Tour de Rock. Week 8. St. Paul Sprint Triathlon 2x course

24.91 miles, 1:15:15 race time.

2x St. Paul Sprint Triathlon. My schedule got wonky again so this week I rode on the Monday Group. The sunset on the way over to Lynda’s house was breathtaking. I had to stop and snap a shot.

Lynda and I were on one team and Allen and Mike were on the other. The ride was moderately hilly. Lynda got dropped right early on. The three of us guys rode on. I surged a few times to pop off Allen and Mike. It eventually worked but they were always lurking within reach in case I lapsed. It was fun times. Mostly, cuz I won the sprint points and the whole stage!

You may be asking if I missed a week 8 installment. Over the weekend there was a Queens Stage 60+ miles. Eight riders. 3+ hours. I didn’t make it to that ride on the weekend, rather I led the Main PTC ride. Queen Stage 8 Bill’s race report way below.

st paul.png

Bill’s Monday Group Ride Report

Tonight was a short group; only Allen and Mike Wade for the Pushers and Lynda and Joe for the Gunners. The race was two laps of the St. Paul Sprint Tri course, a total distance of 24.9 miles. 

There was a short burst of speed at the start – enough to drop Lynda who was by herself ’till the finish.  Joe, Mike and Allen continued on as a group.  Joe started putting in a few digs, and dropped Mike after about 2.5 miles.  Allen and Joe continued on for a while, but another surge from Joe popped off Allen.  Allen then waited for Mike and the two teamed up and stayed together the rest of the way. 

Allen and Mike worked fairly well together, and tried hard to pull back Joe.  The gap got bigger and smaller as they went up climbs and down descents, but the closest the chasers got was about 180 feet.  After that, Joe was able to gradually pull away. 

At the intermediate sprint, it was Joe across the line first, well ahead of Allen who surged to take second from Mike.  On the second lap. it looked like Joe might be weakening for a bit, and Mike and Allen were able to reduce his gap from about 1,000 feet to about 500 feet, but once again, that was as close as they got.  The gap waxed and waned, but never went below 500 feet until the final big climb. 

On that climb, Allen asked Mike to push hard and give him a surge to follow, which Mike did.  Allen came off that surge, dropping Mike, and went after Joe. He got within about 300 feet before the gap solidified, and Joe was able to stretch it back out over the top of the climb. 

At the line, Joe finished in 1:15:17; Allen in 1:16:09; Mike in 1:16:16 and Lynda brought up the rear at 1:32:21.  Because of the average method of scoring, the Pushers picked up about 15 minutes. 

Tomorrow, the “C” group!

Bill’s Race Report – C Group Tuesday

onight’s race was a good show of tactics on both sides, with the Gunners getting slightly the better of it.  Riding for the Gunners tonight were Michel, Philip, Cheryll and Luis.  Riding for the Pushers were Gregg, Bob and Eugene.  Nicole was a no-show. 

The groups started together and stayed together for about 3.5 miles.  There were a few attacks during this time, but none too serious.  After 3.5 miles, Michel and Philip were able to get away, and set sail for the horizon.  After a short and abortive chase, the other riders settled down into a chase group which was slightly slower than the combination of Michel & Philip.  The leaders worked very well together and were able to steadily pull away from all the other riders, eventually finishing about 1.4 miles in front. 

Within a couple of miles, the breakaway group had about a 1/3 mile gap on the chasers, and then allowed the gap to stabilize.  Things stayed this way until the intermediate sprint point at the end of Lap 1 (about 12.5 miles in).  Gregg went for the sprint, but Eugene was able to come over the top and take third place.  The sprint strung out the chase group, which started to come back together afterwards.  However, just as the group was starting to rejoin, Eugene went off the front. Luis gave something of a chase, which Eugene was able to easily parry.  So now, the chase group was down to four – Gregg and Bob for the Pushers; and Cheryll and Luis for the Gunners.  The Pushers knew it was the Gunners responsibility to chase Eugene if they wanted to, so they drifted to the back and did little work.  The Gunners didn’t show much inclination to go after Eugene, so that group just went along at “club” pace for a while. 

After a few miles of this, the Pushers started to initiate alternating attacks; first Gregg, then Bob.  Finally, one of these attacks paid off at about Mile 16.5 and Gregg was able to get away.  Not only that, about a mile later while Bob and Cheryl were giving chase, Luis was dropped off the back.  Once he was off, he rapidly lost ground to Bob and Cheryll.  Meanwhile, Eugene slowed his pace slightly, enough for Gregg to catch him so they could work together. 

And this was about how things ended.  After losing a lot of time after he was dropped, Luis worked hard and gained some of it back, but he was still tail-end Charlie.  Philip came across first at 1:08:28 (before time bonuses); followed closely by Michel at 1:08:29.  Eugene outsprinted Gregg at the line (Gregg went hard, but he went too early), coming across in 1:13:01 and 1:13:02 respectively.  Behind them, Bob and Cheryll did much the same, with Cheryll going hard, but too soon, and Bob able to nip her at the line.  His time was 1:15:2, while she finished in 1:15:22.  Last across was Luis at 1:16:51. 

Total time for the Gunners tonight was 4:48:40, while the Pushers totalled 4:49:40 (including penalty time for the no-show). Philip took the lion’s share of the sprint points with 10; while Michel got 6 and Eugene took 2. 

Tomorrow night is the “A” group.  WIll they be able to break 1 hour for the course?

Bill’s Ride Report – A Group Wed

Fast, fast, fast.  Fast & nervous racing tonight.  Riding for the Gunners were Ben, Jeff, Bryan & Peter, while the Pushers presented Tyler, Tony, Jonathan & Jason. 

The race started with the usual surge, and Tony got dropped off due to all the speed.  The other riders formed a group and immediately started in on each other.  There were numerous surges and tests of each others’ legs, but nobody was able to get away for a while.  At Mile 5.5, Jason tried an attack, then got dropped in a counter-attack.  After that, it was gruppo compatto until the intermediate sprint. 

At that sprint, Tyler made a bid for it, but was passed due to a well-timed surge from Jeff.  However, right behind Jeff, and a little stronger at the line was Ben, who took the sprint points.  Jeff nosed out Tyler by 1/10 second for second place.  However, in this flurry of activity, Jonathan and Bryan got dropped and ended up forming a group of two.  This left Ben, Tyler, Peter and Jeff in the lead group. Jason continued by himself, gradually losing time to the others. 

At Mile 14.9, Tyler put in a big surge which dropped Jeff out of the lead pack.  Once off the back, he dropped back quickly, as the lead group was holding a torrid pace.  At Mile 18, Bryan and Jonathan caught Jeff, and the three of them formed a group which stayed together ’till the line.   

At the front, Tyler, Ben and Peter tried a few small attacks, but mostly worked together on getting to the line as quickly as possible.  They stayed together until about 2/10 mile from the line, at which point Peter opened up his sprint.  He held on for a bit, only to see Tyler come over the top, and then Ben come over the top of him at about 1/10 to go and take a lead he held to the end.  About 3 minutes behind them, the chase group had a sprint of their own, with Jonathan going first, being passed by Jeff, who was himself passed by Bryan. 

At the finish, the times (before time bonuses) were: Ben & Tyler at 1:03:57; Peter at 1:03:58; Bryan, Jonathan & Jeff all at 1:03:47; Jason at 1:07:25 and Tony at 1:20:47.  Overall, the Gunners picked up about 23 minutes.  Ben took home the top sprint points with 20, while Tyler got 9, Jeff got 6 and Peter took 3. 

Tomorrow night, the last race of week is the “B” group.  Next week, we have an ITT, with the course to be released Saturday.  The two final stages after that will will a climbing stage and a sprint stage to end the series.

Bill’s Ride Report – B Group

This race was very different from the “A” race the previous evening.  That race’s tactics were dominated by groups; groups formed, or re-formed and generally stayed together to the end.  In last night’s race, there were attempts to keep groups together, but in the end, all the riders ended up on their own. 

Riding for the Gunners were Bill, Kirk, Alvin & Amy; the Pushers were Mike Webb, Allison, Trevor & Scott. 

There really was not much of a flurry to start the race, and all riders hung together as a pack – at least for a while.  Once the race got rolling, there were several surges and attacks of varying severity.  One of those surges at about Mile 4.5 popped Allison and Amy off the back, while the six others carried on. 

At about Mile 8, Alvin made a move and got away off the front, but nobody went with him.  After dangling off the front by himself for a bit, the group surged and reclaimed him. Meanwhile, Scott had lost the scent on one of the moves, and had dropped off the back of the main group.  More moves were made by Trevor, Bill and Kirk, with a move by Bill at about Mile 10 proving decisive.  Alvin was able to follow and Mike Webb wasn’t quite able to match the pace.  Kirk was right with Mike and could quite possibly have surged up to Alvin & Bill, but in doing so, he would have brought Mike along.  So, he wisely decided to let Mike do the work and try to bridge the gap on his own.  Meanwhile, the surges at the front got the better of Trevor, and he also dropped away from the main pack.  As the race went on, Alvin & Bill were able to gradually expand their gap back to Mike & Kirk, and after about a mile of this, Kirk attacked Mike and was able to leave him behind.  For a while, Mike was able to hang close to Kirk, within a few hundred feet.  But, gradually Kirk was able to put distance between Mike and himself. 

At about Mile 11.5, the first inklings of what would prove to be a continuing mechanical issue for Alvin showed up.  His rear tire started to grip ‘n slip, so he got off the bike, tightened the rear wheel against the trainer, recalibrated & resumed.  Bill had gone on to cross the sprint line first, then slowed down and waited for Alvin to catch back on.  Behind them, Kirk scored the final points of the intermediate sprint and behind him, Mike, Trevor and Scott all came across solo.  Along the way, Amy had managed to pull away from Allison and was gradually putting time into her as well. 

After the first lap then, most of the riders were on their own, except for Alvin & Bill at the front.  These two riders were using the experience they had gained in working together for many miles on the Queen stage to hold an average pace about 2-3 mph faster than the solo riders.  However, by Mile 14 it was becoming apparent that Alvin’s tire was slowly going flat.  He carried on for a bit, then decided to try to reinflate it rather than change it.  He jumped off, rapidly pumped the tire back up and resumed.  However, this left Bill off the front on his own, a position he held for the remaining 7 miles or so to the finish, gradually increasing his gap to all the other riders. 

Alvin was forced to repeat the reinflation process once or twice more over the last few miles.  Even so, he probably lost less time doing this than he would have by changing the tire.  However, it also meant that he was eventually caught and passed by Kirk, who was working hard to hold his gap back to Mike. Kirk was able to hold (and expand) that gap, and finished second overall.  After a long and fraught chase, Mike finally caught Alvin with about 500 feet to go, and was able to surge past him for third place. The other riders came across one at a time. 

The final finishing times were (before time bonuses): Bill 1:07:28; Kirk 1:10:54; Mike & Alvin 1:11:53; Scott 1:13:56; Trevor 1:15:36; Amy 1:18:40 and Allison 1:19:48.  The Gunners picked up a total of about 12 minutes on the overall this night. 

With Week 8 now complete, the total team times are: Gunners 116:33:17 and Pushers 118:16:45.  The individual standings are as follows: 

Place
Name
Total Time
Gap
1
Ben
7:24:26
0:00:00
2
Jeff
7:29:42
0:05:16
3
Bryan
7:34:04
0:09:38
4
Tyler
7:35:52
0:11:26
5
Peter
7:37:33
0:13:07
6
Bill
7:48:49
0:24:23
7
Jason
7:56:54
0:32:28
8
Jonathan
8:02:23
0:37:57
9
Alvin
8:22:46
0:58:20
10
Mike Webb
8:26:41
1:02:15
11
Kirk
8:34:37
1:10:11
12
Gregg
8:37:26
1:13:00
13
Scott
8:45:52
1:21:26
14
Joe
8:53:11
1:28:45
15
Trevor
8:54:09
1:29:43
16
Tony
8:55:51
1:31:25
17
Allison
9:00:15
1:35:49
18
Hank
9:04:32
1:40:06
19
Bob
9:12:03
1:47:37
20
Eugene
9:12:04
1:47:38
21
Luis
9:14:27
1:50:01
22
Philip
9:22:47
1:58:21
23
Amy
9:25:01
2:00:35
24
Cheryl
9:40:10
2:15:44
25
Deanna
9:44:39
2:20:13
26
Allen
9:44:55
2:20:29
27
Mike Wade
9:50:52
2:26:26
28
Lynda
9:58:11
2:33:45
29
Lindsay
10:01:06
2:36:40
30
Danny
10:11:41
2:47:15
31
Lisa
10:13:32
2:49:06
32
Nicole
10:24:56
3:00:30

The sprint points, with one sprint stage left, are as follows: 

Name
Total
Ben
76
Bill
49.5
Joe
31
Jeff
28.5
Tyler
27
Allen
26
Kirk
24
Philip
24
Alvin
17
Trevor
15
Gregg
12
Eugene
8
Danny
7
Michel
6
GT
5
Lindsay
5
Luis
4
Mike Webb
4
Jaime
3
Michael B.
3
Mike Wade
3
Peter
3
Hank
1

And the KOM points stack up this way (bearing in mind that points from the Queen stage are not included in these totals, since the stage is not yet complete): 

Name
Total
Tyler
67
Bill
55
Ben
33
Kirk
32
Jeff
32
Hank
23
Bryan
21
Lindsay
18
Gregg
18
Mike Webb
18
Alvin
15
Allen
15
Bob
13
Danny
11
TJ
10
Deanna
5
Eugene
3
GT
2
Deanna
2
Philip
2
Luis
1

So – that’s about it for this week.  We have three stages left after Saturday: the individual time trial (ITT); a climbing stage; and a sprint stage to wrap up. I have selected a beautiful course for the ITT, which will be released on Saturday, after the Queen stage.  It should give everybody a fair shot, without favoring any particular type of rider.

 

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