Random Cycling Quote

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Allentown Sportsfest Race Report

Another PR today. Average speed of 20.6 mph at finishing line. Could have been higher but I'll get to that in a bit.

Before the race as I was warming up, I noticed my front derailleur was acting strange. I COULDN'T GET INTO THE LARGE RING!! My buddy from the local bike shop was there to race Cat 5 as well, so he looked at it quickly and told me to just try to get into the large ring and stay in that ring throughout the race. I was able to get it into the large ring eventually and didn't even touch the left shifter except to brake. Turns out you could do this criterium in the large ring alone.

So the races were all behind about 15 minutes, and of course since we're Cat 5 and we "really don't matter all that much" they knocked our race from 12 laps to 10 laps, so we only did 8 miles (.8 miles per lap). I had a good start, was in the middle of the pack for the first lap or two, then started dropping back. I was able to stay directly behind the pack for another few laps until my legs were getting that stiff feeling from the lactate threshold level being reached or surpassed. So I just kind of backed off a little, hoping I would sprint on the downhill to catch up. No luck. There were at least two guys that got dropped before me, and so I kind of slowed down. (This is where my average mph could have been higher if I didn't slow down to let these guys catch up to me). Anyways, so they caught up to me, but the older rider couldn't keep up anymore and so I rode with just the one guy. Pissing me off by drafting me, and I've tried everything to get him to pull through, except actually saying "hey buddy, pull through and do some of the work" (I'm still shy about that kind of stuff).

So then on the second to last lap, I started slowing down conserving my energy and had my head tilted back to see what this guy was doing. This lap we were doing like 13 or 14 mph, just trying to see what the other was doing and figuring out what we needed to do. coming around the first turn of the last lap I was able to get him to pull through and I drafted him until the 2nd turn which he just didn't want to lead anymore. I stayed on his side and on the third turn, I started sprinting and got ahead of him by maybe 5 yards, I sat down until the fourth turn, still looking back to see where he was, and then a few seconds out of that turn I got out of the saddle and sprinted for the finish line ahead of him. Just to prove I am a tactical rider and a darn good sprinter. I just need to be up front so the sprinting power can be useful.

for a good article on this subject, big guys like me and sprinting, speed, etc., click here to go to my blog-friend Ron over at Cozy Beehive who found an article about it

According to the final results I finished second to last, but like I said before, there was at least one more rider behind me than the guy I finished with. I don't know how many started, but hopefully the DNFs will be posted as well when the results are posted online.

Like I said, I think I have great sprinting potential, it's just a matter of staying with the lead pack until the finish where I can unleash the beast in me.

Tomorrow I start training at the track. I still don't have a track bike so I will have to use one of the velodrome's bikes, which are provided for free when you do the Air Products Developmental Cycling Program. I will be participating in two of their programs; Adult Advanced and Adult Fitness. I can't wait. I also hope to get a track bike before the Air Product Finals, which is the last night of Professional racing at this velodrome, which has a "special" race for those that participated in the Air Products program. So I will get to race on a Friday night in front of hundreds, if not thousands, of spectators, as well as many who will watch it live on TV on the local channel. Talk about pressure!


Anonymous said...

Do you know the name or the contact info of the photographer who was shooting the cat 5?


Chris said...

Sounds like you are improving. The biggest thing in a crit is to not go off the back during the first few laps when the pace is high. They always slow down. If you can make it to that point, that will be a big mile stone for you.

Ron said...

Go Zach, its nice to know you're diversifying your cycling. I've never even tried track racing. I bet its for the beasts like you :)

Ron said...

Wow, I cant believe Air Products got into cycling.

Btw, this is Allentown PA?

Zach said...

Actually it is considered in Trexlertown, PA, but is in the general area of Allentown, Bethlehem, etc. You interested in coming down to watch the Air Products Finals when I race?

Zach said...

to the anonymous poster above: