Bethel Tour de Kirche

Bethel P/1/2/3 – March 17th 2013

At the start line, I assessed the situation and tried to determine who was racing. This was going to be my first race at Bethel this season, and I felt fortunate to be able to be here at all (kids, family, etc). I also had done a long training ride earlier that morning, so I was feeling really lucky to get some race miles in too.

I was hanging out with my teammates, Dorsch and Tyberg, and a couple friends from the FusionThink team when we lined up. As we all shook and shivered in the 40 degree temps, I asked about Rob Marcinko, because I know he’s both super strong and smart. My buddy Brian Zeroff pointed him out to me, and I made a mental note: if he goes off the front, go with him, because he always makes the break work. Rob is smart, Blaine is not…stay with the smart people.

The race started off at a pretty mellow pace. I did a little work out front to see if I had the legs for racing, and realized quickly that the legs were going to be there for me. At about the halfway point in the race, coming up the hill, Rob got on the front and gunned it around turn one. A series of Cat 1 riders all formed a line right behind him. In a matter of seconds, they had a decent gap on the field. This was definitely the move to be in. Tyberg and I both recognized it. Tyberg did not go with it because he had raced the 3/4 race just prior, and confessed to me that he just did not have the legs to make the move. I felt I did though, and I jumped, with another Cat 1 rider on my wheel.

I went hard around turn one, and the Cat 1 (eventual winner) and I bridged up to the move. It took longer than I thought, and at first, I didn’t think I was going to be able to close the gap. I was running wide open, and it felt a little reckless. Coming into the back
straight-away, I was still working, and not yet in the pace line. I told myself, “get out of the saddle and sprint to that wheel, ’cause there is no way that you can catch 8 guys working together in the wind, and you don’t want to miss this move.” So I dug deep and finally
latched on.

We were ten motivated riders. Just the type of atmosphere any successful break needs. We worked well together, with everyone doing their part and pulling through. Occasionally, someone would skip a pull and gaps opened, but these riders were so strong and singularly focused that those gaps closed quickly, and the group got back in line. With about 10 laps to go, we came around turn one and the peleton was right in front of us. We just lapped the field. Our lead group integrated with the lapped riders, and I took a deep breath for the first time since the break formed. I found Dorsch and Tyberg, and gave a little cheer as I rolled by them.

With the break succeeding, I decided to not participate in the sprint, choosing instead to roll up the hill for a respectable 9th place overall (2nd Cat 3).

I was surprised by my race stats. I worked hard in the break. So hard that after I uploaded my race data, I got a notification from TrainingPeaks that my threshold heart rate jumped 15 BPM.

Avg HR: 191 BPM
Avg Power: 281 W
Max Power: 1,165 W
Max Avg Power (20 min): 309 W
Normalized Power (NP): 346 W