Sunday, February 27, 2011


A week ago was the Walburg road race. Walburg is the closest thing Texas has to a classics race. It is not a challenging course except for a finish on a short hill but the weather always makes things crazy. In past years I've seen sudden rain showers, strong winds that shifted throughout the course. It is a course that traditionally tears up the field and is a true survival of the fittest.

This year the weather was amazingly cooperative. Temperatures were in the low 60s and the winds were light in comparison to any other years. The race started off and my legs didn't feel great but I figured they would get going as the race went. MSU and Sun & Ski both had sizeable teams and were putting the hammer down frequently. I managed to stay near the front and continued to wait for my legs to come around. Unfortunately I missed a surge right before a turn into the brutal crosswind section and had to spend too much energy trying to stay with the group. Afterwards I worked to move back up but with every surge I couldn't match the move and slid back in the field. In the beginning of the second lap the pace slowed and I thought my legs were finally coming around but a crash followed by an attack caused a gap and a group of us were chasing to get back into the field. I managed to get in a better position going into the crosswind section but another crash followed by yet another attack created another gap and we were chasing again. Now the legs were feeling really fatigued as we headed back torwards the finish and the final lap when a third crash and attack created yet another split. I fought hard to get back on but soon after I was back on my crank seized. I looked down and my front derailleur cable had slipped and the derailleur twisted pinning the chain. I hoped nobody would run into me from behind but to my surprise,the rest of the field was gone.

I started walking and another racer was kind enough to get me a allen tool so I could get the derailleur straight enough to ride back to the car. Honestly, as much as it was a dissapointment, it was also a mercy killing. My legs were so shot that any attack might have been the final straw for me. I love Walburg and wished it had gone better but that's part of racing. Walburg always test you physically and mentally and leaves you wanting more.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Alsatian Country III

Last year was a miserable year where I never felt strong with the exception of the State TT and the blowout derailed that. After the Move, the Wreck, and everything else, I felt like I had a fresh start. I've been riding less but when I ride, I don't just ride, I train with a purpose. In prior years I have started racing early and raced every race I could to try to race myself into form. This year I'm racing less but trying to build form and maintain it throughout the year so I ultimately grow stronger.

My first race this year was Alsatian Country III. It is a 2.5 mile circuit with the start/finish at the top of a slight grade. Just after the finish it is a short descent into a hard right turn then a long, fast sweeping run into another right that led to the long slight grade back to the finish. The finishing run was into a moderate headwind.

It was a field of about 60 including several teams with a large representation so I tried to stay hidden near the front and wait for the end. I haven't had a lot of long rides so I wasn't sure how my legs would hold up and finish at the end. The race was chaotic and moves off the front didn't last long. Going into the last lap the field was down to about 30 and 2 pairs went off the front. The rest of the field didn't seem to want to chase and so just before the last right hand turn I moved up to 3rd wheel and we began the last grind to the finish. It was a hard finale and I had the legs to unleash my unimpressive sprint and finished 12 in the field and 16th overall. I felt I raced smart and had good legs so it was a definite confidence builder. It was a good race to build on and hopefully have some nice results this year.