Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Misiryung Hill Climb......2 for 2 within seconds

10 April 11- Sokcho South Korea

Well it is 5 days out from the Tour de Korea, so off we headed to Sokcho for a 20K Hill Climb. O yeah I forgot, this is the first some of you are hearing about Tour de Korea. I will be racing the Tour de Korea's "Special" race (Amateur Division). It is a 9 day stage race that has one rest day, so it is 10 days total. More to come on the TDK in my next blog. The Hill Climb was a team bonding/race prep for TDK.

Sokcho is about 4 hours from Osan and about 3 hours from Seoul. We headed over there Saturday and did one repeat of the mountain and a little more riding just to get some miles in. We had a total of 14 people that went and 10 of us were racing. It is quite amazing out in Sokcho as the ocean is right there and the water is really nice out there. It was quite windy though, which made things a little difficult while up on the mountain.

During our ride up the mountain on Saturday myself and Elmer saw a Korean MTB'er come flying down the mountain and about kill himself as he skidded out of control and crashed head/shoulder first into a concrete wall. He bounced up quite quickly and was dazed and confused on what happened, so me and Elmer helped him out and his helmet was cracked in 2 separate places. The guy was alright luckily, as it could have been a lot worse. After our ride I snuck out for a quick 20 min run. I say snuck out because all these "roadies" think I am crazy for running and swimming leading into a stage race. They all understand what my goals are this year and are still allowing me to race with them, so hopefully I can benefit the team. After the run we went out to dinner at a chicken soup place, it was so far out in BFE that they had to send a car to show us the way. It was alright, but for some reason Korean food doesn't fill me. After dinner we went to E-Mart and picked up groceries for breakfast and then some of us got more stuff for dinner #2. I also picked up some beers to enjoy, carbo loading is a key point to pre race prep ;)

After the beers and dinner #2 we sat around and BS'd about life in general and racing. Ended up hitting the sack around 10 and was woken up at 3am to some crazy noises outside. I woke up and the wind was howling outside and the flags outside the hotel were whipping around crazily. It was pretty crazy to think that we were going to race the next day in the same conditions. Sure enough when I got up 3 hours later it was still the same
and I was surprised the flags were still attached to the flag pole.

We rode over to the race and the team event went off first. Our team had 5 guys in that event, with 2nd-4th place times being added up and used for the winner of the team event. They ended up winning the team event and brought home 1 million won (about $950USD). Then we had 5 of us in the AG division. I was the youngest and our AG went off first. It was nice to of already pre rode the course and know how it was going to be. I had asked before hand and was told it was timing off the gun, not chip time. So no strategy needed for the start, just be the first person up the mountain, simple enough. So off I went the first 5K was pretty flat with some false flats in there. I stayed mid pack and then slowly worked my way up before the climb. I started the climb in 5th place and stayed there for quite some time. At 35 minutes in I was 35 seconds down on two guys that got away, and was hoping they would bonk later in the climb. With 1K to go I had moved up to 2nd and was 19 seconds down. The game breaker came when we got to a section of straight up the 20-25% grade or take the outside which was about 10-15%. I had spoken early that night with John about tactics on hill climbs and what lines to take. So obviously the inside lane with the steep grade is the shortest distance, and I had to make a move to make up time so I took that line and the other guy had taken the outside line. I made up about 10 seconds with that and then had about 800M to go of a more gradual up hill. With about 400M to go some guy started running besides the guy that was leading and telling him he was #1, he failed to look back and see me coming for about 2 seconds then when he realized I had a slight chance of catching him started yelling at the guy to do something, not sure what cause it was all in Korean, but I assume it was something to the effect of "YOU BETTER GO FASTER HE IS COMING". Seeing that guy run beside him lit a fire and I chased down this guy and made a strong move past him putting about 5 seconds into him and crossing the line first. Well come to find out beating someone by 5 seconds isn't enough when they start 6 seconds behind you. Lone and behold it was chip timing and not gun time :( So I ended up 2nd in my AG out of 57, but it was a great confidence booster and confirmed to myself that my legs are in some serious shape right now.

I want to give a big thanks to everyone that made this weekend possible: Team Storck/Rapha, Jeremy Moon (our team manager), Helen for taking pictures, Megan for tagging along and crushing the climb with us on Saturday, and everyone else that continues to support me.

Next up TDK........................

At the top on Saturday
Went back to the Statue from the Triathlon and found my name on it :)

About 2K to go!
That is part of the route.........

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