OK - it's been a while since I raced (not counting the Camarillo practices), so today was time to get back to business.
The Garrett Lemire Grand Prix in Ojai is a race I have been thinking about for a couple of months. There a couple of reasons for the anticipation - a) it is a Cat 4-5 combined race, b) there is a significant hill in the middle of the course that always separates the group and c) getting dropped will result in getting pulled from the race. This race is probably the best thing we'll do all year - it has a circuit around downtown Ojai, complete w/ moto escort.
For my part, I got up at 5:30am to drive up there for the 7:45am start. I did not feel great in the warmup, and 20 mins into the race I knew I was in trouble. My heart rate wasn't going up, my legs were tired. I didn't have any snap. This meant that the peloton slowly crept away from me, especially on the sections of the course that were usually a chance to recover. But when you're off the back, there is no recovery.
One goal for this race was to avoid being pulled, so I just kept hammering as much as I could alone. I managed to finish w/a group of 4 or 5 riders, and we were probably about 1:30 back from the final 25 guys. I guess that's not too bad - it turns out that 50% of the field was pulled, so just staying in was a victory in itself for me. Save one guy, the rest of my team was pulled.
We big-ringed the hill 15 times in this race according to my Garmin. I think I had about 10-12 in me. This tells me that I need to work on power efforts - hill intervals, short bursts - so I can use that speed in other races. I don't think my garage efforts are hard enough, so I need to either ride w/ the Tues group or go alone over on Erbes. So many nights I want to get home to see Jack, so this is a tough proposition sometimes that carries a big tradeoff.
I don't know where I finished among the Cat 5 guys, but I can't imagine all that many were still on the course at the end. Hopefully standings will be available by category.