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Masters Misc Race Report Thread

Old 09-25-18, 09:08 AM
  #5426  
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Thanks, folks!

Worlds is in nine days. It's a very stacked deck this year, thanks to the UCI's age grading of the women's fields (55 and up). There are a number of entrants in the 55+ bracket this year, many are under 60, and several of them are current World Champs. Hey, I'll do the best I can. It's not about the podium, it's about the journey, but realistically, this is probably my last chance at a rainbow jersey. I'll do my best.
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Old 01-27-19, 07:03 PM
  #5427  
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Dare To Race/Ray "Doc" Hess Memorial Criterium - Masters Men 55/60+

Hi. Let's try this again -- especially since I started this thread. First race of the new year for me. Missed a TT and a crit earlier this year because of having to deal with my dad who was in the hospital for 9 weeks. He's out now and doing okay but the saga isn't over.
Anyway, it's been over a year since I did a SoCal weekend crit and almost a year since I did any kind of a crit. I was a bit nervous about being able to hang. Nervous enough that I forgot my race wheels (Zipp 303 tubulars) at home. My spare race wheels are decent though, Zipp 202 clinchers.

Fortunately, the fast people decided to take it a bit easier today. The race actually started at a sane pace. I was able to stay in the top half of the field of 33 riders (55+ & 60+) at the beginning of the race. About 11 minutes into the 55 minute race, a friend of mine from a team that made up about a quarter of the field, went off the front. I went with him. It lasted about half a lap and of course when we got caught some of the fast guys counter-attacked. I was barely able to stay in but I made it and decided finishing was better part of valor. I probably could have raced harder but the psychological trauma of getting dropped probably would have ruined the rest of my season.

Eventually four guys got off the front including one 60+ guy. Instead of my usual sitting up on the last lap I stayed in the field and kind of sprinted so I wasn't DFL.

If it doesn't rain next weekend, I plan to do a circuit race on Saturday and am undecided on a crit or TT on Sunday. If it rains on Saturday I'll probably do the TT. All of this is part of my preparation for Valley of the Sun.
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Old 01-27-19, 07:13 PM
  #5428  
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Well done, and class points for going OtF after a hiatus from racing.

-Bandera
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Old 01-28-19, 10:30 AM
  #5429  
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@Cleave It is always good to break some of the rust off. I liked the sprinting not to be DFL Sort of a last lap miss n out.
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Old 01-28-19, 04:40 PM
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Racing is fun.

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Old 01-29-19, 06:52 PM
  #5431  
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@Bandera, if class = boundless optimism, then you have me pegged.
@Hermes, yeh, that's the ticket, Miss-N-Out.
@Heathpack, if it wasn't still fun, I'd stop doing it. Given the forecast for this coming weekend and some changes in plans due to family, I'm not even sure about Piru on Sunday, but if I race at all this weekend, it will be there.
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Old 02-11-19, 02:24 AM
  #5432  
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The rain in SoCal has been wreaking havoc on my training and racing as I tied to build some form for Valley of the Sun Stage Race. Last week I was supposed to do two races but both got cancelled due to weather and other circumstances, plus I had to go to my parents' house at the last minute on Saturday anyway. So this weekend...

...started badly. I was going to do a 40 Km TT at Piru yesterday. It was supposed to rain overnight and be dry for the race. Mother Nature decided to delay the rain so I went to the velodrome to simulate a 20 Km TT instead. The results were mediocre but at least I know that I can push harder and hurt more next Friday in Arizona. BTW, my teammate did the TT and spent the rest of his day cleaning his TT bike.

Today was the Roger Millikan Memorial Criterium in Brea. I pre-registerd for the 50+/55+ race in 55+ so despite rain in the forecast, I went. If it was raining at the start, I would DNS. If it started raining during the race, I would DNF.

Decent-sized field with a total of about 50 riders. Looking at the 55+ registration list, only one guy was definitely older than I and he didn't start because of the damp course.

The race started very fast and I got shuffled towards the rear of the field. Bad positioning on my part and bad bike handling by others had me closing gaps every lap until I got popped around 10 minutes into the 45 minute race. Decided to keep going until I got pulled. Around 20 minutes into the race I got lapped (0.8 mile course) by the break. The chief referee seemed to be ignoring me and after the field caught me I was sure he was going to pull me so I didn't even try to latch on. Nope, he kept me in my misery. I kept going somewhat halfheartedly and when the field caught me a second time I latched onto the back. Unfortunately, about a half lap later, the last three guys in the field got dropped. One guy stopped almost immediately. I stayed with the other two. After a couple more laps, a second guy stopped so now it was me with some guy who I didn't know. We kept going because no one told us to stop.

It started raining lightly and I thought about packing it in but then I saw 3-to-go on lap cards so I figured I'd gone this far... (of course it was 2 laps less far than the pack). A lap later the break caught and passed us and just as we got the bell, the field passed us again.

Results are not on the USAC web site yet so I don't even know if they show me as a finisher. At least my NP and average HR were higher than my simulated TT on Saturday.
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Old 02-11-19, 11:25 AM
  #5433  
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@Cleave It looks like you made some lemonade out of lemons. The good news is you got in some efforts and kept the rubber side down. We got back yesterday from a ski week in Park City, UT and we had a lot of snow. We skied 5 out of a possible six with two great ski days. The bad weather days we cut our skiing short.
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Old 02-11-19, 01:31 PM
  #5434  
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It's been a wet January out here, hasn't it? There's another juicy storm slated to come in this Wednesday.
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Old 02-11-19, 01:34 PM
  #5435  
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@Cleave, I'm toying with the idea of 'racing my way (back) to fitness' after I recover from the broken foot. I sure miss it!! Good racing, you!!
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Old 02-12-19, 09:06 PM
  #5436  
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@Hermes, sugar-free lemonade.
@sarals. yep, that's what I hope I'm doing right now.
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Old 02-13-19, 06:44 AM
  #5437  
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@cleave, better than my weekend- I planned on the Piru 20k for Sunday and was gonna race whether it rained or not. Then had a crazy weekend and getting ready for the race, getting up early on race day felt like one more thing. Decided to skip it, then of course the rain was delayed and they raced in mist and I kind-of regretted skipping it.

But only kind of. I find my attitude towards racing is changing. Its still really important to me personally and I still want to do well. But I am not sure that making it the central recreational thing in my life makes sense any more. Im find Im making room for other interests, which is a good thing.

Congrats on getting out there in the rain!
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Old 02-26-19, 08:34 PM
  #5438  
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tl;dr I raced, I finished, I wasn't DFL.

Prologue: The drive from Long Beach, CA to Phoenix, AZ was taxing as my teammate and I were in his older Ford van driving through one of the biggest rain storms to hit SoCal and Arizona in many years. I suppose smart people would have stayed home. You can draw your own conclusions about me and my teammate. We arrived in Phoenix just in time to drive in the worst traffic I've ever seen there. Managed to pick up our numbers at the sponsoring bike shop, get dinner, and get all our stuff into the hotel room in time to get to bed at a reasonable time.

Stage 1, 14 mile ITT: We arrived at the race site and while the roads were still a bit damp from the previous day's rain, the temperature was reasonable in the low 40s F. Set up, warm up, and go to the start ramp. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and I'm off. Initially I felt good on the outbound leg, but after about 10 minutes, I had what felt like a small asthma attack. Now I have never had asthma so I'm not sure what an asthma attack feels like but I was wheezing for a few minutes and not getting enough air into my lungs. Once that cleared up I felt okay but after hitting the turnaround, instead of feeling the expected tailwind, I felt a headwind. The end result was 27th out of 38 finishers. At least I was faster than in 2018 (which was my personal worst).

Stage 2, 46 mile road race: The usual pre-dawn departure from the hotel saw us arriving at the venue with plenty of time to get ready. The start area was a bit disorganized with a group of racers placing themselves ahead of our 55+/65+ field so that when we got the call to the line we had to go around them and they had to back up to make room for us. The race start was a bit confusing as we got the start whistle before the moto official was on his motorcycle. Shades of things to come.

The pace was tepid and nothing really happened before climb. As we made the turn to the climb, we encountered a block headwind. Sitting in the pack was not that hard. When we passed the 200 meter marker, the pace picked up but I didn't have any problem staying in the pack and for the first time in 9 years of racing here, I was with the lead group over the first climb instead of chasing.

The next lap was relatively tame until the climb. This time the pace picked up about 2 Km before the top and suddenly I started experiencing similar wheezing symptoms as in the ITT. I came off the back trying to get my breathing back under control. Within a minute or two I was okay and I reeled in two other dropees before the top of the climb. We were working together but we weren't catching the pack. On the back stretch rollers we lost one guy (not on purpose) and the the two of us worked together but not too hard, just so that we could finish. Shortly after we turned onto the the road with the finish hill, the guy we thought we dropped for good caught back up to us. I was surprised.

Further up the hill we caught someone else and in the "sprint" I ended up 2nd out of the 4 of us. This was good for 33rd out of 37 finishers. I dropped to 31st on GC.

Stage 3, 30 minute criterium: For the second time in the nine consecutive years that I've done this race, the organizers had to significantly delay the start of races because hay bales showed up late. Of course I didn't hear about the late start until I was almost done with my warm up. We started about 50 minutes late.

The pace was fast and I was not getting into a rhythm from an aerobic perspective. After about 12 minutes of what felt like continuous intervals, I fell off the back. I recovered slightly and then went into TT mode. I ended up getting lapped just before the field got the bell, or should I say just before they should have gotten the bell. Anyway in the confusion going on with the scorers and the officials, they did not pull me and ultimately I they scored my time incorrectly to my benefit. Not that it mattered because the guys behind me were too far behind to move past me on GC even with correct timing. ended up 34th out of 35 in the criterium and 30th out of 35 on GC.
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Old 02-26-19, 08:35 PM
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For those who are curious about the criterium finish debacle, there was a $100 prime and they rang the bell for it with 2-to-go. They should have rung the bell again on the prime lap but they didn't. Lap cards were correct but then when the "real" finish happened (and when a bunch of guys sprinted), someone rang the bell. As my teammate tells me and as I have observed in other races, some people said the race wasn't over and some people said it was. Anyway, they went around another lap and sprinted again with very different results. In the second sprint my teammate was third and he correctly protested the finish based on the USA Cycling Rule Book. The Chief Referee denied his protest.

Fortunately, my teammate won a $50 prime earlier in the race so he treated me to lunch on the way home.
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Old 02-26-19, 09:35 PM
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California Bicycle Racing Premiere Criterium Series Experience #3

This race was actually #2 since the original #2 race that was supposed to occur at the beginning of February was postponed until the end of April. However the organizer already posted the race fliers for all of the races so they decided to leave the numbering as originally published. Got that? It doesn't make a difference but it amused me.

Masters 55+/60+ (50 minutes): I was hoping to regain some confidence at this race because I have raced on this course for over 15 years and the organizer was running this race clockwise which is the direction I prefer. The overall event was amazingly well-attended (who says road is dead?) to the point where I had to park in an unofficial overflow area. Our field was just average in size. about 50 riders total.

I felt decent as the race got going but it was hard to stay near the front because of a lot of, in my eyes, shenanigans in the group. A couple of strong 55+ guys got off the front about 15 minutes into the race and we never saw them again. I finally worked my way into the top 5 and after a lap of watching people not wanting to pull through, I attacked and hoped that someone would come with me. No one did.

On top of that, I started getting that asthma thing again so after a whole half lap of freedom <sarcasm>, I struggled to get back into the field, recovered, and just stayed in the pack for the rest of the race. I ended up 23rd out of 25 finishers (28 starters) in 60+.

The bright spot is that I stayed in. I need to figure out what is causing this asthmatic reaction. Could be racing in cold-ish temperatures (somewhere in the 40F range).

The weather for this coming weekend is not promising for the races that I wanted to do on Saturday and Sunday.
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Old 02-27-19, 09:46 AM
  #5441  
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Wow @Cleave, sounds fun!
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Old 03-01-19, 11:15 AM
  #5442  
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@Cleave You are definitely a warhorse and I say that as a compliment. Nice racing.

Asthma... My first coach, Dmitriy, who coached UCI world tour racers, was dead set against racing early season races in the cold air. He did not want us sucking in cold air and irritating our lungs. For example, there was the new years day Mount San Bruno hill climb. He hated that race due to the chance of cold air.

The protective layer of mucus in the lungs tends to thin as endurance athletes get in better shape. Hence, some athletes are more sensitive to cold air and get asthma. You may need an inhaler. Then you can be like Froome.
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Old 03-04-19, 10:39 PM
  #5443  
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@Heathpack, if it wasn't a form of demented fun, I wouldn't do it.

@Hermes, if I had my druthers, I wouldn't be racing this time of year. Usually VOS is mostly warm, but as I've stated previously, I don't like how the race season now starts in early January in SoCal. I think late February or the beginning of March is when the season should start. I am going to have to be more careful about my lungs and cold weather racing (or not cold weather racing).

As for being a warhorse, I think the glue factory is in my near future.
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Old 03-16-19, 03:36 PM
  #5444  
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World-Famous El Dorado Park

I just missed seeing @Heathpack at Piru on March 3rd because it got rained out at the last minute and she and Mr. Heathpack left the venue just before I got there. Couldn't make it on the rescheduled date. Also saw @Hermes and @Velodiva at VSC a week ago. They were in town for the week but we couldn't quite manage to get together except for passing each other at VSC.

Another year, another season of Tuesday evening races at El Dorado Park. Turnout was kind of light, IMHO, for the opening of this series. Usually a bunch of people turn out for the first and last (end of August) races and participation varies wildly in-between. We'll see what next week looks like.

The Masters 40+ field had 26 starters. One thing I finally realized is that the youngest guys and gals in the race are always 40 years-old while I keep getting older. Older to the point where the youngest in our race were far from being born when I purchased my first racing license.

It was very windy instead of normally windy and the wind direction was also different than normal. That could be why the pace started somewhat gently instead of causing me to redline from the gun. There was only one point where I almost got dropped due to gaps opening up but I managed to stay in. With what I guessed was 3-to-go, I decided to try to bridge up to a Monster Media guy who already had a gap. Caught him and tried to work with him but we got caught at the line with 2-to-go. I managed to get back into the pack without too much effort.

Rode it out to the finish and was 15th at the line.

Actually starting to feel like I'm getting race legs again.
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Old 09-16-19, 12:11 PM
  #5445  
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2019 USAC Track Master National Championships

This thread is dead, apparently no one reads this anymore, but I'll write anyway.

The 2019 Masters Track National Championships was a few weeks ago. It was held at VELO Sports Center in Carson (most of you know that, and several of you were there). I was there, too.

There, but not there. I've been struggling with injuries since December 2018. I had surgery on my right foot on February 13 for a broken fifth metatarsal, and there were complications. I wasn't able to return to "full strength" training until mid May (or there-abouts). By the time Nats rolled around, I had managed to regain strength, but speed and endurance (and speed endurance) were lacking - I simply ran out of time. Three weeks prior to Nats, I had a vision on how things were going to go by my performance at our Districts at Hellyer. Not good. My times in the 500 weren't great, but they were decreasing, I was getting faster. In the match sprint, I could not "match" my training partner, and she rode away and left me. Two weeks later, I was doing motor work at Hellyer in the final push before the taper for Nats, and I struggled at anything above 33 MPH.

And then, the week prior to Nats, I had yet another health hit, this time a torn retina. Again, there were complications with what should have been a simple laser surgery. I earned a pretty bad corneal abrasion during the procedure, and I was left with impaired vision.

Because I knew my fitness was not where it needed to be, and I was still struggling with my vision, I had a negative mental outlook, almost resigned, when I went to VSC for Nats.

My first race was the 500 meter TT, followed the flying 200/match sprint tournament, and finishing up with the team sprint.

In the 500, I got a good start, rode a great opening lap, and then fell apart in the second lap. I couldn't see where I was going! I lost .3 to .5 seconds in that lap, and ended up a half second off of my PB (at Worlds), but did take a silver medal to the current world and national champion.

In the 200, I was .3 off of my PB, .5 off the WR (for my age group), mainly due to messing up the warmup.

In the match sprint tournament, I went in knowing I didn't have the speed. I needed to control the other rider, who was the current national champion, and I didn't. I was reactive, not proactive, certainly not aggressive. She easily got away from me and won both heats. Silver again for me.

In the team sprint, I didn't find a partner for the event until the morning of. I had hoped to ride with the woman I had ridden against in the 500 and match sprints, but that didn't happen. I partnered up, at literally the last minute, with a woman in the 45-54 age group, which meant I had to age down and race in that group. I was rider one, got another good start, rider two had the fastest time of the three podium teams, and we took bronze in the event with a really good ride.

In the end, I did better than I expected, but not as good as I wanted to.

Because of my performance, the focus for the offseason, and targets for next season are very clear. Worlds and Nats. Build speed, endurance and strength. Above all, stay healthy!
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Old 09-16-19, 10:31 PM
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Well done @sarals! Congrats.
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Old 09-17-19, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Heathpack View Post
Well done @sarals! Congrats.
Thanks, HP!

Glad to see you out and about!
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Old 09-17-19, 11:03 AM
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Well done sarals, especially given the challenges you faced all season. Congrats!
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Old 09-19-19, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by cmh View Post
Well done sarals, especially given the challenges you faced all season. Congrats!
Thanks!!!

My eyes are on next season. Here's hoping all goes well.
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