Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Lindsey Wilson

Race #1 is in the books.  We had 8 racers head out to the tiny (population 4,000), middle-of-nowhere town of Columbia, Kentucky for what is possibly the most intense road race course on the MWCCC circuit this year.  Luckily what Columbia lacks in excitement (read: bars) it makes up for in crushing hills surrounded by beautiful scenery.  Check out the course profile:
The max gradients on these hills are a lot more than those averages.

We had a couple triathletes come out this weekend on the way to their training camp in Florida; Clay and Hayley have some racing experience in USAC races, but this was their first time throwing down in midwest collegiate scene which is significantly sexier than your average cat 4/5 race.  

Hayley's ready to rock.

They both had no trouble with the competition, with Hayley finishing 16th in the Women's B field and Clay hitting the final hill at the front of the C field before the near 20% pushed him back to 16th.

We also had some new teammates competing in the Men's C race: Eric Jones and Zach Benet.  Considering neither of these guys has raced a road bike before they performed awesomely on the challenging course to finish 27th and 38th in a large field of about 50 riders. 

Zach and Eric.  Zach, I should have warned you about pinning numbers upside-down. Sorry about that.

Now for the A race.  It was certainly going to be a daunting task because we were taking on 3 laps for a total of 75 miles.  At the start a few of us were voting to only race 2 laps, but with the large field (51 racers!) we couldn't get a supermajority.  Somewhere in the first lap I found myself bridging to the break with a Lindenwood rider when I realized that I didn't have nearly enough power to make contact.  I drifted back to the field and that was pretty much it.  Apparently in the last 6 months I have completely forgotten how much pain one needs to go through to make the cut.

I have no fucking idea what I'm getting myself into.  Check out the UK dude with his hr zones written on the top tube.
Anyway, 3 hours later the 7 man break has crossed the line with Skip from UW-Madison taking the win (I love it whenever Marian loses) and I find myself climbing the final hill with the 12 other riders left in the "peloton" and despite feeling pretty good on the hill I don't have it in the sprint and roll in 15th.

The D field was really big (as it always is at Lindsey Wilson) with over 70 racers including our own Jared Salinger and Rasmussen thin Hani Habra.  Both did a good job of managing the chaos that comes with 70 D riders and didn't crash, but found themselves on the wrong side of a separation early in the lap.  Hani proceeded eat up the hills, destroying any of his competitors who got dropped from the field and finished in 30th while Jared wasn't far back in 42nd.

Our sprintstar JGrace decided to test out his legs in the B field and after easily managing the first lap he wisely decided to save his energy for the climbs in Georgia.  I'll post some more on that later, but as a preview here's the route we did today:

4 climbs and that last one (backside of Hogpen) just doesn't quit. And somehow a net elevation of -1600 ft.
It looks like we probably won't be sending a group to Mizzou since it's 11 hours away, but at least 3 of us are going to Lindenwood on March 17th and 18th to show the NCCCC chumps what's up.  Email Jane Gregg if you want to come.  Also thanks to Brad for taking the pictures and handing me a much needed water bottle during the race.


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