So many good things to say about Jeff Yielding and his crew about putting on such a great event this past weekend. Last year I skipped the event after getting off to a late start and not racing much during the spring. This year, I knew I would not be in great shape for the road race, as almost all of my riding this year has been endurance-paced, but nonetheless, I was excited for the road race and too ride with my teammate Lawrence Simonson.
Saturday I knew I wasn't feeling that well and almost decided to stay home to build some trail and ride mountain bikes. But knowing that it was the last time the Tour of Hermann was happening, I opted to give it a go.
There were some really strong guys in the P/1/2 field, with some national-caliber guys being GC contenders. I've never done a road race where the pace seemed to be so dictated by just a few guys. As such, I felt pretty out of my element. Not so much physiologically, but more because I didn't really understand what was happening! I knew that the climbing was going to be hard in this race, but I don't think I was at all prepared for the amount of yo-yo type pacing. I guess I'm not that smart/experienced of a bike racer in that regard, as I thought a break with the really strong guys would form early and then the rest of the race would be steady-paced. I also thought there was about a 5% chance that I would be able to hang in such a breakaway, so therefore I was pretty much just hoping to ride a hard but somewhat steady 3 lap, 90mile race. What ended up happening was that the field pretty much stayed together during the first lap. After the Guttenberg climb at the beginning of lap 2, a break formed with most of the contenders present. There was no way I was making it, so I settled in for the next 60miles. Strangely, about half-way through the second lap we caught the break. The second half of that 2nd lap was either pretty hard 300+ watt riding or really easy 13-15mph. I guess I just stopped having fun at some point that lap. I never really felt bad but when it started to drizzle and looked like the rain might open up during the last few miles of lap 2, I started to seriously consider whether I would go out for the 3rd lap.
Road racing in the rain is just not something I'm interested in. Even though the probability was relatively low, when Lawrence told me he was going to call it after lap 2, my willingness to potentially seriously suffer for a possibly rainy lap 3 was just not there. So, I joined him in.
Here is my power data from lap 1:
And a summary/power distribution of the entire 60-ish mile ride:
Many thanks to Jeff and crew for the awesome event! I can't wait to see what replaces the Tour of Hermann on the calendar!