Sunday, April 27, 2014

Denver Federal Center by Jon Maule (@Jon Maule), Greg Jackson (@ActionJCyclist) and Kirk Groves (@LSVLKirk)

Jon Maule:

I almost always pre-reg for two reasons.  First, if the race is at butt-crack, it's an excuse not to sleep in.  Secondly, it's usually less of a hassle. Well today I naively thought being at the site an hour before I went off would be enough time to throw on some shoes, pin on my number and get in a good warmup... For some reason the pre-reg line was RIDICULOUS.  Greg was there before me and I was too sleepy to really pay attention but it was probably 15 maybe 20 min wait?  At least it seemed like it.

After eventually getting things in order, I got about a 10 min warmup and lined up pretty much at the back of the pack (~70-80 peeps) behind Kirk and Greg.  Really was GREAT weather, very slight wind out of the west, cool temps maybe 60 and sunny.  Can't really ask for much more.

I knew it was going to be a long day as I didn't feel very peppy in my warm-up or yesterday during openers but knowing that I take a long time to warm up I thought if I can just hang on for until the last lap or two, good things might happen.

The race pretty much started out faster than I expected, and that meant moving up would hurt even more than normal so I played it slow, letting my uhhh "momentum" carry me through corners as much as possible but even then my powerfile will show the effects of staying too far back for too long.

Pretty uneventful race really, I found big guys to draft off of and hung out through the last lap.  Then for some reason around the halfway point, the pace slowed and I was feeling stupid (like normal) so I casually went to the front to see if I had anything extra today and how far I could carry that.  I heard Kirk yell something encouraging (I think) and well I may have lasted about 20 yards before the wheels came off my wagon.

It's so safe to hang out in the pack and wait for the finish.  I may have been able to lead out Kirk or at least block for him but my impatience/impulsiveness got the better of me.

I got an email saying I ended up 48th and that's pretty darn close to where I was last weekend.  I wasn't expecting much except for the relentless cornering to really wear on me by the end and that did happen.  It was a damn good workout, not a ton of vert but lots of explosions and I'll try to fit this in again next year.

Great to race with Kirk and Greg, bummer about the untimely flat.  That course is really in pretty good shape save for the darn manhole covers which seem to sit about 2 inches below the road.  Anyhow, have a GREAT weekend!!!

Greg Jackson:

That line for pre-registrants was ridiculous this morning, and the guy kept asking everybody if there were any cat 5s because they didn't have a line. He also said they would try to move things along as quickly as possible, but there was literally no change to their approach - still one person at a time. No joke, it took 15-20 minutes for me to get though the line, so it probably took you longer.

The race was going fairly well, although it seemed like there were an awful lot of sketchy riders in the field today. I kept losing places when somebody would take a turn too wide, or too close and cut me off, or do something else stupid. I probably should have been riding closer to the front anyways.

As Jon mentioned, I ended up getting a slow flat, from what I assume happened when I was forced into the gutter and my rear tire got caught in the small jagged gap between the pavement and the gutter. I shouldn't have put myself in that position in the first place as I paid for it about a lap later when I was riding on my rim.

Anyways, looking forward to Koppenberg next week!

Kirk Groves:

So here is my short race report... First off it was awesome to race with Greg and Jon. I didn't have to deal with the horrible pre-registration line as I spaced and missed the 8a pre-reg deadline on Friday. The extra $5 for day-of registration was money well spent not having to stand in that line and the associated frustration. After Greg finished up with the awful pre-reg line we got in a full lap of the course. I was happy with the temperature and it wasn't too windy. The course is a 4 mile set of twists and turns with a manageable amount of vertical. We did another half lap with Jon and rolled to the start line at 7:58. We were going to do 5 laps, so 20 miles. The corners were clean and other than some annoyingly deep manhole covers the road surface was decent.

My goal for this race was to ride much, much smarter than I did in the Cobb Lake Road Race. My positioning in the pack at Cobb was awful and I was looking to dose my energy much more effectively. I started off a bit tentative, which is typical for me. Early in a cat 4 race is bit sketchy anyway and improves once the riff-raff is dropped. By the second lap I was in the position I wanted -- close enough to the front that I didn't have to touch my brakes for the corners but back enough my nose wasn't ever in the wind. The middle of the race was uneventful which is a good thing. I was vigilant to hold my position, "if you're not moving up, you're moving backwards." That is to say, you constantly have to move forward to maintain position and counteract other people doing the same. I was encouraged, it truly is so much easier when you're in the right spot.

I was around 10th coming around the final sweeping corner into a long finishing straight. I typically do well in sprints so I was excited -- podium? Unfortunately, I was a little too patient in waiting to start my sprint and missed hopping on the fast wheels to the front. By the time I was ready to launch my sprint I was boxed in behind a couple guys. I ended up not sprinting and rolled across in 12th. So, everything but the final sprint went perfectly to plan.

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