30 August, 2009

Tipperary Creek and Koppenburg

Did Tipperary Creek. It kinda sucked because I cramped majorly after the end of one climb. Nutritional supplements don't help lack of riding fitness. It was fun though. Click here for the course profile/details of this challenging course. It's a one lap, 25.8 mile course with 4000 feet (1223 m)of climbing. From the get go we were flying and by the time I was in the single track I was probably top 15. It stayed that way for a while until I had the leg cramps of all leg cramps. Thought my climbing legs were too good to be true. Me being in the top 15 leaders that made the break from the beginning was for nought because about another dozen or so people passed me as I was doing my Fred Sanford walking imitation (both the quads and the hamstring of my left leg!). The downhill was crazy. There were people on both sides of the singletrack fixing flats due to the nastiness of the babyheads and tree roots. My poor hardtail couldn't hang with the dual boingers when the entire trail was strewn with rocks heading downhill at warp speed (o my god it was fun). It'd been pinch flat city. It was a wicked fun course. All manner of alpine rocks, roots and run-offs made for a fun day. Came in 28 out of 60 or so (the list stops at 50). This was Saturday.
Today was the Koppenburg (in Boulder). Here's why it's called the Koppenburg

The race is road cycling event with dirt road sections modeled after the infamous European Roubaix race. The 5.5 mile loop consists of a 2.5 mile dirt section that ends with a short but very steep hill. The 200 meter long "Koppenberg" hill has a 17% slope and takes its namesake from the legendary hill in the Tour of Flanders hill in the Tour of Flanders. The remainder of the course is rolling paved road. There are no dirt downhill sections and the entire course is rideable on a road bike which makes for a very safe course.

But don't be deceived last year's race proved to be difficult and a true test of attrition. The number of laps may be short, but between the climbing and dirt sections, its not as easy as it sounds. Good Luck !

I probably wouldn't've done it, but I registered on-line for it and it got snowed out (twice!). So the day after Tipperary Creek was the new date and I figured I paid for it, might as well enter.
From the gun we were cruising. In the dirt, sand bar sections made people's rear wheels all manner of squirrely; it made for pack riding a gigantic leap of faith to follow those wheels so darn close. The first gap formed the first time over the "hill". People who couldn't turn the pedals fell into other riders or spun out causing some major portaging going on. The leaders took off. Me and three other guys chased but I popped on one of the uphills. When the second group caught me I worked in there. After our pack dwindles to just the four of us we caught some people that got shelled from the leaders. So our four became seven. We noticed that a couple of people in our pack didn't take their fair share of pulls but we didn't yell at them or anything. After the 5th time up I said to our original three that we should regroup at the final climb and go like gang busters! Chris said he'd accelerate at the dirt road. At the dirt road, Chris took such a monstrous pull, he and Douglas had a sizable gap of about 20 meters and the gap kept increasing and I got dropped. I looked back at the other three and they were looking gassed so I dropped in the small cog and attacked as hard as I could to bridge. I caught 'em at the base of our last climb and we rocketed away. At the little climb before the stretch Douglas attacked and had a good gap. Chris kept him in sight and took an awesome uphill pull. As we crested, I came around him to catch Douglas's wheel. I motioned to Chris we should go hard left so that Darren couldn't catch our draft on the downhill but he caught us anyway. We were flying at the last, downhill right hand corner before the finishing line .5 kilometers away and Douglas took off again. He was marching such a huuuge gear, he cracked me before the finish line and that's when Chris came around me. It was a great weekend of racing and my legs are pooped!


Groover said...

Well done and shame about the cramps. Sounds like you went really well, considering the amount of training you had!

"We noticed that a couple of people in our pack didn't take their fair share of pulls but we didn't yell at them or anything."

Why not? I would've.

...it's me!... said...

Thanks. Sandra, these people where so hammered it was easier for them to stay out of the rotation rather than slowing or yo-yo'ing our synchronized paceline. I'da been pissed though if they were duking out in the sprint...