For Sunday – Koppenberg Circuit race.
Colorado has a few road/circuit races usually held in the spring that are a nice imitation of the spring classics in Europe. Instead of cobbles, we have dirt roads. With Boulder Roubaix moved to later in the year, Koppenberg is 2008′s only Colorado spring “classic”.
While I’m still coming back around from some issues with the body, my advisor says I should still race while I’m coming back around. I hope to have a better weekend than last weekend. Tom Danielson is supposed to show, so I’ll get to test my legs against a Vuelta stage winner and Tour de Georgia winner. With the forecasted weather, I wouldn’t be surprised if he takes a pass.
The course is about half dirt and there is a nasty 17% grade climb in the middle. The race is usually to the climb, so you don’t get stuck in a traffic jam. It gets very, very physical and aggressive going into this climb as the road goes from dirt road, to 2 bike wide dirt path. It’s nuts. After the climb, you can expect attacks and splits in the pack. It’s brutal.
Here is the course:
Here is the forecast … Fuck.
The pro 1-2 race is at 2:30, so I’m going to be drenched in freezing rain:
Last year Cateye, which is another early spring race on dirt roads with a similar forcast. I finished 10th in the throws of hypothermia. At the end of the race, my hands didn’t work. No kidding. I was whacked for a few days from that race. I also scratched my eye from a piece of sand and couldn’t see for a day out of my left eye.
The good news with these kind of conditions, you can pretty much guarantee half the field will drop out. I learned a lot from last years and I have a few tricks up my sleeve for this year. Here are some of my plans:
- Wear a pair of fleece gloves, then place a pain of rubber cleaning gloves over the top, tape the top shut over my arm with duck tape and then put my jersey/jacket on(+4 other layers).
- I’ll also carry a pair of gore tex mittens with me in case it gets super shitty.
- I’ll coat my core and shoulders with Bag Balm to insulate my body from the rain if my rain jacket leaks. My legs will get a thick layer of Embrocation and I might even wear shorts or just leg warmers. Sometimes if it’s raining and this cold, your body does a better job with raw skin than a layer of lycra soaked with freezing rain. As long as my core, hands, head and feet are warm, I should be relatively good.
- I’ll wear a pairs of waterproof goretex socks over my shoes with a hole cut for my cleats, but sealed with duck tape, with wool socks underneath. Wool socks are crucial if wetness and cold are on the agenda because they hold their heat even when saturated … well, better than cotton or synthetics. I’ll bring hot tea and honey in bottles and a shit ton of food. You burn crazy amounts of calories racing in this kind of weather.
- There is also a 95% chance I’ll race my cyclocross bike with road tires and chainrings. The mud clearance and more relaxed geometry should be perfect for the dirt. Plus, I don’t want to trash my Cervelo on the course. A race like this can eat bike parts alive. Whatever I race, I bet the brake pads will be gone by the end.
Expect an update including epic pictures and whatever other crazy shit I experience. Should be fun!
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