Monday, April 27, 2009

Tuesday Night World Championships, some Common Sense and FIRE!

Last week, in an effort to make the Tuesday night race a bit more safe, a few of the grizzled veterans decided to take the reigns and show anyone what a “real” race would feel like at the P,1,2 level. The result was exactly what I was hoping for….. fast and smooth with the rotation and the front being patrolled by the experienced and able. I did notice that at about the 12-13 minute mark we managed to eject about 15-20 riders who immediately rolled back in during the next lap. That’s the beauty of the training race, you get do-overs in the middle of the race. If it doesn’t work out, then you still race instead of being done early and having to watch. The only “rule” is that the lapped riders use common sense and stay off the front and just cruise in the back. The race is over for you so just sit back and watch the fireworks. By and large that happened and I thank those riders that respected the etiquette.

Phil Gronniger won the Source Endurance Prime and scored a groovy SE Tech-T.

I managed to spend some time off the front with Phil late in the race making a run for it. The move was a wee early and we got caught with 2 ½ laps to go.

On a more “reality/ gut/ ego check note:” Anyone who was dropped in the first 15 minutes should seriously consider racing in the ‘B’ race next week. The learning curve for racing is much improved when winning is actually a possibility. The amount of knowledge it takes to read a race, react, and then win a race is tremendous when compared to a relatively simple, “sit in and sprint” strategy. The reality of the Tuesday night races is this: Shadd has only lost a field sprint 4 times in 3 years. Those aren't good odds. If you got lapped, then you shouldn't be sprinting to begin with and if you are on the lead lap then your chances are 1.33 in 2009 that you'll win. New and creative ways should be sought to try for the bragging rights of a Tuesday nighter. Bike Shack got it right a couple of weeks ago but sprinting off of Shadd is probably not a strategy that will work out well most of the time. Concerning training races: it's better to win because you should than to win because someone else made a mistake.

On to some numbers: These are taken from Shadd Smith’s SRM power meter so if you’re wondering what it takes to win a Tuesday night criterium….

Average Speed for the first 16 minutes: 28.3mph.
Normalized power for the first 16 minutes: 347W.

Normalized power the final 10 minutes: 342W
Average speed the final 10 minutes: 27.8mph.

Average Speed during the final lap: 30.5 mph.
Max Speed during the sprint: 37.2mph.
Average power output for the final lap while sitting in until the sprint: 550 W.
Elapsed time of the final lap: 00:01.23.
Amount of time spent above 600W in the final lap: 39s.

Kilojoule/ hour equivalent when extrapolated from the 40min race: 1068kj/ hr.

So there you have it, “winning numbers” from a Tuesday night criterium. I’ve been taking Shadd’s SRM data from his self rated, “hard” races and combed through them to find what it takes to have the opportunity to win races at the P,1,2 level. We’ve worked on focusing on those workload targets and pushing him to constantly improve. Shadd manages to get better and better as he gets more and more specific training in his legs.

Fire Hill CT. OKC

I spent April 18th in OKC racing the Fire Hill Criterium. Really cool race, uphill, swervy downhill, couple of corners and some good prize $. Steve Tilford was there and wrote a very accurate description of the race. I managed a second place which was probably about the best it was going to get that day. It’s always good to score a result early in the season just to settle the nerves and give yourself some confidence.

It seemed like I was always coasting or really hitting the gas. Indeed that is exactly what was happening as I managed to spend over 24 ½ minutes pedaling at >400W, which could explain why I wasn’t feeling so hot the next couple of days.