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Donagh Road Race - Cycle

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Donagh, Prince Edward Island
Cycling PEI
14C / 57F
Total Time = 1h 55m 4s
Overall Rank = 2/15
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Event warmup:

A short 10 min ride with Tab. It confirmed that the start was going to be nasty windy.
  • 00m
  • 65.2 kms
  • 0.00 km/hr

The race is 3 loops of a 21.7 km with no real hills to worry about, just some short rollers. The wind was going to be the real story today.

The wind was really strong from the SW (30 - 50 km/hr) which made it a head wind for the first 1/3 and then tail/cross winds for the rest. For the first section into the headwind it was just a steady effort but not too bad. A few guys took turns at the front but no one was driving the pace.

Once we turned with the wind things picked up a bit and strung the group out. About 8k from the end of the loop was a section with a wicked crosswind on a downhill and that really blew things apart. Entering the section I managed to position myself close to the yellow line which put me in a good sheltered position with the wind on the right. I ended up in the front group of 4 and there were some smaller groups farther back - the other 3 guys in my group were all buddies so I had my work cut out for me the rest of the day. They were trying hard to drop me.

During the second loop in the headwind section, while I was dropping back after taking a pull, the guy behind me (Ted, by far the strongest of us - we were really racing for 2nd at this point) put in a surge and I had to fight hard to stay on the back of the pack - burnt a couple of matches there. After the head wind we turned and there was a short hill and Ted and Jared went hard up the hill which gapped Rob and I a bit - I went around Rob to try to catch back on but I was about 50 feet back of them and losing ground and then... I was given a gift. A truck pulling a horse trailer pulled out onto the road ahead of Ted and Jared forcing them to slow a bit and that just gave me the few seconds I needed to latch back on. We rode the rest of the lap fairly steady with a few short surges here and there but nothing major.

At the start of the 3rd lap the two of them (Rob was gone) backed off and put me in the lead against the wind and I decided I would just ride at a steady 210-220w to avoid working too much. I was giving them a free ride but the last thing I wanted was to try to rotate back and have Ted put in another surge like the last lap. I was quite content to stay up there at that effort. Shortly before the turn with the wind the two of them moved back in front. On the hill that followed Ted put in another surge and Jared looked like he was hurting so I went around him to see if I could drop him and stick with Ted. Once Ted saw Jared fall back and me with him he backed right off so I went to the front and kept the pressure on hoping Jared would stay off the back. I put in about a 2 min effort >300w not knowing was happening behind me (other than Ted being on my wheel). Then I heard Jared curse as he accidentally went off the road onto the shoulder - so much for dropping him, he was right on Ted's wheel! At that point I backed off as I clearly wasn't getting rid of him. Not long after that, Ted and Jared went back to the front and I just sat on the back. After riding steady through the cross winds and with about 5k to go I was back in the front and put in another couple of steady surges to see what would happen (not much). I knew Jared and I were racing for 2nd as Ted was way stronger than us and I didn't want to come down to a sprint so I decided I was going to put in one more hard effort to try to drop Jared. I waited for a flat section that had a good crosswind and as we entered it I eased off on the power a bit hoping the other two would have to coast and maybe tap the brakes and then I stood up and went hard - 20s @ 580w. I took a quick peek under my shoulder and saw I had gapped Jared and just put my head down and rode hard to distance us. Ted was of course just sitting on my wheel. I kept the pressure on and sure enough Jared was falling farther and farther back. I didn't dare let up so I just kept pushing hard. With 1k to go was a small hill and Ted took off on me. I looked back to make sure Jared wasn't close and I just rode steady to the finish. I'm really happy with 2nd as Ted was always going to win. I think I made lots of good decisions and it worked out!
What would you do differently?:

Not much
Post race
Event comments:

Good course for me - no real hills.

Last updated: 2015-09-28 12:00 AM
00:00:00 | 65.2 kms | 0.00 km/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/15
Performance: Good
Wind: Strong
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]

2015-09-28 7:12 AM

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PEI, Canada
Subject: Donagh Road Race

2015-09-28 9:08 AM
in reply to: #5143443

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South Windsor, CT
Subject: RE: Donagh Road Race
congratulations on a well executed race!
so fascinating to hear what's going on in your head as this race unfolded-nice to cath the break with the truck, but I bet you'd have closed the distance somehow later on...

thanks for sharing
2015-09-28 1:59 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: Donagh Road Race

Nicely done and way to think things through instead of going triathlete mode and riding one pace/effort...LOL.  When you made the 2 minute surge, did you put it in the gutter to give minimal draft on the crosswinds?  Is that why Jared fell off into the shoulder?  


Edited by Jason N 2015-09-28 2:01 PM
2015-09-28 4:59 PM
in reply to: Jason N

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PEI, Canada
Subject: RE: Donagh Road Race

Originally posted by Jason N

Nicely done and way to think things through instead of going triathlete mode and riding one pace/effort...LOL.  When you made the 2 minute surge, did you put it in the gutter to give minimal draft on the crosswinds?  Is that why Jared fell off into the shoulder?  

I'm starting to learn.  

I actually thought about that but the wind was coming from the right and there was enough occasional traffic that hugging the yellow line didn't seem the safest.  I'm hoping he went off road from not being able to see straight.  

2015-09-28 7:45 PM
in reply to: #5143443

Northern IL
Subject: RE: Donagh Road Race

Nice job Arend!

2015-09-29 6:16 PM
in reply to: #5143443

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Houston, Texas
Subject: RE: Donagh Road Race

Nice race, Arend!  Loved the way you walked us through your strategy throughout.  Are you gonna pull a Jason on us and going to bike racing only?

2015-09-29 7:43 PM
in reply to: ligersandtions

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Subject: RE: Donagh Road Race

Awesome! This kind of racing sounds like a lot of fun. Especially with the wind element. I love the horse trailer gift haha. Funny how those kinds of things can have a dramatic effect in this kind of race. 

Anyway, great write-up! It almost makes me want to do some bike racing. Almost.

Ted sounds smart  


2015-09-30 7:06 PM
in reply to: #5143443

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Englewood, Florida
Subject: RE: Donagh Road Race

Nicely done, Arend.  Really cool to see the decision making process and especially how well it worked out for you.

Congratulations on a race well ridden.

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