Sunday, June 19, 2011

Housatonic Hills Road Race -- HHRR 2011 CAT4-40+

4am Sunday morning Py's little old world radio receiver turned on by the pre programmed timer. This seams to be situation normal if you have to travel to a race in a few hours driving distance. It could have been pretty easy one hour drive if only there would be a ferry to CT leaving early, but this is not going on Sundays. Only option the long way around -- however, Py hooked up with Paul and Carol again to car pool and thus he only had a 45min drive himself and 2 more hours going with Paul. Not too bad -- big thanks to Paul for driving! Leaving Rocky Point at about 4:55 getting to Paul by 5:45, moving the bike and gear over and off they went to Southbury, CT -- getting there in good time by about 7:45.

The Housatonic Hills Road Race by Bethel Cycle is a very nice hilly loop of about 22 miles, two laps for all but CAT5.

Registration/Sign-in started at 7:30, picking up there numbers, Py got "723". Big like: self adhesive sticky numbers -- no pins needed -- and yes, it worked and hold on even up to 55mph!!

A brief race report for the CAT4-40+:

Start 9:30am. GABs Owen, Mike, Py and former GAB Rob were part of the CAT4-40+ -- a field of about 120 riders!
Neutral 1st mile up Constitution Hill. Fast descending rolling ride to the next 10..12% grade for a slow down, followed by a short flat or little incline with slight increasing slope. Fast descent again on little bigger road. Proceeding towards the 3rd major and longest climb. So far -- not much happened from Py's point of view moving around in the top 20..40 riders, he was sitting in nicely as planned. GAB Mike and formed GAB Rob were around, behind or near Py as much as he can tell. All went fine and also proceeding via a fast descent to the last climb with the KOH he managed to stay in the group just fine. Even it was hard to say if eventually a small group or a solo rider managed to get a break going. Did not looked like yet. From the KOM it is a easy fast ride to the start and beginning of lap two. Climbing Constitution hill the 2nd time a little gap must have opened as Py did not realized in the strung out field climbing, but it was a quick chase back on -- good. Mike, Py, Rob were still around and tried to stay together. Little later with the 2nd climb a gap opened again and a few other racers, Mike and Py were chasing hard, but it turned out there were not doing hard enough and Py took off with full speed to catch up -- success, just merging back into the field before this gentle fast down hill left turn. Excellent and plenty of time to recover before the upcoming long climb -- the field picked up a decent speed on the approach of this hill -- already climbing some 5..8% -- he was reading some 300..350Watts for some time powering up. Managed to hold on and all the way over just fine, even working his way more up to the front -- happy with that. The 2nd time approaching the KOH - stringing out the field quite a bit again, few bunches of racers were ahead and to be caught -- he put in all he had on the chase and managed to bridge up, with just little help of a few other racers who mostly were just taking advantage of that. But what can you do if they do not do enough? It seamed the front field was kind of glued together with some 20 riders from now on with a big gap to the rest of the field. Py could not be sure if at all or how many riders may have escaped. On the final run he did part of the job pushing the pace with about two (?? sorry) riders. They were only slowed by marshals at a crash scene just shortly before the school but proceeded -- this unfortunately may have allowed more riders to hook up. Py was at 2nd position and unfortunately (not well planned move) on the right next to the curb while approaching the final 90 deg right turn into the school from the main road -- this with other riders to his left forced him on a very small turning radius and to kill almost all of his momentum -- letting most of the bunch behind him fly by to the final 200 meters sprint. To bad -- Py thinks he could have done a good number of placed better with these few seconds he lost and lost double while need to reaccelerate up hill...

Looking up the results -- he got in on Position 20 with a total time of 2:28:56 -- Place 3 was obviously the 1st of the group he was in with 2:28:43 -- Two riders seamed to have escaped and came in shortly before: Place 1 was 2:27.58 and Place 2 with 2:28:06. Pretty happy with his result either way. Never stop learning lessons!

Official Photo:

Sorry, no race photos by Py -- just this -- hoping for the official photographers to get some decent shots up soon!

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