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· Climbs like a sprinter...
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So I gots me a license and started racing (and training even) this year. I did my first race about a month ago and with the exception of catching and passing my nemesis - the Tri-Guy - with less than a mile to go it went pretty much as I figured it would. There was lots o' climbing so I was off the back and rode the last 30 miles of the race pretty much by myself. I came in 33rd place out of 41riders.

Today was much different. Garden Creek Gap is a 50 miler, two laps of a 25 mile circuit with a hilltop start/finish. The forecast called for rain and as we were driving down the interstate the range that the race was being held in had fresh snow so I was prepared to channel Andy Hampsten on the Gavia during the '88 Giro but when we got up to the starting area the snow was higher so that was cool but it was real windy and it was raining. However, as our start time got closer the rain stopped and the sun even started peaking out from time to time.

Since the first twenty miles of the race was either downhill of giving us a killer tailwind we bombed along pretty comfortably in the high 20's and low 30's. Want to know how to nip a two man break in the bud? Put a rogue cow in the road. Two guys were about 50 meters off the front when we came upon the cow. One of the guys went right, one went left, the cow did a wheelie and lost its footing and a moment of chaos ensued.

After the tactical error of being in the back when the climbing started in my first race I made sure I was always near the front this time. But there were a few rollers and micro climbs before the big climb started and I got gapped a little but I was actually able to reconnect with the lead group so that was a little victory for me - the Time Crunched Training Program seems to be paying off already. As we were approaching the base of the big climb somebody rolls up next to me and says "BMX?" It was the Lounge's very own LocoBaylor. He said he saw the "Climbs like a sprinter - Sprints like a climber" stickers on my seatstays but wasn't sure if it was me until he saw the Lounge stickers on my fork. So that was cool but he's a skinny little punk and when the big climbing started I started going backwards and Locobaylor was gone. I settled into my groove and stuck my HR right were I wanted it. About halfway up a guy passed me but I kept him within range and as I started recovering a little I was able to hook back up with him and then another guy caught us just as we were coming to the top so I figured there would be at least the three of us to work together for the rest of the race. Now I'm actually a fairly tentative descender but I went around the lead guy and figured he and the other guy would fall in behind me but I looked back and they were already about a hundred meters off the back and while I may not be the fastest guy out there I don't like to *****foot around so I just put my head down and started hammering away with the wind at my back.

I could see a guy about a half mile up the road and I made it my mission to catch him. After about 10 minutes I was about 50 meters behind him when he noticed me and slowed up so I could join him and we could work together. He said "Sit in for minute and we'll see if we can catch the guy ahead of us." As we got closer to the guy ahead I realized who it was, Tri-Guy!! Now there were three of us and we were working together pretty good. As we got closer to the "rollers and micro climbs" we caught four more guys but one was OTB as soon as we got there so now we had a group of six. Heading back to the last big climb we had a pretty strong headwind and nobody seemed too interested in pulling so me and Tri-guy did the bulk of the pulling with ponytail guy and the original guy I caught taking the occasional pull. There was this young kid in the group though that started pissing everybody off. He wouldn't pull through and the few times he did he would slow down to around 5-6 mph. Even though my legs were starting to feel kind of heavy the pace was too slow for me so I figured since I wasn't getting much benefit from the group anyway I would pull at my pace as if I were by myself. After a long pull at around 15 mph I finally decided to let someone else pull but they weren't too stoked about that and I jokingly called them all a bunch of babies. Tri-guy was pretty fed up with the young kid though so he jacked up the pace as we approached the base of the last big climb.

Tri-guy started to gap us and then ponytail guy, the original guy and the youngster started to gap me so I figured "same ol', same ol'" and settled in to do my thing. But then with about a half mile left to the summit I got some legs back and motored past the three "Tri-Guy chasers" at a pretty good clip. I peeked under my arm and could see a wheel so at least one of the three amigos went with me but I was intent on seeing if I could catch TG so I kept the pace as high as I could.

With about 300 meters to go I had rode whoever was behind me off my wheel and was about 30 meters behind TG. But then he looked back and saw me and he found an afterburner button and said "adios" but I crossed the line 27 seconds after him so I was pretty stoked. As I was catching my breath ponytail guy and the first guy I caught rolled up and congratulated me on working so hard and the fact that my little blast helped them drop the little punk so they were stoked about that. I ended up finishing in 16th place with a time around 2 hours 30 minutes. The other cool thing was that I finished well ahead of a couple of Eagle Rock Cycling compatriots that are normally a lot stronger than me so I'm pretty pleased with the day.

· Game on, b*tches!
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