Sounds Like NowA blog by saxophonist Brian Sacawa
Archive for Cycling
I hate doing threshold sessions indoors. I dread them. As a matter of fact, I’d prefer to be out on the road in below freezing weather with a 30mph headwind doing them than in my basement with two big fans blowing on me. Plus, for whatever reason, I’ve never been able to hit the same numbers on the trainer as I do on the road. So instead of my regular 20-min LT efforts, I was given this alternate workout for trainer sessions. I like it much better.
Too good not to re-post. Bike Snob NYC thinks he got Lance’s personal copy of Comeback 2.0 by mistake.
Luck was not on my side at last week’s Green Mountain Stage Race. In the last 150m of the 72-mile circuit race I was sitting pretty about 7th wheel when the genius to my right thought it would be a good idea to switch lines aggressively. He took three of us out at 35+mph. I started the next day—the queen stage—and felt great over the first two climbs. I was really looking forward to the summit finish at App Gap, but that was also not to be. On a dirt road section 60 miles into the race, my front wheel went into a deep pothole and slid out. I hit the deck again. Just bad luck this time. I would have continued but my rear wheel was punctured and the wheel van was 15-minutes behind us. I watched the race from the referee’s car. That sucked.
I’ve got a bruised knee and shoulder and plenty of road rash after those two crashes. Hopefully I paid some good luck forward for next season.
5th Place. Time: 3:55 (official); 3:50 (according to my power file). Avg watts: 426. I think there was a problem with the timers. I’m not the only one who had a somewhat major discrepancy with the “official” time (taken with stopwatches) and what the power file said. I know that there can be small differences when you’ve got humans clicking stopwatches, but a 5-second difference over such a short effort seems rather odd.
Normally, my unending supply of bike snobbery would have me running far, far away from an event like this. But since it’s in the name of contemporary music (and the fact that I’m organizing it) makes it more than worth the possible loss of cycling cool. For those interested in participating, show up at the Metro Gallery at 3pm, where we’ll stage and instructions will be given. See you there!
Stage 3: Columbiana RR
Though I was slightly bummed about falling from 1st to 5th on GC after a less than stellar crit the day before, I knew that I’d be able to make up a lot of ground on Stage 3, a 66-mile RR (2 laps of a 33 mile loop) with lots of climbing and some KOM points up for grabs. As is my custom in hilly road races, I went to the front on all the long climbs and set a hard tempo; not with the intention of dropping anyone, but just to make them work harder than they want to and gradually wear them down. The KOM sprint was at the top of a 2-mile climb with a pretty steady 6-8% grade that kicked up slightly around the last bend to the summit. I had Tom from Team Spin on my wheel the whole way up (he was also top-5 on GC), which didn’t bother me because we’d lost two of the other top 5 GC contenders on the very first ascent. Tom jumped around me at the last second to take 1st for the KOM, but I took 2nd and some bonus points.
The second lap was pretty uneventful. I proceeded with the same M.O. and was kind of surprised by the size of the pack coming into the last 10 miles or so. It didn’t look like we’d really shed too many people and there were still about 40 or 50 people present. Things started heating up at this point and there were the usual flurry of attacks, none of which stuck. With about 4K to go there was a lone rider off the front by about 10 seconds. With 3K to go Tom attacked out of the bunch hard and I went with him, sensing that this was the move. Nobody could follow us and we were gaining on the leader. We’d left it a little late though and I knew with 1K to go that it would be close. I attacked my chase companion up the hill with 500m to go and missed catching the breakaway rider by 150m. I took 2nd and moved to 2nd on GC. Felt great to be aggressive at the end of the race like that and also to see the hard tempo I set on the climbs pay dividends at the end when the group couldn’t react to that late attack.
Stage 4: Downtown Youngstown Criterium
Tom had a pretty insurmountable lead on me going into the last stage so my plan was to sit in and play it cool until the closing laps of the race and maybe throw down something to try and catch him off guard. I didn’t mind conceding the stage and letting a break go as long as I could protect my GC spot. Looking at the GC standing before the race, I wasn’t too concerned because two of the guys didn’t finish the RR stage so I thought they wouldn’t be able to contest the overall. What I didn’t understand before the start is that omniums suck because unlike stage races, where you have to finish the stage to contest the overall, you only have to start an omnium stage to do that. So, if you’re a big pussy and get dropped the first time up the climb on a hard road race stage and quit 12 miles into the race like a big pussy instead of suffering like everyone else to finish the stage, you can still take 2nd on GC by 1 point over the tougher and more consistent rider (ahem, that would be me, if I’ve lost anybody). So when the big effing pussy got into an early break in the crit, I didn’t care because I thought he couldn’t contest the overall. The break stayed away and though I was poised to take the field sprint (and save my 2nd on GC), when we got to the last corner, someone was laying in the road and I had to scrub speed and you know, when that happens in a sprint, you don’t win the sprint. I ended up 7th on the stage and 3rd on GC.