Tour de Rock Week 5 – Queen Stage – Powerman Zofinger

30.9 miles, 1:45 racing time, 1,856 ft elevation.

The Queen Stage is the longest of the competition. Tonight was going to be a long one. The guys got there early and warmed up for at least 15 minutes. Then, off to the races. The race profile was from Bill’s Worlds Duathlon. Fortunately for us, we only did one loop of this 30.9 mile zinger. The course 3 main climbs. The 2nd is 3 miles long and varied in grade 6-9.9%. In other words it was a long and steep climb. From the start, it was fairly flat and fast. I stayed with the pack of for a few minutes then fell off. Tyler, Peter, Jeff, Scott, and Kirk soared off into the virtual horizon. Bob, Phil, and I stayed together for the first climb. Phil fell off, and Bob toyed with me for the 1st descent. As we climbed the big one, Bob surged several times. I matched for the first two times, then decided I needed to survive the long climb and let him go. It was a long ride for a Thursday night. Bob continued to pull away from me; I continued to pull away from Phil. Tyler, Peter, Scott, Jeff, and Kirk finished 20 minutes before me. There was a technical glitch when Tyler accidentally kicked a cable. I was thinking my calibration was off after that or I was just fading. My belly was feeling a little off all day and by the end, I was spent and my hands were shaking. Boy, I was glad that was done.

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Bill’s Race Report – A Group

Well, it was close overall, with the Merchants losing a bit more time tonight.  Riding for the Merchants were Tyler, Peter, Bob & Phil; the Cannibals were Scott, Jeff Ku, Kirk & Joe.

Similar to last night, nobody went out in a big storm, with the pack hanging together for the first few miles.  There were some digs put in by Tyler & Peter mostly, although Scott went off the front briefly at Mile 4, but all was brought back together.  And so it stayed until the first climb, at Mile 5.5.  At that point Peter blasted off the front, opening a gap of about 500 feet to the chase group.  In the process of trying to chase him, the chase group then broke up, with Phil coming off the back first, followed by Joe & Bob together.  That left Kirk, Scott, Jeff & Tyler chasing, but nobody seemed to be able to bring Peter back.

And so it stayed for a while until Mile 6.7, at which point Tyler found himself alone on one side of the road and went for it. He put in a huge effort, holding between 400 & 500 watts for about a minute in order to bridge up to Peter.  None of the others could match that pace, which left Scott, Jeff and Kirk, all teammates, together as a group, while Peter & Tyler settled down to the serious business of opening a gap.

And so it stayed over the first KOM, with the order at the top being Peter, Tyler and Scott.  There was little change in position until everyone hit the big climb of the day.  Once on the climb, at about Mile 12, Bob was finally able to shed Joe and move off on his own.  Joe hung close behind for quite a while, closing down to as little as about 140 feet at about Mile 13, before Bob threw some fuel on the fire and pulled away.

In the first chase group, Kirk was starting to yo-yo off the back at about Mile 12.5 on this climb.  At Mile 13, he dropped off, and Scott went back for him, bringing him back.  That group was able to stay together over the top of the climb, and the results of the 2nd KOM was Peter, Tyler & Jeff.

Once over the top of the climb, all parties put the hammer down, and this finally proved a bit much for Kirk, and he pulled off his group at about Mile 16.3, telling them to go on without him.

And that was about the way it ended.  Peter and Tyler worked very well together, both finishing in 1:25:45, with Tyler squeezing past Peter at the line.  Jeff and Scott came in at 1:34:12, with Jeff nipping Scott by less that a foot.  Kirk trailed in at 1:37:24 and Bob at 1:38:21.  Joe finished in 1:45:38 and Phil at 2:05:16.

Total team time for the Merchants tonight was 6:34:37, while the Cannibals made it in 6:31:21.  That leaves the Cannibals with a team total time about 39 minutes faster than the Merchants to date.

In the KOM points, the standings after the first climbs are:

Peter
30
Deanna
21
Tyler
18
Jeff
12
Jeff
6
Gregg
5
Scott
3
Steve
2

In the overall individual competition, the leaderboard is:

Place
Name
Total Time
Gap
1
Tyler
4:49:06
0:00:00
2
Peter
4:49:47
0:00:41
3
Kirk
5:05:34
0:16:28
4
Jeff
5:11:19
0:22:13
5
Bob
5:17:22
0:28:16
6
Scott
5:18:08
0:29:02
7
Gregg
5:18:20
0:29:14
8
Deanna
5:28:45
0:39:39
9
Steve
5:30:05
0:40:59
10
Amy
5:33:37
0:44:31
11
Joe
5:33:43
0:44:37
12
Trevor
5:39:06
0:50:00
13
Bryan
5:39:13
0:50:07
14
Rudy
5:55:08
1:06:02
15
Allen
5:56:29
1:07:23
16
Mike Bowdish
6:01:22
1:12:16
17
Sue
6:01:24
1:12:18
18
Tiffany
6:01:24
1:12:18
19
Phil
6:08:37
1:19:31
20
Mike Wade
6:12:20
1:23:14
21
Lynda
6:12:20
1:23:14

Next week is the individual time trial.  The course will be released after Sunday’s race.  Good luck to all!

Bill

Bill’s Race Report – B Group

Tonight was a big night for the Cannibals, who ate up all the best times, leaving the Merchants gasping at the end of the caravan.  Riding for the Cannibals tonight were: Deanna; Jeff; Gregg; and Sue.  The Merchants were represented by Steve; Amy; Trevor & Rudy.

The start of the stage was somewhat easy, as befits a big stage.  At Mile 1, there was a surge from Jeff which all but Sue were able to follow.  After that, Jeff attacked again, just to soften folks up, which was followed a while later by an attack from Trevor.  Steve was the next to take a surge off the front, but all these attacks were chased down, and the group came back together.

There was a bit of a surge coming on the the first climb, a Cat 3, and that surge dropped Trevor off the back. The rest of the group hung together as the climb progressed, although Rudy started to yo-yo off the back at about Mile 6.5.

At Mile 7, the big attack finally came, with Jeff exploding off the front, and only Deanna was able to follow.  They worked until the gap was over 100 feet, then settled into tempo.  At Mile 7.5, Steve & Gregg went off the front of the chase group, leaving Rudy and Amy behind.  That’s the way things stayed for a while, with the first KOM results being Deana, then Jeff, then Steve edging out Gregg for the final points.

The first climb was followed by a moderate downhill before the big climb of the day.  Once that climb got rolling, Rudy was no longer able to hold Amy’s wheel at Mile 11, and she went off after Steve & Gregg on her own. Jeff and Deanna worked together at the front, with Jeff pushing a good hard tempo for most of that tough climb.  Gregg was able to push hard on this climb, and was able to gradually put 40 feet or more into Steve at about Mile 10.5, then hold him off his wheel.  He was able to pull out about 100 feet, then Steve surged and caught back on at Mile 12.5.  However, another surge from Gregg at Mile 13 finished that off, and by the top of the climb, he had pulled about 250 feet ahead.   The climb was tough enough that the riders got well strung out before they got to the top.  Results for the Cat 1 KOM were: Deanna; Jeff and Gregg.

At Mile 13.8, Rudy was caught by Trevor, and those two worked together until the end.  Amy was by herself for the rest of the race, and had an off day.  Her feeling was that she had a bad calibration, which may have been true.

On the descent from the Cat 1 climb, Steve used his superior friendship with gravity to pull back to Gregg, catching him at Mile 17.5.  And that, folks, was about how it stayed until the end of this longish stage.  Deanna crossed the line first at 1:33:50, followed by Jeff in the same time.  Gregg surged by Steve in the sprint for the line with about 2/10ths to go, and held on for third in 1:39:14, with Steve’s time the same.  Amy crossed in 1:47:18; followed by Trevor and Rudy together in 1:51:37.  The final finisher was Sue in 1:55:52.

So – the total team time for the Cannibals tonight was 6:42:11, beating the Merchants by about 25 1/2 minutes.  Can the Merchants claw some of this back tomorrow?

Bill

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