River Road

And so the season starts.

This is my third season in the Vancouver area and for the third time I'm starting the season with the classic River Road Spring Series event. It's a flat 6.3km circuit that's simple and quick. Generally the defining feeling in this race is, "I want to move up now, but the road is blocked."

Attacks rarely go and if they do, they rarely stay away. This is mainly due to strength and not any particular hard efforts on the part of the field. This is fine with me.

2011 was no different. A tightened yellow line rule meant that the accordion effect in the corners was even more pronounced. Thus, I made the decision very early to stay up as high as I could in the field as much as possible. The team's goal was to cover any breaks if they did happen and to escort me to the front for the sprint.

There really isn't much else to say about the race. With a lap to go, my teammate Drew picked me up and placed me nearly on the front. I was in a pretty good position with 700m to go. I did not jump hard enough to catch onto the wheels of the 3 long sprinters. I got a tiny gap on the field who never quite closed it and I came 4th.

That's a few points though, so no complaints here.

All in all, looking at the power files after the race, it was a pretty easy ride. Average wattages for a number of the laps was in the 170-190 range which is an all day pace as far as I'm concerned. There were hard efforts on most laps coming out of the corners, but the average was way day.

Of particular note to me was that the long sprint at the end, about 40 seconds ended up with me setting a new personal 1 minute power record of 496W. This included 15 seconds of coasting, so I suspect that my real 1 minute power is at least a bit higher. Max power was under 1000W, so I clearly did not hit it terribly hard. I was conservative and gambled wrong.