Sunday, June 20, 2010
Riverport Road Race Update - Happy Father's Day!
Under fickle skies I participated in the 2010 Provincial Road Race Championship hosted today by Al Huebeck and the Lunenburg Bike Barn. The weather was unpredictable with everything from sunshine to fog combined with stiff breezes. The route is a classic but parts of it were quite chewed up with lots of chop and some huge potholes. That certainly adds a fear factor to the festivities.
Cat C once again had the largest peleton of riders numbering in the low thirties which is a nice turnout. Most all clubs were represented with Valley Cycle and Stove fielding a large contingent with some racers sporting their new kit. Racing stalwarts Cyclesmith also had their usual strong riders in the fold. BPCC had four racers with the balance of the pack made up of PCC, Hub,Sealevel,LBB and independant participants. It's good to see lots of diversity at the races this year.
The first 10KM along the Lahave was into a cross wind, Grimm's road was a tailwind and the home stretch back to the start finish was,essentially,a head wind.The first lap started with Cat C and Cat F combined. Most of the ladies in Cat F quickly got separated with the exception of a Cyclesmith rider who stayed with the lads the whole race.
My strategy for the Riverport race is to just manage to stay with the pack on the Grimm's road hillclimbs. Plain and simple.The first lap over the hill was good so that definitely helped my confidence. I stayed near the front for most of the first two laps although the second climb over GR hill hurt bad. Some of the Valley/CS boys decided to push the pace which definitely hurt the field. A gap formed but us chasers worked well together and closed it down although the leaders helped by sitting up for the most part.
Heading into the third lap I started to experience some cramping which didn't bode well for the third and final climb. I dropped back through the pack and sat on the tail of the peleton trying to stretch out the quads and lower back while getting fluids. I prefer to mix it up by riding up front for the most part doing some work and having fun. That's what racing is all about and if I want to sit in for 86kms I'll just do a club ride(wink). In this case I needed to address my cramping if I was to have any chance staying in contact on the hill.
It hurt. I couldn't get out of the saddle on the climb so just spun a smaller gear and was just able to stay in contact but was the second last rider cresting the hill. I switched back to the big ring and took advantage of the tailwind to decrease my cadence and lessen the workload on the quads by wheelsucking the group back to the mainroad. After finishing my fluids the legs rebounded with about 10km remaining so I worked my way back toward the front. Feeling better I assumed the pull at the 6km mark(I think) but as soon as I started pushing harder the legs started going away. Teammate DM took a pull and I joined him up front anticipating the run in to the finish but the quads were being snarky! Dropping off(after apologizing for being "done" I rejoined the pack and didn't contest the final group sprint.
Finishing on the tail of the main pack I was happy with my effort today but had the cramping not occurred it would have been a better result.Discretion is the better half of valor and it was best I get out of the way of those racers vieing for the win considering my unresponding legs. Still my best result at Riverport. I finally exorcised the Grimm Hill demon.Good bloody riddance!
Cat C rode well again today. There are some strong riders from an assortment of clubs who ride hard but leave the egos at the startline.Priceless!
Ended up with a 33.8kph average over 84(ish)kilometers but that included the cool down and return to the car so I figured we were in the 34kph range. A good day's work.
Absolutely starving when I got back to HRM and my post race(paleo)meal was ground chicken stirfried in coconut oil with onion, mushrooms,garlic, broccoli slaw and served on a bed of fresh spinach.Washed down with 4 glasses of lemon water.
Special mentions - team mate JC who got dropped on the second climb but solo'ed back to the group,moved up through the pack and then mixed it up on the final sprint! Well done! Team mate DM who found himself leadout on the front with 2KM(ish) to go against a headwind and still managed to place 4th. Nice!