Sunday, August 25, 2013

the old men of appalachia

I'm honestly not that cool with turning 40 (in like six weeks), but so far the 40+ has been good to me. My first foray into the category and I manage to stumble onto the top step of the podium.

Appalachia Visited Road Race. Saturday, August 24. With a Round Here win last year I had to represent. And this is your report:

There aren't many races in this area with an elevation profile like this.
Fairly decent-sized combined field left town at a Sunday-afternoon-ride pace. Two early mile-long climbs got the heart beating and sweat dripping but saw no real excitement. Then 18 miles in the first real climb, 5 miles climbing over 1,000' (the Strava segment shows 1028' in 6 miles), broke things up a bit. Gunner Shogren and I took turns pacing the group and we went over the top in a group of eight. Four 40+, three 50+, and one 60+.

The next 15-20 miles we rolled over hill and dale without a great deal of action, but when we hit the last big climb (Strava says 1,191' in 6.8 miles, or 1,002' in 3.6 for the business portion) I just went to the front and drilled it. First, two dropped away. Then three more. And then it was just Gunner and John Blumenauer, who has won all the other ABRA 40+ events this year. I jumped out of the saddle for a bit, looked back, and there was only Gunner. I let him sit for a bit and then jumped again. Poof. He was gone. And I had the last 1/3 - 1/2 of the climb to contemplate my victory salute.

Fast descent. Two mile flat TT. And that was that. (First in the 40+; first in the combined masters field.)

No one else in the photo. The only way to win a bike race.

:-)

Chistopher Woltemade made the selection of eight atop Texas Mountain and held on for fourth in the 40+. And, it should be said, was riding the early hills very well. Heading to the front, setting his own pace, and ripping the legs off lesser riders.

Can't manage to not look goofy on the podium. Second, third, and fifth, if you're reading this, please follow this link.
Notes:

For those that don't know, USA Cycling calculates your racing age based on the age you'll be at the end of the year. As my birthday is in October, in USAC-speak I'm 40 all year long.

I really hope a photo surfaces of my crossing-the-line victory salute. We win so few races, you know? Well, at least I win so few races. I'd like to have it properly documented.

As I crossed the line I'm not sure that those few spectators at the finish knew (or cared) that I'd just won my race. There was so very little noise. It was so quiet, in fact, that I yelled, "Come on... Cheer! I don't win these things that often!"

The final descent near the finish was very fun. Its danger was grossly oversold at start. And since I didn't know the descent, I slowed much more than I needed to around the corners. In the end it didn't really matter (in terms of race results), except that it could have potentially been much more fun, and that I have fifth (in a tie) on the Strava segment...

Speaking of KOMs, turns out my push up the George Washington Highway climb was pretty impressive by any field's standard. Granted, I think our race was a bit easier on the front end than some of the other fields, but I presently hold the Strava KOM on the uphill by a solid 34 seconds. And I was lead wheel the whole way.

8/27 UPDATE: Thanks to the generosity of Fred Jordan, a photo of my victory celebration has surfaced.  And here it is.

2 comments:

Eric Diamond said...

Well done.

Plenty of pics of your finish here:

Goates Victory Salute

H said...

Awesome!