by Buzz Wright
Since I am always bugging the other IC3 guys for race reports I suppose I should set a good example and post mine. Even though I don't feel my weekend warrants any sort of publication.
I knew I'd be hurting based on how poorly I've been doing at crit practice the past couple weeks. It is awesome to see so many guys gain strength from the Crit Training Series but it also means that my competition becomes that much more difficult. My plan for the crit was to stay at the front to avoid the leg-scorching surges and hang on for as long as I could. I did so and held a top-10 position for a handful of laps, feeling pretty decent actually. But my leg strength is definitely not where it should be and I started having trouble closing gaps. I let the group slowly pass by me rider after rider, trying to keep my power constant and within my bounds. The group was nice and big (60+ riders) so I had a lot of buffer room to try to recover. By the time I reached the back of the group though I was still at my limit and my legs were not interested in providing any more power than what they were giving me -- which was about 30 watts less than what was needed to stay with the group.
I settled into a sustainable pace and after a couple laps joined up with some other riders. We traded pulls and did the best we could, but ended up getting pulled after 17 minutes of racing. I was pretty bummed but all the encouraging shouts from spectators and other racers (as they passed me) really made for a fun race that I can honestly say I enjoyed. The weather was beautiful and even when you are pulled from the race halfway through, coughing and hacking with legs burning... shoot, that's a great day in my book.
It was very, very cool to see so many newer racers from our Crit Training Series racing in a criterium for the first time. I have a lot of respect for anyone brave enough to try bike racing. It can be a very intimidating sport to get into and it takes real guts to pin that number on. If you were out there and I didn't get a chance to say so in person -- congrats and nice job!
Buzz (in the background), about to explode
Photo by Damion Alexander
I didn't have much hope for this race. In addition to not training, I added about 15 lbs over the winter and definitely felt that extra weight on the climbs. The plan for the road race was to kill myself trying to stay with the group for the first lap. I surfed the group on the rollers to conserve as much energy as I could and that worked pretty well but soon after we turned on Webb road I found myself steadily slipping backwards as the pace was just too high. I settled into what I could do and tried to keep the group in sight. I was able to pass a few riders here and there and having riders to catch kept me motivated. The second time up Webb I was able to catch up to Gary and David and that helped keep the motivation high enough to keep pushing. Once we were back in town I slid up next to David and said, "let's go" figuring we might as well have some fun with the finishing sprint. It was amazing to see how little power I was able to produce during that effort.
It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to gain fitness and strength.
It only took a couple months off the bike to erase it.
The good news is that I know how to get it back.
Buzz, Michael, and Gary
Photo by Damion Alexander