Posted by Dan on 11. March 2014 17:32
by Steve Patterson
The Snowball Crit 4/5 race was my first race as a newly minted CAT 4, so these will be observations of a guy relatively new to road racing so I welcome any critiques or pointers. Later that day I also did the 3/ 4 race as a supporting effort for other teammates, I don’t plan to go too much into that other than to note that I tried to follow Ken Sumrell’s lead in relentless blocking and covering for our two guys in the breakaway.
1. Race planning/mindset. I was feeling fairly confident going into this race. The combination of the team winter training rides (huge help!), Williamsburg RR (finished last seven miles on flat tubular which is another story) and two Snowcone crits gave me a great block of training and racing prior to this crit. I also drew on my ten years of triathlon/run racing and for general mental aspect of racing (visualization, positive thoughts, etc….a tricky thing sometimes even for the most experienced racers)
I believe my riding strengths are tempo/endurance racing based on tons of time in the semi-TT profile w/ Tri’s over the years, so in a relatively short race my strategy is to push the pace. If the pace is good; I will hang in the pack but stay with the front of the group. If the pace is slow, I'll attack both to push the pace and in hopes of wearing out the sprinters. In either case, I’ll have an eye out for a breakaway.
Before the race, I spoke briefly with Jarred Orff and Chris Goyne two other teammates in the 4/5 race. I don’t think we really came up with anything more than we’d be there for each other, but that encouragement in itself actually did help.
2. Race: Right from the start the pace was quick so I felt less compelled to initiate any attacks up front. Coty Mills from Rogue Velo picked up that task and I let him run with it. He used my strategy and led a couple of breakaway attempts early. We pretty much hung back near the front of pack.
We were past the halfway point in the race turning into the headwind stretch and I saw a surge coming from Ron Skinner and another of his teammates from Hilton Cycling. I jumped on their wheel as they tried to close the gap with Coty and another racer. Ron was doing almost 30mph into a good headwind which was enough to break up the pack. The other Hilton rider fell off which left Ron, myself, Cody and the other racer together in the four man breakaway.
After some discussions and encouragement, we got a good flow going and gained some time on the group with the help of Jarred’s and Chris’s blocking (thanks guys!!). When the bell rang with one lap to go the coalition was about to be dissolved. As I came into the first turn on the final lap I was a little too much angle for the speed I was carrying. I momentarily crossed out of the cones. I saw that an official looking guy saw the move and I thought to myself “great, I’m going to get DQ’d after all this.” Oh well, its not over till its over so I re-gathered myself in the headwind section and on the next turn I kicked it in with about 500 meters to go. Some may think that is too early to go for it with riders in your draft, but like anything I think it depends on the situation. As I approached the final turn, about 300 meters out, I noticed the other guys still on my wheel. I let off the pace a little bit to see what they would do (and to get a quick breather). At about 200 meters left no one was doing anything so I kicked it in for the finish line. In the final 50 meters I looked down and could see the front wheel of the #2 guy creeping up on me. That gave me the motivation to push it harder all the way to the finish. Coming across the finish line first was really an exciting experience. So much so, that I showed my inexperience by not raising my arms in victory. Oh well maybe next time.
Posted by Dan on 13. July 2013 16:49
RESULTS have been posted to usacycling.org and sent to vacycling.org.
SHTT Start Times are here!
Short course for (WW, Juniors and 65+ Categories): http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2645022
Long course: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2645019
Registration will open at 7 AM. First riders go off at 8:00 AM.
Parking is next to public restrooms and in VFW parking lot on Washington Street.
PLEASE DO NOT PARK IN YMCA PARKING LOT!
Posted by Dan on 14. February 2013 01:38
The 2013 race season got off to a lackluster start this past Saturday with the Wolfpack Classic near Jordan Lake outside of Raleigh, NC. Clear with temps in the 50s with light winds made for a great day to race a bicycle, especially as it's only February. Chris, Coty, Mark with an L and I threw our hats in the pre-reg.com ring and made our way to NC. Unfortunately, Coty had abyssmal luck and never made it to the course. One could easily argue that getting lost was for the best given the three or four horrific crashes that took place in the 4/5 race. Did I mention they required transport? Well, they did.
Mark and I would do the safer 1/2/3 race. Around 11:30, while temps were still in the upper 40s, they massed us up in a parking lot and gave us the first race spiel of the season. The field rolled out and made its way about a mile down the road to the start/finish line where racing would begin in earnest. Not two seconds after crossing the line, Mark King (Cutaway/3Sports) blew by on my left and all but dared me to follow. So I did and the season began for real. The field wasn't as excited as we were to kick things off so early so they caught up. They repeated this behavior until their early season fitness threatened to turn their race into a solo training ride on the wrong end of the peloton. Numerous attempts would be made in the first 11.5 mile lap but only one would stick. The two riders would be joined by ten successful bridgers and those dozen souls would serve as our break for the day. Once out of sight, we'd never see them again.
Over the course of the remaining five laps both Mark and I would attempt to bridge. It didn't take too many of these efforts to realize how little I've trained for that type of thing so I'd humbly drift back and recovere. A lot. Mark never gave in and continued fighting the good fight. The bell lap came and went. The top 10 guys put forth a spectacular effort for the field sprint. The rest of us watched. I admit, I did sprint for 25th because I needed the practice and wanted to see how much abuse my loose cleat would take before falling off. Good times.
Chris was off doing his "collegiate" thing which he swears is not code for anything unsavory. Our races were run concurrently so I didn't see any of his, but he says he finished 5th in a very fast A race and we're all very proud of him.
As always, thanks to Steven Boehm and everyone at NC State Cycling Club for making the first race of the season a fun albeit humbling affair.
Posted by Dan on 22. January 2013 17:22
by Frank Cundiff
The day started off great. Bacon and eggs for breakfast and prepping an 11lb ham for dinner with friends later in the day. Afterwards, threw my bike on the roof, jumped in the car and started my journey to the north end of Richmond for the first race of the year, the first race of the Snowcone Training Race Series. The course had to be shortened due to ice in one of the turns. It now resembled the colosseum in Ben Hur where they raced chariots. Two tight 180º turns and two straightaways with a little elevation change, false flat action and wind that seemed to be a head wind no matter which direction you were going.
Teammate Parker Brookfield and I lined up with about forty people, shedding winter coats and trying to warm our hands. The 50 degree temp called out by the always incorrect weathermen never showed up. We instead had 45 degree with a wind chill somewhere south of the 40 mark. The race started fast, and never slowed down. Mike Stoop attacked a few laps in and the field didn’t see him again until he motored up behind us with 4 laps to go. A few laps after he attacked, we watched as Dan King and Tim Mullins joined him. The three-man team time trialed away from us like they were the Belgians in the 2012 cx worlds. Sometime before that I ended up off the front of the race. This is was thanks to my coach’s plan of attack, attack, attack until I die. I thought I would stay away, especially once Stoop lapped us, but nope. With two to go I watched as I came out of one of the 180s to see the field nipping at my heels. Within that lap they caught me seeing Stoop’s smiling face as they came by. I went out the back and pedaled the last lap and a half with Ben Rickey who had sat up as well. I counted the field and still finished top 15, but it’s a training crit so who cares. In the words of Ricky Bobby, “If you ain’t first, you’re last”. At least I got some good training out of it. Congrats to Team Carytown Bicycle Company on sweeping the podium.
Here is the Training Peaks Power File.
Posted by Dan on 23. October 2012 04:49
Chris Jones had a breakthrough year in 2012 and has really made a name for himself in vacycling. When not riding his bike Chris has the enviable task of being a full time student at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. Thanks Chris for taking some time to allow us to get to know you a little more.
Chris joined Celerity Cycling in the early part of the season and worked his way through the year to being one of the region’s most improved riders. Having been riding for only 2 years he and his Trek 2.3 have moved quickly through the ranks to finish the season only 2 points shy of his Cat 2 upgrade.
CC: So, was 2012 really a good year for you?
CJ: I like to think it was a really good season for me. I started working with Adam Switters during the offseason and through the racing season. I had goals that I wanted to achieve and I was able to get every one of them. I was able to get a handful of second places and in most cases all of my results were good in some way to me. I had no idea I would be so close to my cat 2 (two points away) by the end of the season so I cannot complain.
CC: What was your favorite race of the year?
CJ: My favorite race of the year would definitely be the Wilmington Grand Prix. The race is full of spectators and the announcers always make it fun. It is really cool to see the pros race also.
CC: Is there any type of training that you don’t like doing?
CJ: Easy rides. I love doing the long base rides so when my coach tells me I only get to do an hour it is never fun.
CC: If you had the opportunity to ride with anybody who would it be?
CJ: I would like to ride with Adam Myerson. He is the captain of Team Mountain Khakis. He has been racing for a very long time and is a huge influence for young riders like myself. It would really be awesome for me to be able to ride with him or hopefully one day race against him.
CC: Do you focus on anything in particular during your warm up?
CJ: I am a big fan of Katy Perry and Taylor Swift music while warming up. I like to have fun and that is what the sport is about.
CC: It seems like you eat, drink and sleep cycling? When you’re not cycling what’s your favorite food, drink, how much do you sleep?
CJ: My favorite drink is Coke. I try to drink Coke zero but when I do long rides I drink plenty of Coke. My favorite food would be peanut butter. I eat way too much of it. As for sleep, I try to get atleast 8 hours a night. I have really focused on cycling the past year and most everything I do revolves around being faster on the bike.
CC: You can only have one kind of sandwich. Every ingredient known to humankind is at your immediate disposal – what you going with?
CJ: Sailor Sandwich – it’s a Richmond thing. Sailor Sandwich: an assemblage of hot pastrami, grilled knockwurst, melted Swiss and hot mustard on rye bread.
Emilia is a Swedish Cyclist, who’s spent time on Team Columbia HTC and is a former National Champion.
|CC: If you were the opposite sex for one day, what would you look like and what would you do?
CJ: Emilia Fahlin and I would ride my bike as fast as she does.
Moving in to the off season Chris has set himself plenty of areas to focus on. Talking to Dogs, dating women’s soccer star Alex Morgan and paying off student loans while investing in Colorado real estate are just some of his unusual plans and I wouldn’t count him out if his last 2 years on the bike are anything to go by.
So, Chris is a student, local foodie, Taylor Swift groupie and bear hugging cyclist who’s focus is always on cycling. He closes out his interview with a pretty achievable response and should leave us anticipating even more success in coming seasons.
CC: You accidentally eat some radioactive vegetables - they were good and what's even cooler is that they endow you with the super-power of your choice! What's it gonna be?
CJ: BIG WATTS!
Posted by Dan on 30. May 2012 04:37
Stage 3 started with an early breakfast of whatever was left in the refrigerator. The 9:25 start time meant a leisurely breakfast followed by a few episodes of Archer before a quick roll down East Mountain Road (and a 3rd place KOD for Dan). The excitement over Stage 3 was palpable. Stage 1 was designed to put a couple people in the sprinters and climbers jersey while making Dan too tired to put in a good TT in Stage 2. Stage 2 put everyone in their place, literally. The GC took on a more personalized flavor, identifying the strong guys that needed careful watching come Monday morning. A good bit of stalking was necessary to determine the weights and calculated w/kg for each of the top 20 GC riders. Talk about time consuming. Stage 3 was the money stage. This is where the rubber hit the road.
Before the start, Dan and Frank rested while the Pro/1 field was given the rules. When they rolled out, the Cat 2 field lined up, with Celerity sitting front and center. After call-ups of the jersey wearers, Frank made his way to the front row to better position himself to execute The Plan. The Plan was devised with the understanding that the field would not ride hard before the two big climbs, they would not chase a small group, let alone a solo rider, and they were probably weren't going to pay much attention to early attacks, given the concentration necessary to navigate the sketchy roads Hurricane Irene sculpted last year.
At 9:25, the field started rolling. They'd ride neutralized for 1km, then begin "racing". Word came up 500 meters later that there was a flat at the start and the neutral roll-out would be extended to allow that rider (Ben Rickey of Cutaway/3Sports) to catch back on. When the lead motoref's had come off the bar and gave the "Free to Fly" signal, Frank flew. His sprint left no flames behind nor did it kick up tons of litter and debris in a swirling vortex of filth. No, instead, he just ramped up his speed and rode away from the pack. Dan immediately moved into position as Grand Marshall of the Peloton and got down to setting a nice Memorial Day pace. Occasionally, another rider would move to the front for a minute or two, setting a slightly higher pace to get over a hill or get through a particularly sketchy descent, but they'd always relinquish the front when they were done and Dan would resume his duties.
Right around the 24 mile mark, the course took a right turn and the first climb of the day began. Dan lost his firm grip on the reins of the peloton as the field cried havoc and let slip the climbers of war. It was not pretty. Dan made like a mortar round shot out a rearward facing cannon. The peloton was strung out for a bit, but quickly regrouped and trudged on as a single, panting amoeba. Shelled riders littered the road and most were scooped up into a hard charging band of chasers. Of the dozen or so that lost contact on the first climb, seven made it into the only successful chase group, which included Dan. Frank was caught at the summit of Climb 1 and promptly dropped. The chase group went by him so fast, he had no chance of grabbing a wheel and was left to organize his own chase group, which he did. The peloton never saw him again, but they spoke of him often.
Dan made it back to the main field and positioned himself safely in 6th wheel, a spot he defended viciously. He'd sit there for a good 12 to 13 miles, contemplating the life choices he made that put him here, on this road in a group of raging cyclists, all salivating and possibly hyperventilating in preparation for the final climb of the day that began at mile number 55. The last one was 5.6 miles long and had an average gradient of maybe 6-7% with portions kicking up to 13% or better. It wasn't terrible, but it was no walk in the park, either. The climbers had been waiting for Mile 55 all weekend. It would not be difficult to make up 10 or 15 GC positions over the course of the next 5 miles. Bottles were emptied or ejected, sunglasses were relocated to the backs of helmets and jerseys were unzipped. It was time.
You could hear the peloton take a deep breath as the first riders began the left turn. It was time. Front derailleurs were employed on once again to bring the Little Ring into play. The clicking was deafening and inevitably followed with a barrage of expletives from that one guy that always drops his chain when he moves his left shift lever. Despite prime positioning, Dan drifted to the back of the bus yet again. Lesson 1: Never have seconds of a plain lettuce salad when you're climbing the next day. It's just not worth the excess weight. Lesson 2: Expel all bones, fluids and internal organs not deemed to be mission critical. Remove bar tape and all stickers from your bike, too. It's all about power to weight. Lastly, cheat.
The climb to the finish was tough but it was over quickly. Dan finished Stage 3 in 46th place, 4 minutes and a bunch of change behind the leader. Frank finished a while later in some place or another. They both fled the scene of the finish to load the car and begin what would be a leisurely drive through the interstates of the eastern seaboard on Memorial Day. The hits just kept coming.
Many thanks go to the promoters, police, volunteers, communities and ESPECIALLY those two kids with cowbells on the final climb. It was a great event that Celerity has every intention of returning to next year.
Posted by Dan on 28. May 2012 16:35
Sunday was TT day. Everyone loves TT day. This is everyone's chance to leave everyone behind in the GC with a stellar ride. On the other hand, no matter how good you're doing out on the road, you can't help but to feel you're going slower than the guy behind you. You're driven to obliterate your legs to slide up one spot on the results list. Fortunately, a short TT doesn't give you enough time to do irreparable damage.
Sunday started out with a mad dash to the start line before the first rider went off. The general classification released the night before had Dan somewhere near dead last due to a mechanical in the home stretch. The rules say if a mechanical happened within the final 3k, the rider gets the same time as the main field, regardless of actual finishing time. Fortunately for Dan, the SRAM support vehicle rolled up somewhere around 2 and 3k to go, so a quick explanation to the Chief Ref got Dan a finishing time of 0:15 behind the leader instead of 7:27.
The Cat 2s began just after 1 PM. The course was 11 miles, all slightly uphill with a light headwind blowing down the valley. 1.2 miles from the finish was a right turn and then a quick decent to the finish line. Riders were sent off in reverse order of the GC. Because Frank and Dan were 70th and 71st in the GC, they inserted another rider between the two to eliminate the possibility of team drafting. Both were done less than 30 minutes later.
Once complete, they TTT'd back to the car at 30+ mph and quickly changed. After a stop at the local grocery for beef jerky and Diet Coke, they drove the Stage 3 course in order to plan their strategy. Halfway through the pre-ride, TT results were published for everyone except Dan. This warranted a quick drive back to the start, then the finish and finally up to Race Headquarters to bring the discrepancy to someone's attention. After some good detective work by the officials, they found Dan's results and updated the online results accordingly.
Results of TT:
Dan: 21st with a time of 25:24.99
Frank: 45th with a time of 26:40.08
GC after Stage 2:
Dan at 20th, 2:16 back from leader
Frank at 68th, 8:36 back from leader
Monday is the third and final stage. A 61 mile course with a few solid climbs sprinkled in for laughs. There's a herd of climbers that have been keeping a low profile, waiting for today to school the field on the proper way to ascend steep hills. That leaves the rest of the riders to conceive of dastardly but ingenious plans to thwart them and their climby plans. Stay tuned for the Stage 3 race report.