Monday, June 16, 2008

Nature Valley 2008 in the can

General Classification: 43rd (goal was top 50)
Cat 2 standings: 8th
Best performance: Time Trial

The Nature Valley Grand Prix was quite a deal. Although I would have liked to have done better on the steep climbs the last two days, they're not something I've been practicing, so I'm really not that disappointed. The one part of the race for which I practiced specifically - the time trial - I did well (28th in the stage), and still have much room for improvement.

I am gaining such an appreciation for the TT. It requires one to know oneself and capabilities to a degree the other disciplines do not. Obviously, crits and road races can also be played better if you know your capabilities, but really they're more like that one joke....

Two guys are in the woods and they see a bear. The first sits down and puts on his running shoes. The other says, "What the heck are you doing?! You can't outrun a bear."

"I don't have to beat the bear. Just you," says the first.

In contrast, when TT'ing, you have no idea how well others will do, so every time you must give it your all. When I first did them, I thought they were boring, but now with a little more experience, I enjoy settling into the rhythm and feeling for the boundary between max output over the distance and anaerobic failure.

I also like road races over crits. The latter are exciting, but the drawn out game of the former hold greater appeal and seem to suit me better as does the stage race format. Despite not having done much mileage given that our team's schedule is primarily crits, I felt I held up pretty well over the week and if I were to alter my training towards stage racing instead of criteriums, I might be able to really improve my performance.

So, all in all, it was an excellent thing to have gone and done. Will I do it next year? I don't know. I would like to, but we'll see. I'd add more details, but I'm tired and have a lot of work to catch up on. Make it a great day - or not - it's your choice. (My son says that)


oldmanandhisbike said...

Your son is right, by the way. Up to you.
I'm sure a couple years ago as you began this endevor called bike racing, you did not have visions of yourself competing against the caliber of riders you are racing now.
There is always room for improvements, but don't be afraid to enjoy the accomplishments you have made already!
Have a great week.

Megan M said...

Fantastic job this weekend, Sydney! You've come really far already, and it will only get better from here. Enjoy the success!!

Marc said...

You know, if you're a good TT'er you're a good all arounder. There are a lot of factors to win crits and road races that a TT'er can take advantage of.

Take timing for one. When the group is wore down mid to late race is a good time to go. Since you race with a power meter you have a good gauge of what to do and how much you can do for how long.

That's just part of the equation but a good start. You've got files from races and you know in general what it takes. Crits, road races and TT's are pretty much the same within each discipline.

Here's another example, most crits come down to 15-25 sec efforts x 30+ efforts(corners). That's in a pack. It is just so much faster at a steady pace (TT). The key is having that power and holding that power to win.

You've seen the average power of these races and they're well below what you can do a 30 min TT at. In an hour race conserve for 30 mins and then TT for 30 mins.

This is just few aspect of how to handle crits, road races and TT's.

the mostly reverend said...

marc says truthful things. makes my task here easier:

you're gonna do just fine, syd, just fine! i look forward to it.