Saturday, May 2, 2009

Race Report: Marty RR

Katie looks a little dazed (and maybe I do too) because we just got back from a day of playing outside in and around beautiful Marty, MN. I use the term "playing" loosely since Katie and Soulmate spent the day alternately snacking, napping, and walking around intently studying sticks.

I, on the other hand, spent the morning chasing a couple of southerners around a very windy "Sprinters' Classic" roadrace course. We failed to reel them in, so I had to settle for sprinting for 3rd place, which I also failed to acheive. It wasn't a total failure though. 

First the recap: in the Pro/1/2s, ho hum, Doug Swanson again delivers a stunning sprint to win and draw the first blood toward qualifying GrandStay for the Nature Valley Grand Prix pro stage race in June. The Qualifier Events are: 
May 2 - Gluek Road Race, Marty, MN 
May 20 - Black Dog TT, Burnsville, MN 
May 30 - East Union Circuit Race, East Union, MN 
June 2 - State Fair Criterium, St. Paul, MN.

In the Master 35+, a couple of ringers drove up from KC or Iowa or somewhere and went off the front in the 3rd of 4 laps to go 1 & 2. I started the tailwind, slightly downhill sprint early, maybe at 350 yards, thinking I could catch the other sprinters off guard and still hang on, but it wasn't to be. I did get a big gap right away, but Donimator came around me with 50 yards to go, about the time my thighs were cramping up, and he pulled 3 other guys up to me who got past me as I faded.

7th out of 50 starters isn't too bad, but they only paid to 5th place, so I was out of the money. I was disappointed, but Big Jim pointed out that I made the front group when more than half the field got shelled. Now that I think of it, I remember a couple guys trying to bridge up to the remnants of a strong break at the beginning of the 3rd lap, and Jim told me to chase down a GS guy who was bridging up.

I put my head down and hit the gas, and thought I'd bridged up by myself, only to look back and see guys behind me. I thought I had towed the entire peloton back to the break, but apparently only ten guys made it, leaving the rest of the field shattered in little groups. Some of the favorites had picked that point to lounge in the back of the peloton, and skinny Chad and Mliner in particular spent the rest of the race trying and failing to time trial up to our group.

Mind you, I had no idea that this was happening; I was just trying to follow wheels and stay out of the wind and out of trouble. I guess I need to work on race awareness a little. Anyway, when Big Jim cranked it up over the last mile of the finishing straight, I got twitchy and pulled the trigger too soon, with the above mentioned result. Oh well, you live and learn.

What I did learn was that my new training technique is doing wonders for my racing legs. Get your notebooks out, I'm spilling secrets here: I race hard on Saturday, ride the Tuesday night Rev/GCC hammerfest, and commute 30 minutes a day on my Bianchi Cafe Racer. That's it. On breakthrough weeks I add a Dairy Queen run towing Katie in the Chariot.

Best of all, the Katiemobile is working to perfection. Well, there have been a few bumps in the road, mostly related to the ephemistically termed "black water tank", which hasn't been flushing perfectly, and the first time I tried to dump it, the 3" hose literally flew into my hands after it broke off of its internal moorings. Fortunately I hadn't pulled the gate valve or I would have had had more than just a broken hose on my hands. 'Nuf said.

In all, a good day was had by all, and now it's (long past) time for bed. G'night John Boy...

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