Sunday, April 5, 2009

Race Report: Hillsboro Roubaix 2009

Upgrade denied, 1 lap in the 5s seeming too little, I registered for the 40+. 3 laps, 66 miles.

Got out of town easy enough on Friday and get down there at about 10 or so. Some minor bike work, a beer and then sleep. Woke up to sunny skies. Got to the race around 9. Easy registration and timer chip acquisition along with a "Code of Conduct." Very well organized. Clear signage at every turn and course marshalls everywhere. Then on to warm up.

The course was great. Alot of rollers and turns and 2 bigger hills, one of which led into the pave sections, which were probably less than a mile of the 22 miles per lap. Windy. Mostly cross windy. With so many turns, there was really no where to escape it.

First lap was fine. I found myself at the back of the group. I tried to move up when I could, but with the center lone rule in place (but not really enforced) I only had periodic room on the right. As we hit the feed, and the first bigger hill, riders started moving to the front for the bigger hill. We hit that one and it was ON. I fell back, but held on to the group, made the left turn and hit the downhill, 38 mph. Right in to the pave and bumps, around and into the start/finish.

About a third of the way into lap 2, the 50+ leaders came though us. I think they were irritated because the organizers made them race separate from the 40s, even though the race flier had them racing with us.

Then, at a little over half way into lap two, on one of the rollers, there was a surge and the elastic broke and I was on my own.

This course was tough. Alot of cross wind and the rollers just sapped energy out of my legs. I made it through lap two o.k. and then had a decision to make: go out for the final lap or quit. Finish or take the DNF. I committed to race, I paid my money and absent a mechanical or crashing, I was going to finish. So off I went.

That third lap, miles 44 to 66 was brutal. Mostly alone, sometimes finding one or two riders trying to finish to ride with,but either they were too fast or too slow for me. I started just counting down the miles... one... at... a... time. I had to do all of the hills in the 39. Just trying to to keep moving, trying to approach LT zone on the SRM. Come around a corner and hit the wind, feeling like I was moving backwards.

With 5 mi. to go, a group of 5 50+ and 3s came up and I rode into the hills with them and finished by myself. 46th out 65. 17 or so DNFs.

That last lap killed me. I was wrecked. I think the only part of my body that wasn't tired was my ears. Drank some water, manage to get changed and got into the back seat for the drive home.

This was my first fast ride on the new bike. I love RED. The new bike is great.

I think if I only had to do 2 laps, I would've been fine... would've, could've, should've. I'm happy to get the first race of 2009 in the books.

I found a photo. This is from the end of the 2nd lap.
A few more races and I can get the 4s upgrade. But that's a side benefit. It's still all for cross. I really liked the mini-peak in this first 12 weeks of training. Some strength, then LT work and then max stuff. It kept me interested and intrigued, which was crucial given all of the trainer time I had.

I looked at my YTD (1-9-2009 - 4-4-2009) and I have about 90 hours, but only 600 miles. That's alot of indoor miles. Hopefully that's over and we'll be outside from here on out.


Martin Michalowicz said...

Great showing of inner strength, congrats on the finish.

Josh said...

nice job. the whole counting down process is what keeps me going 10, 5 or 1 minute more on the trainer. I have not yet been outside this year as too many committments outside of cycling make it hard for me to get to races outside of CX season.

way to stick with it and crush those little voices.

R. Zach Thomas said...

Awesome race report, and a good job on finishing a tough nutter of a race.

Francesco del Ponte said...

God bless you! May Jesus, our Lord and Savior, be your co-pilot in all your endeavors. Praise his greatness and you shall benefit from his guiding light to victory. Amen!

sue said...