2010 State Road Race Review – Copperas Cove

I guess it’s been what – two weeks now since the State Road Race weekend? Sheesh, time flies.

I don’t think I have any good photos unless they shot some on Sunday when I was in either a group or solo breakaway. Yes, once again, it was that kind of weekend.

The weather was perfect, and I mean PERFECT, both days. The temps were on the cool side, but the sun came through and warmed things up, while also keeping the wind at almost ZERO on Saturday, and mild on Sunday. Mirage entered the event with fewer participants than last year, but we still had a good game plan, and we knew that the hills would take their toll.

Immediately some riders got off the front, but while I was near the front, I did everything I could to try and keep my emotions reined in. However, it just wasn’t meant to be. In the first 60 minutes, I rode a Normalized 295w, or 4.3w/kg, which was close to my season high. It’s kind of hard to remember, but I know I was involved in several attacks, and did engage in a solo break or two, one of which I think lasted about 8 miles. Idunno, maybe I’m getting the races confused. I think I tried for the 1-lap prime, but was again denied. As the race went through its’ second lap, the whole tempo sort of died down, and while I had some teammates come up for conversations, we all knew it would come down to Shawn Hodges in the sprint. With about 1 mile to go, I remember giving it my all, and then suffering from system shutdown. My legs started cramping, and I went backwards.  Hodges went on to finish 6th, and several other teammates did really well, cementing our place not as winners of the State RR, but as winners for the 2010 season in Cat 3. While I contributed very few points, it was something of an accomplishment, and I took some solace and pride in that result.

Sunday’s race was the 40+ men, with a different cast of characters. Again I rode hard, rode strong, but the race itself was much more controlled. It was definitely a better team event. One breakaway that I launched lasted about 45 minutes, and I did get maybe 1 or 2 minutes up the road, but it was eventually reeled in, and the counter-attack that sprung from my catch led to the break that actually got away and stayed away. That break, with two McKinney Velo riders, two Mirage riders, a San Jose and one other guy, made it stick, shelling an Austin Bikes rider, and the rest of us played defense, mostly keeping the “Joe’s Pro” riders from attempting to bridge.

When the race was all but over, a teammate and I tried to set up some attacks that would or could possibly crack the rest of the peloton and fragment it so that there would be no sprint, but I kept getting shadowed by this rider in pink and blue. He was AWFUL! Once again, though, when Mike Brown of Velo McKinney went out and launched a serious attack, later joined by his teammate, it was perfectly timed, and the two got away in the last 3 miles. It was textbook. In the end, once again, I missed the pack finish, ended up well out of the top 60, and sort of struggled in. I DID receive some recognition and took a share of the team payout (the team took 2nd), which was gratifying, but in the end, I raced with my heart, not with my head, and the penalty was to sort of struggle in after 2.5 hours of aggressive riding.

I’m not sure what I want to do next year. I don’t know if I’ll ever be strong enough to ride away and stay away in the 3’s. I like riding in the 40+, and there may be a new category in TXBRA next year – 40+ 3,4, but in a way, it seems sort of like sandbagging. Three weeks before I turned 40, I suffered a heat stroke, and took most of July off, gaining about 4-5 lbs in the process. Honestly – it hasn’t gone away. I know my power is there, I know my strength is there, but I don’t know if I can make another investment like this again. I probably will, but I know there are other challenges out there, and coaching is more of a determinant than anything.

That’s about it right now – not much else to say. I’ll try to post about the USA Cycling Coaching Summit in the next day or two, but right now, I think I just want to go for a ride.


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