Race Report: Merco Road Race (Cat 4)Posted on March 6th, 2013 No comments
Nick Kreeger Takes Win!
words: Nick Kreeger
Cat 4 Team: Paul Correa, Nich Barresi, Vitaly Gashpar, Tyler Corelitz
Since this race is part of the big Merco weekend, the start line was a bit packed. The plan was to sit in on the first lap and make our move during the second lap. The first 10-15 minutes were fast, but pretty chill; a few riders at the front put in some strong surges, stringing out the field. After the initial surge, things settled down as nobody really wanted to put in the work half-way through the first lap, and the team regroups at the front of peloton.
Things move along briskly, even as we hit the “rough” pavement stretch that contains a couple of rollers. After the first lap or so we’ve popped a few riders, but for the most part the group is still intact. After the shitty road section, we turn onto the road that is used in Snelling: a steep roller and some quick turns and rolling hills leading into a downhill finish. I take note at the finish and discuss with Tyler and Nich that if we’re not in a break in the last lap we should try and find some of the front wheels on the crappy road ahead.
As we start the second lap a couple of riders try some breaks. My move to bring it back basically initiated the field to chase and the break was reeled in. A couple of minutes later someone tries it again and I notice that there is a small group a few seconds ahead. Nich and I attack and eventually bridge up to the break of 4-5 riders.
We’re about 15 miles or so out from the finish – still a ways off. I try encouraging them yelling, “Let’s go we got a break going!!!” The group speeds up a bit, but I can tell that they’re frustrated at one another. I move to the rider at the front and he moans something about “I’ve been up here the whole fucking time”. At that point I attack just a bit and get a decent time gap before the peloton notices that I’m up the road past the break. As I pull away I tuck into the TT position on the bike and try to keep the power at a level I know I can carry for a while (lower 300 watts).
I get up the road and hear someone pull up behind and turn to see a young looking kid bridging up to me. I urge him to pull through and he tells me “I’m only 14!! I’m dying!!!”. I let him sit on my wheel and he gives 1 or 2 pulls leading up to the crappy road. I figure I’ll drop him in the rollers if needed (I can tell he was struggling). I see the moto and tap on my wrist. He shouts “30 Seconds” just as we make the turn.
There is a pretty strong headwind; I ask the junior to pull through and he does once – but barely hangs with me on the climbs. I downed a gel and a bottle and paced up the rollers. Just after the right hand turn that dumps me on to the Snelling course (just before the steep roller atop the Snelling feed zone) the moto says “25 seconds” – the gap was coming down so I step on it up the roller and into the fast turn. The junior on my wheel swears to me he won’t sprint for the line which doesn’t matter, since I attack and drop him in the last little roller before the descent to the finish line.
I get over the line, look back. Put the hands in the air. I have this one in the bag! – Victory!
The team did a great job protecting my gap once I got off the front. Awesome teamwork. Judging by the splits on the race results, I was just under 10 seconds ahead of 2nd place. The junior ended up 3rd.
Thankfully, this result gives me enough points to upgrade to the 3’s!
Since most of the work was down on the break, here are my longer interval numbers (~155 lbs) (not normalized power):
5min: 334 watts
10min: 313 watts
20min: 311 watts
30min: 310 watts
Avg Weighted Power: 244 watts
ed. Note: On a less celebratory note, SquadraSF’s version of the boy next door, Kurt Wolfgang, took a tumble in the 1/2 race and is currently recovering comfortably back in San Francisco. Please send beer.