Masters Nationals 45–49 Criterium

Ogden, UT – 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

Ogden, UT – 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 neutral 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 d’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! 😮 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.

Run for the Nations 6.2k

StaticmapBoise, ID – Yes, 6.2 kilometers, not 6.2 miles. Originally I thought it was a 10k. Started by the Albertsons buildings on Park Center, then onto Greenbelt over Orange Bridge, then west on Greenbelt to behind The Ram and back. Right hip flexor strain kept my pace down (~6:37min/mile). Still aggravated the strain as I could hardly walk afterwards. Time to take a break from running and work on stretching and strengthening my hip flexors!

Bogus Basin Hillclimb 2009

Click to view intervalEagle, 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