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

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Tour de Nez Report

This week I am racing my only national calendar stage race of the year and my first since my retirement from pro racing in 2002. It has certainly been a wake up call and I haven't had an easy moment since I started this race on Wednesday evening in Reno.

Here is a short recap of my stages so far:

  • Stage 1 - June 18: Grand Sierra Hotel Casino criterium, 75 minutes
My first race back on the pro circuit wasn't supposed to be like this. I crashed about half way into the race when an orange barrier cone got flipped into the group and caused a big pileup. I lost skin and got a pretty deep muscle bruise on my calf, but it could have been a lot worse. Taylor Tolleson of BMC broke his collar bone I heard. Hopefully he has a good quick recovery.

The race ended up being a field sprint and I finished 36th. Post race details:

73 minutes
304 avg watts
353 normalized power

  • Stage 2 - June 19: Northstar at Tahoe (ITT), 3.5 mi
The first mile of this race was the hardest. It probably averaged 11% and hurt a ton. I finished 37th 1:15 behind the winner.
1 Ian McKissick (BMC Pro Cycling Team)                                8.30.6 (31.312 km/h)
2 Matthew Cooke (Health Net p/b Maxxis) 0.16.0
3 Corey Collier (Health Net p/b Maxxis) 0.16.8
4 Andrew Bajadali (Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifast) 0.18.3
37 Dirk Friel (Vitamin Cottage P/B XP Companies) 1.15.8

race details:
394 avg watts
400 normalized power
  • Stage 3 - June 19: Downtown Truckee Criterium, 75 minutes
Finally something to hang my hat on, eventhough it was only for 7 minutes....Somehow i found the motivation to attack off the front of the Trucke criterium and felt somewhat under control doing it. An ex-teammate of mine on Rocky Mounts, who now rides for Kelly Benefits, Alex Candelario bridged up to me and we sat out front for about 8 laps.

There are some photos of us in a breakaway on velonews at:

Once we were caught my teammate Jon baker countered and established the winning three man break where Jon ended up placing 2nd.
1 Roman Kilun (Health Net p/b Maxxis)                           1.14.18
2 Jonathan Baker (Vitamin Cottage P/B XP Companies)
3 Justin England (Toyota-United)
26 Dirk Friel
  • Stage 4 - June 20: Northstar at Tahoe Road Race, 100 km
Oh that hurt...Just 3 minutes into the race I knew it was going to be everything I had to finish this 100km circuit race. My peak 5-minute value for the race was in the first eight minutes and equated to 412w. That is not how I wanted to start the day. Today's race was 10 laps of a 10km course and none of it was flat. The course was basically one climb followed by a descent and back up the same climb again.

The group separated on the second lap and I found my self in the third group on the road wondering how I was ever going to finish this insanely hard race. I ended up sticking with a group of about 10 riders which split up in the final two laps and I somehow finished 39th out of 56 finishers. I was 19 minutes behind the winner and about 2 minutes from being lapped. Unfortunately at the time I would rather have gotten lapped and therefore been able to skip the last lap, but in the end I did all 10 laps.

My teammate Jon Baker finished 16th on the stage and is now in 14th place in the overall GC. I dropped from 28th overall to 33rd.

259 avg watts
307 normalized power
CP5- 412w

One more stage to go which is the North Star circuit race.

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posted by Dirk at 12:44 PM


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