Thursday, June 17, 2010
Nature Valley Grand Prix
Yesterday was the first day of the NVGP, an it was a double day. We had a 6.1 mile TT in the morning, then a 75min crit downtown in the evening.
I felt decent in the time trial, but couldn't manage to get my pacing right. The course was a bit tricky because it was downhill with a tail wind on the way out, and obviously the opposite on the way back, plus you had a little kicker and a 0.7 mile climb to the finish.
I really tried hard to conserve, but I just couldn't get myself to o easy enough. I went way too hard on the uphill at about 1.2 miles to go and then was too far into the red at the base of the climb and was basically crawling up it. I thought it would never end. My legs did feel pretty good, but I need more TT practice.
I finished around 100th out of 150, but the times were so close that if I'd have gone just a bit faster I could have moved up 30-40 spots. Oh well, one of these days I'm going to crack the top 50% of an NRC TT. And I know that's still not great, but its slowly coming around.
Paul and I went back to our host house for the afternoon and hit the grocery store and tried to kill some time, a tough thing to do with no cable or Wi-Fi.
We ended up watching the Disney DVD, Earth. If you've seen one nature show, you've seen em all. This one was no different. Needless to say, my Droid has been getting a workout this week (this post is coming from my phone too).
The Downtown St. Paul Crit was seriously downtown, a cool scene for bike race. Paul got a call up because he's in the Best Amateur Jersey for the race. Looks like we'll be riding the front all day in the road races to protect "the Jersey"... psych. For the most part I don't think there will be much Jersey defending for that jersey. Anyway, back to the racing. It was hard as hell to move up. I started mid pack and went full gas for the first 10-15 minutes to crack the top 30 or so riders. Every time I looked down my heart rate was near 200. I eventually made it to a spot where I was satisfied to hang out, but it didn't really get any easier because it was a full time job just trying to hold that position.
This crit was cutthroat. I don't think it was due to the quality of field, because I've raced with these guys before, but I think this tight downtown course really contributed to the chaos. The fighting for position in the field was insane. Everyone was chopping everyone, elbows and fists were flying, it was pretty gnarly. I avoided most of the drama and had started creeping towards the back of the pros train at the front when a wreck happened on the inside of one o the corners and send a wave of bodies my way and eventually launching me an my bike into a parking meter, head first. My body and bike are fine for the most part, but when I rammed the meter with my bars it broke my SRM head, so that's pretty annoying.
I took a free lap and got myself back in there. They wouldn't let me back in at the front so I had to work my ass off to get back up in time for the finish. I never regained my position at the front, but I was able to avoid most of the carnage and roll in just inside the top 30. I think with the right luck and enough stupidity on my part, I can get amongst it this week.
Paul and I are off to the Mall of America to kill some time. Check ya later.