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Snowcone #3 Race Report

posted Feb 18, 2013, 11:13 AM by Chris Burns
Rain, sleet, snow and wind, we had it all. Fortunately, it was all pretty tame, so the Snowcone training race #3 went on as planned with no delays, course changes or truncation. I can honestly say that I came ready for what to expect this time, with plenty of lessons learned from the two previous races. It was pretty cold on Saturday, somewhere between 35 - 40 degrees. I drove through a few snowy spots on route to the race,mostly over the mountains in Clarke county, and then on the way home hit several snow showers on rt 95. This time, I opted for staying warm in the car as long as possible instead of warming up on the traininer. I got on the course about 20 minutes beforehand and did several warm up laps, all VERY easy, but exerted just enough effort to keep me slightly warm. On previous races, the officials sent the entire field for a neutral lap before starting, which on both previous occasions was at a very brisk pace so that folks could get into a faborable starting position. This time, instead, there was no neutral lap which caught many folks off guard; I on the other hand was quite pleased having lined up right on the starting line :) By the start of the race it had just started sleeting keeping the roads wet, but fortunately wasn't siginificant enough to dampen the racers. At the start, I had trouble clipping in AGAIN (this is definitely related to my nerves somehow, I even practiced clipping in during the week as novice as it sounds) but fortunately because of my starting position was still in the pack by the time I got set. The first few laps were at a brisk pace as before but I didn't get dropped. I did however establish that the back 2/3 of the pack was a good spot for me. There weren't many aggressive riders back there and I was able to keep momentum by staying on the outside of the turns. Sprinting out of the turns was tough, however but I managed to hang on for the entire race. By the 5th lap it had started snowing, apparently the temperature had dropped enough to transform the sleet which was pretty nice and didn't stick to the roads. At the 40 minute mark 3 laps remaining were put onto the counter and the final dash began. I by this point was feeling quite well, to my own amazement. I decided at this point to start moving up, using the few hills on the course as my opportunity to advance. With 2 laps to go, I made it to about mid-pack, and at the 1 lap bell I was sitting about 10th and the field was flying, probably keeping a steady 27 mph to the final climb. Midway up the final climb I decided to go for it. At the time I didn't know how fast or how hard I was going, but retrospectively I can certainly say that my timing was off. About halfway up the climb I passed the entire pack, and at about 3/4 through I had broken free from the entire group!!! BUT, that was it for me. I coasted into the final 180 turn and didn't have the energy to keep it up much longer. I had drained my batteries climbing at about 23 mph and putting out 400-600W. The final stretch was about 400 yards, in which I managed to stay top ten for about half, but by the time everyone started sprinting, I was nowhere near the front. Despite my ill timing on the last lap, I am still absolutely psyched to have finished with the pack, and not a lap down. I felt good the entire race,and my only mistake was poor timing. I can live with that. Plus, I have some great ideas for next time around! Next up... William & Mary Tidewater Winter Classic this weekend. Anyone wanna come?