1: Don’t get dropped right away and
2: Don’t get lapped by the field
How did I do? Better than last time!
Venue and Course
This is an excellent road course in and around Lake Louisa State Park on US 27 south of Clermont. The course starts down by the lake and heads up the hills to the Ranger Station at the park entrance. The 180 turns are wide and fast. The course is hilly. There are no flat sections to speak of. The A riders do 5 1/2 laps, as the finish is at the top of the course, just before the Ranger Station. The B riders do 4 1/2. The juniors do 2 1/2 laps. Adding a C group might be a good idea.
Tonight I parked at the First Green Bank in Clermont (where I can charge my car) and rode the roughly 7 miles down to the park. I was lucky enough to fall in with Josh Detwiler and we rode together the entire 7 miles, even though he tended to pull away from me on the uphill sections. After entering the park and going to the bottom to register, I ran one more practice lap just to stay warm.
At 6:34 pm USAC Official Henry Willis sent us off, the B group, 50 riders strong. Last time I stayed with the group until the first climb and then dropped off the back. Tonight I started to drop off but caught up right away on the descent after. This happened again on the second climb. In fact I had to use the brakes to avoid running in to people. On the third climb, which is the long one, almost a half mile, I dropped off the back with another rider, a youngster from Wizard Racing. I didn’t get his name. He dropped off behind me almost right away. I struggled to keep the group in sight and was right behind them (although still dropped) at the ranger station turn. From then on I continued to drift back but would pass the occasional dropped rider. Some of the riders will just quit, while others will short the course and get on the back again (this is actually accepted, as long as they don’t interfere with the racers.)
Not me. I have decided I want to do all 4 1/2 laps completely every time I run this race. I did it tonight as well as last time. I finished in 1:04:03 which is better than the 1:09 I did last time.
I was fighting back pain and a stiff crosswind several times but I still managed to climb the hills better than ever previously, and my Strava file shows I did several PRs on the climbs.
I avoided being lapped, by a decent margin. They were still arguing about results when I finished my last lap. On a side note, Dave Severn had the race won and started celebrating a bit too early. Got nipped at the line. Here’s the video of the finish:
Here’s the finish from Tom McNeil’s viewpoint, one of the Kyle’s Bike Shop riders:
By my estimate I finished 25th, out of an estimated 50 riders. I should get a lot of points for that but they haven’t been reporting all the riders lately. Adam will probably give me 25th but won’t post anyone behind me. Maybe I can talk him in to it 🙂