Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Amphib Assault and a Painful Peter (Teeuwen TT)

I finally got to race after a month of no race weekends. Last week's TCC crit was held under TS Barry conditions (where only 9 CAT 5 guys raced). That course is sketchy during dry conditions.

The Amphibious Assault Crit or Senior VA State Criterium Championship was held at Little Creek Amphibious Base. The course was around about a dozen amphibious assualt vehicles (hence the name of the race). This was right on the water and there was no protection from the wind.

There were about 28 that started and I managed to get a front line start for once. The race started off at a friendly pace since I pulled the first couple of laps after fellow teammate Joe led the first lap.
About 8 or 10 laps in, I fell off the back with Chris. I sat on his wheel for about 2 laps as he dragged us both back into the group.
After that I just became a pack fodder and sat in. I watched several feeble attempts at a break but with the headwind on the homestretch, nobody was going to make it out solo. I chatted with Bob and he pointed out that this was the first race where he wasn't the oldest in the field (58). His Tripower teammate, Pete, is 64. Percy from Fat Frogs gets the most aggressive rider as he attacked about 6 times and only once did somebody attempt to chase him down. This was when AC did a good job of blocking for him and he managed to get a quarter of a lap lead. The other times he blew up within a lap and was reeled back in.

At 3 laps left the race had a slight lull - I even saw one guy take out a Powergel or Gu and slurped it down on the back stretch. Another guy who was lapped at least twice thought he was a pro and THREW his bottle - Yes, Threw His Bottle. With 2 laps left AC, Chris D and a few others took off. They held it until the headwind got to them and the pack regrouped. The bell rang of nobody jumped. On the backstretch I made my way up to second wheel to sit behind Percy (on his attack #6). I sat on his wheel until he blew up going into the last turn. To my right was a train led by Chris D. I jumped and managed to pass a few riders but got passed by my teammates Chris and Joe. I managed to pick up a 11th. On the sprint a few guys were gassed and just jammed up the middle causing me to lose some momentum. Otherwise I may have been in a better position at the last 100 meters.

The Peter Teeuwen Memorial Time Trial #1 was on Sunday. The CAT 5 got the last start of the day at 10:50. We had the AAB tent setup and it was nice to warmup with the teammates and chat. At my start, I lost about :10 trying to clip in. I must have done about 4 crank rotations until I got clipped in. At about 8 miles with a slight tailwind, my legs were burning. The previous day's crit were starting to show. I was having trouble pushing the lower gears so I just started spinning. I was dreading the rest of the race and started thinking "why am I doing this?". Since this route is my usual training route, I didn't get that excitement/anticipation in riding a new course - a few dead animals here and there with the occassional pothole to avoid.
At the turn onto Bunch of Walnuts (14 miles), AC comes flying by me and I yell some words of encouragement (or I think I just yelled). The horse/barnyard smell as the 3Rs ranch made me wish that I didn't eat a hamburger the night before.

As I finally turn onto Shilleleigh for the 6.1 miles home, I looked down at my computer and just watch the odometer. Watching the odometer doesn't make it go by faster. At this point I tell myself that I can rest in 5 miles and to pick it up. I do manage to keep a constant 25 into a slight headwind for the remaining ride. From about 2 miles out, you can see the white Ruritan Club and I stepped it from there. I ended up missing my goal of an hour by 38". AC, who blew by me earlier, finished with a winning time of 50:30, which would have won most other categories today. I congratulated him after the race and told him to stop sandbagging and cat up.

The next race is up in Stony Creek for the State TT Championships. I'm going to hit that race and then head home to mom's for my dad's 2 year Memorial service up in the 'burg. I'll see how my legs feel on Sunday and may either find a ride in the 'burg or head back home to do the Knotts Island Century.