Friday, June 1, 2012

Hwaseong Circuit Race and TTT

26 May 12-

Well last year this race we did as a team and won the TTT.  Myself and my good friend Aaron had marked this on our calendars again as a race we wanted to target.  Last year they had a circuit race prior to the TTT but they were not allowing people to do both.  This year things were different and we were allowed to do both.  The circuit race was 40K with one neutral lap, so total distance of 45K.  The TTT was 30K.  The race was held on the Kia Motors test track, it is basically a 5K super speedway with high banked corners (we stuck to the bottom on the corners which was flat).

The circuit race was first and started at 0900.  They had the groups broken up into Under 40 and Over 40, with about a 5 minute gap in between the starts.  Our group had 65 people or so in it, with a few local college kids from the local cycling University.  High school and College sports are specialized at a young age in Korea, so if you want to be a cyclist you go to said school, or a basketball player you go to another school.  So these college kids aren't your typical college cyclist, they are the future of Korean cycling.

The race started off really slow, so I jumped early to get things going.  I got a decent gap and stayed away for a bit just sitting out there at a tempo effort.  A few others joined me but about 5 minutes later we got pulled back.  I made several other attempts to get in a break but nothing was sticking.  So about 20 minutes into the race I just went towards the back of the pack and just sat in.  With 1/2 a lap to go I started moving up to the front to get into position.  Going into the 2nd to last corner (these were long sweeping corners, not your typical corner) I was boxed in pretty good and I eventually got out with about 1200m to go.  I moved up to 5th wheel at this time and just sat in.  A few of the guy started to go super early but I stayed patient.  With about 500m to go the sprinters from the Korean BMC Team (the guys that beat us in the TdK) went.  I had the opportunity to get on the guys wheel that took 2nd but my teammate and lead sprinter JY was already there so no reason to take the wheel from him since me being on the wheel wouldn't benefit him.  That was the best wheel for him to be on for a leadout as the guy from BMC is a strong sprinter.  There was a train lined up behind JY, so I just went at it on my own and ended up 7th, not bad for not being a sprinter.  I was happy with the result and it was a good way to open the legs up prior to the TTT.

The TTT started at 1230, so I had some downtime in between races.  I just sat around with the team and got my TT bike ready to go.  We talked strategy a little bit and got things sorted out.  We have all ridden with each other here and there but not all 7 of us at once, so we practiced a few starts and such and felt somewhat comfortable.  We got to the start line and took off.  I had the Garmin 800 set to auto lap at the line so I had a decent idea of where we were in terms of getting slower or faster.  Our team director was also showing us if we were up or down from the previous lap compared to BMC who was going to be our biggest rival.  Every lap we were a few seconds down and by the last lap they were showing us 8 seconds down.  We really hammered it home for the last lap and ended up putting down our fastest lap while BMC completely fell apart.  We ended up winning by 11 seconds and had almost 2 minutes on the 3rd place team.  We really wanted to get redemption on BMC from the TdK and myself and Elmer both said we would rather take 6th and beat them than take 2nd and lose to them, so we were glad to win and still beat them.  It was a great day as we defended our title from last year, and made a little money while we were at it.

40K Circuit Race Under 40-
Link to ride on Strava:
Results: 7th out of 63

30K TTT-
Link to ride on Strava:
Results: 1st out of 10

Here are some pics from the event as well as a few videos:


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