Walter Welsh - 90miler Bicycling Fall Classic race review

Bicycling Fall Classic – Sept. 29, 2019

 Evening Walter, please find my thoughts 💭 in line ✔︎ to yours below 🙌

I drove down the night before and stayed in a hotel.  I could have gone day of.  This just made it a little easier.  

👨🏻‍💻 its great you were able to get down there early and prep a bit. More rest the night before is key even though you rarely get good sleep on these types of nights before a race! 

Got to the venue 1.5 hrs before.  It is a really cool cycling venue without outside velodrome which we finished on and showers, concessions, etc.  

👨🏻‍💻 very cool venue indeed! 

Race started at 8. I was in the front group. It was a faster rollout, but not crazy. I stayed about ten to 15 cyclist back.  For first 6.5 miles I was at NP 237 and HR average 149.  I did not do a warm-up prior to the race.  

 👨🏻‍💻 This was totally “wishing you” and that type of effort was fine and actually perfect. Often times as you know the whip can get cracked early on and crush the legs.

I hit the first climb and I put a lot of power down. I set my 10 min all time peak power here.  And HR up there too.  This was a lot of work, but this is what I wanted to do.  I let the lead group go, and I was with other people. 

 👨🏻‍💻 YOU SMASHED IT! BAM 💥 Normalized Ⓦ power of 383 for 10minutes is some serious fire power…. Its good at this season to see you fresh enough to hit this type of effort given the various peaks you have already had this season this was a bonus output.

The pace did not really let up when we got to the top.  There was rollers and it was fast.  I set my hour threshold HR on this section. 

 👨🏻‍💻 Yes, the heart rate was soaring up there.. 170+ hitting the “rev limiter” somewhat a sign of the early efforts, heat of the day and somewhat lower total fitness level for the season at this point.

The downhill was really fun. I set the 5thfastest time ever out of 1400 cyclist. The new bike rolls really fast and there cyclist in front of me to follow turns.  I grouped up at the bottom of the first hill.  I did a lot of work on the second climb as well.  I got dropped on this second climb. I came down again and then I put in what felt like a massive five minute effort. Especially after all that work on the hills.  There was a group about 500 meters up the road and I wanted to catch them. There was no one behind me.  I think there was definitely a price paid for this work at the end of the day, but I also think it was worth it because we did not get passed for the rest of the day and the group worked pretty well together for the next 40 miles.  

👨🏻‍💻 You crazy man! Make sure you dont “take off” and fly away at those speeds! From the power numbers, this section and second deep effort capsized the ship somewhat and defined where you would ride the rest of the day. Not a bad thing but you had a nice group to ride with early on and I think that was a good position to make an early move to this point. These hills and your power output needed to climb them is MASSIVE.

Below is the work for the next 40 miles with the group.  There was some big hills in there, but It was a lot of windy farmland.

 👨🏻‍💻 This is a great section for you to think about attacking in the future - into the wind and flat-ish where those with lower FTP’s and smaller legs will squirm and suffer trying to hold your wheel.

Next week took a stop a rest and go water around mile 60.  This was the first stop we saw. Then I did not the following with a group of 6. Less cooperation. I got popped on the second hill.  These hills were brutal and brought my back to Catskills hell. It was also super hot. I stayed with it. 

👨🏻‍💻 Way to climb back into the saddle.. not easy here.. also good to see you not cramp up which has been a issue in the past. (Salt intake and fluids etc) 

The end. I then went solo to the end.  I went about five miles and got water and then brought it in. I was definitely lacking power here, but I kept it moving.  Overall it was great race.  I do not know what I could have done differently.  Other than be lighter or in better shape—tacitly I could stay out of the air more.  Good ttimes.

👨🏻‍💻 Great times! This was not a “key race” so it was great to take some chances and learn again how and where you can push and what you can get away with given the types of training and racing we have done this season. …90miles is also very long and hard to be racing like that and you did fantastic. Hope the recovery is coming along nicely Walter! ~Cliff