Monday, July 20, 2009
Big 'M' XC Race - 1st
The week before this race was pretty rough (Self induced) as I rode the Birmingham ‘A’ ride on Tuesday and then did my first workout in the lab at my new threshold # on Thursday. My sleep habits were also rough as I would sit down at night and start watching the Tour and then not get to bed until late. I made an attempt at getting some sleep on Friday and then ended up not sleeping long enough on Saturday night as I planned on driving up the morning of leaving at 6:00am. Having ridden Big M while on vacation a few weeks before, I had time to think about how to attack it. The first 2 miles were pretty flat with a long climb to follow which were both non technical. I figured I would get out in front and set the tempo high enough that people would just not want to stay with me and then push up the climb and try to maximize the recovery on the back side. There were a few new faces at the line, so I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to get to the front right away. The whistle blew and we were off! The start was less aggressive than I thought, Shawn Schaffert and I were side by side and he decided to check up to get on my wheel. I pushed the pace on the flat section averaging 17mph to the climb, but still heard a group behind me. Once up the climb, I felt I had a gap and tried to recover but the hammering at the beginning pushed my HR and it took the rest of the lap to get into a more comfortable rhythm. The second lap was uneventful as I was just trying to make clean passes and keep the bike upright on the downhills. Towards the end of the second lap, my lack of sleep was really setting in as I felt fatigued. My legs were really starting to feel it the last lap, but I managed to push hard to the end. Since I had a reasonable gap, I took it easy on the last down hill as I didn’t need to finish my race with a wreck! As I rolled across the line, I noticed Shawn hammering away only a short distance behind for second. I am dreading moving up to expert as the extra lap is going to kill… I will probably stay in sport for Pontiac as it is a 30 mile race in expert and then make Stony my first attempt at an expert race.