First off words cannot express the amount of fun and enjoyment I had and shared with you all this weekend! Thank you all for such an incredible weekend of support and awesome racing! Now on to some details. But before I do I wanted to make sure everyone is aware of what Gus had planned for me in the 4’s. In a nut shell, the Team was going to work for me to get me on the podium. Needless to say I didn’t sleep much this past week due to fact I was concerned to not let the Team down and I was needing to put everything I had into this weekend to make sure my teammates efforts were not wasted. “No extra pressure here” lol. I felt like Ray Finkle the kicker on Ace Ventura Pet Detective. So Brandon if you didn’t know there was a movie back in the day and the kicker Ray Finkle…..just kidding I am sure you saw it!!!! That said this race was ALL ABOUT THE TT to help my chances for an aggressive weekend in hopes to stay within reach of placing. My other concern was my lack of hard riding the 2 weeks leading up to TBC. I crashed 3 weeks prior and was still licking some wounds and swelling in my right knee was still there. I was not fully 100% recovered
DAY 1 TT
My race start time was 3:17 and thanks to Gus we scored the Aggress spot. (Thanks mang) I did arrive pretty early and thank goodness I did, because race day jitters got the best of me and I was now back in my car driving in search of a Port O-my gosh!!!lol.. Just know it was a happy ending (not for the visitor center though) Anyways now I am on my trainer with Brandon to my right, Gus to his, and Petey and Horn to our rear. Jonathan was rocking some super jazzy yoga poses in front of us. He put on quite the show!!! Kathy a great friend of Gus was there and she snapped some great pics!! The Sun was out wind was blowing and it was raining too!! What a combo!! Warm up was so-so and I was pretty much just spinning, heart rate went up and broke a nice sweat too. The conditions were similar to our pre-ride and I was praying that the tailwind would hold on for 20 more minutes. I did have a pre-ride goal of Sub 8mins for my TT. I also had about 20 hand written 3×5 note cards that read, TT SUB 8!! posted all over my house and in my car. Everywhere I went I saw my reminder. I know, I know somewhat childish and a bit excessive but I am believer of one who writes down goals increases the chance to accomplish them. I made it to the start line and hit it. I rolled out nicely did a steady ramp up and made sure I didn’t go out too hard too fast. About 30 seconds in I found myself flying down the course. I have NEVER done this course on my TT under max load and I found myself being a tad cautious on some of the turns and before the 1st kicker. My downhill speed was perfect for me 36-39 mph. That speed would give me a little wiggle room up the climb to hit my goal. Both Climbs were grueling however the 2nd was a tad less grueling due to the fact Gus was on the side of the road roaring like a Lion for us to GO GO GO!!! What a shot of adrenaline! Thank you!!! As I passed Gus, I felt myself getting to that place. The place that I have always wanted to be. However, have not been there yet on a TT. The inside out feeling. I glanced at my Garmin and saw the time and I knew I was close to the finish and also close to my goal. I got out of the saddle and put everything I had in the last little hill. DONE! I coasted to the bottom passed the water jugs and laid across my bars trying to get my breath back! THAT HURT!!!! Time was 8:09 and 8th overall, and 18 sec off leader. I can’t lie I was disappointed that it was shy of my goal but I was more excited that I got to enter the PAIN CAVE!
Day 2 RR
Plan was to watch Gus and follow his lead, control the group, initiate attacks and close down any that we see. Also when he pointed to the sky he was not bird watching he is saying get on my ass now!!! LOL..Gus also wanted us all up top 10 riders for safety and to show our presence. Well, we were the last 4 riders (of 52) to show up to roll out and we were in the back. Race started and Gus and Brandon started to weasel (easily done when you’re a size of a water bottle) their way through the group. Just then BAM! There is a dude crashing right in front of me 20 yards past the starting line. This slowed me up a bit and now we were 52 strong and I am back 2/3 of the group on a skinny road with double yellow line crossing fear. Actually this played nicely because the 1st 6 miles just before descending sprint hill was pretty tame. Head cross wind was bullying the group and descending Helmet was plain comical. The first time the group was tested was the right on Continental. It went from slow to 30mph plus and the HR jumped real quickly. This was also where the 1st attack and Team Tactics were used. Yep, Trisports! They kept Yellow jersey safe with a man in front of him as they let 3 of there mates hit it and few other riders followed too. I saw this unfold and moved left and burnt some matches some to bridge up. I think my gravitational pull was used nicely because when I looked back the group was back on it too. This stretch of road had a gnarly cross wind that thinned out the peloton and if you were not careful you were riding in the gutter or kissing a mailbox. Our Next right to Duval was heavenly! An uphill tailwind!!! Nothing crazy on this stretch! Except for our own “Little Beast” Brandon putting out a crazy pace up the hill!!! Way to go!!! I was sure we lose some riders with this wicked pace but ended lap 1 all in tact. Lap 2 started and “little beast” sees the feed zone and kicks it up another notch. I hear somebody in the back shout “don’t attack the feed zone” I laughed put my head down and kept going with Brandon. Side note, I had 2 bottles on my bike and in 1 in my jersey. If you can’t hold what you need then don’t expect me to wait for you to get a drink! Just saying! Off to the rollers and Brandon and I both were feeling a little Froggy. No one had attempted any real attack and I felt as this ride was going to turn into a group ride with a 1 mile sprint to the end in hopes for a victory and a 10 second bonus. Well about a 1/4 mile or so before backside of sprint hill I put the hammer down and went into Beast Mode into a full headwind. The wind was so bad I couldn’t hear anything but it blowing in my ears and honestly felt I was alone. Just as I approached the back side of sprint hill I noticed a wheel glued to my rear wheel. My first thought was “yes it was Brandon” I was able to then look up and saw a white helmet and then realized it was not, and in fact it was a Trisports rider Erik. I put my head down again and drilled it he road me like a shadow and did pretty well too! I signaled for him to pull thru (like he would really do that) but I had to ask. He didn’t and he wouldn’t. I kept going and did notice we had a sizable gap on the group. Come to find out this was due to Gus putting on some awesome counter attacks to keep the gate shut. However, with the headwind and the rider whom wasn’t going to do anything for me I felt is best to get reeled in and take Helmet descent under cover and save some fuel. Halfway down Helmet a guy went off the front and a Trisports rider (Erik same guy who sucked my wheel) followed. I did not go after them as I felt safer with group and knowing the Trisports guy will burn up chasing him. My prediction came true and we caught them back on Continental. A few more attacks were attempted but nothing that broke anything up. Now for the Drama heading up to finish line. The middle of the pack blew up and before we knew it bodies are flying everywhere and bikes and riders locking up and I see an orange helmet hitting the deck and then another rider rolling over Gus’s bike. I safely avoided the crash looked up and saw the group ahead of me starting to drill it. I began to chase them down. After the feed zone I saw both Brandon and McLaren had made it through the carnage but we were down a man. Apparently there was another crash at the feed zone that happened behind us. I knew bodies were fatiguing and minds were not as sharp so extra focus was needed. Same story on lap 3 however, nobody attacked and Helmet was a never-ending 15 mph descent. This was the calm before the storm and we all knew it was going to hurt. We made our 1st right turn and yes it ramped up and stayed up. Hast went off the front and we all followed. The wind was even more of a challenge now I found myself hugging the far right side of the road to aide no one. We approached Duval made a fast turn and it ramped up again and did not slow up. The tailwind was so helpful but the legs were heavy and the cramp zaps were tingling. We could see the trailer off in the distance and it was way too early to hit it. Just before the 1 KM mark 2 riders in front of me clip their wheels sending one sideways and he drops his chain and skids off to the left. I don’t know how he stayed upright however I am glad he did. This event was just enough to get many of us out of sync and we lost a few pedal strokes and now the pack finish was turning into a long accordion finish. I knew I was not going to be able to win this stage and the amount of WATTS needed to try were more valuable to me for day 3 which was now only about a 100 yards away. I finished 13th but I was safe. I did lose some time. Special thanks to Mrs. Steinmann, for saving my 10×10 wildcat tarp which almost blew away to Mexico!!! Thank you!!!
Day 3 CR
Alarm went off at 3, and I was tired!! Legs were dead and I was slow moving getting up. After day 2, I crept into 6th GC and was now 40 seconds off the winner, but only 28 seconds off of 5th! I came to Gus with a plan and he supported the plan. Real quick here, super F’n KUDOS to Gus for being there and riding day 3 after his crash!!! YOU ROCK!! Back to the plan. The plan was to recruit a few other riders from other Teams (IC3, TR, DNA and Rafa) to put on an attack after lap 3 and have Gus, Brandon, and McLaren stay back and keep the gate shut as we all try to stay away for the remaining 3 laps. Like all plans they sound so good and easy, however it’s a race and anything can happen.
Lap 1 right out of the gate Trisports drill it and it went from zero to mach speed. This woke everybody up and just to make sure you were “Little Beast” hit the climbs and before we knew it he was off the front with 3 other riders. One is Yellow Jersey. The gap grew and grew as we let them all go. Lap 1 was easy peasy, which was perfect for me to help get the blood flowing. Lap 2 started and was very similar to Lap 1 very uneventful. However, Brandon and the break were nowhere in sight. You could feel the anxiety of Trisports as they ALL were losing sight of there podiums. Lap 3 began and you could feel something about to happen. BAM!! Trisports x 3 began to drill it and a few others followed. Kyle currently 2nd in GC was one of them. I was pinned in and I told the guy to my left I NEED OUT!! He backed off and let me out and I put on BEAST MODE to catch the break. I finally caught on to them just before the real climbs started and knew I was going to surf these wheels the best I could and survive the hills. I don’t have a HR monitor but I felt my heart coming out of my nostrils and the yummy taste of blood was on my tongue. They continued to ride strong and actually did an awesome rotation which I strategically watched with zero participation. I made sure my energy was going to be saved. Karma came full circle as the guy who rode my wheel day 2 (Erik) was now in front of me pulling me up the hill! Sweet payback!! We made it to Anklam and I did take 1 pull so I wasn’t labeled “that guy” and was faced with a brutal headwind. I looked up and saw Brandon and Yellow jersey down the road and we soon caught them. So now both the leader and 2nd place riders were back together and we were now approaching the Prime bonus. I knew the 3 second wasn’t going to make or break me so I let the others fight for it and I let them pull me up the hill. We still had 3 laps to go. And this was the lap that our pre-ride plan was supposed to take place However; I was surrounded by all of the riders who I was supposed to attack. So Lap 4 was now try and stay away from the pack and maybe turn this smaller group of 6 or 7 into a final sprint for the finish. We all worked well together and we did stay away until the Feed zone. The pack had caught us. Again we were one big group. Kyle came to me and said a few guys are going to drill after the turn on Anklam and asked if I wanted in. My answer was you know I will work, he said that’s why I am asking you. Kyle would keep the gate shut and keep his eye on yellow and as long as we didn’t gain more than 30 second lead he would be safe. So I quickly found Hast and few others and let them know it was on. I actually was first across the finish line and we turned it on. BAM!! I was now engaged in Break # 2 after about a 1/4 mile I looked back and one other rider was on my wheel. It was Hast. We did a few rotations and looked back and saw a handful of others coming too. Some nice teamwork was done by all to rotate thru the feed zone up and over the climbs and we all bombed the decent. However, the headwind continued to get stronger and a few of the riders could not pull through so I found myself out-front pulling the group. We made it to Speedway and started our climb we could see the group a ways back but they looked as they were coming quick. Bandon, McLaren, and even Kyle were doing their best to keep the gate shut but others in that group were fighting to get through. Our break made it to Anklam and we began to hammer even harder. Looking down doing 30mph uphill was quite exciting. But fatigue was now a factor and we were now in the climbs. Our group slowed as the chase sped up. Before we knew it just past the Feed zone we were all one big group again. Another failed break and many matches burnt. Again we make our way to the descent greeted with more brutal headwinds and all are jockeying for a spot as this race will now come down to the final ½ mile uphill sprint. We make the turn and head up the first climb and find myself in the lead position. I move as far right possible to force drafters into the gutter. We are heading to second climb and get out of my saddle and start mashing my pedals. However, I am realizing that 3 days of race pace have taking a major toll on me and the incline was too much and the gear I was in was too big! I settled back into my saddle and grinded as fast as I could. Seeing riders pass me on both sides was quite deflating as I crossed the finish line. It was a pack finish so times were all the same and I was 23rd.
So my saving grace this weekend was my TT. Thank goodness I was able to put up a decent time which helped me with my overall GC which was 5th and yes a very exciting podium!! J Thanks again to all who played a key role in helping me!!!
Can’t wait for the next one!!
Last year TBC (2nd in GC) was probably the highlight of all the racing I did … this year (3rd in GC) not so much, but not all bad either. Details below …
TT’s have recently become my area of concentration as I’m no longer doing crits …. too many broken bones! I have a new bike and have had some great results at the State TT champs, VOS, etc. … both of these were PR’s for me. I was ready for a great result. I know the course pretty well by now. However, I was still up in the air over wheel selection until the last minute. Significant weight savings versus being a little more aero … I continued to hear the voice of Schlegal … “Go full aero!!” The morning of the TT, Gus was also voting for the aero. I followed their advice and went with the disc and my Enve 6 in the front. I’m sure this was the right choice for me. Standard TT warmup, rolled up to the start ramp and got going … felt good. Downhill section was fast … averaged 32.2mph,36.2mph max, 2:43 … very good time with an average power of 259W. All going according to my plan. Hit the uphill and felt good …. kept my speed up and was able to stay on top of my gears all the way up the first climb section. This was going to be my best time ever on this course on race day! As I got to the top of this section, I was shifting to my 54 ring and was ready to go … when … it … happened … I DROPPED THE CHAIN! I’m screwed!! Rotor cranks are great, but can be a bit tricky when paired with DI2! Tried to get it back on, but couldn’t. Stopped, got off my bike and realized the chain was jammed. Tugged at it several times (cutting my finger) and finally got it to release. Jumped back on my bike and ground my way back up to speed. Don’t really remember much about the rest of the way to the finish line as I was still screaming at myself. However, even with the chain incident costing me 35-45 seconds, I was amazingly only five seconds out of first! Finished in 9:34, 272W versus my goal of 280W …. With the woulda, coulda, shoulda counting I would have been below 9 or the first time … next year! BTW, thanks to Rick and Judy Ellwanger for the first aid when I got back to our tent site!
First lap was slow as usual with nothing of interest except the headwind encountered on Helmet Peak.On the second lap coming down Helmet Peak as we approached LaCanada, Roy Quade (from Canada) and Curtis Ingle (from Nevada) took off … they got a gap of about 20-30 seconds on us. With Franz Hammer, John Conahay and I taking turns of the front, it took until we just started up Duvall Mine for us to catch Ingle … we never caught Quade who won by 21 seconds. Franz, John, Ingle and I were alone trying to catch Quade. It became apparent that we weren’t going to, so I began to concentrate on Conahay who was 2nd in GC and five seconds ahead of me. I knew that Conahay was a great sprinter and I didn’t want it to come down to a 200 meter all out race. I took off about 500 meters to go and got a quick gap on him and drove hard to get second for the day and put four seconds on Conahay and an additional two seconds on him with the bonus time. Moved into 2nd in GC by one slim second!
For me this day was all about beating Conahay. Beat him and I get 2nd in GC, he beats me and I get third. Several times I tried to drop him and Quade, but it never worked. Rick was also trying to drop his primary competitor, Jack Dillon, and that didn’t work either. So, it came down to the last lap. Going up Anklam for the last time, Rick and Quade took off and gapped the field by a little. I was confident I could catch back on and I did. As I looked behind me, there was Conahay dropping further back … Great! Coming down Speedway I tried to drill it some to put more distance on Conahay and I was beginning to feel good. As we were getting ready to make the final turn to the finish, I looked behind and who was right there … Conahay. This guy will work HARD! I decided to make Conahay move to the front and draft him until I was ready to jump. He jumped first and I was caught in the wrong gear (dumb!), I pulled even for awhile, but John had too much for me and pulled ahead to beat me. I got 3rd in GC (compared to 2nd in GC last year). I got John in the sprint on the RR, but he got me in the more important day this year the Circuit Race.
1. Get the shifting down on the rotor cranks before next year, or get a different setup for this race!
2. Practice on the circuit course and be totally ready for the sprint!!
3. I still love TBC, VOS and races like these … wish there more of them. I just don’t like all the logistics of getting up early, loading and unloading the car, etc. etc.
Doug (the Wheelman) Perry