Monday, July 14, 2008

July Challenge Series Circuit Race

On Sunday I did the July Challenge Series Circuit Race in San Antonio. This is the second event in the series. I chose to skip the 40K TT last weekend so I could spare my delicate ego.

The Cat 4 race was fairly short at 30 miles with each lap being 2.5 miles. The field was small at around 30 racers. The race started off with 1 neutral lap behind a scooter which I still am not sure I get. After the scooter pulled off the race was on. The pace was moderate, but not killer. I knew who the 4 riders were who could potentially win the race and watched them throughout. There was a 1 mile hill on the course with a gentle grade. A few guys tried to create a break in the field on the hill a few times, but nothing really resulted from their efforts. With about 5 laps to go I moved to the front at the base of the hill and put in a good effort and found myself off the front by about 80 meters. I was disappointed that none of the stronger racers got on my wheel because I wasn't killing it and I think a good group could have easily stayed away. At the top of the climb I decided to let it come back together rather than try to stay away by myself for 13 miles. I am sure I wouldn't have been successful. On the last lap I started cramping in my calves which is a problem I have from time to time. I was able to get through the cramps by pushing my heels down on the pedals to stretch my calves out. About half way up the climb I unknotted and tried to get into position for the sprint. I was about 5th wheel coming out of the last corner. There was a racer ahead of me on the left moving fast and one ahead on the right with about 150 meters to the line. I was 3rd. I moved past the racer on the right and was closing the gap on the one on the left but knew I was probably going to run out of distance. Just before the line another racer came by on the left. I finished 3rd behind two guys from Team Hotel San Jose. The racer that won is from my hometown and is an up and comer. He is 17, or less that 1/2 my age. HA! He seems like a good kid with a bright future in the sport.

Here is #2 on "Top 5 Sprint Finish Crashes." Laurent Jalabert and others get taken out in the sprint by a dumb ass photographer in Stage 1 of the 1994 TdF.

13 Comments:

Blogger Zach said...

Congrats on the 3rd placing! Sucks that no one else followed you up the hill for a breakaway, and I guess it was smart to get back into the peloton. Anyways, I know how calf cramps can get, I've gotten them time-to-time, and have done the same by pushing my heel down on the pedal and using the other foot to bring the front foot up to stretch it, as if you're leaning against a wall (I hope that makes sense). If not let me know and I'll take a picture of what I mean haha.

again, congrats! I have a couple of important races coming up and would like to place well!

7/14/08, 8:35 PM  
Blogger Groover said...

Awesome! Well done. Gettig closer and closer, Chris.

7/15/08, 1:55 AM  
Blogger bluecolnago said...

sounds like a good race, chris. a mile long hill, even without much grade, would kick my ass....

7/15/08, 4:41 AM  
Blogger Donald said...

You're kicking ass... congrats! I've had the same calf issues... usually on longer rides.
Your race descriptions are definitely inspiring. You just may convince me to get into some races sooner than later!

7/15/08, 5:47 AM  
Blogger bryan said...

well done, sir. If we ever hook up, I'll gladly blast up the hill and lead you out for a sprint.

7/15/08, 7:09 AM  
Blogger jahowie said...

Great job on the race!! I can't wait to race my bike in the duathlon in August. Your blog always makes me want to race.

7/15/08, 7:21 AM  
Blogger oldmanandhisbike said...

The winner was half your age? Awesome finish OLD man! :^)
Your racing has been consistant this season, so you must be doing something right. Keep it up and eventually, you will be able to put those young, whippersnappers in their place; behind you!
I really think the paparazzi should be banned from the finish line area; that crash was totally unnecessary.

7/15/08, 8:15 AM  
Blogger AMRcyclist said...

wesGreat race report. You are racing so well, attacking on hills, setting yourself up for a sprint and finishing off third... Great form!!!! Congrats!!!

17 and strong... Surelly he will be moving up a grade soon. So are you with all the top 10 finishes this season!?!

I heard the Garmin-Chiplote Team manager been interviewed by Phil and Paul last week. He mentioned how good his team was and with "luck" they could get a win this year. Sometimes that is what we need on those last few yards...

Scary video. I almost hit a news photographer sitting on the side of the road a few weeks ago, scary alright!

What's next?

7/15/08, 4:30 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Zach - good luck with your races.

Groover - close but not close enough.

Blue - an old war horse like you would make quick work of that hill.

Donald - the best way to get ready or a race is to sign up for one. Get your pen out.

Bryan - I will defintely hold you to that.

Jahowie - August will be here soon. Good luck.

Oldman - photographers have been the cause of so many crashes it is silly. They should have to stand behind the barriers at the finish.

AMR - he just moved up rom the Juniors to the Cat 5s and into the Cat 4s this year. He should be a 3 sometime early next year.

I have quite a few top 10s this year, but still no wins. I really want to win one this year. And yes, we are only talking a few yards more to pull it off.

My next race is next weekend and is the next race in the series. It is the same circuit race as this week plus a 2.5 mile TT which should hurt.

7/15/08, 7:12 PM  
Blogger Lily on the Road said...

Awesome Chris, you're kicking it now!

7/16/08, 5:45 AM  
Blogger chatterbox said...

3rd in a race with a little hill in it. That is good work! Congrats. Mr. 17 yr old should be out of your category soon, so you can re-focus on the other geezers.

7/16/08, 4:25 PM  
Anonymous Fendergal said...

Yeah! Podium!

I can't watch this video tonight, as I'm racing (cough cough) tomorrow morning. Bad thoughts, begone from my brain!

7/18/08, 6:50 PM  
Blogger Neese said...

oh man that crash is horrible.. f'in photographer

7/19/08, 5:50 PM  

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