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CCCX 02/12/2011

posted Feb 13, 2011, 10:33 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Mar 1, 2011, 10:43 PM ]
Hi All,
At just about 1.75 hours from Margarita, CCCX is one of the close venues that offers great, and extensive race series - Road, Mountain and CycleCross. I raced the 
Mountain Bike series with SingleTrax many years ago and they are a kick with lots of course variations throughout the season - There are 8 more road races in the series this season (7 more mountain races), though clearly you don't have to race it as a series, you can race those that fit into your schedule. It's a closed course, so it's nice and wide with no yellow line rule.  We only saw one other Nexian at the race - sorry, I can not recall his name. 
Gary Willey and I drove up together and he raced the open Cat 4s at 8:30 & I raced open Cat 5s starting at 8:35. As I said, it's been awhile since I raced at CCCX and wow have things changed, not the racing, but how to get to there. That through us for a loop, so instead of being about 45mins ahead of the start, after many calls to cell phone navigator Carla Willey, we got there with just enough time to get our pre-reg numbers and get to the line.
The 5s - can't wait to be done with them - I think I have 3 more to go to upgrade. At the whistle, young adrenaline kicked in and the pack was pretty quickly into a thin, long ribbon. Being in my 2nd week of Base training, I haven't seen my heart in the mid 180s for, well a long time. It took about a lap and a half before I popped and road with two other seared riders with funny dreams of catching back on. At about 38 mins of the 60 minute race, I started feeling a cramp creaping into my calf and pealed off at the registration. Anoxic, I sat, stretched, and worked on the calf, hoping I could tame it for the 
11:15 35+ 4/5s. Gary did well in his 4's race - stayed out of trouble and near the front in a mild paced pack - went a bit early for the line and got swallowed, but managed about 16th. About 1 minute back, the 5s charging the line - I guess they didn't settle down too much.
After Gary's race was over, we spun over to a Target in Sea Side and I got some Icy/Hot and massaged that into the calf. It helped, as did the 150 heart rate range I was in with the 4/5s. I can't remember if we were a 3/4 or 1 and 3/4s laps in when a rider in front of Gary and I hit the wheel in front of him. Down he went - Gary a couple of riders ahead of me had no time and no where to go and ran the poor guy over as did the guy in front of me. I had enough time to slow way down, but still bumped into him enough to put me over the bars and tangled with feet still clipped in. Someone got one of my feet out and 3 of the 4 remaining took off after the peleton. John from San Metao and I worked together well and were able to claw back to the group after about a 1/2 a lap, but unfortunately, it was just in one of the hilly sections and I heard the call - "ease up to the top and hit it." Red lined, I clawed on - Gary, though he is over 45 was riding this race with me and unbeknonced to him, I was on as he took digs on front - popped again. John had popped off almost as soon as we made contact, so I eased off and in familiar fashion, we finished the race trading pulls - he strong on the flats and me on the climbs, keeping things in the 170s. And hey, didn't have any more calf twinges.
Gary rocked the race, staying near the front, taking some good break attempts and finished 6th.
My lessons learned:
- Even if you think you know where your going, it doesn't hurt to check the directions to the venue. 
- Get 3 more 5s done as quickly as possible
- Early season (well, at least for me) C races can be fun and with some careful shuffling of your scheduled rides for the week, can almost fit into your schedule, though on the high side.
- Don't forget to turn off your GPS/Computer at the end of the race - Rookie!
My upcoming Goal: Ride smart and see if I can hang on for the duration of a race. 

Saturday's road race was great. Good weather, mellow vibes, and some fast laps. I got in some intensity work that was needed. I was there at the end, but got stuck in the middle. I decided not to try and add to the frenzy from behind to perhaps gain only a few places. The guys up front already had the first 6 places. So I just cruised in with the remaining group.
The MTB race has even more intense and skills demanding. The legs actually felt okay after the hard effort on Satuday. Not too fatigued. So I got off the start line and took my tempo up immediately to 90% of my max, sometimes dipping into 100% effort on those steep and short climbs that put ya in the red everytime. I felt pretty good through the whole men's Sport 45+ race. I rode the 4 lap race (20miles)in 1:34 min. for 8th. Winning pace was 1:28 min. I rode to the limit of my ability so I'm happy with my rides.

- John

Not sure what the length of the course was. The flyer said 5 to 6 miles. It felt more like 5 to me. Cat 1 did 5 laps. 
My plan for the day was to take it kind of easy. I did not want to work myself over before the Cantua, Pine Flat, Dinuba weekend. 
At the start I let myself drift towards the back and settled into a good pace. As the race went on I slowly picked up the pace without getting my 
heart rate up to high. By the last lap I had worked my way up to 5th place. In the last corner I managed to sprint for a 4th place finish.

- Brad C