MSU Training Race Report:

Great turnout today from the Great Divide Cycle Team and it was fun to see
those bright yellow and red colors in the peloton (how can you miss them). We
had Jennifer G., Mark B, Randall G, Byron D, and Joe H. Chad D., Big Sky
Cyclery also joined us in our group. We began our race with a pre-race meeting
discussing strategy. At the end of the meeting consensus was reached, just
survive. 1 minute after our start we heard a tire pop. The whole group
responded with ahhhhhh that sucks. We found out Randy Beckner had blown a
tire. The race began with an estimated 13 -15 miles of a steady pace tackling
the first of the smaller climbs. The beginning of the route had many rolling
hills very similar to our birdseye route. No attacks, no gaps just the feeling
of the group getting to know each other. I did notice that the group did
continously increase the tempo on the small climbs and then at the top slowed
the pace. Around mile 8-10, A GAS rider and Landon Beckner, Velo Rider, took
off. The group did not chase. I think we all assumed we would catch them. At
about mile 18, a nasty crash occurred 10 bikes ahead of me. I saw the bike
flip over and the rider hit the pavement. I could smell the carbon hit the
pavement. He seemed to be alright but I had never seen someone crash that hard
on a road bike before. Around mile 20, A GAS rider was calling out shots and
was concerned with the gap Landon created. Landon was no longer to be seen and
was not seen throughout much of the race. I know that the GAS rider that lead
Landon out earlier was pulled back into the peloton but I am not sure at which
point this occurred. We were now facing a cross wind at this point, and the
GAS team formed an echelon. At mile 23-24 the GAS Team put the Gas on and took
off. The gap widened quickly and continued to increase. In my mind, I was
thinking they would not slow the pace if their goal was to reach Landon. The
chase group hung back. I asked Mark, if we should chase. Mark responded, close
it if you can. I decided to do just that. So I picked up my tempo and worked
with a female GAS rider to try to close the gap. For about 7 miles I was in
Zone 5 trying to catch the group. All of a sudden the group slowed down and
the chase group caught up. I was exhausted by this time and felt like a real
rookie (not to mention idiot) for making that decision to chase. From mile 30
to mile 34 the group slowed down to recover for the big climb ahead. About a
mile before the corner to begin the climb, the pace picked up considerably.
Then the climb began. Our team settled in and I felt more at home on the
climbs then the sprints and high tempo nature of the road race. At mile 2 of
this climb, it flattened out and gave a much needed rest. This climb felt like
one of those climbs where you go primal and where you feel the only thing that
is going to get you up is your soul. As I crested the top, I was happy to see
Landon cheering us on. In fact, that was the only time I saw him throughout
the whole race. It was a great race indeed. The race provided a great
opportunity to learn more about race strategy, play with tactics and identify
personal weaknesses and strengths. Looking back, it was amazing this was
considered only a training race. It was very competitive and physical by
nature. The team did well, learned new things and I cannot wait to get back
out there again.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s