2011 Racing Season Recap

My best season so far.

To Summarize:

  • 1st Spring Series Murchie Road Race (C)
  • 1st Devo Stage Race Criterium (C)
  • 2nd Devo Stage Race Overall (C)
  • 1st Random Coastal Thursday Nighter (B)
  • 4th Random Coastal Thursday Nighter (A/B)
  • Couple of other Top 5 (B)
  • Several Primes (B)
  • Upgrade to Category 3

Outside of the palmares though, there are some important observations I can make about how this season turned out.

I am a sprinter

This was known, I think. I did not properly appreciate it though. The powertap says I'm pushing 17.5 W/Kg for 5 seconds, 15.8 W/Kg at 10 seconds and about 11.4 W/Kg at 20 seconds. It falls off pretty hard from there, but it appears that that is enough of a jump to get a gap on the vast majority of Cat 3/4 racers around here.

Of note though, I need to be somewhat rested. If the pace ramps up, I can jump at the end, but if the race has a regular sustained high power section, my legs will be cooked long before the end. The Tour de White Rock and the WTNC out at UBC are examples of circuits that I have no real hope of ever sprinting at.

I can read races

This made me happy. I've kind of been a slow developer at this sport, which roughly translates into that I raced a lot before I ever saw the front end of a bike race. But now that I'm confident enough to get up there, I've been fairly decent at picking important breaks and when to make decisive moves.

My win in the Murchie Road Race came after watching a bunch of breaks come back due to the attacker sitting up, not the field speeding up. It was wet and cold and the field was sad and miserable. I attacked as a cross headwind turned to a cross tailwind then spent 20 minutes alone at the race average speed and didn't get caught.

In two different races I correctly picked very serious and dangerous breaks and got into them. The first, the Devo Stage Race road race, I hung with the break until a couple of km to go, but stayed away. The second, in Delta, I burned far too many matches in my 1 lap chase to bridge across the 10-12 second gap and got dropped from the break after 4-5 more laps. That break wasn't caught until 3 to go. Arguably, if I hadn't been weak or was able to help longer, it might have stayed away.

Lots of times I attacked at the wrong time, followed the wrong wheel or just plain didn't have the legs, but I felt that my ability to read the races has gotten to the point that I can call it a strength.

I'm not terrible at Time Trials

I'm not great at them either though. Ottawa's regular TT series taught me how to ride a time trial, so despite not having a huge threshold or anything, I know how to suffer. I placed in the top third of the two TT's I raced this year, both in stage races.