Monday, June 30, 2008

Rome Race Report

We started the TTT with five riders. Four minutes into the ride Chad flatted, which was a disappointing loss for us. We reorganized without any trouble and had a pretty strong ride. I ended the ride with a bone-headed decision: I did one last hard pull about 300 m from the finish, and since I suck at the u-turns, I figured Bill and Todd should sprint it out to the finish without me (time was taken on the 2nd rider). I sat up and rolled in about 15 seconds behind them. Due to the gap I didn't get any omnium points. My personal finish time was 32:50. The biggest disappointment came when the results showed us riding the course in about 34 and a half minutes. The timing official added 2 minutes to our time. I pointed out the error, but he basically said "tough luck." Maybe they added 2 minutes to all the other teams' times also -- I don't know. All I know is that we had at least two clocks that showed Bill and Todd finishing in a time no worse than 32:35 (around 28 mph).

The second night a big fight broke out just outside our hotel room door. It sounded damn serious. Jake looked out and saw two different guys fly out of a door, then run back in for more. It turns out we were rooming next to some of the competitors in the Rome cage fights or ultimate fights or whatever they call it. I guess they were getting in a little training.

The crit had a lot of climbing. I thought it would suit me, but I found out differently. I held onto the main group for a few laps, then slowly slipped off the back with a group of three or four and was pulled 20 minutes into the race. Bill and Todd hung tough and finished with a final group of about 15 riders. I figured I'd just had a bad day, but my numbers show that I rode OK but was just outridden on a tough course. My NP for the first 15 minutes of the race was about 315 watts. So my expected power was there, I just needed more of it for that field.
Rome Crit Video

The first lap of the road race was pretty uneventful for me. I got into a pretty good rhythm on the first climb and was less than a minute behind the leader at the top (AP 315W, NP 317W for about 10:45, 7.5% average grade with a 39-26). I chased back on with others. Bill got a rotation going up front and I jumped in. Only a few folks wanted to work in our group of 19, and eventually everyone decided to take it easy and wait for climb two. I didn't want to be caught by the other 25 riders behind us, and most of the 19 riders in our group had outclimbed me the first time over -- I didn't expect a great finishing result. So I went to the front and did tempo to the base of the 2nd climb just to set a decent pace. I finished the RR in 16th. Bill climbed very well and finished 14th, almost a minute ahead of me.