Monday, March 03, 2008

Primavera at Lago Vista

On Sunday I raced in the Primavera at Lago Vista, TX which is about 1.5 hours from my house. The course was 4.4 miles with a 1.5 mile climb, very little flat and a descent that works it's way back to the finish line, but with several rolling uphills in it. The finish line was atop a steep little hill of about 50 vertical feet after which the 1.5 mile climb started. To my knowledge, there were 83 riders at the start in the Cat. 4s.

For those of you who read my blog, you know I am not a great climber. I knew this course would be difficult for me. The race was 9 laps meaning over 12 miles of climbing up the long section. The race started out pretty fast in my opinion. From the start it was right into the climb. The first time up was not as bad as I thought it would be, but it got progressively worse from there. The rolling descent to the start/finish was fairly fast. My max speed was 47 mph, which is not that fast, but it is fast enough while surrounded by 80 other Cat. 4 racers. I repeatedly lost places on the steep little hill leading to the start/finish. There were two crashes. One happened to my right as one rider touched wheels with another. Another happened when somebody got into my back wheel. Shit happens. To make a long story short, on the 7th lap I lost touch with the peleton on the long climb. There were two groups away off the front of the peleton. Many had dropped out at this point and I was the next to drop out when we returned to the start/finish. I had had enough hills for one day of racing. A bit disappointing, but I just didn't have what it took on Sunday to keep in touch with the group. There were over 30 DNFs in my race if that is any indication of the difficulty.

In the P/1/2 race, one of the men hit/got hit by a deer at 30+mph. Other riders said he flew about 30 feet and miraculously wasn't seriously hurt. Lago Vista has a serious deer problem and this year was not the first for rider/deer incidents.

If all goes well, the next race will be the Fayetteville Stage Race in 2 weeks. Less hills will be good. Also, there is a 6.6 mile TT. That should be fun.


Blogger Zachary Ellwood said...

deers are trouble... I live in deer county, and where I go to school has some deer problems sometimes. I nearly collided with one on a mountain. I was riding downhill at 30+ mph, and coming around a right-turn bend I didn't see the deer since my view was obstructed by trees and the hill coming down the mountain that if the thing didn't move when it did, I would've collided. He jumped off the other side of the road and went down the mountain and I kept moving.

Tough luck with the hills. I have trouble with hills myself, I was never really good on climbs. Good luck with the time trial at the stage race. I think this summer I'm going to do a weekend stage race, I know of several that are of interests.

3/3/08, 7:19 PM  
Blogger Pete Basso said...

Chris - sorry about the first race. If the hilly courses are your weakness then target the courses that compliment your strengths. Make those your "A" races and use the hilly courses as your training races. Try to finish every race and chalk it up to training.

Keep up the great work with your training. I think you're going to be stronger than you think this year.

3/3/08, 7:32 PM  
Blogger bluecolnago said...

it's good to hear about racing so early in the year. we're forecast to have more snow and sub zero temps before it's all over. still about 2 feet of snow on the ground. gotta love it, eh? :)

3/4/08, 4:44 AM  
Blogger CyclistRick said...

Ahhh, the hills. Typically my type of terrain, but have not done enough lately so I might have suffered as much as you did. Good job on keeping in for so long.

3/4/08, 5:16 AM  
Blogger jahowie said...

Nice job finishing. Sounds like a hellish course. I almost hit a deer last year on my bike. It came out of nowhere and went right in front of me, I veered to the right, hit a pothole and almost lost control of my bike. It was hunting season, so my next thought was that I would hear a gunshot next and that pushed my speed up a bit. :-)

3/4/08, 5:43 AM  
Blogger Velovera said...

Hills. ICK. 'nuff said.

3/4/08, 11:16 AM  
Blogger oldmanandhisbike said...

I don't know about your hill "racing" abilities, but you were stomping up them during our training ride. Or did it just appear that way cause' I suck so bad! :^)
Nice to hear the guy who hit the deer is okay; that is scary. I found out what one can do to my car at about the same speed last summer.
Sounds like a tough race. Good luck in your event; the TT should be fun. Maybe Bryan will let you borrow his helmet! :^)

3/4/08, 11:37 AM  
Blogger bryan said...

no, you can't have my helmet. I haven't even used it yet.

sucks about the hills, though. they're the great equalizer. I'm a decent climber, but sometimes they get me, too.

3/4/08, 4:37 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Zach - how close do you live to the velodrome? Ever think about track racing?

Pete - thanks. 3rd race of the year, just the first with hills.

Blue - you gotta love it. I gotta love that it is all yours.

Rick - thanks. You always wonder after it is all over if you could have held on just a little longer.

Jahowie - I have to say that I have never come close to hitting a deer. Knock on wood.

Velovera - exactly.

Oldman - if it is only 1 hill I am good to go.

Bryan - when are you going to post a pic of you and that new helmet?

3/4/08, 6:33 PM  
Blogger Ron said...


Find a moderate hill (6%) and do hill repeats for power and force, if time allows.

3/4/08, 7:19 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

I think 47 mph is plenty fast! I start getting scared at speeds above 40 mph...

3/4/08, 8:55 PM  
Blogger Mallie said...

Hills are not something I enjoy on the road bike, which is funny because I'm an OK climber on the MTB. I just hate that feeling of grinding and getting nowhere. Kudos for you for doing a race early in the season that targeted a weakness. I know I haven't commented in a while, but I'm still checking you out!

3/5/08, 6:06 AM  
Blogger chatterbox said...

chris - great job! 7 laps in the pack ain't nothing to sneeze at. Some of us are just built better for the crits. But, road races help 'build character', right? :)

3/5/08, 10:49 AM  
Blogger bbElf (a.k.a. panda) said...

Even though it can be rough, you can't improve if you don't work on your weakesses. Seven of 9 laps is a lot to make it over with the group, especially with such a long climb.

Good for you :).

3/5/08, 10:58 AM  
Blogger Kimberly (aka. DrKim) said...

Good job! Hanging in for 7 laps is great, when not your specialty AND early season! You have time...

Hit by a deer on a bike sounds terrifying...I have hit one with my car and it did 3K damage! That is so scary. Glad the guy is ok!

3/5/08, 1:01 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Ron - already doing it. You should have seen me climb before. :)

Jeff - 40 is fast, so no reason not to be afraid.

Mallie - I haven't seen you forever. Glad you are still around.

Chatterbox - yeah I guess. Crit season starts soon here. As a matter of fact the Th Night crit starts up next week which will be fun.

BBElf - Thanks. Luckily most races in this part of Texas don't involve long sustained climbs.

Dr. Kim - I haven't seen you in a long time either. I look forward to reading your great race reports soon.

3/5/08, 8:38 PM  

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