Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Tour de Louisville

This past wknd was OVCX #2 just 20 minutes from home in SE Jefferson county. The course was climby and tight, twisty, turny just like last year. Honestly, it should be a favorite course with the climbing, but I can't seem to convince myself to love it!

Looking across the hillside
The cat 4 race started just moments after I arrived, so I scouted from outside the tape and the first thing I saw was the middle Haley roll a tire at a tiny log crossing/turn, which ultimately got in my head. The rest of the course was full of off camber and tough turns, but was straightforward. As soon as the 4's finished I slipped in a preride with my normal 29-30 psi up front and 31-32psi in the rear tubies. Both times through I felt comfortable getting over the log, but was almost casing the backwheel and didn't want to chance a shattered carbon rim. So, the pressure went up by a couple/few psi front and rear and all was ready. I talked with coach a little and he reminded me to save matches and worry only about taking the first turn in top five, not necessarily the hole-shot and to turn a bigger gear in the power sections. The day before my legs were heavy and didn't seem to want to open up, so goals weren't that lofty for the day, just try to stay in the top ten for a chance at call ups for the UCI3 based on OVCX series standings.

There was extra motivation to race well coming from outside the tape with my biggest fan section at a race to date! Mom, Dad, Pop, and Christine were all out to watch and cheer in the first real cool autumn day, so a big thanks to all of them! There were also more voices than I could count yelling my name all around the course, and let me tell ya, it helps ya get up that hill each time and up from any spills!

So back to the action.... warm up went well enough and headed to he start area with the first call. Like normal, second row call up (even though I was sitting eigth in the series) but found an open hole on the front and squeezed in. Then we waited...for what seemed like 15 minutes for the kids race to wrap up and finally we got the 30 seconds call. I was on edge, but comfortable and the whistle went off! I put in two good pedal strokes and took it easy just as planned, only coming out of the first turn I had a couple seconds. So I just held steady expecting the field to roll up on my wheel and then we'd race. Goig alone for 45 minutes seemed unrealistic... Then I came out of the barriers with closer to 10 seconds! Not what I expected, but whatever. I put it in sustainable TT mode and continued on. The log was a piece of cake at race speeds and I came through the start/finish area with several seconds to a couple guys also breaking off the front of the field. This was good, if a couple caught me we could work together to put the hammer down. Then, making a turn to the steep climb I made a stupid mistake and tried to pedal through, washing out and leaving me running to the top! And of course, Ryan Kiel passed me here and never looked back...isn't he supposed to wait on me?!

Even after a screw up like that, I was able to stay relaxed and chase, the gap was steady if not shrinkig through the lap line (which was Ryan's fastest lap of the day). I wouldn't go as far as to say that I was having the best legs of the year, but I felt good...until I tried to get a little too much out of an off camber and wadded it up under the tape! Gavin and Spencer were there helping get things sorted out including putting the chain back on. I'm guessing 25-30 seconds off the bike and second to eigth, ugh!

Once again, it wa time to relax and chase. The rest of the Race was spent picking off one hare at a time except for one partial wash out and the last lap where I pushed it pretty hard to lay down the fastest cat 3 lap of the day. Finished in fifth and am happy.

The biggest accomplishment of he day was climbing into top five in the OVCX series so that I can get a first row call up at UCI3 this coming weekend after waiting later than I should to pre register.
One place I was able to gain time every lap!

Another thanks to @tallgirlky and Christine for the photos from the day (to be posted later when I'm not on my phone)

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