Monday, August 15, 2011

Tokeneke Classic Road Race

Climbing with the pack at the Tokeneke Classic
Road Race before bad tactics got the better of me.
This past weekend I ventured to New Hartland, CT to compete at the Tokeneke Classic Road Race.  The course was rolling with two climbs, each about 2 miles a piece.  With rain pouring down from the sky and the pack going hard, I found myself with no brakes on the descents.  Now, this was not because I did not actually have brakes, but rather because I forgot cork brake pads and carbon rims do not have good stopping ability in wet conditions.  In the past I hadn't had problems with slowing in the rain, however this time it was particularly wet and slick.  
With descents hitting speeds over 50 mph and the pack moving like an accordion I figured as not to cause an accident I would hang back a little towards the top of a climb and just accelerate through the descent and catch back on.  Due to poor timing I wasn't able to tack back on to the pack and only completed 2 full laps with legs left to complete another 2.
After poor tactics pulled me out of the race, I used
the course to train hard to make the next result
a good result.
Had I thought about it more and considered my options, I should have attacked over the crest of the climb and led through the descents.  The uncomfortable part of not having brakes was not the accelerations, but the accelerations towards people who were slowing.  Without the ability to brake I psyched myself out, especially after already have seen a friend who crashed in an earlier race, resulting in snapped handlebars and some minor flesh wounds.  Even though he was okay and quite chipper after crashing, the image of sliding out, or crashing into someone at 50mph was not appealing.
The positive part of the race, my legs felt spectacular on the climbs.  I didn't particularly feel like I was struggling at any point other than settling into the rhythm of climbing accelerations.  After being dropped because of my poor racing tactics, I used the remainder of my time on the course to train to hopefully make my next result a good result.
Over the next week I will be traveling to Vancouver for my Cousins wedding.  While I'm there my plan is to spend the early mornings training in the mountains of British Columbia and aiming to peak for the Green Mountain Stage Race which will be happening on Labor Day weekend.

Arc hard, ride fast, go plaid!

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