That sums up my first three days of racing in the Tour of America’s Dairyland.
First off, the event(s) are so well put together. The setup, the venues, the spectators, the sponsors, the amount of awards and the racers are all outstanding. Looking forward to the next race of the series that fits with my schedule, Downer Ave.
I raced Friday, Saturday and Sunday; Thiensville, Grafton and Waukesha. So, here’s a quick rundown of how they all went.
Thiensville. Cat 4/5. 6/17/11. 12:oopm start. 73 riders.
Big field; at least by my limited experiences. Almost hit the limit of 75. This should be interesting and I was right. Right out of the gate the pace went nuts. I tailgunned for most of the race as it was difficult for me to move up. Just don’t have the fitness to surge that many times in a row to move up. The backside of the course with a quick left then right turns made moving up tougher as well. The race also turned into a crash-fest. Avoided getting taken out by someone who just had to shoot right in front of me. Just narrowly avoided getting my front wheel taken out. A few other crashes occurred right in front of me as well, so it was good to avoid all that mess.
I was able to move up some later in the race and it was a bit more comfortable there. Finished with the group and managed 28/63. 10 riders DNF’d – probably much of those that crashed out.
Sorry, computer didn’t want to work, so no stats.
Grafton. Cat 4/5. 6/18/11/ 12:35pm start. 75 riders.
This was a great course, yet somewhat similar to Thiensville, just not as quick of successive turns. The pace was ridiculous and it felt faster than the previous day and that made sense due to the layout. Riders stayed upright most of this race though, so that was nice. I tried not to be near the back as much and was able to move up early in the race. Keeping the position was tough. This race, and the weekend proved out a few things I need to work on; and accelerations/surges are one of them. The crowd was great and really motivating too and the layout of the course through Grafton was awesome – save for some pretty bad pavement on the back of the course.
I managed to hang with the group and finish 32 back out of 73 finishers. I’ll take it. At least I finished :)
Some stats (includes cool-down lap): 21.5 miles, 23.82mph, 177 avg hr, 191 max. 100 rpm avg cadence.
Waukesha. Cat 4/5. 6/19/11. 12:35pm start. 75 riders (I think)
I knew during my warmup on the trainer that this race was going to be tough. The legs didn’t want to move. The heart rate did not want to climb. Just felt dog-tired. Uh oh.
Race started like the others; fast as all get-out. The first turn was very tight, and rough right at the exit. The last two turns were wide and fast. This race was crazy and it was hurting. I was tailgunning again just because that’s all I could do. Then, with about 10 laps to go, coming into turn one, my front wheel just goes out from under me. Didn’t clip a pedal, but may have caught a lip or something in the road – not sure what. Got up, bars were crooked, but got back on and got myself to the SRAM neutral support tent. They quickly straightened my bars and controls out and off I went, right back on to the back of the pack. Ugh. Was almost getting unhitched from the back and got back on again with 2 laps to go. The pace on the last lap was just too much. I fell off and finished back a few seconds. That hurt; a lot. I was toast. Something was up with my breathing (felt like I had phlegm or something in there). But, I survived, although with much less skin on the right side of my body. Big thanks to the medical tent for cleaning up the arm!
Quick stats: 20.6miles, 23.55mph, 174 avg hr, 184 max (I felt this during the race, usually I can get my HR 10bpm higher).
Edit/Update: Placed 39/59. Seeing that surprised the crap outta me.
So, off of racing for a week while I take care of some crap around the house, work and then get ready to race the Downer Classic on the East Side. Can’t wait to suffer once again!
For those who want carnage pics…this isn’t all. Hip/hand/ankle aren’t shown.