Race

Masters Nationals 45–49 Criterium

The crit was the same course as last year, with a litter riser and right-hand turn at the end of the start/finish stretch. I was hoping they paved that stretch since it was bumpy last year. But during my warm-up laps I realized they hadn't, so I let out some air from my tubeless tires (which really helped!). For this age group it was 50 minutes, which was odd as the age brackets below us did 75 minutes, and most women's groups did 60 minutes. Weird!

The crit pretty much stayed together, with small breaks getting away for a half lap here, a lap there. But everything usually came back together. There were ~80 riders and I wasn't riding as strong in the crit as I hoped, so I was at the back of the strung-out field most of the time. IOW, I didn't get to see the front very much. :(

There were a few crashes mid-pack, which took out some riders. I always try to be on the inside on crits, which helped me avoid them as they all happened in the middle or outside of the field. One of them happened just ahead of me and I just counter-steered and tightened the radius of my turn to avoid it.

With three laps to go, it seemed to slow down, or everyone was getting tired, and I managed to slide up to the front on the right-hand side of the start/finish stretch. I was hopeful I could stay up there, but on the wide section on the backside of the course, things swarmed and then later people were taking risks I didn't like, so I dropped back a little.

On the last lap there was yet another crash on turn 2, which I avoided again. This helped me stay in the top-half, and managed to move up a little in the start/finish stretch, where I sprinted for 33rd. Tad didn't do the crit...I think I was the only Boise rider in that one.


Masters Nationals 45–49 Road Race

With this year's 5k neutral start, probably due to new chipseal, it was a much calmer start than last year. The RR course starts with a small but steady 3–5 min climb right off the line. Last year the first 5 minutes were the hardest of the race, but this year it was nice tempo to the beginning of the downhill. The downside is that we had to stay behind the neutral car on the first part of the descent, which means we were riding our brakes. Probably used my brakes more in that descent than I have the whole year! After that, I think I prefer the chaotic start of last year!

When the nuetral ended, it was racing as normal and the rest of the descent was fast and fun like last year, hitting 55mph! Once we got to the valley floor, we did three laps around Pineview Reservoir. There were some initial attacks early on, one of which I jumped on, but me and the other rider were quickly caught. I mainly did it to stretch my legs. Then I just stayed towards the front of the pack, keeping an eye out for bigger breaks.

Two riders got away on the first lap, but the pack (primarily, two bigger teams) kept them at a 30–50 second gap. So the pace was fast but steady for most of those loops.

Into the third lap I stayed near the front, but not *at* the front, to cover any breaks before the climb. One of the guys doing some of pace-setting had a Go Pro. Here's me in about 4th wheel:

The gap to the two-person breakaway kept decreasing as we approached the climb. It actually got kind of frenzied, as people were racing to the bottom of the climb, a la, Alp Du Huez-style.

When we hit the climb, I was in the top half of the pack and stayed with the front group for about a minute or two. Then I dropped off the front a little and settled into my steady, hillclimb time-trial mode. I just rode a nice tempo, knowing that most people fade hard during the 30-minute climb. My strategy worked, because by halfway I was catching and passing folks.

I did see some excitement on the quick downhill section, about two-thirds the way up the climb. A rider about 300 meters ahead of me, overshot the bottom turn and rode off the road! :o The road was elevated at that section, so from my perspective, I just saw him ride off and disappear! It was like those Tour de France videos! But as I went by, I looked back and I could seem him scrambling back up, so I knew he was okay. Thank goodness!

I kept picking off riders the rest of the climb, almost making it to a group of six by the finish. I finished solo at 32nd place, just 20 meters back from that small group. Tad Hamilton got 14th for the day. My ride time was 6 minutes slower than last year, but it felt like a harder race, probably due to the neutral start slowing us down.


Bogus Basin Hill Climb 2009

Click to view interval Uhl in Eagle, ID – Today was the annual Boise “world” championships, otherwise known as the Bogus Basin Hill Climb. After last week’s tough 1,000 Warriors race I figured Bogus would feel like a walk in the park. Well it wasn’t…it was as hard as ever, but in a good, make-your-legs-hurt, kind of way!

I ended up ignoring the SRM on my handlebars and pushing it to stay with the front group over Corrals. With a 7.5 minute wattage of 350 I was way over threshold. But having the group on the downhill probably saved me a good amount of time. I did slip off the back on the cattle guard hill then just rode a steady pace for the rest of the climb.

I didn’t have as much punch on the second half and was caught by Thomas L.. We worked together as we picked off a few other riders. He pulled a good part of the time. We caught another rider in the trees so we had three people when it flattened out. I think we all just wanted to finish with a good time so we continued to rotate. I ended up at the front with less than 1K to go so I pushed it pretty hard and no one came around me by the line…but the best part was we all broke an hour! My official time was 59:44.379 which was good for 14th place. Average power was 313 watts and normalized power of 319 watts.

For some reason I thought that was my first time breaking an hour, but after reviewing all the past year’s results, I actually did it in 58:44 in 2004. So now I have a new goal for next year: Break 58 minutes!

Results on Spondoro:
http://www.spondoro.com/results/HillClimb/2009/results.pdf


Top Five

IMG_2524 Click to view race and flyer stats Uhl in Eagle, ID – This afternoon was the last stage of the Treasure Valley Stage Race, the Nampa downtown criterium. Heather went off before me and it was an interesting race to watch with only six women. Heather was on the front a lot, but that was the plan. Heather really wanted to get a workout in as the Mt Hood Cycling Classic is only a week and a half away! Heather and her teammate had a plan for the finish, but it didn’t unfold as they wanted so neither of them won today’s stage. But Heather still won overall, in addition to racking up a bunch of cash primes.

IMG_2527 My race also had a small field; only 11 starters today. That was fine as this was a pretty technical course; lots of turns and bumpy pavement all around. We started out steady with Team Bob’s Bicycles setting tempo. From time to time, there’d be a surge in the pace, but then it would settle down again. The first few of them, my legs were really feeling yesterday’s road race.

It got better after the first 20 minutes, so then I decided to attack. Well, “attack” may be too strong of a word. I just rolled off the front as the pack slowed on the back stretch. Since I was so far down on GC, no one chased so I quickly got a good-sized gap. I put it in TT-mode and just rode the corners as smoothly as possible. Riding solo and picking your own lines, you can pedal through every corner.

Continue reading "Top Five" »


Treasure Valley through Stage 2

IMG_2517 Uhl in Eagle, ID – The road race was long and hot by the end, but I finished! We got to the start area early and being in farm country, we got to watch a crop duster to its thing. We started with eight miles of neutral which just delayed the pain to come. But with a small field, everyone was content with keeping things together until the hill(s). It’s really a double hill, just like Chicken Dinner; a more gradual one on Deer Flat, then Perch is the steep one. Even before we rode up Perch, everyone agreed to have a pee-stop. Since I didn’t have to go, and I knew how bad Perch would be with 5 lbs of water on my back (no feed support) that I just rolled through and got a head start on the hill. Well, I wasn’t even but 1/3rd the way up, when the climber-types just sped by me! I managed to stay with the group, but so much for taking the hill “easy” the first time. Next time I’ll “roll through” faster so I have a bigger gap!

Then things basically stayed together and on the headwind section along the Snake River the whole group just pacelined. Then the second time up the hills I was dropped early on Deer Flat. I just paced myself over both and could see that I wasn’t too far off by the time I crested by the landfill. I time trialed for the next five miles and managed to catch them before the steep downhill by the river! That was my big accomplishment for the race. I knew if I didn’t catch by then, I would never because the pack will always be faster than a solo rider with a strong headwind like that. So I integrated back into the front group which was down to about 10 riders at that point.

Continue reading "Treasure Valley through Stage 2" »


1,000 Warriors Registration Ends Friday!

Uhl in Eagle, ID – Race the hardest stage of the Tour of Utah, hours before the Pros take to the course. It's about 100 miles with over 10,000 feet of climbing. If anyone breaks the pro's times, they get $1000! But don't do it for the money, this route takes you over the best climbs in Utah. I know, I've done all three...just not in a row! Should be epic!

YouTube Video of the Course


To the Finish

IMG_2316 Uhl in Eagle, ID – Emmett–Roubaix was today and I wasn’t very excited about racing. After riding in a sleeveless jersey on Tuesday, today’s weather was more like early March than almost May. The other warning sign that it wasn’t going to be a good day is that my legs didn’t feel so hot during my warm-up. Actually, they didn’t feel good yesterday either. But once you’re registered…you’ve got to race, right?

So the pace starts off ballistic, even before we hit South Slope Road. Fortunately I was at the front and was able to stay pretty sheltered. Then on South Slope it was more of the same with random people attacking here and there. The pace was fast even though we were going into a headwind.

Continue reading "To the Finish" »


Chicken Dinner

Uhl in Eagle, ID – Whew! That was a tough one. After getting dropped on the hill and chasing back on a couple times, then cramping hard during the third (or was it fourth?) lap, I managed to finish another hard race. The hill on Perch is a killer and that comes right after the hill on Deer Flat. I’m not in climbing shape yet so it felt super hard. My biggest accomplishment was chasing back on, by myself, after falling off the lead group the first time up the hill. I had to really hammer to catch them. But we were eventually caught by a good-sized chase group so the pack was over dozen again. Then I cramped hard a couple laps later and mostly rode solo to the finish. But on a course like this, just finishing is an accomplishment. Five times up that hill was brutal!

Results on Spondoro:
http://www.spondoro.com/results/ChickenDinner/2009/results.pdf


Birds of Prey

Uhl in Eagle, ID – With warmer, dryer weather and more quality training under my belt, the Birds of Prey road race went much better than the Slammer. I actually finished this one! It started out a bit nippy but the bright sunshine warmed it up enough that I was only cold for the first hour.

My legs felt better today and was able to stay near the front and even helped push the pace at times. Unfortunately I kind of ran out of gas in the last hour and ended up falling off the front group. I tried to latch on to the Weyen Machine as he (it?) cruised by after a mechanical. Unfortunately I could barely hang on. Then when we were only 40 meters from the front group, there was a flurry of attacks and they sped off into the distance. Of course Weyen was able to reach them and proceed to get 3rd!

After that I was just spent, and rode tempo just to get to the finish. I could feel my body start to bonk and was dreaming about stopping and just lying down on the roadside. But I kept chugging along. Then I was swept up by a decent-sized chase group. But after taking only three pulls I was done…all I could do was hang onto to the back of them. Since were were just racing for 10th place or so at the time we just all rolled in together without much of a sprint.

So despite a major fade in the last hour of the race, I was happy with my performance.

Full results on Spondoro:
http://www.spondoro.com/results/BirdsOfPrey/2009/results.pdf


Slammed

2009-03-15Crop Uhl in Eagle, ID – So that didn’t go as I’d hoped! Multiple factors contributed to my downfall today but the biggest one was being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Got dropped within the first 15 minutes of the first race of the year! Oh well. I was really bummed as I was time-trialing while I watched the pack ride away from me, thinking that it was all my leg’s fault.

2009-03-15MMPWell fortunately I rode with my PowerTap and was able analyze my power data when I got home. One TrainingPeaks WKO+ chart I like to look at is my Mean Maximal Power (MMP) for a ride versus my all-time best. How close the solid yellow line comes to the dotted line is how close I came to breaking a personal best for that duration.

In this case, the graphs come awfully close together in the 1.5–2 minute range. Looking at the details, I was only 4% off of my best 1min 43second effort…ever! And that PR was achieved mid-season in 2005, one of my best years.

Continue reading "Slammed" »


Bogus...Season Finale?

IMG_8110 Click to view intervals (or in this case, race) Uhl in Eagle, ID – I finally did the Bogus Basin Hill Climb after skipping the past two years due to bad air quality (and lack of fitness, but let's blame the air!). Last weekend was a bit hard and even though I had a decent workout on Wednesday, I didn't feel as fresh as I thought I would during yesterday's pre-race workout. But what can you do!?

Heather's in a bigger training hole than I am so she skipped today's race altogether. It proved to be handy as she was able to drive the car up to the top so I could spin on the rollers after the race. She also was my very own personal photographer!

IMG_8116I got a good warm-up on the rollers and power was looking good. When the race started I got the whole shot then once the road widened, I moved to the right so people could pass me. I wanted to keep it chill on Corrals and save it for the second half.  I let the whole front group pass me, but I still was putting out 340–350 watts. In hindsight, I should have eased up even more as my first five minutes was 331 watts (after sitting at the start line for five minutes).

After Corrals I was able to pace myself better and let those riders that like to surge up the steeper parts, go. I kept it around 300–320 watts. I made the halfway point at one of my best time ever, at around 32 minutes. Then my legs started to really hurt. I tried to keep pushing but I could tell my wattage was dropping. I tried not to look at my PowerTap so I wouldn't get depressed. I kept catching some riders here and there, but at a slower rate than earlier. Then I caught a couple who wanted to rotate. I rotated, but I would have rather been by myself. I really like doing hill climbs as time trials with the uneven power surges of taking pulls.

Continue reading "Bogus...Season Finale?" »


Mount Harrison Hill Climb

Click to view intervals Uhl in Eagle, ID – With 4,500 feet of climbing in 16 miles, Mt Harrison Hill Climb is tougher than Bogus. Not only that, but the steepest parts come in the last few miles...ouch! Ben and I carpooled to the little town of Albion, just past Burley. This was definitely a low-key race as there were only about 40 or so participants. I think the 2.5 hour drive each way deters a lot of people. It has for me as this was the first year I did it.

Heather and I have actually ridden it before as reconnaissance when it was stage finish in the International Women's Challenge many years ago. Back then we only rode to the Pomerelle Mountain Resort lodge. So I hadn't ridden the last few miles to the look out, and those proved to be the hardest. I was duly warned that it was steep so I had my 12–27 cassette. I also used Heather's PowerTap wheel so I could pace myself. I used it the same way I did on the Bogus Tuesday Nighter and it worked really well. I fell off the front group early on, even before the turn up the hill. But then I started picking people off after the corner and then all the way to the lodge.

By the time I got past the lodge, I was struggling to match my target of 300 watts. At that point I was in survival mode and was happy to see 270 watts. I think the lack of oxygen had something to do with that. Did I mention that the top of the top is at 9,300 feet above sea level? Yeah, there was still small patches of snow up there. The views were incredible but once I stopped riding I got cold so I didn't stick around and just headed back down to the car. I managed to do it in about 1:18 which was good for 8th place overall and 2nd in the 1/2's. Not bad, but I still felt like I could have used more recovery from my Tour de Park City. It was certainly a great LT workout!

Full results on BoiseCycling.com


Photos of Tour de Park City

Uhl in Eagle, ID – A couple photographers have posted pictures for the Tour de Park CityCruxphoto - Nate Young Photography has some shots featured in his blog post on his work at the Tour. See if you can find me wearing orange in a couple of the shots!

Also, Zazoosh has tons of TdPC photos for perusal and purchase. I was able to find me in a few. Here I am with Brandon L. at the front. I'm smiling because it was early in the race and I still had all my liquids! Here's Heather at the back of her pack conserving energy (smart girl!). Here I'm suffering like a dog, trading pulls with Brandon L. I just wanted that climb to be over! But Brandon had enough energy to smile for the camera!


Tour de Park City

IMG_1493 Uhl in Eagle, ID – While Heather has a tendency to write a dissertation for her race report, I'll try to make mine shorter. We drove to Park City on Friday and checked into the Newpark Hotel. Since they're a race sponsor we got a pretty good deal on a "luxury" suite and it was just that, luxurious. We picked up our packets and because they were understaffed we helped a little bit with registration. We also deposited our spare wheels and I gave them two personal feed bags for the 50- and 100-mile personal feed stations.

My race started at 7:00 AM. With only 14 Category 1–2 racers they combined us with the Category 3s. I was glad they did because doing a 170-mile race with a small pack would have sucked. So with the 3s we had about 35 riders total. We headed out northwest towards Coalville. The temperature was fairly cool but I knew it would get pretty warm so I went without arm- or knee-warmers. The pace was really mellow for the first couple hours so there was a lot of chatting going on...felt like I was on a charity century.

IMG_1497 Then we all agreed to stop at the 50-mile feedzone, as opposed to just riding by and grabbing handouts. I needed to stop anyway as the first of my two personal feedbags was supposed to be there. So we stopped and I looked through each of the piles of feedbags which were organized by category, but nowhere was mine to be found! So I went over to the tent and asked if maybe they had it there but still no luck. So I grabbed half a banana and a couple bottles of plain water. I also needed a bathroom break so by the time I got back on my bike, most of my group was gone so I had to chase to get back on. Fortunately they weren't motoring, but I did push it harder than I should have and unnecessarily burned a match.

A little while later things started to pick up; riders started attacking and pushing the pace. We rode a 6-mile section of dirt road, but it wasn't that bad as it was treated so it wasn't loose or washboarded. The attacks continued and eventually a couple riders got off before Evanston. There was a neutral feed station so our group slowed down and grabbed bottles. Again, just plain water so I was really glad I brought a lot of gels and PowerBars with me.

Continue reading "Tour de Park City" »


Heather's Tour de Park City

IMG_1498 Heather in Eagle, ID – This is the first year of the Felt Tour de Park City, which has a 170 mile USCF race and different tour options (52, 108, or 170 miles). There was preregistration and day of registration. There were 900 people who preregistered and another 300+ who did race day registration. The race promoter, Riley Siddoway, tried to make the race such that you didn’t have to have your own support. He had feed zones at Miles 25, 50, 75, 100, 125, and 150. He said that volunteers would hand up water, drink stuff, gels, bars, and fruit at every station. You could also put your own bottles and other food into sacks and label them with your bib number and what mile feed zone you wanted to pick them up and they would be shipped to that feed zone. The only thing is you had to stop and pick it up. The promoter implied that you could not have your own support, which helps ensure that everyone will go slowly through the feed zones.

Last night Uhl put bags with bottles and boiled potatoes to get at mile 50 and 100. They gave us timing chips to get our exact time. I used a 12-27 and was so glad I had that 27. I started with two bottles of Accelerade, 8 PowerGels (non-caffeine), and two bags of Blocks. Uhl started with two large bottles of Accelerade, 8 PowerGels and 3 PowerBars. They decided to combine the Cat 1 and 2 men with the Cat 3 men. Right as they lined up Richard announced that they would be scored together and share the same purse. There were five Women 1-3; I was the only Cat 1 and the others were Cat 3 riders. I talked with Richard Blanco about combining us with another category. He said that we could ride with the Cat 4 and masters women. We lined up behind the Master’s 45+ men. I asked Richard if we couldn’t go with them. He delayed their start time by 5 min and started us with them. That was nice since they had a pack of 25 or so.

Continue reading "Heather's Tour de Park City" »


Criterium Weekend

IMG_7897 Uhl in Boise, ID – This weekend was not only the Wells Fargo Twilight Criterium but also the Idaho State Championship Criterium. This was the first year that we had a separate Category 2 field and it was held on a new north–south course. Despite my taper this week, my legs weren't feeling great and even with the smallish field it was harder than it should have been. The only move I made was a get in a two-person break with a red guy, but we only lasted a few laps. Then when it came down to the last five laps, I found myself at the back and didn't have neither the legs or the aggressiveness to move up. I still tried to sprint at the end and got 19th, but I really was shooting for a much higher placing.

IMG_8047 On Sunday I did the state criterium championship which was a Pro 1–2 race. We had a small field of just over 30 guys. The course was the old criterium course used a few years ago in "downtown" Hidden Springs. It's a really fun course with perfectly smooth pavement and lots of nice turns with a chicane leading into the start/finish stretch. It was warmer today and it was a longer race, both things that usually help my results. I raced aggressively but missed the three-person break that stayed away. So the rest of us were racing for 4th place. I started to cramp with 10-laps to go so I had to stand a lot and keep my left leg down as much as I could (not good with a left-hand turn crit course!). With two laps to go I rolled off the front and put it in TT mode. I thought maybe I had it but then I got caught with less than half a lap to the finish. Bummer! Someday that move will work! I ended up 14th.

IMG_7932 The consolation was that Heather decided to do both races as a whim...without any hard training in the past three months (okay, she did 1 set of intervals on Monday). She ended up getting dropped in the Twilight, but made up for it in the state crit by getting 3rd, but the 1st Idahoan so she got the State Championship jersey for the second year in a row!


Gate City Grind

IMG_1452 Uhl in Eagle, ID – Finished my first stage race this weekend and ended up doing okay. The road race was hard at first and I managed to get 17th. I wasted my TT effort during the road race as I ended up popping off of the front group on the last hill when a couple people attacked, then got stuck in no-man's-land. I tried to get on J. Mayfield's wheel but ended up blowing after pulling right before the feedzone hill. Big mistake! I should have told him I'd help on once it flattened out a bit!

So I hammered in TT mode for 6 miles to the finish, always looking back to make sure I wasn't caught and ended up finishing about a minute and a half behind the front group, and a minute and a half in front of the rest of the pack. Smack dab in the middle!

Ironic that the TT was about 6-miles as well, as I even had the thought as I was a chasing that I was wasting my TT effort during the road race!? I thought with some food and a few hours of rest, I could recover enough, but my TT wasn't all that impressive. I made it hard and paced it well, I just wasn't fast enough. I think I got around 20th place in the TT.

IMG_1471 Then in the criterium, the course was even more technical than prior years with a couple new turns. One of them was a 120° rounder, on a section of rough pavement. There were four crashes there in the field before and so I think our field was extra careful as we didn't have one mishap during our 75-minute race. The first twenty minutes was really hard for me and I thought about quitting a few times. But I stuck it out and by forty minutes I was able to hang on without as much suffering. I did notice a few of my GC neighbors weren't there anymore and was then motivated to hang on to the end. By the finish I was surprised at how few people actually finished! Good news for me is that my perseverance paid off and I moved all the way up to 10th overall. Not bad.


Idaho State Road Race

Uhl in Eagle, ID – It was going to be a long hot race today and with Heather out of town and no guarantee of a neutral feed, I had to carry all of my fluids. So I had three 32-ounce bottles and a Camelbak that held another 50 ounces...that's over a gallon of liquid and almost 10 pounds! But I was glad I had it as I drank it all by mile 80 and was lucky to have gotten a neutral feed of water.

I rode my race bike today (so no power data) which was great. It was so nice to be riding a bike that's 4.5 lbs. lighter and more aero (due to the deep-section wheels) than what I'm used to.

The race was a race of attrition as I thought it would be and by the end there was a break of three up the road and then I was in a group of five. Two of the Bob's guys broke away from our group and we were chasing them as we ended the three big loops. We could still see them as they made a left onto Ferry Road. Having reviewed only the big loop of the course I didn't have the small loops memorized, but I had a hunch that we were supposed to go straight at that intersection.

There was a small blue arrow pointing left and some cones that went down the centerline of Ferry so after some talk with my two chase companions we went left. I saw a follow vehicle behind us and was doubtful enough that I dropped back to check and the driver said he was pretty sure this was the way. So we continued on into the heat. I was really hurting at this point and Brandon L. was the one really driving our group. But then we ended up on Hwy 45 which I knew was not part of the course!

Oops, we took a wrong turn and had gone far enough that it wouldn't make sense to go back the way we came because by then all the others behind us would have passed. So we headed north on Hwy 45 so we could get to Melba Rd and ride back to the finish. The funny part was that the two Bob's riders ahead went left on Map Rock Road taking them even further off course! It's amazing what some glycogen and oxygen deprivation will do to your mental abilities!

So I was pretty bummed that I didn't follow my instinct which would have keped me on course and in contention for top six. But after that feeling settled, I was happy with my performance. Even though it was another "DNF", it was still a confidence booster. I was able to hang on during all the attacking and stay with the front group to the end. With my little "detour" I ended up doing 97 miles in 4:19 and came to find out that they shortened the finishing loops for the "on-course" riders. So in the end I got a longer (better?) workout...right?!


Tour of Eagle

2008-06-13Crop Uhl in Eagle, ID – Tonight was the Tour of Eagle (aka, Eagle Criterium). Even though it's no longer a stage race, the old "Tour" name has stuck from the originial incarnation. The criterium kicks off the Eagle Fun Days weekend so there are always lots of spectators. Many of my friends and neighbors were out cheering for me.

I decided to race my (heavy) training bike since the course is totally flat and I wouldn't care if I crashed it (always likely in a crit). The other benefit is it has my PowerTap so I could analyze the ride afterwards.

The nice thing about racing in downtown Eagle is that I'm able to warm up at my house and then just ride down the hill to the race. The temperature was perfect for racing and my legs felt decent during warm-up. The race started and I went hard from the gun and found myself on the wheel of Justin R. It was a fast pace, especially for me who usually takes 10–20 minutes before my body gets used to race pace and I feel comfortable (even after a warm-up).

Tour_of_Eagle_Criterium_005 On a four corner course like this I pretty much stay on the inside most of the time and confirmed why I use that strategy; three crashes occurred ahead or right in front of me but because I was on the inside I avoided all of them! About half-way through the race I found myself at the front chasing a small break. I heard the announcer say something about a prime when I went by so I kept the pace high and pushed it for a full lap. I made sure no one tried to come around and crossed the line in front.

But rather than hear a confirmation of my "victory", I heard him announce a second prime! Well, I found out later that the first one was for a chase group! So I stayed at the front for yet another lap and then tried to pick it up as best I could on the start/finish stretch. At this point my legs were cooked. I looked back to see if anyone was going to contest it and I saw someone sprinting to my right. So I stood up and gave it all I had. We were side by side and both threw our bikes at the line. It was so close they had to go to the video to see who won it...and it wasn't me! Bummer...two super hard efforts with nothing to show for it!

Tour_of_Eagle_Criterium_030Well, after that I was totally spent and dropped to the back of the pack to catch my breath. When it came down to 10 laps to go, Calvin A was up the road and there were only about 15 of us left in the "main pack" due to all the crashes. With five laps to go there was a really bad crash, the worst of the night, on turn one. There was still carnage on the ground when we came around again. So out of concern for the riders and the fact that a crowd of paramedics and people were blocking part of turn one, the pack decided to nuetralize ourselves.

I think most of us thought we would get a re-start, but since Calvin pretty much had it won and the injured rider was still on the ground after the five laps passed, we basically rolled through the finish without much fanfare. Later I came to find out that I got 3rd, and even won some cash. But due to the neutralized nature of the finish, I felt guilty about accepting the money so I made a donation to the Idaho Velodrome & Cycling Park.

Overall, I was happy with my performance as it was my first criterium in almost a year and I haven't done any Anaerobic Work Capacity training this season. Not too bad, but I've done harder crits before an So in a way it was a bit of a confidence booster. But missing that prime was a disappintment as this wasn't the first time I missed one by a tire's width!

Photos courtesy of UTRider who happened to be in town for the weekend.


Pulling the Plug

2008-05-24-01CropUhl in Eagle, ID – I knew it wasn't going to be a good race before it even began as I didn't feel well over the last few days. It didn't help that the conditions weren't optimal for me; it was cold, I didn't sleep well the night before and there wasn't enough time to digest a real breakfast this morning. Well I was right; I ended up only lasting 15 minutes of the 100-mile race!

I got dropped the first time up the only major hill of the course! I knew I was in trouble early on the climb as I was already gasping for breath while everyone else just seemed to be on a leisurely stroll. I started the climb in third wheel, trying to do the "slip-slide" through the peleton as we climbed. But that doesn't work so well with a small pack of only 25-30 riders! Soon enough I was at the back. I got dropped and quickly decided to pull the plug. With the way I was feeling, even if I did catch back on, I would have been got dropped the next time up the hill. If I learned anything from last season it's that I shouldn't force myself to race when I'm feeling like crap; it just prolongs the crappiness!

Asdf I was dissapointed and headed straight to the car and headed home. I was racing on my training bike with my PowerTap and Garmin Edge 705 and upon inspection of my power file I realized that my effort up the climb was one of my best 5 minutes ever (5 minutes 32 seconds to be exact)! I came within 14 watts of my all-time power for that duration. So it was as hard as it felt! Thank goodness...it wasn't just that I was having a bad day.

Then I got to thinking...what would it have taken for me not get dropped on that climb? Obviously, more wattage at VO2Max would help (which is the next training focus), but using the elevation data from my Garmin 705 and the Analytic Cycling web site I calculated exactly how much weight I needed to lose to have stayed with the pack....5 lbs! Five measly pounds! So being that I rode my heavy training bike, along with my assortment of electronic gizmos, and an extra 32 ounze bottle in my jersey pocket (since I didn't have a feed), I could have easily made up those five pounds in equipment alone. If I rode my race bike, that's 4.5lbs right there and then getting someone to feed me would have saved me another 2 lbs.

I also have some weight I can take off my own frame. Currently I'm a few pounds over my usual weight. Late this winter when I was strugging with making training progress, I thought gaining a few pounds would help me better absorb hard training and not be fatigued all the time, as well as not be so cold all the time. Well, that didn't work! Power didn't go up with the weight gain so now I'm just that much slower on the hills! And I'm still cold all the time!? So much for that! TIme to start watching the caloric intake!

2008-05-24-02CropOnce I got home I took a much needed nap, then helped Heather with the garden. We finally got some tomato plants planted. After a weekend of staining fences last week, this was easy work. I went for a second ride to get the blood flowing and enjoy the weather which was now mostly sunny. My legs felt fine at tempo but I didn't go above that.


Another DNF

20080427cropUhl in Eagle, ID – Well another "DNF" today (did not finish). But this time I managed to last two out of the three laps. The laps were the old-style laps where we went up Little Freezeout, made a right on Hollow, another right on El Paso and then turned onto Bill Burns...a gravel road.

Yeah I'm a little bummed as my goal was to finish today, but my power data proved it was still a good performance for me. I even nearly broke my 1.5 min best...of all time!? I also confirmed my FTP with a 1-hour normalized power of 303 watts somewhere during all the chaos. Another good note was my teammate Kenny ended up 6th! Way to go Kenny!

Full results on Spondoro.com:
http://www.spondoro.com/results/Roubaix/2008/results.pdf


No Chicken Dinner for You

Uhl in Eagle, ID – Even though yesterday's workout was encouraging, between my lack of real top-end power and some work I had to get done at the office, I decided to pass on the Chicken Dinner road race today. If it was a flat course, I probably could have hung on for a while, but I knew with the steep climb every lap and the strong winds, I would have been off the back in a matter of minutes.

It's nice to have a power meter to back this decision up: I know for a fact that the 337 watts VO2 power I was putting out yesterday would not have been enough to keep me with the main group. So chalk this one up as my first "DNS" of the season (Did Not Start). Maybe if I get all these acronyms out of the way early in the season, there'll be less of them later?!


Birds of Prey

20080406cropUhl in Eagle, ID – Race started out OK, but then on the first lap of the lollipop-style course, we raced through a sleet storm and it got really cold.

My hands were so cold that they became numb; I had to look at my brake/shifters to operate them! I ended up getting dropped the during the crosswind on Swan Falls. I put it in time-trial mode but by the time I was halfway down King everyone was out of sight. So I kept pushing it so I could stay somewhat warm and rode the 10 miles back to the car. My first DNF of the year. The worst part was when my hands thawed on the drive home; the pain was excruciating! Man, I can't wait for warmer weather!


Slammer Road Race

20080330Uhl in Eagle, ID – With people hammering from the gun I thought I was a goner within the first kilometer! But things settled down once the winning break was off and I managed to stay with the pack for two and a half laps. Then it was Klaas, Jason, Andre and I working together off the back of the main group.

We kept a pretty constant distance for a while until we hit Cloverdale and then they were gone. With half a lap to go I was really bonking and the weather was getting windier and colder, but I pushed through it and finished. Not bad considering my goal was to finish at least one lap with the pack. It's great when you have such high aspirations!

Results on Spondoro:
http://www.spondoro.com/results/slammer/2008/results.pdf


Jason Broome TT

Click to view intervals Uhl in Eagle, ID – Today was the first race of the George's Spring Series and it was the Jason Broome Time Trial. I didn't get my TT bike together until last night because I was waiting on new headset bearings so without much time on the bike, I knew I wouldn't generate as much power as on my road bike. But I didn't think it would be 40 watts different!

Img_1261The first start time was delayed due to some registration issues. The worst part was the cold wind, so after waiting in the long registration line for ten minutes, I decided to go back to my warm car and return when the line was almost done. Once registered we learned that start times were significantly further out than previously sheduled so we had a lot of time to kill. It gave a good opportunity to chat with fellow teammates and friends. Fortunately I didn't have any commitments or a need to get the car back to Heather so I wasn't riled by the delay.

The course was the same as last year with a 1km downhill followed by straight flat section with one turn towards the south. The wind was steady at probably 25 MPH and it was cold! I "warmed-up" on the trainer and did a 15-minute LT push. I didn't try to kill myself on it but it hurt more than it should have. I should have taken this as a warning sign.

Continue reading "Jason Broome TT" »


Riding on Christmas Eve Day

Img_0984Uhl in St George, UT – We're down in St George again for Christmas  with Heather's mom, sister and niece. This time we brought a better bike to ride. We shipped Heather's old Javelin ahead of us and plan to leave it here so we always have a bike to ride when we come and visit. The only thing we brought with us on the plane was a PowerTap wheel and a trainer. Even though this is southern Utah, it can still be chilly. Besides, Heather really likes her trainer when it comes to her workouts.

Since the forecast for the week is unseasonably cold and today is supposed to be the warmest of the lot, I decided to do the old Gunlock Reservoir RR course from the old Chum's Classic Stage Race. This is the same ride I did last Christmas. Like last year, I was gasping a for air as the elevation is higher than Boise. But my legs felt good and I kept the pressure on the entire ride with a couple forays into VO2 territory on the hills.

Img_1034squareWhile it only was in the 40's F it was still nice to be on the road. It looked like I wasn't the only one getting a good ride today; I passed a bunch of riders going the other direction on the Gunlock road. It's also nice to be with family on the holidays. Heather's mother always decorates her house so festively during the holidays. Then of course, there's our niece who's always entertaining and very photogenic!


Track Nationals Team Pursuit

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Heather in Los Angeles, CA – Our team name was the Underdogs. Shelly Olds started us off, I was 2nd, and Kele Murdin was 3rd. We had a good start lap. Then it went downhill from there.

Unfortunately, I was the weakest linImg_0509k in our pursuit. I did not have good exchanges and I couldn't hold wheels. It was more stressful than fun for me. I could tell that Kele and Shelly were not happy with me at the finish. I didn't feel like I ever got a break during the pursuit. We rode a 3:54.

The gold medal went to Two Queens and a Fred (Sarah Hammer, Dotsie Bausch, and Jennie Reed) with a time of 3:34. The silver medal went to South Bay Wheelmen (Neva Day, Christen King, and Becky Quinn) 3:45. The bronze went to the Underdogs.

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Track Nationals Points Race

Img_0461Heather in Los Angeles, CA – There were 22 of us who started. I started on the rail. We rolled out for the neutral lap and the race started. We were crawling the first few laps. I was really scared that I would fall off. Megan Hottman attacked and stayed off to win the sprint with 90 laps to go, Becky Quinn 2nd, Neva Day 3rd, Shelly Olds 4th. We were going slow again, so attacked with two to go for the sprint at 80 laps to go. Becky nipped me at the line, I was 2nd, Cassandra Holman 3rd, Theresa Cliff-Ryan 4th. There were several attacks. I was not in good position and found myself chasing, off wheels for a while. The sprint with 70 laps to go saw Theresa 1st, Becky 2nd, Christen King 3rd, Cassandra 4th. The sprint with 60 laps to go saw Kelli Jones 1st, Bri Kovac 2nd, Jennifer Triplet 3rd, Shelly Olds 4th.

The sprint with 50 laps to go saw Catherine Fiedler 1st, Becky 2nd, Cassandra 3rd, Theresa 4th. There was a lull I attacked hard with Katherine Lundby on my wheel. The pack was looking at each other and didn't respond. I rotated with Katherine two times and she was weaker than I was. I realized we would lap the field and I pulled for three or four laps by myself to make sure it would happen. We had the sprint lap at 40 laps to go I won, Katherine 2nd, Catherine 3rd, Shelly 4th. Shortly after that sprint I was trying to catch the field. There were women getting dropped because they picked up the pace for the sprint. One woman was going slower than I expected and I tried to go under her and ended up riding on the blue line to get by her. I got a warning for that. The sprint with 30 to go saw Bri 1st, Catherine 2nd, Becky 3rd, and Cassandra 4th. I attacked again and was off with another rider for several laps, but we didn't rotate well and were absorbed.

Img_0479The sprint with 20 laps to go saw Christen 1st, Becky 2nd, Catherine 3rd, Theresa 4th. The sprint at 10 to go saw Becky 1st, Shelly 2nd, Christen 3rd, Catherine 4th; I was 5th but NO points. There was an attack with 8 laps to go. I went up to cover it and then the pack caught us. I was blown and could not contend the final sprint Becky 1st, Shelly 2nd, Cassandra 3rd, Neva 4th. Becky won by 1 point (OUCH!) (29 pts), me 2nd (28 pts), Katherine 3rd (23 pts), Catherine 4th (19 pts), Shelly Olds 5th (9 pts). I cooled down for 10 min on the rollers before the awards ceremony.


Track Nationals Scratch Race

Img_0434_3Heather in Los Angeles, CA – I warmed up on rollers for 20 min with a two pushes. There were 21 of us who started the 10 km scratch race. I used a 92.5 gear (48 x 14). There were a lot of attacks, but it never seemed really hard. I planned on attacking with 6 laps to go. A break away group was caught with 7 to go. I planned on attacking but worried about doing it just right instead of just doing it, so I got pinned in. Christin King attacked and got off and soloed to a national title. I was left in the chaos behind and finished 10th. Becky Quinn was 2nd. I cooled down on the rollers for 10 min.


Track Nationals Pursuit

Heather in Los Angeles, CA – I warmed up on the track for 58 min. I did 2 x 500 m pushes with splits of 19.0, 18.8 (I had to get out of aerobars to pass a rider) then 18.2, 18.1 (I caught a bunch of riders at end of lap and had to ride uptrack). Then I did one flying 250 m at 17.9. It felt really good. Then I did a 1/4 lap pursuit start. I warmed up on the trainer for about 30 min before my pursuit. I did 2 x 30 sec pushes.

I was in the 6th heat. I used the 92.5 gear (48 x 14). My lap times were: 24.441, 18.113, 18.342, 18.851, 19.439, 19.959, 20.207, 20.442, 20.563, 20.594, 20.642, 20.473. I cooled down on the trainer for 10 min. Dotsie Baush won in 3:44.4, Christin King was 2nd in 3:47.0, Neva Day was 3rd in 3:55.4, Angela Coggan was 4th in 3:56.4, Kele Merdin was 5th in 3:58.5, and I was 6th in 4:02.1. In the final Dotsie won, Christin 2nd, Angela 3rd, and Neva 4th.


Track Nationals Mass Start Test

Heather in Los Angeles, CA – I warmed up for a while on the track. I was going to get on the track for 5 min then get off and stretch. There were so many people on the track that I decided to just stay on. I warmed up for a bit on my own and then jumped on a train with Neva Day and Kristin King. I tried to surf at the back. However, I didn't do it right. I was supposed to swing up when the front rider did so they didn't think I was dangling off the back. I learned after the fact. I was still off their wheels a bit, but I tried to get more comfortable riding close. I stayed on while they took the pace up in the sprinters line. I came off the track for a little bit to rest and let Uhl know my plan.

It was awful trying to merge back on again. One rider told me "It's like merging onto the freeway, sometimes you just have to cross your fingers and pull on." I got back on the track and took a few laps. Then I did two laps at pursuit pace (18.2, 18). I rested for a bit and then got on the track to do a flying lap. It was so hard to get an open place to do it. I finally got an opportunity and went for it. Unfortunately I ended up coming on the back of someone going much slower in the sprinters lane and people stacked up the track so I couldn't go around. I almost crashed.

I was able to do the flying lap but Uhl wasn't able to time it. I also did a half lap push trying to use the banking. I spun down on the trainer. I warmed up on the trainer for about 20 min. I did two 30 second pushes. I did the mass start test in a 92.6 gear (48 x 14). We only had two laps to wind it up. I sprinted hard and went for it. After the 500 m I really died. I was slugging the gear at the end. I heard from a sprinter that I didn't accelerate near enough before I went into the sprint. My lap times were: 16.928, 17.456, 18.568, 19.682, 20.288, 20.711, 20.999, 21.103. My 500 was 34.285 and 2 km was 2:35.739.


Elite Track Nationals

Img_0422Uhl in Los Angeles, CA – We're back in sunny southern California at the LA Velodrome, this time for USA Cycling's Elite Track National Championships. I'm here to support Heather as she competes in the Mass Start Test, Pursuit, Scratch and Points races. Though I'd love to give the pursuit a try, I won't be able to due to the tight scheduling between the women's and men's pursuit. Since we flew in early, we had enough time before open practice to check out the beach. I was able to go for a nice run along the beach while Heather made some business calls at the car. After my run I jumped in the ocean to cool off and while the water was cold, it felt so nice. It reminded me of the one big downside to living in Idaho...no beaches like this!

This evening was open practice for the riders and Heather got some track time in. Tomorrow is the Mass Start Test and since she's never done it, she's been practicing the flying start and figuring out what gear she's going to ride. I don't know how often I'll blog, but it looks like FixedGearFever.com is doing live coverage for the event. So if you want to follow along, checkout the race coverage schedule. For full results you can go to USA Cycling's results page.


Scratch Race

Heather in Los Angeles, CA – We started with seven women; two from one team and two from another team. We started off pretty quickly. I was still hesitant about catching wheels and spent a lot of time on my own. It was very frustrating for Uhl, who kept yelling at me to pull off and then immediately swing down to catch the wheels. Attacks kept going and I was always in a position of chasing. Shelly Olds attacked with 8 laps to go and got a gap. With three laps to go I ended up on the front chasing and didn't make a good enough effort to pull off until 1 lap to go when the other four women blew by me. I ended up finishing 6th.


Points Race

Img_0395_3 Heather in Los Angeles, CA – We started off with eight women; there were three from one team (Becky Quinn, Christen King, Neva Day) and Shelly Olds, Katherine Lundby, Catherine Fiedler, and I. Becky Quinn, was the one who caused my horrific track crash in 2004. We did 64 laps, with sprints every 8 laps. I used a 90 gear (50 x 15). We started off doing a paceline. Then the games started. I was more nervous than I realized once the race began. I didn't want to be really close to anyone.

Poor Uhl was trying to yell instructions to me, and I could tell he was REALLY frustrated watching me race. To tell you how bad it was, he was saying things like, "Get on that wheel," "When they swing uptrack you swing uptrack," "Higher" (everyone was higher than I was...they were really uptrack and I was on the blue line), "Look before you move," "Pay attention to what's going on around you." The first part of the race something would go and I would hesitate, so I would chase and catch back on. I was definitely not in a draft very often.

The first sprint was a mass sprint won by Becky, and I had nothing to do with it. The second sprint Neva Day took off early and held it to the line, but there was a group sprint for the other points won by Becky, then Shelly, again I was nowhere around. The third sprint Catherine Fiedler took off early and won it followed by Shelly and Becky, again I was not in contention. The fourth sprint I took off really early and was off for several laps and was nipped at the line by Catherine to get 2nd in that sprint. I tried to keep going after the sprint, but everyone was right there. Neva and Catherine sat up once they crossed the line for points. The fifth sprint Katherine Lundby won and I got no points. The sixth sprint Christen King set tempo on the front and held it to the line for the win, but I wasn’t there again.

They slowed down after that sprint, and I attacked with 14 laps to go. I opened up a good gap. My intent was to try and lap the field, but with a team of three, there was no way they were letting that happen. I won the seventh sprint and held it to win the final sprint. Those points put me in 3rd place. Becky Quinn won (18 pts) with Catherine 2nd (15 pts), me 3rd (13 pts) and Shelly 4th (12 pts). It is so fun to be off by yourself. All of a sudden you have tons of supporters. Uhl was happy when I was off by myself. Then he yelled things like, "Stay low" and "Bend your elbows and relax", and "Keep pushing it." Several people congratulated me on the ride afterwards. While I was off Roger Young (Manager of the velodrome and MC for the event) talked about how I can get off and stay off. He would know since he ran the PowerBar team from 1996-98.


Bogus Basin Hillclimb

Img_7653_3Uhl in Eagle, ID – Good thing I'm in the middle of my "off-season" as the smoke was thick for the 2007 Bogus Basin Hillclimb. I've been taking the last three weeks completely off the so it was nice to be able to support Heather at the hillclimb without the stress of racing myself. Unfortunately, Heather's lungs don't like the smoke either, but doing the race was part of her training plan so there she was. I was able to drive up the road and wait for the riders to go by to cheer them on and take pictures. It was fun yelling for the people, then looking at their faces saying, "Who's that!?" Heather did okay, but not great. She was second in the women and a few minutes slower than last time she did it. Still a good 1-hour effort and since she rode with a PowerTap, we have a good idea of her current FTP.

Full results on Spondoro.com:
http://www.spondoro.com/results/HillClimb/2007/results.pdf


Idaho State Criterium

Img_0377Heather in Eagle, ID – The course was a new figure 8 type course in the Linen District in downtown Boise. We started on Grove St in front of Big City Coffee. There were only four of us: Jana Repulski, Sarah Brown (both Tamarack), Jeane, and I. We started out really slow. Jana would not be in front. I pulled for a while. I won both primes. Jana countered both primes, but as soon as I caught her wheel she shut down. We were doing track stands at times. Jana jumped with three turns to go. I caught her wheel and followed her out of the last corner. Then I stood up and blew by her to win, Jana 2nd, Sarah 3rd.


Idaho State Road Race

Img_0371 Heather in Eagle, ID – The race was out in Melba, ID. We started at the Melba Senior Center. There were 6 1/2 women: Jenn Halladay & Sarah Brown (Tamarack), Sarah Barber & Jeanne Rumps (Bob's), Jennifer, and me (America's Dairyland). We started with the Master's B group. We did 44 miles; one big loop and two finishing loops. We had a neutral start, and the women were at the front. the first uphill up Cave Creek I attacked. It didn't do much. There was a wind which kept the big loop tough at times. There were a few attacks.

On the back side of the big loop Sarah Barber threw her water-bottle and I talked to her about that. She said that she would pick it up after the race. Then the men let the six of us women roll away from them. We did a pace-line for a while. Then Michael Van Lierop (Intermountain Orthopedics) blew by us. He was off alone. We decided not to chase because that wasn't our race. Then the rest of the men caught us. They chased on and off, and Michael's gap kept growing until he was out of sight. As we started the finishing loop the first time we had to make a hard right turn onto the feed zone road. Some of them didn't turn. There was a crash when a guy rear ended Sarah who had stopped. We waited until everyone regrouped.

Then we road pretty steady the rest of that lap. At the start of the last finishing loop we could see Michael ahead of us. After we caught Michael there was a hill and Jenn pushed it up the hill. Sarah Barber and I went with her and we were alone. Jenn wanted to work. I rolled through a few times, but Sarah wouldn't work. I attacked and Jenn chased me. I told Jenn she needed to make Sarah chase, but she wouldn't listen. Then Sarah attacked and Jenn chased again. Then we rode with Jenn leading it out. At 1 km to go, Jenn started picking it up. I was to her side so I wouldn't get boxed in. Jenn was really going hard and I couldn't believe it when we still had 500 m to go. I got on Jenn's wheel until 200 m when she stood up to sprint. I shifted down and took off. I was so elated to hit the finish line. I won, Sarah 2nd, Jenn 3rd.


Wells Fargo Twilight Criterium

20070721cropUhl in Eagle, ID – How do you finish a Pro/1/2 criterium when you're not fit and can't produce much power? Easily, just ride at the back! I know this sounds like heresy to a crit-racer; due to the accordian effect, riding at the back can cost more energy than riding at the front. But if you ride at the back, and I mean the very back, you can let gaps open before the corners, then just hold your speed through the corners (don't brake!) and you'll catch right back up with the pack! By laying off the brakes and cornering well, you can maintain your speed while the tail-end of the pack is braking. Img_0087With practice, you'll learn what's the optimal gap size to let open, that still allows you to close it without much effort. I put this to good use tonight as I stayed seated for almost the entirety of the race...I think I only stood up and sprinted 3 times!

I often use this technique when I'm not feeling good in a criterium, or for stage race criteriums where a pack finish is inevitable and I rather conserve my energy. So going into today's race, with a couple months of de-training, I knew I needed to play it conservatively. Usually the first 10 laps are fast and since I take a while to warm up, I mentally prepared for suffering. It wasn't unbearably hot like last year, but it was still in the low 90's so that affected my intestines during the first 10 minutes of racing. But after that, I was able to hang on without too much discomfort.

My strategy was to expend as little energy as possible for the first 40 laps, then if I was feeling OK, maybe go for a prime during the second half of the race. Well, after 40 laps, I was just happy to still be on and knew a prime opportunity was out of the question.

Continue reading "Wells Fargo Twilight Criterium" »


Heather's Twilight

Img_7556aHeather in Eagle, ID – We started with 27 women. Kristin Armstrong (Lipton), Laura Van Guilder, Kelly Benjamin, and Brooke Ourade (all from Cheerwine), Melissa Sanborn (Wenzel Coaching), and several teams with two to three riders each. The course was a nice four left hand turn 1 km course. It was about 250 m from the last turn to the finish line. I started in the back and stayed in the back the first part of the race to see what would happen.

My goal was to win the race. I knew the only way I could do that was from a break. I also knew the only way a break would stick was to go at the halfway point of the race, when some of the riders would be tired. This race is part of the US Criterium Series so there was a midpoint sprint for points. The race started out fairly easy. The first prime Kris Walker (Bob's Bicycles) attacked on the backside of the course; three women jumped on her wheel, but Kris held it to the line to win. They were quickly reabsorbed. Then Kelly Benjamin (Cheerwine) took a solo flyer and was off for a few laps. Right after she was caught Brooke Ourada (Cheerwine) and Tiffany Pezzulo (Ivory Homes) were off for several laps. We brought them back a few laps before the lap 25 sprint.

Img_7561 I knew a break would probably get off after the sprint, so I set up to follow wheels and make the selection. Sure enough, the speed picked up as we headed toward the finish line. After the sprint, a group of six of us got off: Kristin Armstrong (Lipton), Laura Van Gilder (Cheerwine), Kristin Kotval (Ivory Homes), Melissa Sanborn (Wenzel Coaching), Jenn Halladay (Team Tamarack Resort), and I (America's Dairyland). We were off for a few laps, but Laura, Kristin Kotval, and Melissa would not pull through. I knew I would not win in a break with them, so I decided to get rid of them. The next lap was a prime lap. I gassed it and went for the prime and won. Jenn came with me, and we were off. We took off to establish our lead. Unfortunately, as soon as we established out gap, I started feeling terrible.

Continue reading "Heather's Twilight" »


Twilight Time

Twilight_2Uhl in Eagle, ID – It's that time of year; Heather and I will be racing in the Wells Fargo Twilight Criterium tomorrow evening (aka, "Boise Twilight"). It's always a huge event with lots of spectators lining the course in downtown Boise. The forecast looks like it always does in July, hot! Hopefully there won't be any freak thunderstorms with 50 MPH winds to blow riders around, as was the case a few years ago. This is the second year it's an National Racing Calendar event and so far the field looks tough. Should be a fast and furious race!

Twilightcoursecrop_2For those interested in coming down to watch, here's the schedule and course map:

1:00 pm   Street Closure
4:00 pm   Hotel 43 Men's Cat 4/5
5:00 pm  Men's Cat 3 /  Masters 40+
6:00 pm  St. Lukes & Emergency Medicine of Idaho Kid's Race
7:00 pm  PowerBar Women's Pro 1/2/3
8:30 pm   Wells Fargo Men's Pro 1/2
10:00 pm Awards

Hope you can make it out...it can be just as exciting to watch as racing in it!


Treasure Valley - Criterium

Img_7443 Heather in Eagle, ID – There were four of us at the start: Laura Stott, Joanna, MaryAnn Ozier and myself. The first prime I sprinted for and won; I thought Joanna won it but I did. The second prime was for $10 and 2 lbs of coffee, so I let Joanna win and then I attacked. MaryAnn went with me. I pulled the rest of the race. I asked if MaryAnn was going to contest the next prime. She said no if I gave her $2. The next prime she asked if I would let her win it, so I did. The next prime we didn't talk. After sitting on the entire race MaryAnn sprinted and beat me for the prime by a tire's width. I took off and soloed in for the win.


Treasure Valley – Time Trial

Img_7565Heather in Eagle, ID – I rode my new Cannondale Slice TT bike with my Lew front and Zipp Disk rear. I started behind Jen Halladay and chased her the entire way. I did not see the course before hand, which was a disadvantage. I tried to keep pushing as hard as I could, but my legs were fried. I won, Jenn was 2nd, and Laura Stott 3rd.


Treasure Valley – Road Race

Img_0052Heather in Eagle, ID – The Women 1-3 started with the Men Cat 3. There were 6 women who started and 19 men. We rolled out pretty easy. The first time up the climb we did go slow. Then two guys got away. The men let them go and then would sporadically chase. They put in an effort to catch right at the 2nd time up the climb. I got popped off. I worked hard to catch. I missed my feed because I was going too fast; the bottle flew through the air. Then I chased hard and caught.

On the next climb, a guy attacked. I got popped off there and chased the rest of the race. I caught Zach, a new Cat 3 from Lost River. He said that he had intestinal problems and shouldn't be racing. I just rode my race, chasing like mad. Zach was content to sit on my wheel. He pulled through once in 17 miles. When we hit the feed zone climb, he took off. That made me unhappy.

I was passed by the lead break of the Masters A group. There were four of them. When they turned a corner, Joe Savola went down, taking Chuck with him. Luckily I was far enough back to watch it unfold, but I was able to ride around the carnage. I worked hard, hoping I could catch the stragglers. I ended up catching Zach again and he was with another Cat 3. They basically sat on my wheel to the finish. Jen Halladay won it. I was 2nd, Laura Stott 3rd.


Treasure Valley Stage Race

Img_0051Uhl in Eagle, ID – I  planned to do this race as my "comeback" but since I still wasn't feeling that great this week, I decided to pass on it. But it worked out for the best as I was able to feed Heather, my teammates in the Cat 1-2 race as well a bunch of other riders. Since there weren't enough volunteers to properly man the feedzone, all the people in the feedzone stepped up to the plate and helped hand out neutral water.

The Pro 1/2/3 women raced with the Cat 3 men so it was a fast race. With the wind and some really rough chip-seal roads, things broke up quickly in all the categories and it was a race of attrition. Heather wasn't able to hang with the lead group of Cat 3 men, so she was on her own for a couple laps. She worked her ass off while some of the straggling Cat 3 men, just sucked wheel to get to the finish. There was one woman up the road so Heather got second. Then after the race, Heather posed with the local America's Dairlyland fan club!