Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Fall Training Starts with Recovery and Getting Fat

After a long race season starting with winter training and then 34 races from early March to mid Sept, I am finally taking a break from riding and training. This Saturday, Justina and I will be heading to Tuscany for two weeks vacation. This will be our fifth year staying at Villa Fontelunga (www.villafontelunga.com) and we will also be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary.

We fell in love with this region of Tuscany and really look forward to our return. It's very relaxing and we usually only go to our favorite towns: Sienna, Montepulciano, Montalcino, Cortona, Pienza, Orvieto. Maybe this year we'll visit some places we've not been to before. We also look forward to eating and drinking great food and wine.

I won't be riding at all except for an occasional ride on rusty old mountain bikes or the stationary bike at the gym. I plan on eating/drinking a lot of great Italian food/wine so I'll be returning fat and out of shape. The best way to start fall/winter training.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Murad: Waste of Time

The Cat4 Murad RR sucked. What a waste of time. There were too many riders taking up too much space, not riding hard enough and no way to get around anyone. The pack would speed up going downhill and totally bunch up going up the rollers with no room to get around anyone. Event on the flatter sections, the pack stayed totally bunched up from centerline to curb. Officials weren't enforcing the center line rule and lots of riders would pass up the left side on the sections of road that didn't have a yellow line. A huge crash collected about 25 riders after the final turn due to extremely poor course management by the officials. An ambulance was parked in the left hand lane. They should have red flagged us along River Rd until the ambulance was cleared or at least neutralized us until we cleared the ambulance.

Anyway, he's a race summary.

Bryan Vaughn, Artemis, went down in the first turn after completing the first lap. I was in the back and was thinking about slowing up to help him back to the field since he was trying to win the BAR. When I saw Mike May drift back, I decided they had enough fire power to bridge back up and decided not to help.

The course was not selective at all, and the pace was never too fast. I rode in the back with the motorcycle guy and two other guys for the entire race. We pretty much talked the whole race. The erratic riders, and there were many of them, made me really nervous so I never ventured to the front. I was planning on trying to move up later in the race.

I sat on my teammate, Conor, wheel for the first couple of laps and he was looking good, but then all of a sudden he started loosing contact, let a gap form, got his nose in the wind and that was the kiss of death for him. I had to jump around him to stay in contact with the group. Actually had to make a couple jumps around riders as they started slipping off the back.

The final lap picked up a bit but wasn't too terrible fast, never felt like "oh my god, I'm going to die". Rounding the final corner the motorcycle alerted us in the back that there was an ambulance on the left side of the road attending to a Cat5 crash. I don't think the riders in the front were alerted to the ambulance, because as flew around the corner and started fanning out across the road, they had to bunch back up in order to get around the ambulance. About 15-20 riders down, but a group of about 15-20 riders got through clean with a big gap. This final K was probably the hardest part of the entire race. The wind dramatically picked up and even in a draft it was hard to keep pace. I sprinted around two riders, and just beat out another rider at the line. Yeah, how stupid was that, sprinting for 30th place? I have no idea where I finished.

All I know is I'm really sick of Cat 4 races. They are such a joke, too dangerous. Next year I'm only doing Masters races.

After the race, Fabrizio from ABRT got punched by someone from Coppi. How stupid is that?