Why I suck on the road

Has anyone seen my top end?  It seems to be missing...if found, please return via the "contact me" link.  Thanks.

I do on average 1 road race per year.  Yep, that's singular.  This year I'm going all out and making it two.  Yesterday was the Humboldt RR north of Cave Creek, AZ.  It's more or less one big descent, followed by one big climb with a mountain top finish.  The final 3.7 miles average 11%, which is paved (sorta), but the 3 miles leading to the final climb is a rolling dirt road - bumpy, washboardy, rocky.  Lots of flat tires out there...but that was by far my favorite section.

It's a small race, so the promoter combines the p/1/2/3 fields.  I'm a 3, so this was a new experience for me.  All was fine until the climbing started and some Sierra Nevada guy threw down an attack that split things up.  About 1 minute into that effort and suddenly I realize I haven't done a single anaerobic capacity workout in, well a year or so.  Pain cave, lactate haze, pop!  For the next few minutes I was well below FT...but then things perked back up & I found myself with some good riders.  The climbing was on!

In pictures...here's the race winner Anthony Colby.  Anthony had some tough luck down in the Sonoran SR & was taken down at speed, dislocated a shoulder which was followed by 3 different ambulance rides, and a Mexican doctor's foot in his armpit, yanking his sholder back in.  You should hear the rest of the story from him...don't get hurt in Mexico is the bottom line!  He didn't feel very zippy today.  The story is he couldn't really attack and was forced to just ride off the front.  Must be tough to have such troubles.

Nick Gould had a great ride today too, bringing it in for 3rd.

I was a tourist out there, having a great time.  It's really fun not to take a race seriously now and then.  Some shots of the boyz:

Miles and I rode with a few other guys for quite some time.  Brent was up the road a minute or so in another group, but by the end of the pavement Miles and I had caught him.  Brent hates to be caught...and to be honest, I hate catching him because he makes it pure misery for a steady state guy like myself.  He's got some of the best short term power I've seen...here he is using it.  Muscely.

 

Here's the finish.  Miles flatted on the dirt road section (note tube in jersey pocket, he a consciencious fella) giving me plenty of time to get this shot...

That last 3.7 miles was an awesome climb.  Really steep, that's for sure.  I was happy to have my big ol' MTB pie plate on the back.  Folks were chuckling at the start, but wishing they had it in the middle of the climb.  It was on Brent's mind every time he went for another gear that didn't exist...

Miles reflecting on his first race of the season.  4 Peaks in the background, Barlett lake 4000' below, the low point of the course.