2012 Alsatian Country Omnium MP12 Pt1
After my spectacular results (for me) last weekend, I was dying to get back on the bike for another weekend of racing. I was once again hoping for glory. I always have daydreams of brilliant attacks and sprints during this “season of hope,” where I romantically win races by minutes against the toughest competition and my name is shouted throughout the land. Obviously, it doesn’t really happen like this. But I suppose as long as I stay somewhat grounded in reality, this race visualization should be classified as healthy race preparation instead of pure narcissism. Is bike racing healthy?
The goal for the weekend was high kilojoules. To attack early and often. Attacking could be detrimental to placings, but Bill and I both felt that it was the best way to get stronger. We were thinking to the future and what greater fitness could bring, but I wouldn’t have said no to another good result.
This ~6 minute course around a hilly business park west ofSan Antoniois one of my favorite courses on theTexasracing calendar.
After a 30 minute warmup with some sprint openers, the race started with attacks from SuperSquadra. With the from-the-gun start, SuperSquadra showed that they would be aggressive throughout the race, and were certain to be in any winning move. I sat about 15-20th wheel, trying to be efficient for the first 30 minutes of the 70 minute race.
With 20 minutes to go, I moved up to near the front ready to follow wheels. I followed a couple of good moves, always sure to have a SuperSquadra and an Elbowz rider close by. Without both of these teams any move would fail. Nothing was really sticking and the race progressed at a high pace with no move getting much off the front.
So far a typical omnium weekend was playing out. In an omnium, whoever gets the most placing points, not who has the best time, is crowned overall winner. Placings are all that matters, causing the whole peloton to be much more breakaway adverse. People call this “negative racing.”
I decided that there would be a move with about 1.5 laps to go, and I wanted to be at the front of the attack instead of responding to it. I figured hard attacks would happen up the hill going into 1 lap to go. So I attacked hard on the downhill going into a corner, where coming out of the corner was the uphill. At the bottom of the hill I had ~15 seconds on the field, with everyone strung out. In the end, the plan was okay, but fell apart because I just attacked a little too hard. With an overly-explosive jump, I was not ready for a counterattack, and could not match accelerations. I was especially not ready for a counterattack by Heath Blackgrove, the strongest rider in the field. Before I knew it I was getting passed and was on the hill with a headwind/crosswind. I had no momentum. In the end I found myself off the back about a minute down by the time we crossed the finish.
I DID learn something though! It’s not just about the attack. Unless I’m within the last km, there will be something after the attack and I have to be prepared for that. I have to keep this in mind when I attack from now on.
The time trial left a lot to improve on. Please read between the lines on that one. My power for the 10.5 minute effort was average for me, and I know I lost a lot of time by not using the TT bike. This is an area where I think I could one day be good at, but I need a lot of practice and patience.
Don’t forget to check out part 2 of the 2012 Alsatian Country Omnium Weekend!