Saturday, April 23, 2011

Notes From Across the Pond

I just got an update from our european correspondent. From the desk of Hugh on his spring racing campaign in France:

The races are typically 60-65 kilometers (about 2 hours) with various topography

Race 1 - April 9th – local club race – about 30 riders – 86 degrees – flat fast 2 kilometer course – 32 laps. The course was paved but a little narrower than your driveway and not quite as smooth in some places. It was unusually hot and I only had 3 weeks or riding under me. I did not have legs and suffered quite a bit. It was tough to keep up but I did manage a weak sprint at the end. Mostly rode at the back for the whole race. Not my best day but it was rubber side down. The course is open to traffic while this is going on and occasionally you get blocked by cars. I am sure it is quite confusing for drivers to have a pack of riders bearing down on them.

Race 2 - April 17th – bigger regional race – about 150 riders (60-70 in cat 3 with me) – 75 degrees – moderately rolling fast 8 kilometer course – 8 laps. What a difference a week makes. I had a couple good workouts during the week and entered the race rested. The pace was fast and I sat at the back for the first 3 laps. It is still a little intimidating riding in a group so large. I decided that I probably would not be able to outsprint the rest at the ends so I attacked the group 3 or 4 times just to have fun and once to chase down a break. When tired, I would drop back to rest and then attack again. I am sure some of the others were wondering what kind of strategy was this. Little did they know..I did not have a strategy. I was just having fun mixing it up. Many of the riders will ride wheels all race long and then contest the sprint without ever taking a turn at the front. In my mind, that is not racing. In total, I was at the front for at least 1 lap. I ended up pulling the group to the sprint finish which was slightly uphill. Of course I did not have much left and got passed by quite a few but I had a great time.

Race 3 is tomorrow April 23rd. – local club race – probably about 30 riders – flat 4 km course, probably 15 laps and it is supposed to be windy. The legs feel fresh so we will see.

Say hi to Sarah and the others and have a good trip.

Talk to you soon


I got out for my first geared mountain bike ride since last August. I liked it a lot. Matt and I will be sleeping outside tomorrow night in Wilderness State Park somewhere in the vicinity of the Nebo Cabin if anyone cares to join us. Have a good weekend.

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