Merco Credit Union Cycling Classic Stage 4 - Hilltop Ranch Road Race

CATEGORY 35+ 1/2/3DATE Sunday, March 3, 2013AUTHOR Jacob BerkmanCOURSE DESCRIPTION "24 miles rolling hills loop."

these roads should be familiar to you if you've done snelling, turlock lake, and i think another race or two.


WEATHER Overcast, chilly, sporadic raindrops. 16C at start rising to 21C at the finish. Winds from the north, i think, increasing as the morning went on.

TEAMMATES Hobbs and Oli.

GOALS * Preserve GC.

PLAN shadow choi (9th on GC) and jan (10th). don't try to get in breaks or do work chasing - it's a long day and we don't have a big team.

RACE SUMMARY we roll out at a glacial pace much to my relief. given the full road closure and pace it was pretty easy to move up. i wasn't sure what the various teams wanted to do but i guess everyone was pretty happy with GC. my average power for each of the first three laps was under 200 W.

there were a few attacks throughout the race but nothing was sticking until the third lap a few guys got away. i don't know who they were but they weren't choi or jan so i was ok.

the pace picked up the last lap. someone was doing some work but in the pack it felt manageable. as the race went on and got harder the better my legs felt; i guess those four-day training blocks i did last month were paying off. hobbs and oli made sure i was ok and occasionally went to the back to keep tabs on choi who was hanging around the back a lot.

we were getting time splits to the break (i think it was two guys left) but at speed "fifty-five" and "twenty-five" sound the same. they should yell "two-five" or "five-five" instead. anyway neither gap mattered to us.

the last 3km were a little sketchy as i'm guessing a lot of guys were pretty fresh but it ended up a nice bunch finish with no gaps. the two guys managed to stay away and jan won the pack sprint for the 2nd straight year.

RESULTS 34. Oli @ 19" (s.t. as main field) 35. Me @ 19" 39. Hobbs @ 19"

FINAL GC 8. Me @ 2' 26" 24. Oli @ 7' 14" 43. Hobbs @ 14' 26"

TAKEAWAYS * big big thanks to you guys for believing in my (imaginary) coach and racing for me this weekend. * it felt really great to come through and have a couple of good races and get a good result to start off the stage racing season. * a lot easier to move around when you have teammates who will let you have the wheel in front of them. * would've been a very different weekend had i not made that selection on thursday. * given the close GC at the top i expected more fireworks. not sure why that didn't happen. * tired.

NUMBERS Distance: 150.39 km Time: 3h 44" 58' (including some coll down) Elevation Gain: 426 m (SRM) or 1005 m (Garmin/Strava) Avg Speed: 40.1 km/h Max Speed: 65.9 km/h Avg HR: 142 bpm Max HR: 172 bpm Avg Power: 184 W (2.97 W/kg) xPower: 210 W (3.39 W/kg) Max Power: 832 W (13.42 W/kg) TSS: 256 Suffer Score: 176 (Extreme!)