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Plan for Rain

I could live in the Mojave Desert and see rain 1 day out of the year and feel slighted as a cyclist. That’s just the way it is for me. I like the sunshine and love the feeling of warm air on a long ride. But, this is New England and even more specifically, Vermont. I have never seen the lake as low as it is which is obviously indicative of a dry summer. However, it seems that I have been preparing for rain on each of my rides as if it were not. Those that look forward to TNW! and GMBC Practice Crit knows what I mean. It still rains, and will do so at the exact same minute I decide to step out for a ride.

 

Adam and Bobby

With a plan, it is no big deal. I went for a ride today with friend and Pro Training partner Adam Carr. The plan was to ride easy, get coffee, and then ride home. Perfect. But, we both procrastinated by hitting refresh on our Facebook and Twitter feeds and stepped out to darkening skies. Thankfully, I had a plan.

 

Castelli Sottile Jacket

I packed my Castelli Sottile Rain Jacket and stepped out to prep my bike. Today was an easy ride but I still wanted to make sure the bike was in top shape. I just rebuilt my headset and I wanted to keep the fresh feel protected. I smeared a bit of ProGold Cycle Grease on the bottom junction of the head tube and fork crown to keep water out of it. I figure this would be easy to wipe off later. I also used the same grease on my chain. No I was not headed out for 6hrs of racing but still, no need to run the chain dry and decrease its life when prepping with grease only took 30seconds.

We all ride with fancy phones these days so protecting it in a bag of sorts is a great idea. GMBC and Local Motion had some Smartphone sleeves made up last year with Group Ride Etiquette printed on them and I never leave home with out it. Sweat and rain are the same thing so I like to keep my phone safe.

 

Local Motion Phone Protector

I did make an error on the ride. I went out with dark tinted Oakleys and Adam had clear. It got dark quick on our ride and I took off my glasses to see. Well neither of us had fenders so I had to opt for Winooski Road Goop in the face. Yuck. Clear would have been the way to go.

Returning home, I instantly cleaned the bike. I know, not a shocker. I wanted to get all the grit off the rims, brake pads and drive train. It only took a few minutes to do and with the aid of an air compressor the bike was new again.

 

S-Works Shoes on the Boot Dryer

I changed out of my kit and put the S-Works shoes on a boot dryer to prevent stink. All in all it was a good ride. Sure I got wet but my gear was no worse for wear. I am not one of the lucky Euro Pros who has a “rain bag” but I had a plan salvaged a great ride.

 

This months Velo

SUMMARY 

Body – rain jacket, chamois cream, and a warm weather embryo for the legs

Bike – grease on chain, grease on headset, and a desire to clean it when you get home

Gear – clear lenses, phone protector and headphones you do not care about.

Post Ride Plan – wash gear, dry shoes, hot shower.

*as a coach my only other piece of advice is to put a hydration solution n your bottles. You end to drink less when it rains but you get every bit as dehydrated. Make sure you have something that tastes good and forces you to take on the necessary fluids. 



Getting REAL for GMSR

Just like cool people say…its about to get real. Well folks, it has gotten real. The local scene is in full prep for GMSR as one of the best races in the country heads to our backyard. GMSR is always bittersweet just like any other hard race but for racers who live near the fabled climbs of APP GAP and imagine the energy of the Burlington Crit, preparation is the key to conquering this beast.

I can recall when Labor Day weekend only consisted of the Mad River Road Race and the Burlington Criterium. Each was epic, but separate. I vividly remember braking a pedal in the last turn of the crit as a CAT 3 in perfect position to win. I recall watching my good friend and teammate Matt Morrell win the same race a year later and always being jealous of what it might feel like.

So like many New England Racers, local teams have been prepping for GMSR for months. This past weekend, members from the 1K2GO-Onion River Sports Cycling Team, Burris Logistics, GMBC and Ekoi-Gaspessian Pro Adam Carr took to the courses for some recon. We did it in style proving that support cars are a great idea. Team Dad Charles Owens volunteered to drive the team Audi filled with spare wheels, water and Metaball Energy Snacks. With 30 people taking to the road, flats were bound to happen.

1K2GO Coach Mike Burris and Bruce Bell

 

Prepare to embark

 

Getting ready to rock

Happen they did! We had two flats along 116 and a broken wheel descending App Gap. The sun came out with a vengeance and people realized that they were consuming more fluid than planned. Having water in a team car meant less stops. It also meant keeping hydrated with your personal choice of solution and forcing more down the hatch! We adhered to the ‘eat often and early’ principle because we had it on hand. Local racers got a taste of how nice it is to have support for food, mechanicals and being able to get paced back on to the group. No one had to sacrifice their ride due to mechanicals since we were prepared to handle them.

A nice tight group up Hinesburg Hill

 

Pacing back after a flat

 

 

All in all it was a great recon of the GMSR Road Race Course. The support that Charles provided was tremendous and it is safe to say that everyone benefitted from the long, hard ride.

 

Hey VT Riders, lets do it again soon!

 

Brook Anderson

 

Bruce Bell

 

Mie Owens and Josh Saxe

 

Recovering at the Car

 

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Ben Coleman 88th Overall at Leadville!

Killing it in Leadville! That’s where.


Where is Ben Coleman?

Where is Ben Coleman?
by 1K2GO-Onion River Sports on Wednesday, August 8, 2012 at 5:27am ·
Your changes have been saved.

Here is where he will be on August 11th!

 

 

 

LEADVILLE 100

 

Follow him on the 1K2GO-Onion River Sports Facebook Page

 

Also, if he can still feel his hands, subscribe to his tweets by following

@haydocktor AKA Ben Coleman

 

Ben is no joke on a Mountain Bike. I had the (dis)pleasure of folowing him for 5 hours at an endurane event and he was so smooth on the rough stuff. Leadville is no match for his technical ability! Ben has also been smart about his preparedness for Leadville. It is a hard race at altitude and he is as prepared as he could be!


Concord Criterium, 2012(and 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005) by Bobby Bailey

Concord Criterium, 2012(and 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005) by Bobby Bailey

by 1K2GO-Onion River Sports on Monday, August 6, 2012 at 4:27pm ·

My best memories of fitness and racing come from Concord. The crit has always been one that I have excelled in. I recall from years passed gauging my fitness on how well I did there. The course is amazing weather it is clockwise, counter clockwise or upside down. No matter you have a wide-open, 6 corner crit with enough elevation change to make it hard. The ‘hill’ on the course is a mere blip and one that serves as a launch pad for attacks….Bobby Like.

I recall doing the race in 2004. I think I finished 3rd while crit nemesis Skip Foley took the win. Notable about that race is I never came out of the top-5 making sure I did not miss the moves or get caught in the back. I tell some of my clients and friends to do the same nowadays, if you have the fitness.  Now 2005 was a different story. I was done racing and looked more like a Corporate Cream-puff but decided to race any how. I showed up and hung on for dear life. I did manage to nab a prime but spent the rest of the day on the back thinking that I should probably train. What a difference.

 

Fast forward to 2012. I am fit and Concord was a goal of mine. No offense to 2011 Winner Dylan McNicholas, but I should have won last year. SO this year I was pumped to race it to the max. This year was HOT. It is amazing how many untrained or expecting athletes shut down when the going gets sizzling. I am comfortable with wheezing in the heat so I did not care. I attacked the field several times but was having trouble getting clear. Other riders like Adam Carr and Synjen Morocco were riding aggressively and the field seemed to be be split. We were in a group of about 15 which is too many for my liking. I continued to attack the field while Team mate Alberto Citarella covered counters.

 

Al and Bobby 2 man break

On lap 9, Alec Donahue put in what I referred to as a Danger Move. He got clear and dangled off the front. While the field recovered, I put in a dig that brought me up to Al and it was one. I have been racing against Al for a long time. When he looks at you and says, “come on man, don’t do me like that” referencing that he is weakening…what he means is…”I am about to attack the living crap out of you”. Anyone other that Al and I would have cried foul. But I anticipated it and was only mad that he beat me to the punch. Us old guys gotta stay crafty. Thankfully, he only ripped about 1.5 of my legs off and I was able to follow. I put in a move with 1 lap to go and Al pegged me back. It was going to be a drag race and thats that. In the final stretch Al, who claims to not be a sprinter, matched me all the way down the straight. I was able to get the win but I think I was driven by fear. It was that close.

 

Close Sprint for the Win

It felt good to be racing with old-school friends in the peloton. Guys like Al Donahue, Skip Foley, and Jake Hollenbach have been at it for a while and it is good to see they are still animators.

So proof that tactics and fitness still win races. I am proud to win Concord for my sponsors and my business 1K2GO SPORTS. Its proof that you can be competitive and have a life other than cycling with good nutrition and training. However, if anyone wants me to quit my job and live race to race in an Air Conditioned RV, I am game for that too.


Colchester Triathlon Race Report

Colchester Triathlon Race Report

by 1K2GO-Onion River Sports on Friday, August 3, 2012 at 1:32pm ·

Colchester Triathlon Race Report

by David Connery on Friday, August 3, 2012 at 9:02am · 

Colchester Triathlon Race Report

 

 

 

The Colchester Tri, held in and around Mallets Bay and Colchester, is an 800 yd swim, 12 mi bike, and a 3 mi run.  This race is a piece of local glory for sure because it attracts a big field of 400 people, and some people only do this…all year!  Run by the  Parks and Rec Dept of the town, it is a low key quirky race that is very local.  In the past, I would not do this race because the “swim was too long”.  However, this year is the year of conquering swim demons, so I signed on.

 

Lining up for the swim, many friends were here: Dodds, Chris Coffey, Terry Collins, and others.  The swim is a triangle, moving out from the main beach about a 1/4 mile, short section parallel to the beach and then back to the sand.  I lined up on the front for one of the first times ever, and when the gun went off, got onto the feet of Dodds.  Drafting with the wind coming straight on made such a difference, it felt like cheating. I followed him out to the right turn, made a push to get onto Chris’ feet, and then after making the turn and seeing the beach, I turned it on.  The feeling of seeing the beach made me super happy and I started to increase the pace little by little and keep my breathing under control.  I hit the beach in 11:30 for 1/2 mile, and started the sprint across the beach and UP the path to the transition area.  This transition has a particularly big climb, and it was quickly evident as the adrenaline of the swim finish wore off and I had just sprinted about 150 yds straight up.

 

Wetsuit was down all the way to the hips when I arrived at the bike.  Rip the rest of it off shoes on, helmet on clipped, and bang we’re off running to the road.  Through the fence and cross remount and we’re off.  Out in 13:10, 40 seconds behind Tim Watson, 30 seconds behind Johannes Suppan, an 18 year old dolphin from Rice HS.

 

 

 

I started charging out with the goal of riding around 300 W.  I caught Johannes before mile 1, and started up the road to the intersection of 2A.  I was careful to watch the traffic develop at this intersection and take a good route with the police controlling traffic.  Up the short hill and back to the flattish 2A and I caught Tim Watson here.  Shortly afterward, I met a wonderful member of humankind who tried to run me off the road with his F250 towing a small black trailer.  I then spent the rest of the race repeating the plate number because this was not an accident.  It was intentional. I was holding 290-300 pretty well through this section, which is important.  It is rolling and false flat.  Once past 289 and onto Susie Wilson Rd, and then onto the final turn, the course becomes downhill and this is where the speed gets turned on.  I topped out at 37 mph for a section of this, finishing in 26:48.  A few years back I did this as a team with only the bike and went 26:25.  Bike leg was successful.

 

Into T2, and very glad I was first.  THere are no racks so you just drop your bike near your stuff and go. Helmet shoes off, and Brooks Green Silence on…but a little slowly.  I think I am going back to the T7s for Nationals. These shoes have a design that makes them hard to put on quickly.  I lost a few seconds, but came out of T2 gangbusters, looking to really drill the first mile.

 

Coming onto the course I was immediately harassed by old friend and Colchester Track Coach Zach Kramer.  A few feet later, Angie DeFilippi gave me a laser focused “ONE MINUTE LEAD” cue.  This run course is a MAZE!!! So many turns.  People have done it many times and missed turns on their 10th try.  I knew this and stayed super alert for signs, looking ahead constantly.  I got out quick, running a 5:54 first mile.  Through the water station and I stole a look back.  No one.  THrough mile 2 and Iwent 5:45.  Holding pace, and a second look back.  I could see Tim Watson about 400-500 yards behind.  I hit the last section and onto the bike path and was running super hard.  I didn’t know how quickly Tim could close and did not want to lose this.  I cross the line in 57:34, holding him off by 45 seconds.  This was a great run for me, with constant pace and all sub 6.

 

 

 

Bigger than the win, however, was the open water swim.  This has been a big big struggling point for me.  I have tried many things: dealing with starts above threshold and holding race pace without panic, modifying my wetsuit to keep pressure off my lungs, dropping my HRM to reduce constriction of the rib cage, and just plain swimming more yards to have a higher threshold and an ability to swim longer while processing any ingested water before it gets to my throat.  The essence of my swim disappointments was the panic of water getting into my throat.  Not only was I able to overcome panic today, but I swam with established quick swimmers to save energy and push ever harder when the time came.  It was an awesome feeling.

 

Everyone should try this race, as it is so low key and a great atmosphere.


How Would Cancellara Prepare for Greenbush?

How Would Cancellara Prepare for Greenbush?

by 1K2GO-Onion River Sports on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 2:36pm ·

The same way he would prepare for the Olympic TT. Why do you ask? Because a TT is a TT is a TT. It does not matter if the course is set against an Olympic Backdrop in London, or if it set behind a Vermont landscape Ferrisburgh. Preparation of an individual Time Trial is about producing your best effort every time out.

In order to maximize your chance at success you have be prepared. Here are some things that you SHOULD be doing to ensure that your TT’s become PR’s and hopefully W’s (wins).

BIKE – does your bike fit? is your bike aero? Is your bike clean? is your drive train going to shift properly?

Take all this into consideration when you prepare for a TT. The Bike is the variable that you can control the most. Do not let this be the limiting factor in a successful TT.

 

Fully Prepped, Every Race

HELMET – nothing screams overkill and speed more than a Time Trial Helmet. However, that helmet can shave over 13seconds off a 40K TT. I think this is under estimated. A nice airy summer helmet is great for keeping cool but there is a reason why they are not worn in TT’s.

CLOTHING – here is a big one. I see riders showing up at local TT’s in a wide variety of gear. These are the same riders that HAVE proper TT gear but for some reason choose not to wear it at a practice TT. What if your legs have their best day ever but your jersey is flapping in the wind? Research has proven a savings of UP TO 2 minutes over a 40K distance when comparing  a skin-suit to a jersey/bib combo. The other item that I think makes both a huge aero and mental difference is Shoe Covers. Research has shown that Aero Shoe Covers will shave off 30seconds over the course of a 40K TT. Most local TT’s are in the distance range of 20K so that is a 15second savings, thats a lot!

Team Sponsor CASTELLI makes several items of clothing geared toward shaving off time in a TT. I personally think that theirNANO Show Covers are the best in the biz. They are tight, smooth surfaced and windproof. For a Time Trial, you have to imagine that permeable to air is a bad thing. I’d rather save some time than absorb some air! Plus, most aero shoe covers are fragile. I have been racing with these weekly since April and my Castelli Nano Shoe Covers are still in one piece.

 

Castelli Nano Shoe Covers

Castelli’s Speed Suits are also part of the puzzle. You have to be comfortable when you TT and this piece of clothing is just that. The cut of the Speed Suit is purpose cut for being on the bike. It’s not the most flattering off the bike but my plan is to fast on the bike, not look good at the club. I’ll keep rocking my skinny jeans for that.

The race itself is the most important part. Since you have already prepared your gear and bike like it is the Tour de France, why not attack the race with gusto? Local Time Trials like theGMBC Series a perfect place to really dissect HOW you race. You can use tools likeTRAININGPEAKS andSTRAVA to break apart segments of your race. If you want to set a record or PR, take a look out how hard you go out. Are you blowing up, or are you pacing too much. By drawing segments and then creating workouts to better those segments, you are going to go faster and find more comfort in going deep on certain sections of a course. We have the luxury of repeating courses several times a year allowing you and your coach to try different things.

 

Only 4K, but more pain than most 100 mile RR’s

Point is this…do you show up at a practice TT to gab or do you show up to race? Do you put your best effort forward or do you treat like a backyard TT that does not matter. If you treat EVERY Race like your last, you will be a better racer in the end. Use your best gear and do not be afraid of being judged by others. The only people that make fun of people in full gear are the one’s that wish they had the gear. Your TOTAL approach to Time Trialing is what will shave seconds off your time and make you faster.

So here is all the contact information you need for Fabian Cancellara. Invite him to a Local TT. I guarantee he treats it like a Gold Medal is at stake.

Twitter @F_Cancellara

Snail Mail:

Fabian

RE: GMBC TT Challenge

Forrilbuckstrasse 72.6 Stock

8005 Zurich

Switzerland

 

Attached is a a chart from an article featured on ACTIVE.com highlighting several important sources of WATT savings in the wind.

 

 

 

 

from Active.com

 


Vermont Sun Lake Dunmore Sprint Tri

Vermont Sun Lake Dunmore Sprint Tri

by 1K2GO-Onion River Sports on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 10:57pm ·

Vermont Sun Lake Dunmore Sprint Tri by 1K2GO Coach and 1K2GO-ORS Racer, Dave Connery

This race, run for over 20+ years, starts out of the Branbury State Park south of Middlebury.  Race distances are a 600 yd swim in the lake, 14 mile bike loop, and a 5K run.  This has been a perennial meeting place of top locals to meet some traveling MA/CT/NJ/NY racers up for vacation in our fair state.

The day started hot and humid, as we have had such a great run of good weather lately.  Hot enough to not have to worry about any clothing choices, and humid enough for, you guessed it, fast air.  This is not a USAT race, so even though the water was warm, wetsuits were still OK.  That is good, because any help I can get on the swim is appreciated. I lined up on the outside, as usual, but this time I discarded my HR strap, thinking it was contributing to constricted breathing in the wetsuit.  I also did a much longer warmup to hit the line HOT. It worked and I never felt better in the swim, getting around the first left buoy in minimal traffic, and starting the long straight in what looked like minimal company. I finished the swim in 8:13, out of the water early in the wave, 13th.  15 seconds faster than ever.

I came out of the water like a scared cat with a stolen diamond necklace.  I was determined to go “Doug Clark” on this transition and had really thought it out. Nothing but the absolute bare essentials. No glasses, no socks no drinks in transition, nothing but off with the wetsuit, put on the helmet and shoes and GO!  out of the water in 13th, but out onto the bike in 6th or 7th.

Right away I passed two guys with the cyclocross remount. Then up the road I passed the new kid from Middlebury, Dustin.  We played cat and mouse as I tightened my Specialized S-Works Shoes, and then it was off to the races towards Fern Road.  Shortly afterward, on the crossroad to Rt 7 I passed Luke Moore.  Th0-is is important because he usually picks up his game to chase me.  So, I hit the rollers and put it on the 53×11 on the descents and dropped him at 41mph.  Up ahead I saw two guys in the distance, and started reeling them in all the way on the long Rt 7 section.  I was trying to hit 270-290W on the ride.  Here on this section, I was going 300+ on the uphills, and then holding the right zone on the downhills.  There is one significant climb on this course, and it was here that I reeled in John Spinney, after a little cat and mouse, I rolled past him in the last 2 mi as we passed Keewaydin, into 2nd.  Jason Franks was up the road, visible, but he was not getting any closer.  Bike splits after the race would show he went 32:59 and I went 33:01 for 1/2 on the bike time.  I loosened the Boa laces on the shoes as we entered the park, and rode full gas until the last second at the dismount line.

 

Again, it was Doug Clark time and I sprinted off the bike, into transition, unclipping the helmet on the run and zeroing in on the rack.  S-Works Shoes off, Brooks Green Silence on, number belt on, and BAM off again!

I beat Spinney out of T-2 and ran out of the park uphill hard.  John catches me at the top of the hill at roughly .5 mile mark, and I go with him.  I am breathing hard, but nothing hurts.  I ride him so close, I am careful not to trip him.  We run stride for stride through mile 1 at 6:09 with a pretty significant climb.  Mile 2 goes 5:57 and we hear there is someone coming from behind and see them at the turnaround.  We are now running a 5:50 and get passed by a 20 year old Middlebury Crew Team player, John goes with him, and I start running, averaging 5:11 over the last bit and cannot stay with them.  Dustin Weigl passes us both and runs a 17:06 for 2nd, spinney runs an 18:17 for 3d, and I go 18:33 for fourth, and 6th fastest run split.  This is the third fastest 5K in the last 10 years for me, open or off the bike.  The last time I had a faster 5K than the winner is, well, never.  My previous 18:07 and 18:20 were straight up 5Ks on the road.  More exciting is that the time of 1:00.58 bests my previous times on this course by 2 minutes! Jason Franks went 1:00.16 and said after that the course record of 59:03 is highly attainable.

A good, confident swim, coupled with crisp execution in transition, and some serious progress on the run while not sacrificing bike power gets me this time.  However, one downside, I lose a beer to Spinney in the Coaches Cup!  Moral to this story?  I spent a year working hard to take a minute plus off my run at 5K.  I spent 10 minutes reading Doug Clark’s transition tips, plus 20 minutes thinking of how I was going to use them, and there we have it:a savings of 30 seconds for 30 minutes of thinking, a savings of a minute with 100s of miles in the snow and on the treadmill!

 


Coupe des Ameriques, Sutton, QC by Bobby Bailey

Coupe des Ameriques, Sutton, QC by Bobby Bailey

by 1K2GO-Onion River Sports on Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 9:42am ·

Coupe des Ameriques, Sutton, QC by Bobby Bailey

I can’t believe this is the first time I am writing about this race…oh wait, it is the first time that I am old enough to do so. Either way, no excuse, and if you have ether been to Sutton or the Le Coupe des Ameriques, you would know why I said that.

 So this is a Masters race. There are categories from 30-39, 40-49, and 50+. The action takes place in a small resort town that feels like a village in Europe. The streets are in great shape, there are Bistros and Café’s on every corner, bike paths line the routes in and out, and there is a very French Air to the town. Everything is in kilometers and even the grocery store feels like you are eons from home. But here is the kicker….you are only 10K from the US Border. Put it this way. At first I felt like the big cool American when I got there, denouncing everything from Hockey and the Loonie to Ryder Hesjedal. When I left Sutton, I wanted a key to the city and perhaps dual citizenship, it was that cool.

Now to the racing. The first stage was an uphill-mass start-prologue. Usually I would scoff at such thing knowing that most promoters would make it stupidly hard…setting the tone for the rest of the weekend. I see it all the time and I am very vocal with my opinon that 1-demensional races do nothing for the sport of cycling. The BUMPS series is a hill climb series, so go there for your gear grinding jollies…stage races should be for everyone. I digress and I was pleasantly surprised with this course. It started near the CAN-US Border and raced into Sutton on pretty flat and wide roads.  Alberto Citarella and had a plan to see how things would go. The course was not super steep but it was still uphill.  I knew that in the presence of great climbers, it would be a tough stage to well on. Trek-Bontrager brought 37 racers so the task was on them to control the front. They set a fast pace into town and led into the first pitch. I felt great and was able to climb with the front group. Alberto was in the thick of it as we climbed several sets of rollers heading for Mt. Sutton. Some riders were in the 39, and some the 53. It was a climb that was dictated by pace, not gravity. The front group kept the pace high and eventually we split off into about 10 riders. I patrolled the front and decided to keep within my limits and wait for the following day TT. I was able to stay with lead group once we enter the switchbacks as the grade favored my power. I ended up riding a little too patient and ended up 5th, 12 seconds out of the lead but knowing that I could have gone harder. Alberto came in 18th, feeling good about his performance. We celebrated with complimentary watermelon and chocolate milk and headed down the mountain to prepare for the next day.

A RACE VIDEO

We GMBC and Vermont Racers know how to TT. We are lucky to have a great summer series where you get to practice your TT skills and learn how to push yourself in the Race of Truth. In Sutton, they call it the Contre-le-montre. I prepared for this TT like it was the Olympics. I wanted to leave it all on the road and therefore took care of every race day logistic. I got up early, caffeinated, ate some oats and protein, and got the race with plenty of time. Since we hade both driven and ridden the course already I knew the plan was to do one thing….go as hard as humanly possible for 20 minutes. I am not going to bore you with my warm up protocol since I have done so several times before but I nailed it. I put the efforts and calories that I needed and got on my perfectly prepped S-Works SHIV with enough time to open up on the road and then race. I was 5th from last to start so I knew that I was surrounded by the strongest riders. My goal was to pass and not be passed. I blasted out of the start gates and pedaled with anger. I literally told myself that with every passing second, I was significantly closer to the fisnish. This plus the same 3 lines from Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” motivated me to push as hard as I could. MY average HR was higher than usual by about 4bpm but my power was spot on. With only 30seconds between riders I found myself looking up the road more than I was looking at my numbers. About 2miles in I passed Alberto standing on the side of the road with a flat. I knew I had to do a good ride for our team so I just snorted and shifted into a harder gear. By the turnaround, I had passed both my 30-second and 1-minute man which confirmed that I was at least going fast. My average speed was at 30.3mph when I caught a 3rd rider. I just kept pushing and ended up finishing at about 19.43minutes, fastest in my field by 1-minute and fastest overall. Alberto hitched a ride and was allowed to continue due to the mishap-rule.

 

 

 

That afternoon was a “short” Road Race. It was a 10mile lap with some hard rolling hills and a flat fisnish. Listen up promoters. If the climbers wanted to win on a stage like this, they could have. If the sprinters wanted to win, it was on the climbers to hurt them. This IS multidimensional racing. The Trek-Bontrager guys adhered to the tactic of anyone in the break but me. They fired off more attacks than one of Michael Vick’s dogs. Each time they would get a gap. The breaks they established would have worked if they either A. let me bridge, or  B. Did not chase each other. They chose to duke it out in a sprint and I was happy to oblige. Some unlikely allies on the Tall Tree Cycles team also wanted a sprint and showed me some Yellow Jersey courtesy and helped me keep the pace high at the end. These guys killed it and really kept the finish fast knowing that any slowing would have been a guaranteed attack, or 3 from Trek-Bontrager. At 200meters to go, I jumped from about 33mph and was able to win the sprint for my second stage win. With me winning, and Alberto showing the field that he is one of the stonrgest riders, the final day would prove to be decisive.

 

Alberto, finally cracked.

Decisive it was. I went into the race with a 41 second GC lead. The 60 mile RR was packed full of hard rollers and one several-km climb with about 15km to go. My goal was to get into a breakaway with the top GC guys with hopes that their teams would keep the field from chasing. It seemed like the safest bet but the Canadians had another plan in mind. I am not sure what the French words are for “if you are not from the US do not come to the front, pull, think about pulling or even race your bike” but I am pretty sure that’s what was said. I consistently looked back and saw 90+ riders engaged in a group ride with Trek-Bontrager attacking 2-3 at a time. If I bridged, they sat up and the field chased. If Alberto and I did not take to the front, I would have lost by a half-hour and to a breakaway of an entire team. My only tactic was to try and be stronger than a 10-man team and….the entire field. Alberto and I tried. We even recruited the help from Sheldon from BikeMan and the Tall Tree Cyclists but the constant barrage of attacks from Trek-Bontrager. The only way I can describe the isolation is to say that it felt like being cornered in a locker room by a football team and being given an atomic-wedgy in a French speaking province and you are screaming in English. .

 

 

 

In the end, a large group got away after I was isolated on the final climb. I pulled for what seemed like the last 10k but the power of the masses was too much and the breakaway put 1 minute into me. I lost the yellow jersey and ended up 4th on GC.

Here is what I did win though. I won two stages in dominant fashion. I earned the respect of the entire field although did not do care to race their bikes, recognized that I had my work cut out for me versus a 500lb gorilla. I also learned that Alberto Citarella is a monster of a team mate and although he is new to the tactics of elite-level racing is strong enough to effect change in any race he enters. He pulled until he was cracked and then pulled some more. I can honestly say that I owe my 4th place overall GC place to his efforts and dedication.

So, Sutton is a beautiful town with a great race. I will be back for the food, the hospitality and of course the racing. But if an entre field is going to declare war….next year I will bring an army!

 

Couldn’t keep it, but cherished for two stages.

 


Patriot Half Iron, E. Freetown, MA 16 June 2012 by Dave Connery, Team Member and 1K2GO Coach

The Patriot is a big race down just south of Boston. Run in cranberry country, it attracts a big field from suburban Boston run in a gorgeous area that has great roads and a nice lake swim. Since this is a website with a lot of cyclists, I’ll break this report down for the cyclists and triathletes to both understand.

Cyclists: I woke up early and made my way to the race…
Triathletes: Woke up earlier than expected with race day excitement. Breakfast was a 24oz jar of applesauce, blueberry greek yogurt, a bar, and some electrolyte blox and then out the door.

Cyclists and Triathletes:
The day dawned with good weather. A little breeze was blowing and there were whitecaps on the lake. These calmed down, but waves that were 1-1.5 foot were out there. As I got ready, I started to pump my tires up, and I couldn’t get the pump to overcome the valve spring… I unscrewed the valve extender, and long story short, the valve unscrewed as well and is now permanently living inside my 808. No worries, when you go up to speed, it stays put on the outside. But still, it was un-nerving to have this happen. What is important about this? Adam Myerson has a great blog about arriving to a race early…I did so while annoying, I had plenty of time to still get setup.

Cyclists: I swam, got wet, and then got out of the water and took off my wetsuit.
Triathletes:
Men 40-44 were in the 3d wave after Elite Men/Women. I have been working hard on swimming lately, but it was not apparent with the waves. They were crashing over you as we swam out, but I got into a rhythm after about a 1/4 mile of the 1.2 miler. For me, the swim is about getting through it, I had no issues with breathing and getting water in my mouth, but at 34 minutes, I was 6 minutes behind the leaders, 93rd swim split.

Out of the water and into T1. I was a little slow getting things on, but out in just over 2 mins with a long run out of the transition. I was riding with one bottle and the second cage was housing food/tire repair.

Cyclists: I rode a solid upper tempo pace, 254W for 56 miles
Triathletes:
Out on the course, calculators had shown me that I should ride 250-260 W for this distance, so I was shooting for 270 to average around there. On course I ride with a Garmin 310 XT for all three events on my wrist, but in the bike I keep my powertap computer on the bars displaying instantaneous power all the time. The Garmin tracks 3 mile power average to see the current trends. I mention this because I came out of T1 again, thankful to be alive and AMPED. I was riding 310 W! I kept backing it off to get into a rhythm of 270 and it took about 4-6 miles to get there. The course has a fair number of turns, but is very flat. With the wind, and the turns, you had to be careful with the crosswinds blowing you sideways much more so than last year. For food, I ate 1/2 bar right away, then two gels, one at :30mins, the other at 1:30. In between I munched a sleeve of Margarita ShotBlox to fight cramps. I dropped one gel, but it didn’t seem to matter that much with the blox. I exchanged bottles on 3 of the 4 chances and really felt like I was drinking on or a little below target. But towards the end of the bike, I really needed to pee. More on this later. Anyway, as the bike progressed, I rode through all of the womens field and caught alot of the first wave at 8 minutes ahead. As I rolled through the second lap, I began to catch folks from the latter waves starting their bike. Some Top Gun jetfighter handling through crowds, but not that bad at all. On the second lap, a chocolate lab the size of Bobby Bailey lined up on me and came after me. I just thought “if I swerve on the aero bars, I am going to go down…” I decided to hold the line, keep pedaling and see if I could get past. He brushed my leg, but did not get his nose in the rear spokes. 5 seconds of terror and no problems!

Finished up the bike, 2:15. I would later find out that this was the fastest split of all. 3 mins ahead of a guy that ran a 2:14 half marathon, and 5-6 minutes ahead of the leaders. Yes!!!! Never a good idea to shoot for winning the bike split, but here they have a prize for it!

Into T2, quick change and out on the course. I really had to pee, and ducked into the portapotty…WOW!!! I peed solid for over a minute! Guess I drank a lot…but it was crossed with the extra salt I took and the caffeine in the gels…

Cyclists: we are now running, no need to pay attention, but the run was roughly twice as long as S. Greenbush TT….but you are on foot.
Triathletes:
Out on the road, first mile was 7:25 with the pee stop, then I settled into a series of 6:20-6:40 miles through mile 5. Then a pair of 6:50-6:55s for 6/7. At Mile9 I ran a 7:11. This was a little drag of a hill, and well, it was mile 9. Here I made a vow to shorten my stride, quicken the turnover and keep it sub 7. Based on how tired I was at this point, it really worked. 10/11/12 were 6:56-7. Then, for mile 13 I started to really get that “THIS IS ALMOST OVER” feeling and picked it up running a 6:36, and finishing up with a 1:29.37. Split was 17th, but I am making more and more progress on this run. Last year I was 1:32 at this course, after a debacle of a 2:16 ride. This was the first time I went sub 1:30 at the end of a 70.3. Total time was 4:22.47, good for 5th overall, and 2nd in the 40-44. I ran with the winner of my age group for about 5 miles and then he continued to run 6:30s and disappear over the horizon.

Great combo of bike run here at this race, just need to take a few minutes off the swim and a sub 4:20 is possible.

After the race, driving home was pretty brutal. Had to stop every 1 hr and walk around. But, the first 10 steps were just so painful. Everyone would look at me like I was going to fall down in a heap! However, it was worth it after the 6 plus months of preparation for this, including a complete reconstruction of my run training, going back to a more traditional training plan with longer intervals, tempo runs and long runs.


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