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San Diego Cyclovets Ominum Stage Race,
June 23-25, 2006

by John Bailey

Time Trial

Today was the time trial event of the Cyclo-vets San Diego Omnium.  This stage was in the mountains near Pine Valley.  The temperature was pushing the upper 90’s and the wind seemed to coming from all directions.  The profile had a short, kick you in the face climb in the middle going out and coming back:

 

I did manage to catch 3 guys so I gained at least 1:30 on my competitors, but other than that, I had no idea how I would finish. I ended up 6th place in the Cat 4’s with an average speed of 25.2mph and a time of 23:46 (33 seconds down from the winner).  I was quite happy with my ride, but a little disappointed by my placing.  This finish does get me 13 points toward the overall win, which will be determined over the next two days of racing.

Tomorrow will be the toughest stage with a 45 mile road race with expected temperatures of around 95-100 when I race at noon :/
 


 Road Race
 
Let me summarize the day by:  Out-climbed, out-classed, overheated, popped like a weasel and then clawed my way to an 18th place finish.

The race started out pretty well.  There were a lot of new faces as this stage race doesn’t require you to race each stage.  With the blistering heat (95-100), I had hoped the start would be a bit easy, but of course it wasn’t.  There were attacks right from the start and I was patient as long as I could be.  At the start of the climb for the first of two laps, a group of about 10 of us broke off from the pack.  I consider myself a good climber but as I looked around at the guys I was with, I felt fat at my massive 157lbs ;).  These guys were light and fast.  I stayed with them until near the top of the climb when there was an attack that dropped me and one other guy.  We were too tired to react.

We fought hard (in hindsight too hard) to catch the lead group.  It was just me and him for most of the second lap trying to catch the lead group.  The sun then really started beating down on us at the base of the final (four) climbs.  I was having visions of the Gatorade commercial with the guy so dehydrated that his body was spasming uncontrollably.  About then we could see another group of guys catching us and we assumed it was the main pack.  We fought with all we had to keep them off us and salvage something of a respectable finish.  It was in vain.  On the last climb they caught us and I was so completely popped, that I had to watch them go.  Fortunately, it was only a small group of about 10 guys…otherwise my finish would have been even worse as I had nothing left to fight with.

There is still the Criterium race tomorrow to redeem myself.  I am not happy with my finish…I AM happy that I finished!

Amazing how happy I was considering the agonizing pain I was about to suffer through…..

The look of pain and suffering at the finish….

Criterium

The final stage today was a 40 minute Criterium.  Today’s race was pretty uneventful until a final sprint at the end.

I felt pretty tired this morning and still dehydrated from the suffer-fest Saturday.  I got a good warm-up in and felt ready to go out and at least get a top 10 finish.  I was pretty active in the race, bridging up to a breakaway and covering any attacks.  On the last lap I forced myself into good position coming into the last turn at about 8th wheel.  Two guys collided just to my right on the inside of the turn which caused me and a few others to have to swerve out – losing precious momentum.  I immediately jumped out of the saddle and passed about 7-8 guys to finish 10th today. 

My overall point standings left me at 10th place after the lackluster finish yesterday.  All in all, I am happy with the weekend and I am now taking a week or so off the bike and about a month or two off of racing.  Next up?  Cyclocross in the Fall…I bet you can’t wait ;).

Bridging up to the break-away group

Final Sprint