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2016 Pedal to the Meadow Hill Climb - Cycle

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Kekaha, Hawaii
United States
Tradewinds Cycling Team
70F / 21C
Total Time = 1h 14m 22s
Overall Rank = 6/88
Age Group = M30-39
Age Group Rank = 3/8
Pre-race routine:

Three weeks ago i was feeling the best I have felt in quite some time. I was able to do a double Tantalus climb in 23:XX at 280+ watts each and 2 days later did a 10k foot climbing day with solid power. Then I went into a funk where my HR was 10-15 bpm higher than normal on all my rides and power was down 20-40 watts across all RPE. My legs didn't feel fatigued, just had no oomph. I think part of this was due to poor sleep, a little stress at work, and probably a little over training from going a little overboard on that 10k day.

I started to feel a little better with a few off days the week leading into the race, but not great. Weight was also up as my diet went to shit, but still roughly around 157 pounds which isn't the end of the world, but I should have easily been under 150 given where I was back in April around 153.
Event warmup:

Same warmup I've been doing all year, just went up around 1000 feet or so on the climb to check it out. It wasn't as steep as I thought it would be and you didn't need to get out of the saddle if you didn't want to.

HR was still a tad bit high so I wasn't expecting to hit my power goals and just go off RPE.
  • 1h 14m 22s
  • 15.75 miles
  • 12.71 mile/hr

The start was pretty mellow...the 4 main contenders didn't attack, but slowly pulled away as the race started to string out around the 500-600' mark. 4 distinct leaders (Rick, Ray, Carl, and Jeff) , then a few local Kauai riders I didn't know, then Bill and Joe working together with Clayton following. I decided to let that group go for the time being and just manage my effort. While the lead group was pulling away fast, their group was just 10 seconds or so in front so I wasn't that worried. 260ish watts felt like something I could maintain at the moment.

As we came up to the mango tree at 1000', I noticed that Clayton was getting dropped, and Joe and Bill were bridging up to the three other local riders. I thought this might be the forming of a solid second pack, as we were almost done with the steepest, steadiest climbing I could get a slight draft benefit with them. So I made on short surge of around 290-310 watts to get back up to them. Right as I got on though, I needed some time to recover, but they kept chugging along as they had the other three riders in their sights and closing in. I had to drop back again and I watched them form a group of 4, with one of the other guys coming all the way back as he had gone too hard,

It was a bit tough watching that group of 4 dangling ahead of me by about 20" for the next 5 minutes or so...but then Joe and Bill dispatched both of them. I caught Michael first who latched on to my wheel and sat there for 5' or so. Bill and Joe still in sight with Walter in between. I looked down at my computer and realized that we were about to hit a rolling section so right as we crested the hill I punched it to try and dispatch Michael as not to drag him along during the rolling section where the draft is more effective. In the process I blew past Walter, but they were both game enough to chase after me so I eased up. I had hoped that they were hurting at this point, but they didn't give up. Basically the lead 4 were up ahead, Joe and Bill representing 5th and 6th, and our group 7th through 9th. I also knew that Rick, Joe, Bill and I were all in the 30-39 group, and I was now 4th in my AG.

So we got back together and agreed to work together as three to try and bring back Bill and Joe who were now about a minute or so ahead. We exchanged solid pulls but were not making up any ground. I was starting to pay for that surge on some of the steeper hills as I started to drift back just a bit. There was one section where I let the gap grow to about 1.5 bike lengths but again looking at my computer I knew we were getting close to mile 13.5 where the climb technically ends and it's just 2 miles of rolling section. If I could just hang on for a couple more minutes I knew I could take both of them in a sprint.

I closed the gap back down and had some life brought back into my legs knowing the end was near. Just as the rollers were starting though we see Bill on the side of the road with a mechanical. At first I thought it was a flat, but then realized he dropped his chain and it got wedged in between his bottom bracket and his chainrings. Not the first time it has happened to him, but this time he used adrenaline to rip it out...but it took over a minute as we had passed him and he didn't get back onto his bike until we had about a 20 second lead on him.

I figured Joe was long gone this close to the finish, but I knew Bill can power through the rollers and catch us by himself so we had to keep the gas down and I told Michael and Walter that. With Bill behind us, I was now in third position for our AG and had a little more to race for. Bill was charging, and I wasn't sure where the finish was. Michael and I put down a few hard efforts trying to keep our speed through the uphill portions of the rollers and we popped Walter. I took a long steady turn at the front just at 240ish watts making sure I keep the gap on Bill, but not burn too much energy for a sprint. I figured if Bill did bridge to us, he would have used so much energy chasing that I could still get him.

Suddenly Michael comes up from behind and jumps out of the saddle. I wasn't sure if was an attack or if this was a sprint to the line because I didn't know where it was. 70 meters or so later I we pass the line of cones and the 200 meter to go sign so I figured it was a REALLY long sprint for the line on his part. I just tucked in and peeked out a few times looking for the line and then went for it at 75 meters to go. Michael went so early that it wasn't even an issue as he was already fading when I started my sprint and I got him by about 4 bike lengths. In the process of going early though, Bill never got onto us which would have been interesting with 3 guys trying to sprint down that chute.

So I managed 6th OA and 3rd 30-39. Only because Bill dropped his chain though. Podium is a podium though.
What would you do differently?:

Probably could have done 10-15 more watts easily if I were totally on form. 200 bpm max is also something I've never seen. Also still need to lose weight...but that's not anything new.
Post race
What limited your ability to perform faster:

Fatness...not enough watts

Event comments:

Awesome race. Absolute must do.

Last updated: 2016-05-31 12:00 AM
01:14:22 | 15.75 miles | 12.71 mile/hr
Age Group: 3/8
Overall: 6/88
Performance: Good
181 bpm avg, 200 max, 255 watts, 267 NP
Wind: None
Course: At sea level in Kekaha up to the Kanaloahuluhulu Meadow up Waimea. Climbs nearly 4000 feet with a few rolling sections on the second half between climbs, and the last 2 miles being rolling to a slight uphill run to the line.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 87
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]

2016-05-31 2:31 AM

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Subject: 2016 Pedal to the Meadow Hill Climb
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