Mt. Hood Cycling Classic 2011 Prologue

Click on the two tiny pictures to zoom in.

This was last year, 2010.

And…

Here’s tonight’s result.  My main goal is to be consistent.  A Job well done with a fine pair of 56th places.

Not to complain or anything, but I’d like to grumble angrily about some things here for a minute. First off, the race organizers spelled my name with a Y, as in Yennett. This meant that I started 3rd from last, since the prologue start order was based on first names going A-Z alphabetically. It was very windy this evening. Everyone got pounded with wind, but it DID pick up considerably as it got later, as well as some light rain. This didn’t stop Scott Tietzel or Zack Garland from getting in the top 10 (two guys with first names close to the end of the alphabet).

I guess I have no excuse for my 56th place today, other than lack of power. Despite trying to trick myself into thinking it was super windy when I went, the truth of the matter is that I had NO GOD DAMN POWER!!!

I’d like to brag again about my intervals I did the other day to make myself feel good.  To refresh your memory, I did 8×4 minutes with 4 minutes rest in between each interval.  I averaged 441 watts for the combined 8, holding back until the very last one, where I pumped out 484 watts.  Today’s prologue was 6.5 to 7 minutes long, which is roughly in the same power zone as 4 minutes, being a v02 effort.  The difference between 6.5 minutes of power and 4 isn’t that great, so I figured on a good day, starting out fresh, I could do 500 watts for 6.5 minutes on a steep hill.  Of course the prologue was not on a steep hill.  So I thought around 450-460 watts would be possible for the course on hand, which was rolling and mainly false flat downhill with a couple short climbs at the beginning and end.  450 wouldn’t be bad at all.

Plus, as an added bonus to my swelling ego, I figured all the time I’ve spent riding the TT bike last week would have transformed me into a TIME TRIAL MONSTER!  I mean, I rode that bike every day for a week!  Come on, what more am I expected to do to prepare for being a TIME TRIAL MONSTER!?

With huge watts on my mind and super efficient time trialing abilities in my back pocket, I headed out the door with a new pep in my step and decided to set my goals high today.  I thought a top 10 was a given.  A top five probable.  A podium likely.  A top 1 for sure (at least).  I began pondering how much I’d win by.  Five seconds?  No, probably more like 13.  “Yeah, 13 seconds is most likely what it will be,” I thought to myself as I stroked my non existent beard ever so confidently.

I warmed up this morning with 30 minutes on the TT bike on the trainer out in the sun.  It was nice.  I felt good.  I had felt really good the day before too.  I was going to CRUSH this thang.

I warmed up in the parking lot on the trainer many, many hours later at 6pm.  I was feeling good.  I was going to crush this thang!

It started getting really windy and rainy and cold.  Not to worry, I was gonna crush this damn thang!

I started.  I easily smashed my gears up the first climb at 700 watts.  The hill ended and I went downhill for a few seconds, then up again briefly.  Pretty soon I was only 15 seconds behind my 30 second man (within the first mile).  I was crushing this thang at last!  Then I started to not crush it.  As the road went downhill, so did my powertap’s readout.  It told me I was riding like a tiny little pillbug, at 350 watts.  I struggled through the low grade descent, not wanting to look down at the powertap.  I was really not crushing it at all anymore.  I hadn’t really blown up though, I just couldn’t put out the watts I needed to be doing.  I passed my 30 second guy finally as the road went up again in the last 2 minutes of the race.  I sat up a bit, then got out of my aero bars once and for all.  My power rose back up to the mid 400’s, then the 500’s, then I was too cross-eyed to look down at it any more.  I crushed it a tiny bit, but not nearly enough to make up for the three minutes of slow riding I had just done.  I crossed the finish line in a thorough amount of pain at 6:58, blowing up half way up the final climb.  Slow.  Super slow.  Average power: 416.  Weak.  Super weak.  I don’t know what happened.  I was super pissed of course.

I guess I still need more practice on the TT bike.  I was 50-60  watts too low today.  I can’t seem to put out anything above 400 when I’m in the aero position.  I need to find more time trials where being aero is of no importance…like in a vacuum.  If I could only find a decent stage race in space…

I’ve come to the conclusion that one week of time trial practice is not enough.

One thing’s for certain: I’ll be on that TT bike every possible day I can from here on out.  It might not happen overnight, but mark my words, one day I WILL be a time trial monster.

2 thoughts on “Mt. Hood Cycling Classic 2011 Prologue

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