Monday, July 9, 2007

PA Dutch County Stage Race

OK, first I'd like to say that this was a really fun weekend of racing
and hanging out with Luis "Mr TT". We have lots of stories to tell: like shopping at WalMart Super Center, getting lost for an hour trying to find the Olive Garden, taking a
detour through the seedy parts of Lancaster, getting pissed at the
smokers in restaurants, Luis walking into the wrong room at the
Holiday Inn. Many more to tell, but you'll have to wait cuz I have
some great news to tell.

Now onto the serious stuff of race reporting. This report will
concentrate on Sunday's Clay TT, part of the PA Dutch County Stage
Race. The Stage race consisted of a 50 mile RR on Sat, 7.8 mile TT on Sunday, and a 25 mile Crit Sunday afternoon. I'll submit a second post detailing the RR and the Crit.

I would like everyone to remember how well Luis did at Church Creek, I
think he won the Cat 4, and oh yes, I've included his previous post
thanking everyone for their congratulations on his win.

After the RR yesterday, Luis and I scooped out the 7.8 mile TT course.
We're getting ready and we both said we were going to ride it really
slow. I was futsing around getting my jersey on, my helmet on, my
cycling shoes on, lathering up my legs with greasy shit, and Luis is
just circling around the parking lot waiting for me. He's got his
running shoes on (not sure where his cycling shoes were), he doesn't
have a helmet on, but he has a bright red Bicycle Place t-shirt. Yes,
Luis is the ultimate professional. I say "Luis, where's your helmet?"
And he says "I thought we were going slow?"

So we head out on our reconnaissance mission, max speed about 10 MPH
(Cannibal pace). About 500M into the ride, I'm seeing stars, cuz I'm
totalling bonking from the RR. And I say "Luis, I'm seeing stars, not
sure if I'm going to make it" Luis says "suck it up". But, being the
trooper that I am, I dig deep and keep the 10 MPH pace going. Actually
looking straight ahead helped out a lot.

The course wasn't too bad, but I think it's kind of hard to really
know what you'd do during an all out TT effort, when you're only going
10 MPH. There were rollers, one steep hill that flattened out towards
the top, a screaming downhill onto a long flat, and then a
semi-rolling down/flat section to the finish. After the recon mission,
we didn't think the course was going to be too hard. And we were
psyched about laying some really fast times.

Over dinner, Luis and I were comparing notes on our TT gear.

Luis' Bike: $10K Cervelo, fully custom TT bike, fancy TT disc wheels,
aero bars. I've knicknamed it "the Blade" cuz it looks super fast, and
I'm getting pretty psyched out that he's going to kick my ass.
Ray's Bike: Trek Madone SL 5200, non-disc Rolf wheels, clip-on TT
bars. Yeah, its what I ride everyday for training and racing.

Luis' Attire: LG aero helmet, super tight skin suit, and the latest
technology in skin socks.
Ray's Attire: Giro Atmos helmet with 26 vent holes, Bicycle Place
jersey and shorts, old technology sock covers.

Also, lets not forget Luis "has been training for TT since last Nov."

So, we're getting warmed up before the TT race and I'm taking mental
notes of how fast Luis looks in his space age, latest technology stuff
and I'm thinking he's really going to kick my ass.

I role up to the TT start with about 4 seconds before my start time.
(Note to self: always coordinate your watch with their clock). I
didn't even have time to reset my Ergomo. I pulled up to the start and
the clock said "9:25:54", my start time was 9:26. Nothing like perfect

I start off pretty hard, my legs felt really good. I caught the rider
that started 30 secs in front of me in about the first 2 miles (turns
out it was a chick, although, I can't really read anything it that)
and then caught the next guy on the big climb. Once I got onto the
last 4 miles, the head wind was killing me, I was working as hard as I
could. I quickly looked at my Ergomo, which I was able to mount with
my clip-on TT bars, and saw my speeds, and I'm thinking "shit, Luis's
going to be flying along this section on his "Blade".

The 1 KM sign never looked so good, and I started sprinting with about
300M to go. I was really spent and my first thought was I don't do
enough TT workouts.

After downloading my Ergomo, I was able to determine that my time was
18:38. I felt pretty good about it, but heard that some guys in full
aero stuff had times of just over 17 minutes.

I'm thinking Luis "ChurchHill Champ" is going to be in this range and
I'm really depressed.

Luis finally finishes his TT, and he's says his time was about 20+

Now I'm really happy, cuz I beat his time.

.... But, I'll let Luis tell his side of the story, its a duzzi. All,
I know is I finished faster regardless of what kind of story he'll
tell us about.

(Note: Luis told me I could gloat all I wanted and to not hold any
punches on my race report. But, you'll die laughing when Luis tells us
all what really happened. Just a hint, as Mike always says "if you
don't know the way, don't lead")

Hey Everybody!

Let me begin by thanking everyone for their kind comments regarding
this weekend's race. When I first started to read your comments, I
was a bit perplexed, because when I left Church Creek on Saturday
afternoon, I picked up my silver medal and left quite happy with my
time of 56:35. I was shocked to hear your comments about my being the
winner when I thought I'd actually come in second place. After
checking the official results online, I saw that I got first place
and that my time was actually a 56:05.

For those that are interested, here is a quick recap of Church Creek.
1. I did wear a DC Velo skin suit (thanks Aziz) and am eagerly
awaiting the BPVC skinsuit arrival
2. I began preparing for Saturday's race last November focused on it
throughout the winter and spring
3. Took Josh Fricke's advice and had a Red Bull just prior to
starting out
4. Kept by heartrate two to three beats below threshold for 55 out of
56 minutes.
5. Looking forward to Boonsboro and collecting my $100 from Mike

Thanks again for all of your support.



Nick Mulder said...

Nice Job Ray.

Bryan Vaughan said...


Couldn't find link to your email but just wanted to say great job at Pleasant Valley!