Monday, March 8, 2010

Snowball #2: Pics and Race Report

At least this race did not live up to the name.  Sunny and high 50s was a great day to hold the last of the pre-season training races.  It was a good day for me and my team.

 Chris Larkin

Kevin Horvath

John Gray

...and me (Joshua Goyet)
lined up for the start of the 3/4 race for the Virginia Beach Wheelmen (VBW).  We had sound tactics...try and control the race.  Put someone in every break, attack and chase if we were not in a break.  When it came to the end of the race, I was going to lead out.

Chris is not new to cycling, but in his past he raced exclusively Master races.  So he never upgraded from a Cat 4.  Our primary goal was to get Chris some upgrade points, second goal was to win the race.  A promising looking break got up the road and put some distance between us.  VBW was not in it.  At first we sat in and watched it develop.  Mainly because other teams were chasing pretty well and we kept seeing riders fall from the break, so they were losing their fire power.  One of the teams that seemed to chase well was Celerity Cycling.  So we let them chase.  At one point John Gray made a good move to bridge the gap.  He got to one of the middle groups, but it was what we needed at the time to push the pack a little faster.  Unfortunately for John, the move and the chest cold he had been fighting was a little much for him and he was not able to get back in the pack.  It was a sacrifice move because next Kevin took the pull followed by Chris and then I closed the final gap and the break was caught.

As we moved to the final few laps, Chris and Kevin got my wheel.  I moved up to the front and with 2 laps to go we were in good position.  On the final lap I entered into turn 2 in 3rd position behind two Carytown racers.  I kicked it to the inside to bring Chris and Kevin even with Carytown's sprinter as we rounded the sweeping turn.  What I didn't know is that Chris had lost my wheel in battle and Kevin had lost his.  So when they didn't come around me I had to dig in and try to hold as best as I could.  Chris did find a clearing and came up hard.  I ended with 5th place and Chris was 6th.  Kevin came in at an impressive 13th place and avoided the crash on the final lap.

Although it wasn't "as planned", I couldn't have been happier.  My form is good and I am feeling confident.  As a team we haven't worked on leadouts and sprints yet this year, so there is bound to be a little mistake here and there.  The mistake was more my mistake.  When moving up to the front, at one point I made a move through the middle of the pack.  I invited battling for my wheel.  I should have been a little more patient and simply stayed to the inside and made the move from there, it would have allowed them to stay and my wheel easier.

Next Kevin, myself and 

Jon Nisbet
lined up for the start of the 1/2/3 race.  I don't have as exciting of a race report on this race.  I think for all of us we were going to be in survival mode.  Jon has been fighting a chest cold also last week and Kevin and I just finished racing the 3/4 race.  After bridging to a move up the road, Jon was spent.  Kevin and I rode well and tried to stay out of trouble and out of the wind.  A lot of people were dropping off so we had to be careful not to let gaps form.  Kevin pulled out with 5 to go to watch the sprint.  I stayed in and suffered through my leg cramps and finished at the tail end of the main group.

Overall it was a good day.  We placed well in the 3/4 race and got some good speed work in the 1/2/3 race.  Good day.


Photos were obtained from Kevin Horvath's Facebook page.  Photos of Snowball Crit #2 
Thanks Bill and VBV for putting this race on.  I love this course and I love racing this time of year when the weather is this nice.


Monday, March 1, 2010

RIR race: Pics and Race Report

I have been excited about this race ever since I saw it on the race calendar.  The excitement grew when I saw that the 3/4 race would have 100 racers.  Unfortunately my team, the Virginia Beach Wheelmen, only had 2 racers among the 100 starters.  That meant that team tactics would change slightly.  With some teams having 15+ racers lining up to the start, I figured our job was to race near the front and race smart.

Here is what I thought would happen:
The race would start fast and we would see many attacks.  A group of 5 to 10 would get away that would contain many of the large teams.  A few riders would bridge the gap to make it a break of up to 20 racers.  The back group wouldn't chase because of too many teams being represented.  Kevin Horvath (my teammate in the race with me) and I were just going to ride near the front and watch for this move to occur and make sure we were both in the front group.
 Here is what actually took place:
The race started off slow and essentially stayed slow.  Some moves were made but the breaks never seemed to want to work together and they were always quickly returned to the pack.  The race always seem to slow up into the headwind, so there was not enough "hard" riding to have an effect on the pack.  So it came down to a 100 racer sprint with everyone thinking they had a chance to win.
 Some pics:


How I actually did:

I was a little nervous going into this race.  I had come down with a chest cold two days before and really wasn't feeling very good.  But no excuses.  I showed up to race and I showed up to try and get a win for me or my team.  I was really hoping for a large break away that I could get into.  Kevin and I both attempted "sponsor fly aways".  Mine was more of an attempted to test my legs and lungs.  Legs felt good, lungs not as much.  We both stayed near the front the entire race, so we were good on our plan there.  My heart rate stayed low, and like I said, I had wished some of the bigger teams would have pushed the pace higher.  Near the end I had positioned myself near the front.  On the headwind section on the final lap I jump on what I thought would be a lead out train.  Carry Town had 3 riders charging to the front.  They usually produce a pretty good lead out so I jump on them.  They took me right to the front, then they lost their momentum.  I, unfortunately, was on the inside of their wheel.  When they slowed another train passed on the outside and I couldn't get around.  So I ended up riding in near the top 20 or 30, just missing the crash on the inside lane.  Kevin finished ahead of me keeping his good position in the top 10 perhaps.  We will see when the results are posted.  
 Overall it was a good race and just as much fun as I had hoped.  Good job to the promoters and good job on that many people coming out in February to race.