Sunday, May 15, 2011

Finbar`s Racing - 2011 Falmouth Flyer Spring Classic Race Report


Today the inaugural race of the 2011 BNS road series takes place in Falmouth Nova Scotia under overcast and rainy skies. We can hope the weather clears by the Noon start but at the time of this writing(7:30AM) it is damp and chilly.Forecast looks foreboding with showers and a high of 10C this afternoon.

Complicating the unseasonal temperataures is the fact I awoke this morning with a sore throat. My son was complaining of feeling peckish on Thursday and Friday of this past week and I think I got what he had just in time for race day. Swell!

The course is a 11.5km loop comprised of rolling terrain with one 750m hill. Cat C will race 6 laps for a total of 69 kilometres.I have not pre ridden the course but expect typical rural Nova Scotian roads complete with rough patches(NS "cobbles") and omnipresent chop.

Finbar's Racing

Since starting racing in 2004 I will be sporting different colors. I opted to race under the Finbar's banner this season after the "beer ride" kit actually became a registered club within BNS this past winter.If anything it will add a unique jersey to the local race scene. I'm not sure how many racers we will field today but I believe we all will compete in Cat C, the "sport" Category. With a mixture of experienced racers (who may race/train upwards to Cat B later in the season)and some novice racers hopefully we will have good representation today.

Race Day Nutrition

So what does a low carb Primal advocate eat as a pre race meal before completeing a 70km race on undulating, rolling terrain? This morning I had bacon, two eggs, two cups of sauteed spinach, cucumber,a smoked mackeral fillet with two cups of coffee with coconut milk.

About 30 minutes from the start I will eat some blueberries, coconut milk and cinnamon along with an apple. I usually mix applesauce into the rest but it seems my children ate it all so an actual apple with have to do.

I will carry a couple bottles of water upon the bike and have a couple cans of Grace coconut water for my post race recovery drink.

Race Report

Cold and rain is what awaited me at the staging area but thankfully it stopped raining by the start time. A decent sized pack,the C Cat had several clubs present with both Pictou Cycling and Lunenburg Bike Barn well represented.Added to that mix was Finbars,BPCC,Cyclesmith, Hub and several independent racers.

My plan heading onto the rough Falmouth Dyke road was to go to the front for the first lap to just facilitate avoiding the potholes and getting a sense of positioning for the rest of the laps. To my surprise I ended up off the front even though my speed was only about 30kph.I was surprised no one bridged across to join me but it was only the first lap so I didn't sit up but didn't push my pace either. Eventually I ended up out of sight of the pack which caused me some concern,fearing they had a crash on the rough stretch of pavement.

That was alleviated when the organiser pulled alongside and told me the C pack was content and didn't seem to want to chase(seems my teammates were also going to the front and slowing the pace....not sure if I should thank them or not(wink)? It was at that point I switched into time trial mode and figured I would actually try and stay away thus forcing the other clubs to(eventually)chase and hoping our riders would sit in and stay fresh.

Having crossed the start/finish line completing lap one I decided to make a game out of it and see how long I could stay out front on my unplanned flyer.Working hard I managed to avoid being caught until on one of the climbs about halfway through lap four. The legs were screaming at that point especially since the wind had come up in lieu of the expected rain.The Falmouth Dyke road was assailed by a headwind but the Falmouth Back road had sweet pavement and a tailwind.I suffered against the headwind but pushed the big gear taking advantage of the tailwind. It was effective but each lap saw my overall speed decrease. It was only a matter of time before I would be reeled in by the pack.

Having been caught I sat in the pack for the rest of lap four and recovered. Midway through lap five the pack suddenly slowed on a climb and I crossed wheels with SE and my right shifter hit the back of his saddle. Fortunately our wheels did not touch but it was definitely a white knuckle moment but I avoided a crash.In hinesite it seemed cramping was beginning to take a toll on many riders probably due to early season form(or lack of it)and not taking enough fluids. The cool temps often mask dehydration as you simply don't feel thirsty.How revelant would that become on the final lap.

On the first big climb of the last lap I too began to feel the inklings of cramping. I was unable to climb out of the saddle as my calves started to tighten and I fell off the back of the group on Town road. Cresting the climb I gathered up my teammate EW(and a couple other dropped riders unbeknown to me),dropped into the bars and pulled us back to the main group as it was just climbing the roller onto the Falmouth Dyke road. To quote Jens Voigt..."shut up legs" was all I could think of at the time. I immediately sat on the back and got some water which seemed to help but I figured my day was done. KB was looking strong so both EW and I figured he would be our sprint hope.

Within a few kilometers on a small climb KB suddenly dropped back while shaking his legs.As I passed him he told me his legs had seized.Uh oh! I relayed the info to PM and EW on the beginnings of the final big climbs before the run in to the finish. The final climb hurt.....I was unable to get out of the saddle and fell back but managed to stay within sprint distance to the main group. Similar to the first three laps I used the tailwind and big gear to time trial the gap. With about two kilometres to go the sprint was forming up and momentum moved me up the outside of the lane but was not planning on contesting the final sprint. With PM attacking early it created some chaos and lanes appeared in front of me so I took advantage of the space and begun a late sprint. Managed to pass four guys(I think),the legs were pretty much toasted but still managed a top ten position. Once the results are posted I will know for sure how my day ended. Overall it was an epic day for me on the bike. My best day racing for sure even surpassing my ITT podium from last season.

Cudos to the C pack. A great bunch of guys who raced hard but safe with no bullsheot or ego.  to go lads!

Race photos compliments of A Adler and B Steinman.


Wayne Pedranti said...

I like the pre-race breakfast. The play by play race account was cool too.

George said...

Thanks Wayne. I`ll check out your site this weekend....between training rides of course(wink).

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