Monday, June 23, 2008

Delusions of Grandeur Smashed by the Harsh HOT Facts of Reality

Before I go off about my view of the TdW, I want to send out some serious props to the organizers, JoeJ and all the volunteers that kept us safe. This was truly a great weekend of racing, I hope we'll be seeing this for many years to come.

I'd also like to congratulate Brigham Lumm for his first place in the GC in the Cat4 and Kevin Young for his first place in the Cat3 GC. Dudes, that's awesome.

I'd also like to say that some of you dudes (like Jorge, JoseN, KyleJ, SteveK, GregF, StephenW. LanceL) are getting super strong. What the F have you been doing the past month and a half to get so strong? Jorge, where the hell did you get the strength to stay away for 4 laps in the crit? Its a lot of fun racing with you all or I should really say "it was a lot of fun racing behind you this weekend".

Tour de Washington was to be my first weekend racing since the May 3rd Poolesville crash.

Since the crash, I'd been riding the training in the basement doing long intervals of 10, 15, 20 and 60 min intervals just about every day. As I got closer to getting back on the road, I started doing shorter, higher intensity efforts of 30 sec and 1 min. What I was to find out this weekend was that riding in the a 65F basement did not in any way prepare me for 95-100F outside temps.

The week before TdW I was able to get out on the road for the Thrasher ride. I could definitely feel that my legs were not responding like they would before the crash. Although, I only got back on the road for 4 rides before TdW, I was really looking forward to the weekend since I think these courses really suit my riding style.

I felt OK on the neutral roll out, but, man, soon as we made the left onto the loop, the pace picked up really fast. What a jolt to the system. About half way through the first lap, the heat was killing me and my mind was already saying "how are you going to finish? you've got more laps". The rest of the race I was in survival mode. I tried to conserve energy riding wheels, and bridging up when I sensed the rider in front starting to fade. A couple times I almost got dropped doing this, but I viewed these efforts as getting back into race shape. Lots of riders were popping as we crested the hills and couldn't sustain the effort as the pace picked up. With about 2 or 3 laps to go, I saw Kyle almost in front of me, and I yelled at him "Kyle, what the hell are you doing at the back?" The second to last lap I thought was really fast, and riders were popping off the back, and I wasn't sure if I had enough left for one more lap. On the last lap someone dropped a water bottle through one of the really fast sweeping right hand bends. It was rolling in the middle so I went left, but as I was getting close the bottle started rolling back into my path, and I had to bail into the grass and onto a driveway. By the time I got back on the road, the pack was long gone. I TT'd it the rest of the way. Came in 38th.

Did the 20K TT is 31:38 for 19th. Earning me 3pts for the weekend. Waahoo.

I walked the course before the race, and the downhill right hander and the 120degree turn looked pretty nasty. I lined up in the front row, something I normally don't do. I decided since I was in the front, I was going to go as hard as I could from the gun and see how I faired going through those two turns solo. I jumped to about a 5 sec gap and eventhough I was solo, I didn't take either of the turns very well. I almost slide out on the 120 degree turn, and this definitely shock my confidence. I sat up a bit and the pack caught me. I drifted to the back and just rode the back, bridging up when gaps formed. The heat was getting to me, but I didn't feel as bad as I did on the RR. My legs felt good and strong, I just wasn't able to get my HR down. With 10 to go, I overcooked the 120 degree turn, my rear wheel slide out from under me and I almost crashed in the fence. By the time I got myself back together, the pack was about half way up the hill. For a second I was ready to bag it, but I dug deep and sprinted up the hill as hard as I could, when I rounded the corner the pack was about 5 secs ahead, and my mind just said stop. I was so fried. I dumped the rest of the water I had on my head, coasted the rest of the lap and pulled out. This is the first race, I've ever pulled myself out of.

Next race, RESTON.
I hope to redeem myself.


Kyle Jones said...

Stop doing intervals everyday you knuckle head. You should do easy rides too. Thats what I do.

Stephen Wahl said...

Ray, good to see you back out there. What a fun weekend!

fabsroman said...

Ray, great to see you at the races and actually know who you are.

It was great racing with all of you this weekend, and I was extremely excited by the lack of crashes. However, I am hoping that I am not speaking too soon.

I'll see you guys at Reston, and hope to be a little bit more of a threat than I was this past weekend.

Lance Lacy said...

Good job bro,
glad to have you back,not the same without you

Ken Woodrow said...

Dude, that was my water bottle. Sorry about that. I flubbed the replacement trying to drink, sprint out of a corner, and massage my cramping calf all at the same time.

fabsroman said...

I lost a water bottle during the crit, and the sad thing is that I have no idea where I lost it and it was one of the new Camelbak Podium bottles at $9. I reached down at one point in the race and there just wasn't a bottle there. If I had to guess, I would guess that I lost it on the fast downhill because I was always hitting some bump or another on the way through it.

RayMan said...

Hey Ken,

Thanks for man-ing up to water bottle droppage. No harm, no fail. Just be careful about when you try to drink.

Last season, I must have dropped a water bottle in about 4 races.

To be honest, I was so fried by that point in the race and really had no thoughts of trying place.

hfang said...

Hey Ray.. what's up lately???
Haven't seen you out there...probably because I'm not riding much.
Give us an update...

Kyle Jones said...

Hopefully Italy treated him well.

fabsroman said...

Italy always treats people well. It is France that you have to worry about. LOL

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