Wednesday, May 23, 2012

DMZ Road Race

20 May 12-

After getting in the crash last week and DNF'ing the Hill Climb the DMZ Race was shaping up to be very similar as last November.  This was the race that I closed out my 2011 season with, a win at that.  The interesting thing is the race before the DMZ race last year I also crashed, so there is something about the DMZ race that gets me in trouble prior to it.  It makes me show up to this race ready ride and get after it.

The race is a very interesting one at that.  The best way to describe it is it is a 2 stage race, except you don't really get a huge break in between, about 12K of neutral decent at that.  So you finish what I will call "Stage 1" at the top of a 20min climb, descend through a technical decent where your time does not count (neutralized), then you arrive to a timing mat to start "Stage 2", which includes a 5k climb and then about 20K to the finish line.  There is some strategy to this race since the timing is all chip based, and it can really bite you in the rear if you don't pay attention.

I showed up to the start line on time this time and believe it or not they actually started the race on time instead of early like last week.  I sat at the back of the group and made sure I was the last person in my age group to role over the line.  That gets you at least a few seconds in case you come across the line as someone else at the same time you should have the upper advantage.  I sat in the group for most of the flat section leading to the climb, but with about 5k to go went up front and started to hammer it to put some of the other guys in the hurt zone.  I was feeling fine and showed up to the bottom of the climb in the front and then my teammate and stud climber JY took off up the climb.  A few guys tried to go with him but I knew it was a long climb so I just held my own pace.  I was back to about 5th and just kept on going.  About 3/4 of the way up the climb the 30's Age Group came by us, well the 3 leaders, which included one of my teammates Elmer the Flying Osterich.  I picked up the pace with them for a bit, but they were just hammering away so I got back into my zone.  With about 1K to go I had caught the second place guy and up a steep right hander is when I made my move and attacked.  I rode hard to the top of the climb trying to put has much time into the guys behind me, but knew there was no way I was going to catch JY.

I ended up crossing the line 1min40secs behind JY, yeah he took it to me pretty good.  I also put 40secs into the next guy behind me so I had a pretty nice cushion for Stage 2.  I rode down the neutral zone with Elmer and then Stephen who was in the 40's caught up to us.  The ideal way to ride Stage 2 is to group up with a decent group and then go with them from the start.  So off we went for Stage 2 and Stephen left the line about 1min before all of us to try and get a good gap so that he could go over the top of the climb with the climbers.  I had to stay with the guys in my age group to make sure we all crossed the line at the same time.  About 1K from the climb Stephen was still up the road a bit so I attacked and bridged up to him.  We both worked together up the climb but about 1K from the top of the climb I got caught and dropped by the three 30's age group guys.  They all went over the top and I ended up going over the top with three guys from my AG.

We all stayed together all the way to the finish and I sat 2nd wheel for about the last 1K and with about 300m to go I jumped out and took the sprint out of us.  I am still trying to figure out how far out I can go from so it was a good practice sprint for me.  I ended up 2nd to JY and he had the fastest time on the day, and he solo'd the whole 2nd stage of the race.  The guy is super impressive and just keeps getting stronger and stronger.

Overall it was a great day, our team had a good showing with 5 of the 8 of us on the podium.  We are making a statement, that although we did not win the team title at the TdK we are the strongest team right now, cleaning up at every race we show up to.  There have been a few guys avoiding riding in the road category and have been doing the MTB races because of how we have been dominating, it is quite comical.

Thanks again for all of the support, looking forward to putting in a solid 2 races in one day this coming weekend with a 40k Circuit Race in the morning followed by a TTT in the afternoon.

Link to ride on Strava:
Results: 2nd out of 43 (51 on start list) Link to Results: Click Here

Haven't been able to find any race photos yet, but here is a few photos from the podium.

 Gotta support the WATTS Shop, as they provide plenty of support for our team.
 Quick change into the military kit, that is what I have been racing in.  Love flying the Red, White, and Blue onto the Podium!
 All of the podium guys!
 Everyone from our team that raced, saying "FIGHTING"!
34kg of rice, gave it away to some of my Korean friends!

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