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2014 Pineapple Hill Sprint Road Race - Cycle

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Waihaiwa, Hawaii
United States
Tradewinds Cycling Team
68F / 20C
Total Time = 26m 43s
Overall Rank = 6/52
Age Group = M18-34 Cat 4/5
Age Group Rank = 3/10
Pre-race routine:

Had a great training ride Monday, after Castle to Hanauma. Rode halfway up Aiea Heights on Thursday, but other than that, mostly Z2 riding.
Event warmup:

25 minutes on the trainer. Smart move...not nearly enough area to warm up at the starting area. Got a nice good sweat going.
  • 26m 43s
  • 7.2 miles
  • 16.17 mile/hr

First annual race, nobody knew what to expect except it would be hard. With a mass start (all divisions together) it would also be interesting to see if anyone tried to hang on to the elites. Everyone was also a little concerned about the right corner just before the finish. If you're solo, not so bad, but if you're in a pack, contesting for placing...then that's not the safest place to be winding it up. But that's only if you even get to that corner when it matters.

So we're riding neutral, I'm sitting in the first 20% of riders, right where I want to be. Zeb, Jason Smith, and Joe Kennedy are up front like they should be. I'm right on Will's wheel, Carl Brooks and a few other familiar faces around. We hit weed circle and the Filipino Mafia goes on the attack from all directions...LOL. This is the start of a 4.7 mile climb averaging 4%...nobody was concerned about the "mafia" getting away and they quickly went backwards. Jason Smith turns on the gas, and they start to pull away. In this split second, you have to make up your mind what you're going to do. Chase Jason, Zeb, and Joe...and risk the blow up...or hang back...

My plan all along was to mark Will. He and I have a reputation of placing well in local Cat 4/5 races, but you always get a new guy or two that shows up. I think 3 other guys in our division tried to go with the lead group, but 2 of them quickly went backwards. One stuck with them...Nick. Will was chasing in a hard controlled effort, and I was content to follow...but he gave up once the lead group of 4 (Jason, Zeb, Joe, Nick) got 20 yards on us. I had the opportunity to jump and bridge...but there's still over 4 miles of climbing left, and that would have been foolish.

So the 2nd group is forming. Will, myself, Carl, and my teammate Arnel. Carl and Arnel didn't have any interest in going to the front. Carl a couple of short token pulls, but we all knew what he was up to. His division place was set as we had a good gap on the 3rd group behind he would just sit in and try to beat us OA at the end. Arnel hung on for about a mile, then got shot off the back.

Will was strong as expected. He did a lot of work up front and I gave him some relief, but nowhere near 50/50. It was getting hard. I was mouth wide open and on the red line. We hit a short steep section and Will surged. I was caught behind Carl, and he smartly did not chase...knowing I would. By this time the gap was close to 20 yards and I couldn't reel it in all at once. I had to TT it. Granted we were no longer on the steeper sections...more like 2-3%, so I had a chance. The gap got as big as 40 yards, but it didn't grow much more than that as I slowly got my HR settled closer to LT levels. Carl gave me a couple of very short breathers before I got back on the front on near the top and brought Will all the way back in.

I expected Will to stay the fact that I bridged back up meant he was hurting. I sat on his wheel for 30-45 seconds, but then it came time to get off the narrowing shoulder and take the lane. As I fanned out, I told will to come out...but instead he sat up a bit. Fair enough, I'll go to the front, but before I knew it, I had a 15 yard gap on Carl and Will. We're on the short downhill roller, and with my 404's, I think I could carry more speed than they could. The gap grew closer to 25 yards, and still with 1.5 miles left, I made the bonehead decision to go for it.

Two stupid things I need to document for myself so I don't make this mistake again. One...I wasn't going to stay away from Bill and Carl. The gap I got was not a real gap as we were going over 30 mph at the time. In reality, it was like 2 seconds unlike a 25 yard gap when going 14 mph uphill. Two...I should have noticed up the road that Nick had been dropped by Jason and Joe. Zeb flatted. So 1st place in our division and 3rd OA was still up for grabs. I wouldn't be able to bridge to Nick on my own, and I should have waited for Wil and Carl so we could work together. I'm also confident in my sprint...which is why I brought the 404's in the first place. with my bonehead move in progress...pushing up to 380-400 watts for nearly a minute and not gaining much more ground...I decided that I can't blow up with 1 mile left and a short rolling climb up ahead. So I sat up a bit, caught my breath, then tried to jump onto Wil and Carl as they came by. I mistimed it...and had to use too much of a burst to get on. I was dangling off Carl's wheel...fully in the red zone and not really seeing straight. We hit the right bend at the traffic divider...and for some reason I though that was the hard right turn before the finish. I though to myself that I didn't want to go down at this corner so I eased off. Turns out the corner wasn't for another 300 yards, and that Nick was still within range before the finish. SHIT!!!! Too late now as I was already 10 yards back.

Will amost bridged to Nick, Carl came around him just before the finish, and got within 2 seconds of Nick. Had I stayed on that train, I may have been able to use Carl to launch myself as their sprint didn't look like they had much left in them. Who knows if I could have pulled it off...but either way, that right corner was still dangerous and I coasted through it.

Still happy with my performance though. Good sign of fitness for later races in the year. Need to work on the tactics a bit.
What would you do differently?:

Not attack with 1.5 miles to go.
Post race
What limited your ability to perform faster:


Last updated: 2014-03-11 12:00 AM
00:26:43 | 07.2 miles | 16.17 mile/hr
Age Group: 3/10
Overall: 6/52
Performance: Good
Avg HR 182, 279 AP, 304 NP
Wind: Little
Course: Start from North Shore Marketplace, riding neutral for the first .75 miles, then game on after weed circle, up Pineapple Hill, then the right turn with the finish line about 200m after that.
Road: Smooth Wet Cadence: 90
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Average Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard 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]

2014-03-11 3:01 PM

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Subject: 2014 Pineapple Hill Sprint Road Race

2014-03-11 3:31 PM
in reply to: #4963668

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Subject: RE: 2014 Pineapple Hill Sprint Road Race

Great report!  Felt like I was right there with you.....

2014-03-15 5:37 AM
in reply to: #4963668

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2000500100100100100 home in The ATL
Subject: RE: 2014 Pineapple Hill Sprint Road Race
Hey Jason - just got a chance to read your race report - fantastic recap! It really cool that you know the other guys so well and exactly what they can do and are going to do before they do it. Even though it didn't work out quite be way you liked it sounds like the inaugural race was a good, tough sufferfest. You will get them next time!
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