Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Spring Campaign, That's a Wrap

It's officially summer and that means that the road and mountain bike season are officially done (for me anyway), and I can crawl into the 662 Realm service course man cave and not come out until the cool temperatures of 'cross are nipping at my toes.

Even though I raced the last three weekends I'd already greatly decreased my training volume to give my mind, legs, heart and lungs a little rest before turning things up for the 2012/13 CX campaign. Here's how the last three weeks went.

Moorehead Mayhem, Ida Grove, IA

Leading out lap 1 with Cam Kirkpatrick and Ryan Feagan
Photo: Don Poggensee
I was stoked to head back to Ida Grove for IMBCS race #3. One of my favorite courses along our Missouri Valley corridor. The race was pretty straight forward. Led lap 1, tail gunned the lead group of five on lap 2 analyzing where I was faster, attacked and counter attack with Cam on lap three, and slowly pulled away to take the win by the finish. For the first time I felt like my fitness level was actually on par with Cam's so I could gain time on the techy bits and maintain it on the fitness sections. I continue to be impressed with new comer Brad Auen. For a first year Cat 1 the guy is killing it pretty much everywhere.

Ponca's Revenge, Nebraska State XC Championship, Ponca, NE

Photo: Jeremy Cook
As always, Ponca never disappoints. Anne and I turned it into a camping trip. I couldn't believe how much crap we forgot to bring. Luckily, Rafal and Megan picked up the slack. Good food, good fire with old and new friends. I love my road racing but you can't beat the pre/post race camaraderie of a good mountain bike race camping trip.

With a good rain shower about an hour before the start of the Cat 1 race I was happy because I would really be able to take advantage of my bike handling skill but nervous as hell because my tires were definitely not mud worthy. I took the holeshot in front of Kent McNiell and Greg Shimonek. It was slippery and the course neutralized everything. The bike handlers couldn't descend very fast and the fitness guys couldn't get good traction to lay down the power. One thing I did manage to remember was toe spikes and as we approached a three tier steep climb we had to dismount. I made quick work of the run-up and had a big gap over the Kent and Greg. I went deep running so I soft pedaled most of the remainder of the lap and Kent and Greg came back up. As we went through the start finish nobody else was in sight. With Kent in 30-39, Myself in 40-49 and Shim in 50+ we all just rode tempo as we had a clean sweep of all the State Championship medals. Eventually, Kent would up the tempo and Greg lost contact. I opted to just sit on Kent's wheel and ride it out. Guess I was thinking more about 'cross season because the fire to fight Kent for a position that didn't really matter just wasn't there. We rolled across the line nose to tail. Anne made it 3 for 3 winning the Marathon again. She's on her way to another solid ride at the Dakota 5-O.

Triple State Champions
Photo: Jeremy Cook
Babcock Memorial Road Race, Nebraska State Championship, South Bend, NE

After spending virtually no time training for road races (at least not 70 mile ones) I made the last minute decision to stay put and race in Nebraska. With Lucas Marshall, Greg Shimonek, Paul Webb and myself all racing Cat 1/2 we had a solid shot at some really good winnings. The plan was simple, do as little work as possible for the first 30 miles then call it out on the road. I like playing captain on the road and calling the race as it happens. An early move went with Shim and Lucas in it which forced the CPC guys to chase hard. They brought them back close enough to jump across. Once I got there though the break lost its pace and we all came back, groupo compatto. Soon after, Cat 3 teammate, Brady Murphy rolled off the front. They move inadvertently forced Kaos to the front, first with Matt Farnham, then with John Rokke. The chase went on for over 10 miles and I got to play tail gunner some more.

The final break
Photo: Dan Farnham
Finally with 2 and half laps to go, Kevin Limpach attack on the main climb out of the valley and I told Jonathan Wait to go with him. They were quickly joined by Lucas, Rokke and Cody McCollough. I waited patiently for the gap to open up and when it reached the sweet spot I jumped hard and went across. As soon as I caught the lead 5 I jumped again to try and shell anyone who might have been on the edge. Joe McWilliams came across with me and it looked like we had an established move. We traded blows for the next two laps but I soon realized I was short on hydration and beginning to cramp. My only goal now, make sure Lucas wins the 1/2's race and Jonathan the 3's. I'd planned to lead it out for the two of them but as we rolled just inside 500 meters Joe came over the top of me with Rokke and Kevin in tow...with Lucas on the tailend. I'd told Lucas to leave the sprint late and that's exactly what he did. I could see Lucas with his hands up, mission accomplished, with Jonathan second overall. I managed to get by Joe for 6th overall as well. Pretty damn solid day if I do say so myself.

Left it all on the road
Photo: Dan Farnham
Cat 1/2 Podium L-R, Joe McWilliams (Alegent Health), Cody McCullough (Powerade), Lucas Marshall (Trek Bicycle Stores of Omaha), Kevin Limpach (Alegent Health), Mark Savery (Trek Bicycle Stores of Omaha)
The spring campaign was pretty rewarding. Three wins and a second on the mountain bike and 2 wins on the road. Can't ask for much more than that.

So now what? Well first off, I've got about 15 lbs. to lose before 'cross season which means starving myself and riding lots of easy miles. I'm planning on spending a fair amount of time on gravel. It's great low gear, high torque riding, very similar to the kind of power you need for 'cross. So that's the next six weeks. Then the fun really starts with proper intervals. Good times just 12 weeks away, CX!!!


Jeff Yielding said...

Cross is almost here!

Jeff Yielding said...

Nice job on the races....

mathguy said...

You need to lose 7kg? Yeah, right...

MOD 2.0 said...

4kg for sure Randy, the other 3kg would take my performance up a notch. If you're only as good as your last result that means I'm only 3rd best. Always room for improvement.

Carl said...

What jerseys are you rocking on the mountain bike?