Monday, March 26, 2012

Ohio

Last weekend we had a big group (10 racers) head down to that school in Ohio for another weekend of collegiate cycling.  Some highlights include the Men C's (Brad, Eric, Kevin, Zack) winning the team time trial again, Tim N. riding his first race in a "Team Gumby" jersey and aviators, Clay finishing top ten in the 40 mile C road race, me narrowly avoiding this:

video
 and John and Tim B. not getting last in the B's road race despite the Hincapie curse of a broken chain and not training respectively. If you look closely at the video after the crash you can see Novak of Lindsey Wilson completely overshoot the last corner and just ride off the course. What follows is Jared's account of the weekends events.


--Adam





Jared's D Road Race: 


I gained spots on the first climb to take myself to the front four of the group. I still need to put out more spontaneous power at the top of the hill, preparing myself for the descent, but I made my self to the top, switching off with three Cincinnati large riders and a Marian guy. After thinking the hills were done, at about halfway I decided to pull the front because I'm not confident at winding downhills when I'm drafting those in front of me, especially with random patches of dirt trails along the otherwise asphalt road. 



The focus of champions.
I was really enjoying the scenery and those behind me seemed fine with letting me ramp up the pace and get some of the sloppiness out of the way behind us. Lo and behold though, just as I'm getting ready to drop back, we hit a pretty intense climb that I was not expecting or prepared for. I need more weekly mileage and my pull had to be the worst spot to do it in the race. Dozens of riders shot past me up the hill. Struggling to find my lost rhythm by the top, a decent descent didn't arrive in reward, rather, more rolling high-elevation occurred, not letting me get out of the pain cave for a good three miles. After the front group shot past me, the aftermath was every man suffering for himself. I eventually got in a rhythm with some bigger ratios, allowing me to smoothly propel myself with some momentum to carry me through more rolling. 


Last weekend Eric wasn't the only one sporting those fluorescent shoes.
I caught up behind a guy with five miles to go, just as the pavement decided to be awesome for once. We worked together really well, breathing at the backs of each others necks for about a minute at a time. I focused on road signs to pull me towards them before I switched off. With a mile and a half left, six guys caught up to us and we reclined back into the blob of smooth, smooth speediness. The sound of air swooshing past us was hypnotizing and I got in a really good zone of concentration, swirling around in circles without missing a beat, all while keeping perfect momentum like the Matterhorn ride at Cedar Point with the swirling cars on the rolling hyper-fast merry-go-round. 


Clay prefers shoes with holes.
Just as we could peak to the lake, knowing salvation from suffering was near, the intensity really smacked down on the collective whole. I was able to sprint to the backs of the attacks, and I didn't look behind me for fear of my life in front of me. I figured the explosions were over and we'd just keep draining ourselves to the last few hundred meters, just staring at the back of the front rider, trying to focus on my composure amidst the pain. A blue t-shirt guy shot out from behind me, taking the lead with a huge oomph, I was just able to sprint to catch his back by a few feet. I was able to finish second of eight in that group; I wasn't able to overtake the blue guy in the final stretch.



The most stylish D rider ever ... and Jared too.













Jared's D Crit:



Mixing drinks for the crit.
 I thought a parking lot crit was only a figure of speech until I saw this one in person. Nothing whatsoever to see, but that seemed to make it more intense, as everyone consented to the mutual delivery and celebration of utter pain. The turns were very interesting and I was just starting to get good at cornering in the drops. I was leading at a slower part for a bit, and closed about five gaps. I was a little too far ahead with a few laps to go, in third or second. 


Turn 4 was the hardest.  I know I went outside the cones on this one a couple times.
The line was only one wide, really stretched out, and we hit a crosswind. A line of riders shot up along the side and there was nothing I could do, since the guy ahead of me was too slow and those beside me I could only get behind once they finished going forwards, which is what I had to do. From there, I kept in the top ten for the final two whirls, but for no points, and no ability to truely overtake anything.  A bit of bad luck tied with needing to improve my riskiness/explosiveness in the last laps. 


Sprinting.


Adam's A Crit: Jared's Perspective:


Zack on the line for the crit.  Needless to say, he beat the big LWC dude in the skating helmet.
It always seemed one or two people would take their turns being stupid, trying to get a breakaway that just fell flat each time. One might think it was for the preems, but those situations were much closer in competition. Some laps were a bit slow, which may have explained the breakaways for restless legs. There were zeros cars or buildings blocking anything, with fog clouds overhead, so the wind was always swirling a bit, making things strange. The last three laps were played pretty smartly by everyone, and Adam got from the back of the stretched-out pack to the front third of it. There was another breakaway, leaving the stragglers in disarray, but they regained their composure as another slow lap developed out of thin air, forcing a guy over the side curb as they all mooshed together. From the rest period, the last lap and a half was high quality entertainment and it seemed anyone had a chance. 



Pulling through.
Paradoxically, the equal oppurtunity for everyone blocked out almost everyone from winning, because the pack densed up and then had to stretch again for such a sharp final turn considering the high speed. A Lindenwood and a Notre Dame(?) racer collided against the final side curb after they both tried to get a wide cut on that super-fast corner. They disappeared into the grass in an instant, just missing a steel street lamp. Adam finished around tenth, everyone sprinting just fast enough to separate from each other, with nothing left to do but pretty much keep ones spot built from coming in after the turn.


Fuck yeah.
--Jared

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