This year there have been a number of early season training races. However, for the Virginia Beach Wheelmen, the Snowball #1 was our first of the season. John Gray, Tim Shockley and myself represented VBW, each with our own specific goals. For me, build confidence.
It has been a rough cycling year for me. Fighting my back injury meant inconsistent training. Whenever I thought I was good to go, I would have to take some time off. My off season pretty much consisted of high intensity cross training on the Concept 2 rower and Versa Climber. I rode as much as I could but limited most of my training to solo rides or team rides. My fitness level is good, I have been posting some decent power numbers. My weight is a little higher than what I wanted but that is because I didn't do much in the way of long base miles. Overall I really didn't know what to expect from today's race.
I decided that I needed to finish today's race in the pack. I wanted to get comfortable in the pack, in the turns and really work on shifting gears and accelerating out of the corners. This training race was just that, good training. I had not ridden in a pack since last racing season.
John Gray has really been training well and was using today's race to see how aggressive he could be and attempt to establish himself in a break. I kept an eye on his efforts and moved to the front to help cover or block when he made his moves. Some of the breaks he got in had some serious promise but unfortunately he missed the winning break.
Tim, much like myself, needed this race to establish a level of racing confidence that he has lost by not racing much in the past few years. He did well, moving around the pack and even putting in an effort or two at the front.
John ended up in 6th place and Tim and I rode in somewhere in the pack. Although it may not sound impressive, it was a victory for all of us. We know what we can do, now we need to show how far we can push ourselves.
I am already looking forward to my next event: Snowball Crit #2 A-race.