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Jacksonville, FL, United States
In Life as well as in running the secret is Pace.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Ocala Almost stage race

Well…  I love watching stage races on TV…  so I figured well..  doing one would be fun, right?
So up I signed (I signed up).
The race was a hundred or so miles away so we made a weekend of it…
So why "Almost"?  that was my first question too…  it was just because of the way USA Cycling does points differently for stage races and this one did not meet some kind of criteria.
Anyhoo…  no bigs.
Stage 1:
Rolling out for stage 1

Woke to the sound of thunder…  how far off I sat and wondered…  started humming a song from 1952…  wait!  I'm not Bob Seger…  this is not the song Night Moves" it's the story of a bike race.
It was raining on Saturday morning…  and it did rain on the race…  the course was 4 laps of a 12 mile circuit. Rolling hills with a decent rise at 1 KM to go.  I figured this would play in the result.  The first lap was pretty calm and the second calmer still.  A break of 2 got away on the 3rd lap.  I bridged to the break…  sat in and recovered for about 30 seconds and then started to work…  we were joined by one more and the four of us worked pretty well together around the back part of the course where the road is narrow and bumpy…  we got caught soon after we turned onto the highway.
Another break formed just at the end of the last lap…  led by the kid in the forground of the picture above (who went on to win the stage)…  we kept them in sight and finished 3 seconds adrift.  My teammate Kenny took 3rd and I came in 6th.
Stage 2:  Time Trial
On Saturday afternoon after the morning road race…  it was tough to try and rest, and eat, and sort out bike logistics, and recover, and warm-up all in 3 hours…
And… I expected to make a difference in the time trail…  normally my specialty….  I knew from the riders who finished before I started that ~10 minutes was where I wanted to be…
It was an out and back course…  and as you can see from the course profile above…  the hills took their toll…  and when I heard 5:21 at the turnaround I knew that I was not on a great ride.  6th place again….  When I was really expecting top 3.
The beer afterwards tasted just as good tho…
We basically got dinner and went straight to bed Saturday…. 
Sunday – Road Race
Stage 3 with extra water - it was HOT

They cut a lap off of Sunday's race to the disappointment of no one…  we started at 1100 and it was broiling hot…  after about a half a lap of jostling for position I drifted to the back…  the very back…  and just took it easy…  I was in 5th place overall…. And with my unsuccessful attempt at getting away on Saturday and the accumulated fatigue I found drifting along back there to be pretty nice.  I did try to get a break going midway through the last lap but we never got more than 10 seconds.  I made it about half-way up through the group for the final kilometer…  but not far enough not to get boxed in for the sprint…  8th was all I could muster.
In the end I was 5th overall…  not too bad but really I was never in contention despite the small gaps.
I'm not really sure how I feel about how I raced…  in a way I feel like I sat back and took what the race dictated instead of taking it by the horns…  something to think about until next time.


Will said...

5th place! Nice work. It really is "all about pace"!

Jim ... 50after40 said...

Good race! I know what you mean, I raced a weird 10K/5K event last year and really didn't know how to approach it. I remember thinking to myself, 'on a long and lonesome highway, East of Omaha, you can listen to the engine moanin' out it's one note song', no wait, dang it, that's another Seger song