Thursday, June 3, 2010

Denis' Race Report - It's O cup full

I ’m the only BH member that hasn’t posted a post race write-up. I thought I might save up a few then have a race dump of info and pictures. After all; I am somewhat writing for 2. I haven’t been training the same as last year so it was a test to see what unconventional bike training would accomplish. Last year I put a lot of miles on the trainer, I ran tones and pretty much had a week full of hard efforts. Thanks to some newly founded training wisdom I’ve toned down the hard efforts and increased the easy efforts to avoid overtraining. I focus more on heavy lifting only about once a week.

Race Ritual
A little about our race ritual. We drive down Saturday morning from North Bay, register, pre-ride the course, clean up, go out for dinner, enjoy 2 or 3 cold ones, head back to the hotel for a race briefing before bed. If we are lucky there is a good movie on. The next day we get up Über early because Scott races @ 830, watch him race, race, cleanup, head out for late lunch or dinner for our liquid debriefing and someone capable drives us all home where we unpack but keep stuff close by so we can repeat next week.

OCup 1 – I was neither ecstatic nor disappointed with my finish. It was, for me, the season opener and a refresher in racing. I think I finished 12. My second time down devils drop I didn’t touch the brakes but I forgot my fork was locked out so at the end of the drop, doing about 42km, I blew the Chico tape. I think I took a picket in the disc brake as it’s permanently bent.
This is a big year for Amy. This year running is on the backburner and she has gone from the beginner cat to the sport cat. Her 8th place finish probably felt similar to mine. The first race is out of the way and we both didn’t come last!

Ocup2 – I love racing at Albion. I’ve probably rode that course over 70 laps between Ocups and 24 hour races. Dave and I won the Solstice Men’s Tag Team last year so I know what I can get out of myself and my bike on that course despite how different they make it each year. Maybe it was the cold weather and snow in the forecast but a few fast guys didn’t show and I found myself in 3rd by the end.
What shocked me a little is that unlike most races where I never see the leaders, I rode with them for the first lap and felt strong the rest of the way even after they peeled off. I tend to push too hard and blow up before the end… not this time.
I could tell Amy was having a better race. She was looking strong and held her position. She finished 7th this time with 6th place 4 seconds ahead. I’m betting there is a trend here. Up and up.

Ocup3 – I always do well at hardwood. It’s a technical course and most of the riding I do, and the entire burnt helmets do, is technical. Give us a technical course and we shine. Give us a flat smooth course and we’re just average (accept for Albion). I am certainly not going to win every race but I am going to make an achievable goal ahead of time so I’m racing for something. My goal was to point and shoot for the next guy up from me in the point’s standings. I achieved my goal, finished ahead of him and came 4th in the process. He is still ahead by 1 point so I still have to stick to the plan for the next race. It was a crazy dusty technical course with lots of double track to pass. I began the second lap evenly matched in speed with a guy in Dave’s category. He was fast enough that I couldn’t pass him in the double track and he held his own on the climbs. There was no point blowing up to get around him and it was motivational to try and keep up. When you are alone you get in a groove that could be slowing you down as you get comfortable. Keeping up with someone tends to increase your pace and take your mind off the pain. I caught my target by the end of the second and kept calm. The guy I was pacing made a move so I followed suit and we both dropped him on a climb. My legs were screaming but my heart rate was in check. I found a sweat spot and with the help of my impromptu riding partner put some distance on my competition. At one point the guy in front of me said “Don’t crash me, don’t pass me.” I honoured that to the finish and he crossed the line 1 second ahead of me. The finish was nuts anyway with all the loose woodchips.

Amy blew some of her competition away this time and came 4th as well. She may not believe she is improving but its clear the skill conditioning, the sprint training and avoiding over training is paying off. This puts her 4th overall. We both raced @ 930 this time and I didn’t have a chance to see her race. I wish I could have taken some pictures and watched her progress. That’s a great finish. She finished strong, avoided wipe-outs/ injury and I am proud of her.

Next Race - MountainView Midland. I get to start upfront with 1st and 2nd overall. All I have to do is make it up that ski hill with them (the leaders) and roll with what I got left for the rest of the race. I won’t enjoy this course for the single track ski hill climbs so I will be sure pace myself and make up lots of time in the amazing flat/down hill single track that Mountainview has to offer.

Beer update
I forgot to mention that we visited a small brewery, on the way to the last race. It’s a brewery called Highlander and it’s located in South River, ON. Highlander brews a wicked tasty pale ale that comes in a 500ml bottle. It’s my new favourite brew.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Denis,

    Its Jeff. Great to meet you today.

    Reading 'OCup 3' report. Wow I didn't know I was such a target. And you were acting so nice. Makes sense that you passed me on a hill. That's my weakness.

    Congrats on the victory today and taking the overall lead. So, to upgrade or not to upgrade? Think of how much beer you can have with dinner if you don't race until 1:30.

    You can check out my blog.

    Hopefully we'll meet up at Solstice. Tag-team victory? Impressive.

    Happy training.