Monday, April 16, 2012

El Tour de Mesa RACE REPORT

El Tour de Mesa race report.

My day started out at 4:15AM with the alarm going off. Needed to get to downtown Mesa for the 6:15AM start. This is the closest start to my home in a long time. The weather was a cool 55 degrees outside when I loaded my bike on my car to drive to the start line. There was rain the night before and the clouds were still hanging around which they pretty much would all morning long. Ate my normal energy bar and water while driving to the start. As I parked and got out of my car and took my bike off the rack, started to stretch a little and put my arm warmers and shoes on. I ended up wearing two tech shirts ( both very thin) under my jersey. I was happy I did as the temperature only got to be 66 degrees.
The race started right on time and I was able to save some energy the first 30 or so miles drafting in small groups. The wind was crazy and really there was only a tail wind the first 20 or so miles before gusty headwinds started to slow my time down. One of the groups I was traveling someone out in front yelled a warning riders for a wreck ahead and to use caution. The rider in front of me over reacted and went out of control, swerving and eventually going down pretty hard off to my right. The only thing I seen as I glanced to the side was wheels and water bottles go flying as he tumbled. There were a few other wrecks out on the course but non as close as this to hitting me. I was drinking enough water and taking my gels as needed to keep my energy up. There were aid stations stocked with water, bananas, pretzels and cookies, but non of this is what I needed or trained with so there was no need to stop. I packed a lot of nutrition in my Fuel Belt carrier on my bike. There were two hill climbs that were long and I just worked on keeping my form and staying focused on using my energy wisely. The descends from the hill climbs, which there were two of, were fast but could have been faster if not being hindered by the heavy headwinds. Still I tried to make up some time lost on the climbs by descending swiftly. I kept a close eye on my stop watch trying to cross the finish line before my projected time of under 4 hours. The last 10 miles where the toughest. A very strong head wind was killing me and I tried to draft off riders as I came up on them. I tried to work with small groups (3 to 4 riders) but was unable to keep with there pace. I was glad to see the finish line and finished in 4 hours 9 minutes. This was 9 minutes over my projected goal time of 4 hours. I am still happy with my time. The winds that day were not in my favor. It was a great ride and great course. I would recommend this ride to anyone. A couple days off and then back to training.

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