Thursday, March 1, 2012

Orlando Road Club Cycling Race Weekend

This was my first race since my crash during the Spring Fling of Cycling Road Race in January.  Below is the video from my helmet cam of the crash; it occurs around the one minute mark.  Luckily, I was safe with just some minor damage to the bike. 

The Ferndale 2.2 mile long circuit course was great and flat expect for the small uphill finish.  There were only 19 people in my Cat 5 race, so it was nothing like the 60+ peloton from the Spring Fling Road Race.  The only thing that sucked was the 4:05pm start time of the race.  I tend to perform my best in the morning and it made my nutritional plan difficult.  The temperature for being in mid-February was hot, with highs in the low 80s. 

ORC Circuit Start  
The race was only planned for 30 minutes which came out to 5 laps around the 2.2 mile long circuit.

ORC Circuit Cat 5 Start

The race circuit was fast and flat with a ton of room to pass people.  There was only one small hill after the last corner before the start and finish line.  

ORC Circuit Corner

The race was calm with only a few attacks, but there were enough strong people in the race to cover their attacks.  For being a calm race, the pace was keep at high with an average speed of 25 mph.
ORC Circuit Cat 5 Corner

The last lap was fast with a average of 26.7 mph.  There was an attack around the start and finish line that strung out the field.  The field grouped backed together and I felt trapped being in the middle of the pack with riders on both sides of me.
ORC Circuit Peleton

I knew I needed to be in front of the pack before the last corner, since there was only a short up hill to the finish line.  I was able to get around a couple of people and ended up going around the last corner in fifth place.   I started to sprint side by side for fourth place but I jumped too soon and had two people pass me right before the finish line. 

ORC Circuit Sprint Finish

I ended up getting 7th place overall in the race.  I thought I used to be good at sprinting but I must have used all my energy on the last lap.   Overall I was happy with the result and gained valuable race experience.

Sunday was the crit in Lake Mary, FL, which was only an hour away from my house.  It will be the closest race to my house of the whole race season.  A weather front was moving through the area and the wind was crazy.  We had sustained winds of 20mph, with gusts over 30mph.         

ORC Crit Start

The crit course was a 0.8 mile triangle, with the two long sides having a nasty crosswind.  It made for a tough race, but luckily there was very little guttering during the race.         

ORC Crit Start corner   
There were supposed to be two different Cat 5 races, a race for men under 35 and a race for men over 35.  There were only four men registered for the over 35 cat 5 race, so they combined the two races together.    

ORC Crit breakaway

By combining the two races, there were a ton of prize laps.  Laps two through seven were all prize laps which made each lap like the final lap and it made the field split apart.  I was able to hang on to the breakaway pack of about 8 riders.  After all of the crazy prize laps, the pace slowed down and a couple of people were able to catch back up. 

ORC Crit Sprint Finish

Right when the bell for the final lap was being rung, someone attacked and strung out the field.  I lost the group going around the second to last corner and ended up finishing 6th in the under 35 Cat 5 race. 

Two top tens this weekend are great results.  I am gaining more race experience with each race which should help me win some races in the near future.   I am still working on the helmet cam videos and will update this post.