Saturday, January 22, 2011

Back to the Track - Motorpacing in the A-Group

The last few months have been very slack... between work and puppies I was down to about one Computrainer ride a week for most of December...

Anyway, the Winter Track Racing season is back. And again I'm up with the A-Group where it is less embarrassing to get dropped. There I can use the gearing that works for me, 50x14 but it rolls out as about 94" because of the very low profile 28-19 Vittoria Evo Pista CS tubular I use... If I raced with the B's I would have to use a 48x15 and its altogether possible that I'd get dropped just about as often... and that would be embarrassing :-)

The first two weeks where a bit hard. I was on a training wheel because the tubular I glued onto my disk back in October developed a very strange and severe problem early in December. Quite literally the glue holding the tape on to the tubular turned into a greasy sticky substance and the tubular started to roll off the disk! Once I noticed and came off the track and let the air out the tubular just fell off the rim. Leaving the tape firmly glued to the disk!

I finally got around to gluing a new tubular this week. And also decided to bring my old Zipp 3000 tri-spoke out of storage. Previously on my old frame it seemed to develop wheel wobble fairly badly. Worse than other wheels. But I haven't noticed any high speed front wheel wobbles at all since I got the Cervelo T3. So thought it might be time to give it another try.

So tonight it was back with tri-spoke and disk and skinsuit and new booties...

The A-Group did a 40 lap scratch, elimination and 4x10 points. Managed to stay with the field for 20+ laps in the scratch race. And then stayed with the second group when they split off. We got lapped once. That contrasts fairly well with last week on the training wheel where it was stay on for 4-5 laps and then pull up and wait. Then repeat... getting lapped about 5-6 times in a 40 lap race.

The elimination was a bust... pretty hard to accelerate the big gear into the back of the group right off the start. I was the first volunteer.

Had fun in the final 4x10 points race. Nicely warmed up and the field wasn't too fast... Coming around turn two with two laps to go for the first sprint I got gapped slightly behind another rider... with about 4-5 (of 8) riders out front going into the back stretch at about 47kph. Got up and bridged over, only about 10m... but managed to get a good head of speed so just went over the top and dived down.

Now I'll admit at the time I thought that there was only one to go... I was slightly surprised when I came around turn four and saw two laps to go till the sprint. But heck I was sure of two things... first I did have somebody behind me... But second probably only one or two and then a gap... So I just dug in and lead them out.

Anyway, Erik Mulder nipped me at the line, I managed to take a second with Attila very close for third. Since Eric could out sprint me in his sleep I suspect he was being kind to just take me at the line. As far as I could tell there was a 10-20 m gap after Atilla.

The overall numbers where very good. Hit a top speed for 58.5, average 54.9 for 30 seconds or 457 m distance covered (just over two laps!) Average watts about 565 watts for 30 seconds and 464 for 60 seconds...

Of course while it was fun it was also a race ending type sprint... had to pull up and let the main group go around, loosing a lap... But it still managed to get me a 4th overall. So that was OK.

The Zipp 3000 seems to be OK on the P3 frame. No wobble at all tonight or last Wed (had it out to test on Wed for the BVC Structured workout.) I have a Tufo mounted on it. Reasonably good one so hopefully CRR not too bad (I pumped it up to 180 PSI!) Probably I should mount a Vittoria on it. But the Tufo will do for now.

Now just have to move CTL from 26 back up to something reasonable, say 70 or therabouts before Spring Series starts (about seven weeks.) My long term goal for the year is a time under 3:40 for the Whistler Grand Fondo in September. So I have to do longer harder races and rides this year. Haven't decided, but I may do B group races in Spring Series. At least for the flatter courses.