SAN DIEGO CYCLO-VETS OMNIUM
ROAD RACE - April 14th, 2007
by John Bailey, Celo Pacific
I have had very little training time this Spring due to a longer than anticipated recovery from my jaw surgery. I am traveling for work the next few weeks so I figured I better get out and do at least one road event before I start training for the Fall cyclocross season.
The Boulevard race course is pretty much a climber’s course and it wreaked havoc on me last year. Given my state of fitness and recovery, my goal was to treat this as a “training race” and maybe crack the top 20 out of about 70 riders. We started off a bit slow and I didn’t get a good warm-up. Midway on the first climb, I started to go cross-eyed and felt my heart pounding through my skull. I backed off a bit and let the lead group of about 10 guys go. With a pounding headache, I then chased a group of 4 for about 15 miles with them just out of reach. I had a teammate in that group who was trying to slow them up enough to get me on, but the winds took their toll on me and I had to back off.
A group of 4 guys caught me at the foot of the climb on the final lap. I kicked it up a notch and they suffered in silence behind me. They wouldn’t pull through so I just put my head down and kept going. About 20 minutes into the climb, I saw a group in front of me and I really opened it up, jumping out of the saddle and shaking off 2 of the 4 in my draft. I then noticed that my teammate (Jens Raz) was in the group I was now approaching (he was wearing black shorts so I didn’t recognize the uniform :/). It is very bad form to pull guys up to your teammate – especially one that is going for GC points in the stage race. At that, I sat up and slowed way down. This caused enough confusion in the guys desperately holding my wheel, that my teammate was able to get a good lead on us. I sat in the group, slowing the pace whenever I could by getting on front and then slowing down. Once I was sure he was far enough ahead to assure his finish, I stood up and hammered my way to the finish – dropping the 6 chasers behind me. We finished 14th and 15th respectively out of about 70 riders – the results page only showed 23 but I think they shorten the list to those who have GC points or something.
I had a lot of fun
playing the team tactics and I was quite happy how strong I felt on the second
lap. My fitness is clearly less than the cross season, but that is
expected. Our team puts on a race May 6th, but I will have only been home
A smiling finish?
I guess I should have worked harder!
My teammate Jens showing how to suffer across the finish