Thursday, June 16, 2016

Two Races in Four Days, What!?

Photo credit: Tyler Loewens
Racing twice inside the matter of a month is sometimes rare for me so getting to do two within a week is pretty sweet. And if you count Rafal's Good Life Gravel Grand Fondo (if there's a number pinned on your jersey or your bike, it's a race!) this coming Saturday as a race and it will be three races in eight days!

The Lewis & Clark Crusher was pretty great. It was super hot and I didn't make it on the podium yet again, but I was really happy with the way I raced it. Because of the heat, they wisely shortened the marathon race to three hours instead of the normal four. They also would not count any lap finished after three hours so, in reality, the race was even shorter than three hours. I finished five laps in just over 2 hours and 39 minutes.

I feel like I paced the marathon raced about perfectly for me this year. By my last lap, I was pretty much spent, but I still had enough energy to clear all the technical sections where last year I was having difficulty with that nearly right away.

Photo credit: Angelina Peace
I did manage to wreck in the first lap (I hope that's not becoming a pattern) at the end of the first descent. I was going a touch too fast for my bike on those conditions and I'm pretty sure I grabbed too much front brake and my front wheel washed out. Fortunately, this wreck had far fewer consequences than my wreck at Platte and it did not cause me any more pain during the rest of the race. While I was picking myself up, I was passed by four guys. I ended up catching at least two of them again by the end of the race and I'm fairly certain I would not have stayed in front of the other had I not crashed so it could have been worse for sure.

The next Psycowpath race isn't until August; the Tranquility Tire Tantrum, so we've got a bit of a break during July, though I am looking forward to that one as it's probably the trail where I am the least handicapped by my choice of bikes. Until then though, I've got Rafal's GLGF, Odin's Revenge, a family vacation to Santa Fe, NM where I'm planning to ride up an actual mountain climb (gasp!), and the Tuesday night training crit series. It's going to be a busy summer!

In addition to the race at Lewis & Clark, the first of the Tuesday Night Worlds, a brand new training crit series happened this week. Kudos to Jonathan Wait and Kent McNeil and all the others who are putting this series on. I think it's going to be fantastic! The course is a figure eight course in the parking lot at Papillion-LaVista South High School. There's not much elevation gain to be had at all so it's a fast power course.

A little raw video by Jonathan Wait from Tuesday night.

I made it all of 18 minutes into the race before getting popped and riding around by myself for the last half of the race. Looking back at the power data shows that I was in the red coming out of pretty much every corner. Some of that has to do with how crits work, but some of it also has to do with me needing to work on positioning myself better and maintaining momentum better as well. I'm sure racing at Lewis & Clark for a few hours 4 days prior didn't help either, though my legs felt fine going into the crit last night, so I don't know if that excuse really holds up. Regardless, it was good training and I felt like I was able to take away some more lessons on racing. I also rode there and back so I got in a solid 2 hours of endurance work as well.

I'm looking forward to racing as many of these training crits as I can and seeing how well I can improve each time. I think that I could easily be in the mix and animating the race by the end of August for sure.

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