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Tokeneke Classic Road Race: New England Regional Championship Road Race - Cycle

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East Harland, Connecticut
United States
Total Time = 1h 00m 3s
Overall Rank = 7/50
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
  • 1h 00m 3s
  • 22 miles
  • 21.98 mile/hr

This was my first real road race and the State and New England Championships. Being in Cat 5, the field was limited to 50 riders. The course was tough with a few hills and finishing on a pretty tough 2 mile climb averaging just over 5% grade. The cat 5 race was one 22 mile loop of the course. I went up there with a couple of guys that had some race experience and know of a couple of the guys who were in the mix that were cat 1 mountain bikers and cyclocross guys so new there would be some ringers in the mix.

I had ridden a lot (for me) in June and July so my power was on an upward trend. I had also enjoyed myself a little too much and not had as much focus as I'd like to have. Going in I weighed 190lbs and knew the hills were going to be painful.

First half:
The beginning of the course starts on a sort of gradual rolling descent for awhile as you loop around a big resevoir so the first half is net downhill. There were a couple of guys testing the group and it didn't take too much to stay up front. For the first 7 or 8 miles we had average 27.5 mph and I was at a pedestrian average watts of 211 (with a few surges). In my excitement I may have responded a little to powerfully to a couple of early tester moves that were not really threatening and average about 360 watts for a couple minutes at one point which was a waste and I did end up too far in the front in the wind at pretty high speed for awhile which wasted some energy.

Second half:
You make a turn and you start the way up with a couple of step climbs. The first one kicks at 10-12% for a little bit and opens up a door for an attack. A few strong riders went for it and I wasn't quite in the right position to respond (I had never previewed the course which is dumb). By the time I attempted to go with they were creating a big gap and they kicked again on the next step. I was up close to 500 watts for a couple minutes and was cursing myself for being fat and for deciding to do a hilly race instead of a crit or something.

Next I know the field is in ruins. I see the breakaway group of 6 going up the road and I'm looking around to see if anyone is gathering. Soon there are a few of us but we are all hurting but well clear of the rest of the field. We gathered ourselves and a couple joined. After I did much of the work it was clear the others were unwilling or unable to match my effort so every time I went to the front we clawed back but then gave it back when I rotated. I became a little frustrated and attacked the chase group. I went into time trial mode and spent the next 10 minutes at 330 watts (which was not bad considering I was already feeling the burn). I refused to look back and when I finally did I was well clear and they were out of sight.

Was it a good move or a crazy move?
There was nobody in sight ahead or behind me...until just before the big decent that comes before the finishing climb I see the lead vehicles and then the group. I gave it my best kick and ended up descending fast (I think I'm 7th out of 452 riders on Strava including a bunch of pros and higher cat racers). I average over 42 mph for just over a couple of miles and caught the lead vehicles and a bit of a legal draft as I slingshot past them. The head ref was giving me the thumbs up as they passed me back on the flat saying what an awesome bridge it was and it was the highlight of my race.

Guess who's back
I had caught the lead group. They were all pretty surprised but didn't care much seeing how they were gathering themselves to destroy eachother over the two mile climb. I was just happy to have caught them and knew I had burned one too many matches to do much damage with the climbers. I had earned myself a free climb to a solo finish in 7th with nobody threatening. The lead group took about a minute from me the last 2 mile climb. I averaged 336 watts for the last 11 minutes so wasn't dogging it but I had done closer to 370 in training so wasn't all there. I was happy and congratulated a couple of the guys up front (they were all good climbers and I'd like to get a crack at them in a crit or time trial).

For the race:
Exactly 1 hour
Normalized Power 335 watts
Average Power 277
Average Heart Rate 166
Max Heart Rate 183

21.5 miles
Just over 2000 feet of climbing

I'll be back and ready to climb next year.
What would you do differently?:

Lose weight. Having ridden with some higher CAT guys though now, I know I have what it takes and can upgrade once I get 10 races under my belt and start competing a little more in the 4s to make it to a CAT 3 which would be my goal for now.
Post race

Last updated: 2013-12-17 12:00 AM
01:00:03 | 22 miles | 21.98 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/50
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2013-12-17 3:06 PM

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Guilford, CT
Subject: Tokeneke Classic Road Race: New England Regional Championship Road Race

2013-12-20 1:12 PM
in reply to: #4914713

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Subject: RE: Tokeneke Classic Road Race: New England Regional Championship Road Race

Awesome job.  I probably wouldn't have had the balls to go for the bridge.  Technically it was all risk and no reward as far as placing, but I'm sure the feeling of making the bridge was indeed the highlight of the race. 

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