This weekend featured only one race--the legendary grass of Interlocken. This is held in a small, well maintained park in Broomfield with deep, thick grass. Since the venue is small, the course twists around on itself, making for a very spectator friendly race. It is held on about 90% grass, with the remainder being short sections of cement bike path and a quick jaunt through a sand volleyball pit. Unlike past years, the sand was shallow and fairly easily rideable, the grass however was another matter--deep and power sucking. Nick's Report:
Nick's preview lap of the course left him pretty tired as he had to walk many of the slightly uphill sections of grass since he was unable to maintain momentum. Nonetheless, after a quick stop back at the truck for a snack, he was raring to go. The officials staged the kids early, so there was plenty of time for him to hang out, waiting for their start. At the word "Go!" he charged off the line, quickly moving into 3rd wheel.
Unfortunately, about 100' into the race, he stopped pedaling and got off the bike--his rear derailleur had gone into his spokes and wrapped around his cassette. Game over. He was really upset--partly at being unable to continue, but also I think because he worried his bike was irreparably damaged. Fortunately, we already have a replacement derailleur and hanger on the way, so he'll be back at it next weekend.
After the dramatic mechanical in Nick's race, I was eager to turn around our fortunes. In warm ups, my legs just felt a little dead and stomach wasn't good either. I put in some decent efforts and spun around a lot to try to wake up the legs, then headed down to the grass for staging. Our field was on the small side, with less then 30 guys, and I ended up 3rd row. As we all leaped off the line, people were crossing the course ahead, causing much screaming and braking. After that was cleared without major incident we charged off.
Unfortunately, my legs decided not to show up. I tried everything--hard efforts, soft pedaling, but to no avail. Anytime I tried to pick up the pace, my legs just wouldn't respond. Since this was a wide open, power course with few technical sections, there was nowhere to hide. I finally rolled in a crushing 27th out of 28 riders. I was really bummed about the result, and still trying to figure it out. I think I'll dial back a little on the intervals during the week, changing to one day instead of two. Could be that I've finally reached the age where I can't handle that volume anymore combined with two races on the weekend. Glad I got the bad race out of the way, though!
Well to make it 3 for 3, my race wasn't great either. All week I had felt generally fatigued and my legs were tired. I'd hoped to work all of that out in my warmup but to avail. I had a good start and was hanging with a group of 5-6 girls but slowly I just couldn't maintain the pace anymore. It was one of those races where I was just trying to maintain where I was until the finish line. But that's okay, the season's been going well and I'll be back to fight again this weekend!