Monday, July 18, 2011

Omaha Weekend Race Report

The Cornhusker State games time trial was the first of three races I competed in at this year's Omaha cycling weekend. The out and back 13.6 mile TT course was redesigned this year, and it's a good one. It features long sections of relatively flat roads on a new asphalt surface, a steep descent with a sweeping turn, and a helluva steep climb about three miles from the finish. I had a good race. I lit the jets from the start, stayed aero through the descent & turn, held steady on the flats, powered up the steep ascent and punched it for the last 2K home. I covered the 13.6 miles in 30 minutes and 13 seconds, which I'm proud to say is the first TT in which I broke through the 27 MPH avg ceiling. Results


Photo by Dan Farnham

Later that day, I raced the cat 3 Papillion Twilight crit. The course is in downtown Papillion, featuring a long false flat through the first four corners, a short descent followed by a small but steep climb in corners 5-6, a long descent and a wide sweeping turn on corner 7 before a sharp turn and 150m to the start/finish. Saturday was miserably hot. Like 95F with a heat index of 110. Our race started fast. The break occurred about ten minutes into the race. In it was Lee Bumgarner (Flatwater), Kyle McClellan (KAOS), Darren Richter (unattached), Ryan Feagan (MWCC) and I. While we still had 40 minutes of racing, this group had a decent chance at staying away because the big teams were represented in the break. We held a good pace to distance ourselves from the peloton. With teammate Feagan in the break, I attacked twice. After the second attack, Bumgarner countered, forcing me to dig deep to latch back on. Our attacks ended up shedding Richter and Feagan. That didn't work as planned. Sorry, Ryan. Then, Bumgarner kept the heat on for the next three laps, burying me, too. I gave in, sat up and waited until teammates Feagan and Jonathan Wait (MWCC) bridged up . From there, the three of us held tempo for the last seven laps. Ryan unselfishly led us out for the finish. Wait took third, I was fourth, Feagan fifth. Congrats to Bumgarner and McClellan for first and second respectively. Results

Finally, the Dave Babcook Memorial road race on Sunday was a war of attrition. The cat 1-2-3s started together for a 72 mile race on a seven mile circuit course, covering much of the same ground as the TT the day before. On a scorching day of 97F and 115 heat index with a steady 15-20 MPH southerly wind, a four hour road race with 10 trips up a steep hill wasn't going to be pretty. Given all this, I was surprised that the attacks came often and early. We weren't even five miles into the race before somebody up front gutter-balled the pace-line on a crosswind before the first hill climb. It didn't stop there. A short while after climbing the hill, the next furious attack and more gutter-balling came on an even nastier crosswind section. It was like this for the first three laps, or until Lou Waugaman (Velosport Iowa) and Marc Walter (KAOS) got away. But with 50 miles to go, they sat up after a couple laps and were brought back in. The group chilled out through the next lap. At least most of us did. That's when many of us in the peloton found out that we were actually chasing Justin Maresh (KAOS) and Lee Bumgarner (Flatwater), who were apparently 1:25 up the road. We let them go and over three laps put 4 minutes on the peloton. With three laps to go, some of the 1-2 guys got motivated to shake their numbers down. The attacks started again. Redemske & I marked cat 3 Mark Merritt (Joy Ride) when he went with the chase group. I managed to hold on while Bryan fell off. When it came to the final hill climb, my quads seized. Merritt rode away to take second, I took third. Congratulations to Maresh and Bumgarner for their impressive victories. Results

A big thanks goes out to race directors Craig Tuttle and Mark Stursma for coordinating these events. The races were very well organized and had terrific payouts. And many thanks goes out to the scores of volunteers, especially those handing out water at the feed zone, Sunday. There could have been a thousand other things that you could have been doing with your time than standing alongside a country highway-- in that heat and humidity-- handing up cold water bottles to us racers. I can't tell you enough how much we appreciated it. Indeed, well done all.

2 comments:

  1. Great weekend, Brady. Fun to watch ... from a few minutes behind.

    ReplyDelete