This is my world of cycling and just a fun way for me to share my experiences, thoughts and joy I have for cycling. Thanks for visiting Cycle Jabber and good luck in your training! Dirk Friel

Monday, June 23, 2008

Tour de Nez Final Stage, Northstar Village, CA.

The final stage of the Tour de Nez was yet again an up and down affair. Even though the "Nez's" stages are relatively short they are far from easy. There was not one minute of recovery in the entire 4-day, 5-stage, event.

To view and download my race power file click here.

The final race on Saturday consisted of 22 laps of a hilly, 2-mile technical circuit. The field was down to about 56 starters and my goal was to hopefully move up a few spots in order to finish top 30 overall.

Bang! The starters pistol was shot and 56 riders went sprinting out of the start line as if we were starting a criterium. We quickly descended the downhill portion of the course and within a minute hit the first short hill and cobble section through the Northstar Village.

The cobbles added a European feel to the race and yet again took away any chance of recovery on what otherwise would have been the easiest section of the course. I must say I was suffering like a dog but rather enjoyed the atmosphere of racing through a ski village. Million dollar penthouse condos loomed four stories above and spectators lounged in comfy leather couches sipping coffee and beer. What could be better.

About five laps into the race I was able to help my Vitamin Cottage/XP Companies teammate Jon Baker leap off the front of the group and bridge to a small breakaway. Having helped Jon as best I could I quickly went back to survival mode and tried to stay hidden within the second group and conserve precious energy.

Half way through the race the break with Baker was about 30 seconds off the front and I found myself still in the 2nd group with the GC leaders. Our group was down to about 19 riders and I was pleased with my efforts. However, I knew it was going to be short lived. With 9 laps to go I popped off the back of the 2nd group and found myself chasing solo. Luckily I caught two riders and we put our heads down and worked well together to the finish.

Somehow the results got messed up as I finished with two riders yet the results show me as finishing alone. Oh well, in the end I rode a solid race and moved from 33rd overall to 28th place in the final general classification. This is certainly not a great result in the grand scheme of things, but for a guy who trains about 10hrs/week and hasn't raced an NRC stage race since 2002 I'm really happy with 28th. I'm even happier for my team though since Jon Baker finished 2nd on the final stage which was his second, 2nd place of the week. With just a tad more luck Jon could have won two NRC races last week.

Stage Details:
305 avg watts
359 NP
*This race also produced my second highest Normalized CP 20 of the year at 398w.

It is now time to recover and think about the next local Colorado race which is the Niwot Criterium in a few weeks. I may also do the local Wednesday time trial series this week.

Thanks for reading,

posted by Dirk at 6:26 AM


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