Covered Bridges Circuit Race

Rob Thompson tried out his first bike race this weekend at the Covered Bridges race in Bath.  He was joined by Leah Halloran and Mike Schaefer– old files at pack riding.

Rob learned a lesson about bike racing– the strongest guy rarely wins.  His report on how he figured this out is below.  Patience, grasshopper!

Mike raced the 1-2-3 race, and got aggressive early.  Although he tried to get in breaks, his never stuck and he was eventually dropped just three miles from the finish.

Here are some reports…

Rob:

First bike race, lots of fun, learned a lot, attacked too early, no one came with me, caught me with 400 to go, managed to hold on for 6th in the sprint. This grasshopper needs to wait longer next time. Great experience though, loved it!

And Mike:

Rolling 5mi circuit 25mi for “B” and 35 for “As” – I chose the Cat 1-2-3 race to “get my money’s worth” and figued it would be safer. Turns out that I got a Major bargain as far as pain per dollar.

Leah was 2nd out of 4 women – they started with As and finished with Bs I think. Rob had a great first road race – made a solo break with ~2mi to go but got caught just before the finish. Still held on for 6th place in a strong “B” field.

The A race pace was moderate for the first 3 laps (if you call ~26-28mph on flats moderate). Then it seemed to gradually crank as we chased an early break (or maybe it was my legs slowly burning up..) On Lap 6 I did a lot of work bridging gaps and trying to make a small break “stick” – I looked down once on the flat at saw 33mph, and 24mph on a steady uphill. We were over 30mph for at least half of the lap. Then the “strong men” started putting in their counter-attacks and I gradually started dropping places – really huring. Heart rate was OK (thanks, XC skiing!!) but legs were like a strange mix of spaghetti noodles and stones.

Then we hit the hillly section and I started losing contact –glanced back hoping to see the rest of the field to fall back to, but NO ONE was there! – we’d bured off about half of the field. Unfortunately, I was next to drop – just 3mi from the finish and 3 bike lengths from the pack at the top of the last climb. OUCH!.. Overall not too bad for the first race, though – and definitely bargain ticket prices for this “Pain train!”

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4 Responses

  1. grasshopper WRONG! must go early, and often. must break unwilling wheelsuckers (i.e. sprinters).

  2. I’m gonna try both ways in the next few races. Go early and often to try to put the hurt on people (and myself) – probably lose. Wait and go late – maybe win. Sit in for the sprint – see what happens.

    I didn’t do any of those yesterday. Went too late to be early, and too early to be late, so i basically screwed myself despite behaving like a good little racer for the first 4 laps. I loved it though, so different from a triathlon, and dare i say more fun too!

  3. Aussie, you had a great race. I was very proud of you! Ladies, we should all do a road race together! It would be tons of fun.

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