Sunday, May 04, 2008

Za Cone Azalia

3 miles of dirt road, 7 miles of paved. The race page says it's the Paris Roubaix of the Midwest. They forgot to leave out the part that it is DEAD flat.

Oksy, so I decided to do the race earlier this week when I saw rain forcasted all week and into the weekend. The idea of camping at Fort Custer, racing in the rain, and driving the 2hrs both ways, ON TOP of $45 bucks to race, made the decision easier. And I am trying to do some road races and get my license upgraded from the 5's.

Decided to roll big. CX bike, 35c tires, 39x53 on the front and a PT out back. I didn't feel like flatting or shredding my tires. I figured I would be fine, the road would be a bit slower, but who cares, it's 5's, right?

Tested the setup to make sure it worked Saturday. Dirt roads, some pavement, and of course some 1-track. Ya never know when you have to go off-roading! Rig worked good and legs felt good.

Race day. 10am start. They also bumped our class down to 2 laps, oh boy, 20 miles. I did 1.5 laps of the course beforehand. Dirt roads were fine, just loose gravel on them and only one road had some potholes. 5's went off 2 minutes after the 4's. I lead on the dirt road from the start. A few people put in some 10 second pulls when I moved over, but not much help. Pack blew into shreds, and I looked back to see 2 dangling about 30 yards back. I was nearing on the 4's, but then a train came. Sat up, it was quick, and 4 of us went by the 4's. Then some 4's went by us and we were in the group. That's stupid. No need for mixing. So I rode next to the group and moved back up to the front as we came through lap #1.

With 4 5's in the group, I figured I would put the hurt on. I pulled 98% of the 2nd lap. That 2% was a 4 when I pulled off to see if anyone would work. I jumped back into the group, but the speed dropped, so back I went to the front. Yup, CX bike pulling everyone down the road. I shredded the group of 4's down to 9 people. One 5 was left, but he was sitting in (aka mixed in with 4's) the whole race. With 1/2 mile to go, I noticed he was on my wheel. I sat up and let him work. He tried to pull, but I could tell he was tired 15sec later when his pwoer died. I jumped and went for it. Ya, then the 4's jumped and tried to bring me back. Schweet. So I went again and sprinted into the win.

It was short, and not even tiring. The 4's lap times were 28:XX, then 25:05 when I lead the loop, then 27:XX. I did not see the 1/2 times, but I put in the fastest lap of the day. Yee-ha! The rest of the 5's finished a bit back, mostly scattered.

Went home, grabbed the MTB, and went out for a 2.5hr ride to Milford and Proud Lake. Made the sunny, nice day even better. I like riding bikes!

I wonder if they will upgrade me yet? I really don't think it's fair for me to race with the 5's. Next race is Kensington Rd race. I will likely do Waterford before that. Waterford rocks. Race whatever Cat you want and racing is hard and aggressive. Just try and stay on DC's wheel. Fun and pain.


Le Blaireau said...

Bring on the 4's

Shawn said...

Thats awesome Brent. It's funny, now that I have done some CAT 4 races, I just realized I am only a crit away from upgrading to CAT 4. Mmmmm cycling in all forms is addictive.

Cruise said...

Thanks, nice job yourself!

I almost raced my cross bike as well, but my teammates convinced me I'd be outgeared in the tailwind section.

As for the upgrade, just submit a request mentioning your training racing results and your mtn bike experience. It sucked when I started road last year, but I only had to do one Cat-5 race to upgrade, they made me get all the points to upgrade from 4's to 3's though...