2009 Race Reports #6 - 9: Superweek, suffering & sprinting

In a  couple of days Superweek will be over yet again and I'll have to wait a whole year yet again to try and achieve my ever fading hope of standing on the podium for a pro race... but right now my legs are very good. Tomorrow I head out in the RV for the end of Superweek, and then the Chicago Criterium. I'm cautiously optimistic that if I play my cards right I might have a decent shot at top 10 and an outside shot at top 3 at the Kenosha Pro Tour for Superweek. We'll see. 2009 Race Report #6: Superweek Blue Island Pro/Am July 11th

62 laps, 62 miles. Easy math. The first 30 were surprisingly un-horrible. Rare in my career is the race where I make the half-way mark and don't finish - and usually in the money. That said, a breakaway launched prior to the halfway mark put the whole peleton into single file mode shortly thereafter and I went from a mild suffering to "on the rivet" within the space of a couple laps. 10 minutes and 5 laps later I was part of a section of the long snaking single file peleton that broke off the back and quickly it was over - I had failed. Today I wasn't good enough...

2009 Race Report #7: Elgin Masters Road Race,  July 12th

After the humiliating defeat the night before, I did not really feel like showing up for a road race the next day (i.e. a race with hills - granted relatively small ones - but still something I try to avoid) But the course was only 3 miles from my house so it felt rude not to make an appearance.

I thought I had suffered at Blue Island - no, I just got summarily dropped. This small hill on each of the eight 6 mile laps (100 ft vertical or so) was steep and came after a 110 degree turn that was hard to keep momentum on and I was full of lactic acid each time up and suffered immensely. At first I stayed up front so that I could drop 50 places on the hill and stil stay in contact, but after lap 4 (of 8) where I almost got dropped again, I tried a new approach that worked better. Instead of staying up front and dropping back, I dropped back on the downhill before the turn and then took the corner hard and coasted into the middle of the pack before pedaling, essentially removing the need to pedal on the lower 1/3 of the hill. This was my saving move and allowed me to finish the race.

I finally brought out the bike cam and below shows snippets of the final lap and my mad dash to the line for fourth. It was a race that was pretty technically and strategically sound... I was pleased with 4th (2 guys got away, and I didn't quite catch Andy Kerr who was on the inside, off-camera.


2009 Race Report #8:  Superweek Arlington Heights Masters,  July 14th

Relatively uneventful - arrived on time for a short warmup from work - and returned back to work right after. Got caught out on backstretch in the wrong place and finished 7th.

2009 Race Report #9: Superweek Bensenville Masters, July 15th

Such an odd race. Prompted by my admin, about 9 or 10 members of my team at work showed up for a lunch break bike race to watch - so my biggest cheering section at my smallest race -  only 32 masters showed up - the smallest field I've ever raced in. The wind was blowing about 15 - 20mph down the homestretch, so the field began to shred, and with 2 to go it disintegrated into several small parcels. 2 guys were well off, and then a group of 7 re-formed about 10 seconds out from my small group of 7, and there were other pieces behind us. Our group did little until a half lap when a Western Michigan rider finally kicked it, and then Tom Cox hit it HARD pulling us close - within 5 seconds after the final corner. I used what remained of my match and caught the 7 man break and pulled in one or two of them. Officials had me 9th, but I was either 7th or 8th for sure... See video here: