Sunday, February 24, 2008

Pace Bend Race Report

Today was the Pace Bend Road Race which is only about 35 minutes from my house. Pace Bend is one of the biggest Division 1 road races in Texas. It is held in Pace Bend State Park which contains a 6.2 mile loop road which the race is run on. The race ran clockwise and utilized the full road so there wasn't a yellow line rule.

For reasons I stated in my last blog post, I decided to do the 35+ 4/5 race. The race was full at 75 riders.

The first lap was pretty uneventful. Most people were trying to get their legs and get a feel for the riders in the group. I stayed in the first 25 or so on the first lap. The course was mostly rolling hills with 1 small climb in it. I had driven the course the prior day, but this was the first chance to ride it. I decided the only obstacle that would be of consequence was the small climb which was not far from the finish line.

The pace picked up on the second and third laps, particularly coming through the start/finish area where the crowd was. I guess a few of the riders wanted to get their sponsors some TV time. HA! After 3 laps I was still feeling great. My HR was recovering fast after exerting efforts and my legs felt good.

On the 4th lap the pace picked up and I decided to try to stay in the top 10 riders and was able to do that. A few riders got pretty squirrelly as they tried to move up. I heard some contact behind me and the distinctive sound of broken spokes. Whoever it happened to strung together profanities like I have never heard. Something like YOU FUCK SHIT COCK BASTARD PRICK ASSHOLE. It brought a smile to my face. I mean, come on dude, shit happens.

The last lap was considerably faster. I stayed in the top 5-10 for most of the lap. As we came to the hill which is about about 3/4 mile before the finish, a few riders came up hard on the left and a few at the front took off. They all got to the top of the hill and were spent. There was a rider that got away just prior to the hill and he managed to stay away. At the top of the hill I overtook all the attackers and moved into second place and put my head down and hit the drops. I didn't think I could catch the first place guy. I had a gap on those behind me. There is about 1/2 mile of road which is sort of a dip and then there is a hard right turn and then about a 1/4 mile finishing straight. I had it matted near my red line and went second into the finishing straight. I shifted and gave it everything I had. I could see that the first place guy wouldn't be caught. About 1/8 mile from the finish I could hear someone sprinting up on my left. He got by and brought 5 other riders with him. I crossed the line in 8th place.

I am 3rd wheel in the blue and white. This is just before the finish line.

Overall, I am happy with my performance. 8th in a 75 rider field isn't bad. I still am not in top form, but it is not bad at all for February. I know I don't have a great sprint and that is something that I need to work on over the next few months. Next weekend is another big Texas road race, Lago Vista. I look forward to getting out there again.


Blogger Cyndy: said...

Great race and good job on taking 8th out of such a large field.

2/24/08, 6:53 PM  
Blogger Sweet Cheeks said...

Yay! you are soooo kicking ass!

A great finish. it only gets better from here, right?

2/24/08, 10:21 PM  
Blogger Fat Lad said...

Well done that man! But really..... Internet Explorer....

2/25/08, 2:34 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Cyndy - thanks.

Sweet Cheeks - I hope so. Are you going to be at the Foster City Criterium? I am planning on being there.

Fat lad - I know I know. I am behind the times. My wife tells me the same thing.

2/25/08, 4:50 AM  
Blogger bluecolnago said...


2/25/08, 4:50 AM  
Blogger Donald said...

Great job Chris... 8th is nothing shabby especially, like you said, with such a large field. Your race description was great... you had my pulse going here at work and my legs were mashing the pedals. Got to walk it off now.

2/25/08, 5:34 AM  
Blogger jahowie said...

Great job!! 8th place is a great finish.

2/25/08, 6:37 AM  
Blogger oldmanandhisbike said...

Congrats on the finish Speedy; 8th is awesome. All of that early February (10th) training is finally paying dividends!
Nice report; would have been fun to be there and watch it unfold.
My only question is: Did you at anytime enter the Highland Lakes Bapist Encampment? Remember: no tresspassing! :^)

2/25/08, 9:26 AM  
Blogger CyclistRick said...

Congrats! Your race sounded much better in every way than mine on Sat. Sprinting will come, as will timing which is also important.

Now go download Firefox ;-)

2/25/08, 10:08 AM  
Blogger lauren said...

hey! good job!

that's a great finish! and good job on staying out of the chaos behind you.

you are strong like ox.

2/25/08, 10:24 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Good job.

I'm still trying to get out of winter mode...convincing my body that it's ok to sweat and get my heart rate up. Can't imagine already racing! At least I'm getting some hill climbing in...

2/25/08, 3:53 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Blue - notice the short sleeves and shorts.

Donald - call in sick tomorrow and spend the day on the bike.

Jahowie - thanks.

Oldman - it must have been that ride with you that put me over the top.

Lauren - maybe if I were strong like elephant I would have a better sprint.

Jeff - yeah, but I would give up some of these nice days for your scenery.

2/25/08, 5:04 PM  
Blogger Zachary Ellwood said...

Good Job on 8th overall! Very cool!

2/25/08, 5:42 PM  
Blogger the old bag said...

I concur with Fat Lad (on both counts).

Good choice on the race decision -- several of us women would race the 4/5 masters mens fields now and again...a good run for our money, but generally a more sane group.

2/25/08, 7:17 PM  
Blogger Ron said...

Wow, I guess you nailed it. Stay away from the back of the pack :)

2/27/08, 3:01 PM  
Blogger Danielle said...

Way to rock it in the early season! Congrats!

2/28/08, 11:07 AM  

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