Great ride, sad that a team of 8 would protect a CAT5 break away 40 miles from the finish though. Even more sad that other than Travis not a single rider was willing to even try to do anything about it. It was great racing with Rob , hopefully he catches the bug!


Unknown said...

This race was great in the fact that the sun came out and they did loops where we didn't have to chase them down to take pics or videos and actually got to see the aggressive riding all around. The crash pictures were not good as they were so far away but two ambulance and fire truck meant business for sure. Jason and Rob were very aggressive!

Travis said...

Hey Jason. This is Travis from the olympic View RR. It was a lot of fun riding with you and nice to have another guy on my side to try and break up the BS. I was really getting pissed at these guys. I get the strategy but purposely slowing it down was bullshit. If you don't want to push because your teammate is in the break, fine, but get your ass in the back of the peloton. There will be a bit of hell to pay for that crap. Are you planning on racing Vance Creek on the 25th? I am definitely racing then and we should meet before the race to discuss some strategy. I am planning on throwing down for that race in spite of bikesale and it would be great to get a break together with us and another couple of guys who I know. I am going to make those little bastards work.

Where do you live. Myself and a few other guys do morning rides around Mercer island if you live near Seattle and would like to get in on this. Shoot me an email ( if you are interested in the rides or just chatting before next race.


Evan Darling said...


Nice report, great cat 5 blog!

Travis and Jason: I was the Hagens Berman guy that "accidentally" instigated the break at 4 or 5 miles. I saw a bikesale guy up there with an oldtowne? guy? I was at the back, the WAY back and rushed to the front and started to bridge. When I caught the 2 guys I was surprised that my speed swept me right by them. 5 or 10 minutes later I looked back and a different bikesale guy was still with me. We both agreed to race and did so for the remainder of the 45-50 miles. We had a drag race at the end and he walked me, my legs were completely gone after that effort. All in all it was a damn good time riding with the guy, Alan was his name.

Question: we all have our beef's with bikesale given that they have a massive presence in the group, I'm right there with you. Mostly because I was solo....but oh well. Do you guys really think bikesale hindered the groups ability to catch us? Would really like to know what you guys think here. I'm still suffering from that effort even today.

See you boys at Vance Creek.


Anonymous said...


It was an amazing experience racing with you the other day. I would not be surprised if I was you about your speed bridging the attack. You are a very strong rider. It was a pleasure riding those 45+ miles with you.


I am sorry you feel that my team mates were racing in an unfair manner. I just can not see that though. We have had extensive team meetings which included our team director pounding into our heads that intentional blocking is something we DO NOT DO. Patrolling is a whole different story.

From what I have heard our riders in the peloton patrolled. Maintaining a presence up front waiting for attacks to bridge the peloton back. Ask any large team and they would say that is to be expected. We as a team have no interest in upping the pace for the peloton. It is the other riders job to do so, and if others do not cooperate that is unfortunate.

I am by no means trying to give a lesson, if that is what is seems like I am sorry.

If in fact our team was riding breast to breast from the yellow line to the edge of the shoulder and brake checking or slowing the pace to a crawl (under 20 mph) then I understand your anger. I get that mph number because that was the pace we were going at before the breakaway happened.

It does not sound that way though, since you said you were out front along with others.

So if in fact we were blocking/brakechecking you should contact our team director and plead your case to get the issue resolved instead of complaining over the internet.

You can be upset that you saw the race unfold how you did, that is your right and is perfectly fine with me and my team members. But in doing so you are belittling Evan and his amazing attack/break and that is disappointing. He deserves more then that.

Can I ask you a question? Why did you not confront any one on the team about what you saw that day? Every single team member was present that given day since we were helping run the entire event.

I won't be contributing to these messages any further. I just felt as if I needed to say my part.

Jason Connell said...

Hey Travis, it was great riding with you! I work in Seattle, live in Bellevue, and ride MI a lot so I'm all for doing some training rides. I'm planning on racing Vance Creek ,I'll shoot you an email tonight.

@ Evan, Nice job on 2nd place! That must have been a massive effort to stay away that long. Hopefully I didn’t belittle your race as Alan suggested, if I did it certainly wasn’t my intent.
To answer your question honestly on at least one occasion around mile 30 I was blocked out on a small rise by bikesale guys riding at least 3 across. As I recall Travis was right next to me at the time and we tried to pass on the left but the B.S guy wasn’t going to let us past so we narrowly slid between 2 of their riders. Ordinarily this is would not be something I wouldn’t get excited about but we had been up front working and only fell back a little to try to rally others to help out. When I tried to move back up I was blocked, it just didn’t sit well. That said there is no chance that this small block would have made one bit of difference in us catching you guys. The B.S guys understandably had no interest in catching their guy up the road and no one else outside of Travis was willing to even try.

@ Alan, First of congrats on the win! Secondly thanks for the comments, I have no interest in an internet argument (everybody involved loses 
I think I covered the blocking part above.
I understand patrolling, but really? CAT5 race… I totally get the team aspect of the sport but I would be embarrassed to be one of the 7 B.S. riders who didn’t try their hardest. That’s just me though, I don’t mean for it to be an insult in any way.

“So if in fact we were blocking/brakechecking you should contact our team director and plead your case to get the issue resolved instead of complaining over the internet”
Sorry I don’t understand this at all. What would talking to your team director accomplish exactly? On top of that I’m sorry that you think I’m complaining, simply my take on what happened.

As mentioned above to Evan, you guys kicked ass! No disrespect intended in any way.

Finally, what would “confronting” your team after the race accomplish? I spoke to several of them during the race briefly, they knew how I felt.

PS: I LOVE Bothell Ski and Bike! I bought my Tri bike there a couple years ago, their support and service is fantastic. My friend Rob who raced OVRR Sunday also recently bought a Tri bike from them, great shop.


Travis said...

The fact is that the bikesale guys road a very tactical race most of the time, but there were definitely several instances where they blocked on the hills and broke up several efforts to bridge the gap. If you want to patrol the peloton, fair enough, but get the hell out of the way. For fuck sake you had 10 guys in a field of 40. All that said, the two of youroad a great race and as Jason stated, these stunts pulled by bikesale probably didn't make the difference, but it sure as hell didn't help. I would like to say thanks to the bikesale team for the lesson. I really learned a lot and it will definitely help me in future races. Hope to see you guys at Vance Creek. It is going to be an exciting race.