Back at the Driveway series, and training in general now that TT "season" is over. This week I opted for both the 3/4 field and P/1/2/3.
For those unfamiliar with the Driveway Series, it is a great weekly 'crit' series in Austin on pristine smooth race track pavement. I say "crit" because most of the courses lack 90 degree corners and the signature bursty accelerations of a true american criterium, and that is absolutely positively fantastic. I'm a terrible crit racer but I can do 'ok' at the Driveway.
Anyways as always the 3/4 field goes at 5:30, and bakes in summer heat for 45. Today it was a brilliant 100 degrees out. Right from the word go somebody went off the front and about 10 seconds after they said go I decided that I would join him. And so I did, I rode just above threshold up to him, and straight past at threshold, joining and lifting the pace a hair. Eventually we were joined by more and at one point I think we were a group of 7 a number of guys came... and went. And about 20 minutes later we were caught. It was rather dissapointing, as we had everything you need from a good break. Strong guys, lots of teams represented. We did lack one thing important, cooperation or ability/know how of how a break works. For the record, if you can't pull either stay at the back or pull up and off. Sitting up front just ruins everything. Anyways we were caught and I stayed up front, a lap and a half later I unintentionally found myself off the front again. That was quickly caught and I decided to sit in for a while. with 3 long laps to go (about 3km per lap) there was a break of 5 guys, 4 from the same team up the road and 3 of them up front blocking. I decided to bridge. Got up and one of the 4 (Vince Dietsch) attacked. No one else from the group was going to chase, so I got to it. Careful not to use to much I started clawing my way back up to him. Our group was caught though. Unfortunately the group seemed satisfied by having caught the mass and eased up allowing the gap to grow some more. It was still small enough to shut down but just barely, and Vince was a good time trialist. Nonetheless I decided to settle in for the sprint. Coming into the last lap I had great position, about 10th wheel (they were long and fairly untechnical laps). I failed to hold that position, partially just cause I picked the wrong train of people buzzing up the road. (There were two, one exploded into suck the other did well) Then too far back at the corkscrew and some jackass decided it was his time to blast up the the front and then slam on the brakes. (Says the guy who had been planning on blasting up the corkscrew) Anyways that happens when you are so far back. I did alright in the spring though, on top of the corkscrew I got back to about 10th wheels. For my sprint I did something new, a quick hard acceleration out of the saddle and then sat down and maintained as best as I could. Seemed to work alright. I ended up 5th. Vince managed to hold on for first, which is awesome. (From a photo finish it likely looked like a sprint win) A well deserved win.
Then came the half hour 'recovery', it didn't work. I was overheated pretty badly and had raced hard (I think I was in every breakaway that lasted more than a lap). Anyways, from the start the legs didn't feel great and the numbers never lie, I couldn't do squat. I was in the pain cave the whole race, but my power and HR was way way down. First race was an average HR of 182bpm, NP of 219w and AP of 183w. Second race was 162bpm, NP 191w, AP 160w, and I would say it was far harder mentally and physically. I was simply clawing or the will to hold wheels the whole race. We started with 84, and although I don't have official count, I would guess we finished with about half that, and I was near the back of those who finished. That said, I finished with the group. I consider that a success.
Anyways good day of racing now to train somemore and be back next week. Quick note on training: rolling into State TT CTL was down to 78, lowest since January. Back up to 95 now and should hit 100 before the driveway next week. Super un-focused at the moment. Trying to get to ride everyday and 2 long rides in a week. Beyond that, basically what I feel like when I wake up. Riding at 6am is the bomb, but I think I need to introduce some heat acclimitization for the Driveway. That was terrible.