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US Elite National Champion!

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Last weekend I travelled to Los Angeles to compete at the US Elite National Track Championships (Timed) held at the Velo Sports Center in Carson, CA. I had signed up for the 4km Individual Pursuit, the International Omnium, and the 4km Team Pursuit, so in theory I had a ton of racing jammed into 2.5 days of racing!

Photo by Brian Hodes / Veloimages.com

Friday Aug 9

The first race of the day was the 4km IP. I did a 4:53.8 here back in 2009 and thought I might be able to get down to a 4:45 thanks to living at altitude since mid-June. That wasn’t the case and I limped around to finish with a 4:59 which was a bit faster than the dismal 5:06 that I rode in Colorado Springs in early July. My time ended up slotting me into 8th place out of 13 starters, one position worst than my 7th place from ’09. Not horrendous, but not flying either.

In the evening I had the flying laps (250m) and clocked 15.714. Again, not great and that put me in 15th out of 18. If I had an aero helmet on that may have gained me a little bit of time but what’s done is done.

The next race of the evening was the 120-lap points race. That went a lot better than the point race I contested in Colorado Springs at the US Grand Prix of Sprinting. I took one of the springs, grabbed points in another, but was a couple laps down and ended up getting pulled somewhere about lap-90. Not great but it was a good speed workout and I felt like I could actually try some moves vs. hanging on for life in COS! Another 15th place. At this point, my Omnium competition was definitely over but based on the less than ideal training and moving house across the country in the past 2-months I probably couldn’t have expected much more.

The final even of the evening was the Elimination race. Despite starting at the back I got myself into what I thought was a safe position and survived 5 laps before getting eliminated. C’est la vie.

Sat Aug 10
I thought that my IP from Fri would could towards the Omnium but I found our on Fri that I would be riding another IP as part of the omnium this morning. I made the decision to only take one race number to the track but found out <10min before my start that two numbers were required. Rookie mistake. I was sent on a wild goose chase by the officials to get a new number but time was fast running out and I decided to pull the plug on my Sat racing and save my legs for Sunday’s Team Pursuit where I had a good chance of winning something.

Sunday Aug 11
After a lot of warming up and sitting around, I got in a short practice run with Liam Donoghue, Stefan Rothe, and Jake Deuhring amongst a traffic-filled velodrome. It got a little nuts with a few riders doing standing starts so we pulled the plug and got off the track while we were all still alive. After sitting through all of the team sprints we finally lined up for the TP. With the other guys doing times in the 4:40′s for their IP’s vs my 4:59, we made the decision that I would take over at the end of the first lap and go as hard as I could for 2-3 laps, pull off, then let the other guys finish up the job. The plan worked perfectly and we ripped around the track to come home with the fastest qualifying ime of 4:30.5! Holy s**t… Fastest IP that I ever did was a 4:41.4 in LA in ’09 so to be part of a team doing a 4:30 was both surprising and cool.

For the final I expected us to maybe go a bit slower as the other guys had raced the pursuit, scratch race, and kilo the previous day /evening. After lots more sitting around and keeping warmed up on the rollers we lined up for the final against Zak Kovalcik, Justin Williams, Al Urbanski, and Colin Gibson. We went with the same plan again with me doing 2-3 of the fastest laps that I could… I got the guys up to 37mph, peeled off and then it was all up to them to seal the deal. Watching the 3 of them ride for the final 3.5mins was nail biting as the splits were very close at the half way point, but in the end my team pulled ahead to finish with a 4:27.973 over the silver medal’s 4:30.283 ride. We went even faster AND were not US Elite National Team Pursuit Champions! Daaaaamn!

Just like Stefan Rothe said, I couldn’t have picked a better group of guys to win my first Elite National Champion title with. Other cool factoids are that Stefan and I both got our US Citizenship last year, and 3 of our team are dual-citizens hence the team name “Three Plus One”. Even better was having my wife and daughter there to see the event unfold and getting to take them up on the podium. Priceless!

US Grand Prix of Sprinting

So… That didn’t quite go so well! Before Friday morning I don’t recall ever doing a flying lap. Nothing quite like doing it for the first time at a UCI race. I managed to not set the world on fire with a 20.195 ride over the 333m lap which works out at a slugging 59-ish kph. I even got chicked by some of the pro women. Oops.

Next race on the schedule was the Points Races. I figured this would go better being more of an endurance event… Not so much. I was a lap down within <20 laps of the 90 lap race, then suddenly there were a couple pistol shots and the race was stopped. No one knew why but we later found out that the UCI realized there was no medical people on site. Oops. So we all sat there for 30mins while the organizers arranged for medical support. They eventually arrived just in time for the hottest part of the day, we resumed racing, and no longer had I started, I was pulled by the UCI official as I was getting lapped again. Damn… Maybe not having my road bike to train on has screwed up my form more than I thought.

In the evening I ventured back to the track for the Elimination Race… At this point I was sitting in last place in the Omnium so I lined up at the back for the race start. Not the best place to be in so as soon as the race started I got my nose to the front of the pack. I managed to stay in for a few laps before being eliminated. I guess it could have been first… At least I wasn’t eliminated on lap 1!

Overall, the first day mostly sucked.

On Day 2 the first even I was going to ride was the Individual Pursuit. I got in a good warmup and was all ready to go, did one last spin around the infield when I got the dreaded psss psss psss sound. Yup, I flatted my rear disc on all the crap on the track infield and apron. Not enough time to borrow a spare wheel from someone so I decided to scratch it and pull the plug on the remaining racing for the weekend. In hindsight that wasn’t an entirely bad decision as the other events got rain delayed until 8pm with racing not concluding until 11pm.

Time to figure out how to re-align my duck before Nationals in LA in 3.5 weeks time!

CO State Track Champs

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Warming up for the Team Pursuit. Photo: © Dejan Smaic | SportifImages.com 2013

What better way to drop into the local race scene than sign up for the State Track Championships 3 weeks after arriving at altitide! That’s exactly what I did last weekend, racing on the track both days. I wasn’t expecting any spectactular performances as the 10 days leading up to the race were spent trying to get my back to feel like normal while also trying to train at the same time. Nothing worse than being in a conflict between wanting to train hard, but trying to not do any further damage to your back. I think I screwed up my back lifting my daughter into the car. She’s not getting any lighter, and combined with a removable car seat, that’s ~50lbs of awkward weight to deal with. 1 rep of that is nothing, but do it constantly 7 days a week and you’ll get it! The other genius part of the equation was my employer and shipping company delaying shipping my goods (and bikes) so that they could wait until other coworkers stuff was ready to sail across the pacific. Great… So the past three weeks have been spent navigating Denver’s roads on my track bike w/out brakes and trying to get some kind of training effect out of it all. Not ideal!

So excuses aside, the racing went reasonably well… I signed up for the Omnium so I had the Individual Pursuit (4km), Scratch Race, and Kilo on Saturday, then the Team Pursuit and Points Race on Sunday.

Individual Pursuit – I felt OK, but I was also matched up with the rider that ended up winning the IP (and Omnium) and he caught me towards the end. First time I’ve been caught in a pursuit… Ouch. Not wicked fast, but good enough for 4th and less than 1sec out of the medals. In some ways, I’m happy with 4th vs. getting the chocolate medal, but it would still have been nice to been in the 4:40′s and not a 5:06ish.

Scratch Race – This started off reasonably OK, then later in the race I thought I saw 13 laps to go on the lap board, but after a group had accelerated ahead I realized it was 3 to go and the game was over. Dumb mistake, but better to make it at a non important event than something like nationals! I think I got 6th.

Kilo – It went about as good as a Kilo can go. It hurt for all 1 min 13seconds which was good enough for 4th and a hair outside of the medals again.

After a 70 mile drive north back to home in Denver, a 9hr nap in my own bed, then a 70 mile drive back south to Colorado Springs, it was time to try and redeem something from the weekend!

Team Pursuit - I raced with the winner of the previous days IP (Jacob Deuhring), Steven Herzfeld, and Greg Auld, we combined out efforts to come away with the Gold medal with a 4:44 ride. Not wicked fast but fast enough to get the job done over some faster older geezers from Boulder that included a couple master world champs.

Point Race - The final race of the weekend and I had a plan of action. Nothing to lose so I might as well go for it! I crossed the line 5th at the 5 lap sprint, then took a flier on lap 8 and stayed away to take max points on lap 10. I sat up to be absorbed by the group, but things went from good to bad when I got blocked in and ridden down onto the Cote d’Azur while a strong group of guys sped off never to be seen again. I stuck it out and finished in 4th again, slightly irritated at what could have been a better ride. C’est la vie.

Overall it was a fun wekeend of racing, the Colorado track crowd are really cool, I get to be 1/4 CO State Champ, and got some cool photos out of it too. Roll on this Friday/Saturday’s US Grand Prix of Sprinting! Ouch.

Team Time Trial

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Post race chat with Kevin Kawainui (BME Racing) and Mark McClay (Hickam Area Cycling Club).
Photo by: Sau Hsu.

This morning I raced a 40k Team Time Trial with one team made and a couple friends. I haven’t had luck sourcing a 1″ fork for my TT bike so I ended up using my TK2 track bike with 53 x 14 (Fixed).

We hadn’t practiced together as a team, but three of us have raced a few TTT’s before so we just picked a rider order, agreed on rotation direction, and went for it.  We were the first team off… Dry roads and minimal wind (rare!). We were working together really well then at about half way to the turnaround it started raining. I survived the turnaround and it looked like we had a good gap over the team that started behind us. As we were going through Punalu’u, I was riding on the front and a silver truck pulled out right in front of us then proceeded to cruise along well below the speed limit and about 10mph slower than we were travelling. We slowed down, then the driver slowed down some more, so we went to go around the guy. Next thing, the driver speeds up a little, and I tried to gesture him to accelerate and get out of our way. He then decided to hit the brakes right in front of us almost causing a crash. Eventually he drove off, but the damage had been done… We must have lost at least 10sec, but probably more. We got back down to business and did what we could to the finish and crossed the line in 53:43 based on the officials watch. We were beaten by BOCA by 2 seconds.

Prior to starting the TTT my aerobars felt solid, but a mixture of road vibrations, wet weather, and my death grip resulted in the left extension rotating 45deg and the right one creeping forward almost coming out of the clamp holding it in place. Trying to wiggle / slide it back in while riding a track bike in the rain with 3 guys makes for some exciting and nerve-racking times. Fortunately I kept the extension in there until the finish.

Moral of the story? If you see a silver truck on O’ahu with the license place RGD 814, please feel free to do whatever you see fit. The driver really doesn’t give a shit about cyclists. I brought up the incident to a cop at the race but he didn’t seem to care either… Probably too much to expect him to write a report and follow up with the driver.

Tantalus TT 2013

Long-time Hawaii racer Ray Brust on his way to winning the 50+. 1

Long-time Hawaii racer Ray Brust on his way to winning the 50+.

***Updated 4/11/2013***

Yesterday I raced the Tantalus Time Trial which is one of the longest running cycling events in Hawaii… If you’ve lived anywhere close to the 96813 zip code you’ve probably ridden it at least once, or if you have a bit of an unhealthy obsession with it like me, thousands of times. At one point when I was competing in NRC races on the mainland and focussed on trying to be a climber, I rode 6+ laps of it almost every week. It’s my “go to” places for doing FTP tests as you get a long ride up a steady grade with no traffic lights and minimal traffic. I’ve spent so much time up there that I know where I’ve got to be for a specific target time. I’ve ridden in in sunny hot conditions. I’ve ridden it in torrential downpours. If I had a couple million bucks burning a hole in my pocket I’d buy a house up there!

With my current focus being track racing, I haven’t spent my usual amount of time trying to climb like a spider monkey wearing crampons. A few climbs up Aiea Heights here and there but that’s about it. Beetween the end of last season and now I’ve ridden Tantalus few enough times that I can count them on one hand. As such, I wasn’t expecting to light the world on fire. Having ridden it in a low 23 the previous weekend, anything <23 would have been a bonus. I’ve done enough calculations on the effort required to climb Tantalus that my own lungs can’t carry 158lbs of cyclist up there in record time. I just don’t have the genetics for that kind of ride. The only way for me to be doing 18min rides up it is when I’m closer to 140lbs and putting out 370w. When Tom Danielson was here a few years ago supposedly he rode it in 14mins. Tommy D likes to dabble in some of that doping stuff so whatever.

I got to Tantalus before any other racers, found one of the few levels spots in the area to warm up on my Kreitler rollers, pinned on my race number, and got warmed up. For once, the weather was perfect with the execption of some VOG in the air. Just after 7am and I was off! I know all the time splits for an 18:30 ride, so I can gauge how good or bad I’m doing from early on. The first 4mins were OK. At 6min in I could see time slipping away, but no big deal as I wasn’t expecting to do 18:30 this year! Further up the course I felt like I was still doing OK, not brilliant, but putting in a fairly good effort. I crossed the line at the top in 20:13, one of my slowest ever race times and a time that I used to do 3 repeats of in training a few years back. Last year the race was one with a relatively slow time so I thought I might still be in with a chance. Last years winner (Eric Lau) was riding the single speed category so I didn’t expect that he would put in a time that would challenge fast guys on lightweight road bikes with gears. I would later be proven wrong.

It didn’t take long to find out that Jason Smith had beaten me with a high 19. Next across the line was Zebulon Brown who also nudged me by a few seconds. Impressive ride for a relatively new guy to the Hawaii road scene!

I grabbed my DSLR and headed back down to the start shooting photos of racers along the way. I like photography and cycling so it was cool to finally be able to both race and shoot photos of an event.

After I got home I saw the results posted online. First suprise was seeing that local triathlete Tim Marr had done an 18:44 riding his Specialized Shiv (definitely not light at ~18lbs and not what I’d call an ideal piece of kit for a hillclimb). Somehow he managed to get it up there sub 19.

Next surprise was seeing that Eric Lau had posted a new record of 18:27 riding a Specialized Tricross built up as a single speed, with a flat bar, and riding mountain bike shoes. The bike looked like it had been pulled out of the Ala Wai. As someone that’s put a lot of training and research into climbing up Tantalus sub 19, and having a best ever time of 18:29, to see someone go faster on a bike like that (while throwing shakas and making it look easy) certainly blows the mind. With that kind of impressive power he should be racing ProTour.

I had a strong hunch that there were some times from Sunday that didn’t make sense and today I received confirmation that there was a timing calculation error due to a rider not starting not being accounted for. As such, new results are forthcoming and Alexander Eiler’s record (18:32) from a few years back stands. I think Eric Lau still takes the win, just not with a sub 19. However, it’s still an impressive ride on a single speed that based on my own calcs must weigh ~16lbs.

The fastest time during a race that I’m aware of is my 18:29 in 2006 during the Boca Stage Race the day after I won stage 1 which was the Olomana Road Race. I should dig out the file and upload it to Strava!

Castle Time Trial

This morning was my second race of 2013 (Castle TT) which is a point to point time trial from Maunawili Elementary School to Hanauma Bay. Basically, it’s 12.8 miles of lumpy terrain with a decent climb before the finish and a longer nastier climb to the finish. Just what you want after going balls out for +/- 12 mins. This week I was the third rider off, chasing Ray Brust (@1min) and Jason Smith (@30sec). Jason and I were close last week with my taking a win by a scant 11 seconds. Today I had two options: (1) Go hard from the start and try to catch Jason and keep him in sight, or (2) Be more patient and slowly eat away at the 30sec gap. Despite the Ray and Jason both leaving the start looking fast, I eased into things… By Waimanalo I was 10sec up on Smith. I got caught up in some slower traffic on the descent from Makapu’u and ended up riding the rutted shoulder at 47mph in the aerobars to get ahead of the road furniture… I could see both Smith and Brust up ahead and I was reeling them in, but when I finally caught Ray, Smith was a good bit ahead. Alarm bells :) I did my own time check when Smith hit the final right-hander before the finish and had it at 30sec, so I just threw down all that I had left… I really couldn’t tell if I’d done it, but I knew it was bloody close. A few hours later I finally saw the official results and was relieved to see my name at the top of the page a mere 5sec ahead of 2nd placed Smith. What a day with some wild winds… I’m just glad it wasn’t raining!

Castle TT Top 5:
1st Mike Zagorski 26:56.1
2nd Jason Smith 27:01.8
3rd Ben Williams 28:09.9
4th Ray Brust 28:16
5th Tony Lang 28:43

Mokuleia Time Trial

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Me on the start line. First rider off.
Photo: Richard Galluzzi (www.hawaiicyclist.com)

Today was my first race of the 2013 Hawaii cycling season – The Mokuleia Time Trial. 12.5 miles of mostly flat riding, a tailwind to the turn, headwind back to the start, and on some pretty crappy roads. Over the past 8+ years since I first raced Mokuleia, the road has progressively deteriorated and leaves a lot to be desired. It’s not somewhere that I make an effort to go and train!

I only decided to race Mokuleia a little over a week ago, and on a borrowed TT bike from my sponsor (who’s on his 60′s). As you can imagine, there’s quite a difference between the low aggressive position that I’m known to ride vs. that of a rider in their 60′s. The only thing I changed on the bike was the seat height. 3 training rides on it later and I’m lining up for a race on it. Ouch. Not ideal, but I figured I will try and race as many of the Hawaii races as I can, even if just for a bit of training. I’ve spent quite a bit of time in the gym which has eaten into my usual amount of riding time, so I honestly wasn’t expecting much today… Maybe top 10 depending on who was racing.

On Saturday evening I learned that I was first off… A great starting slot as long as you don’t mind being chased and like to chase an invisible rabbit! 30sec behind me was Jason Smith who has been putting in some serious miles over the winter. Tony Lang was a couple riders back. There was no sign of the other two fast guys – Eric Lau or Dave Moyer.

I did a quick spin over 1/3 of the course for my warmup to check out the wind and road conditions. As usual, tailwind out, headwind back, and not easy to find anything resembling fast smooth road. I got off to an OK start, got comfortable in my TT position, then got down to business. I averaged about 30mph to the turnaround where I saw Jason Smith chasing about 30sec behind me, so we were pretty even at that point. After the turn I saw a few more riders then Tony Lang looking a bit slower than usual. The ride out was on the best part of the road… The ride back was bumpy with a section of road covered in mud. The tailwind sucked but I just kept plowing onwards to the finish trying to squeak out any last 0.1mph that I could find. I crossed the finish in 27:23 to take the win over 2nd place Jason Smith by 11sec, and Ray Brust at 24sec.

Not a great race, but a win is a win and I’ll happily take it. A small margin at Mokuleia can turn into a much bigger margin at next Sunday’s time trial from Castle to Hanauma. Hopefully I can keep the winning streak alive!

Top 10 Results
1 0:27:23 Zagorski, Mike
2 0:27:34 Smith, Jason
3 0:27:47 Brust, Ray
4 0:28:16 Williams, Ben
5 0:28:35 Lang, Tony
6 0:28:51 Brooks, Carl
7 0:28:55 Williamson, Binney
8 0:28:55 Nakayama, Jason
9 0:29:44 Senas, Burt
10 0:29:45 Lezzer, Bill

Dick Evans Memorial Road Race

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Throwing down some watts in the break with Dave Moyer. Photo by Charisa Gum.

Yesterday’s 2012 edition of the Dick Evans Memorial Road Race was fairly epic. Probably too epic for many. It all started off before sunrise at 545am in Hawaii Kai. It was pouring pretty bad when I left Aiea to drive over to the race start, so we ended up with wet roads to race on. Normally not a big deal, but when roadwork happens in Hawaii, it seems to be a long drawn out process. For months there have been metal places across Ala Moana Blvd. Those, plus some oil slick likely left from one of the city and county of Honolulu’s buses, resulted in something like 40 people hitting the deck. Two carted off to hospital with suspected broken hips.

We finally made it to Kunia, but the race stated further up the climb than usual as the officials had to wait for some people to rejoin the peloton. Tim Marr did the first acceleration and had things strung out but then the pace eased up… Probably one of the easiest rides up Kunia during Dick Evans that I’ve ever done. I thought about lifting the pace but figured I’d just sit in and see what others would do. Further up Kunia, Dave Moyer (A strong Cat 1 from Chicago) attacked and I decided to follow suit. Just as I put the power down, my rear wheel decided it wanted to be ahead of my front wheel. I spun out on the wet road landing on my left hip and elbow. All I remember was curling up, covering my head, and feeling the impact of a few bikes and bodies from behind. I bounced back up, straightened out my bars and shifters, hopped back on the saddle, and chased back onto the peloton. A few guys had sat up when I crashed, so thanks to them!

A rotation started amongst the stronger guys at the front all the way through the feed zone to Dole Plantation. The next thing I knew, there was a guy up the road by 100ft or so, so I asked a friend “Who the hell is that? as I hadn’t even seen them launch. His reply was “The guy from Chicago”. Before I had any time to think of the consequences, I’d launched myself up the road and was in pursuit of Moyer. I thought some others would come, but I guess no one was interested. It took a pretty damn good effort before I finally caught up with him about half way down Pineapple. We started rotating and got down to business, keeping the speed pretty steady all the way to Pupukea. Shortly after, Penn Henderson from the Big Island bridged up to us, not too impressed by the lack of work going on in the peloton behind.

Moyer, Penn, and myself… That seemed like the winning move for sure! We worked our asses off but from minimal time checks, the gap only ever got up to about 1 minute. It dropped down to about 34 sec, then back up to 54sec, but by Ahuimanu the chasing peloton were in sight. I thought we were going to get caught quickly, but even though we sat up, the gap seemed to stick around 20seconds. Ray Brust bridged up to us after the feed, so our pace ramped up again. At this point I figured it would be good to get out of Temple Valley to avoid any attacks! On Mokapu Saddle, Moyer finally peeled off leaving me with Ray and Penn. Going up the first climb into Olomana we could see 2011 winner Eric Lau chasing on the highway below. Half way through Olomana I eased up, waited for Eric’s group, then tagged onto the back. We had a good size group, but at the turnaround one rider let a gap open up splitting us from Eric, and that was that. Pretty much game over. Lesson learned. Irritating, but that’s racing. At that point it was over, so I just cruised to the finish taking 12th place. My team mate Kevin Kawainui took 8th, and Shannon O’Shea had a great ride to place 17th.

One of the last words spoken to all the racers before the start was to ‘Race Bravely’ or something along those lines. I’d really like to see more people riding aggressively at the Dick Evans.

Pineapple Hills RR

Pineapple RR win. 0

Photo © 2012 Sau Hsu.

Much like Olomana road race, last weekends’ Pineapple Hills road race was another case of ‘turn up, pin on a number, use it as a training ride and see what happens’. The race is 4 laps around a course with a little over 1100ft of climbing per lap and about 55 miles total distance.

Before the race it rained quite a bit so the warmup mostly consisted of sitting in my car while pinning on my number, then a short roll around the start / finish straight. We had a pretty good turnout for our Cat 1/2/3 race with plenty strong guys, both regulars and a few new faces, to keep things interesting; Eric Lau (Tradewinds), Ray Brust (Boca), Sean Sullivan (Pacific Velo), Kevin Kawainui (BME), a Czech guy Pavel Stuchlik (raced pro for the Marco Polo team), and others.

I found myself at the front after the start so I wound up the pace to 28-30 to get things started then we cruised down the descent. No real sign of any bullets until we hit Pineapple Hill for the first time… Speeds north of 20mph saw a few early casualties peeling off the back of the peloton… We averaged about 17mph for the whole climb.

Sean Sullivan and I got a small gap going on lap 2 and started doing some rotations but staying away on the descent was asking a bit much and needless to say, we got reeled in before the bottom.

On the third time up Pineapple it was more of the same fast climbing being dished out… We lost Lang and Stuchlik for a while but due to our lead group easing up on the flat section at the top, they rejoined is going through the start / finish going into the final lap.

The final climb up Pineapple saw plenty accelerations from Eric Lau which I matched, and about half way up the climb we broke the elastic and got a gap on the others. I thought we had 5 laps, but at the top of the climb confirmed that we only had 4! Has I realized it was only 4 laps I’d have raced a bit different, but now it was just going to come down to a 2-man gallop for the line. Eric and I did some cat and mouse over the final 1km a little like Vino and Uran in the Olympic RR with the chasers within sight. With 200m to go, Eric ramped up the pace, I went with him then came around before the line to take the win. Not a bad training ride!

On a final note, Dan Miller and everyone from Quick Release / BikeFactory need a shout out / kudos / high-5′s / shaka’s for putting on a well run event with trophies and prizes including cold hard CASH! A perfect example of how a race should be!

Olomana Road Race

Last week I decided to throw a few bucks down and enter the Olomana Road Race. I’m not what I’d call race fit right now, but I figured I’d get a good training ride out of it. Thanks to having to wake up at 5-something AM for dayjob, I’m acclimated to waking up at ridiculously early hours, so the 5am wake up today wasn’t that painful. On Saturday afternoon / evening I had a BBQ with my BME Racing team mates. The damage? 5-6 steaks, countless sausages, 2 beers, a glass of red wine, and 2 cans of coke. NOT athlete food by any means, but it was a fun time with great people!

With the whole BBQ thing I spent a good part of Saturday running around trying to not kill people at Costco, and prior to that I did a not so epic 30mins of riding on my road bike after giving it its first clean in about 4 months.  The BMX also got a long overdue wash.

I got to Olomana a little after 6am which gave me plenty time to unload the bike, pin on my number, and do a very short warmup.

We had a little over 10 guys in our Cat 1/2/3, 15-lap, 45-mile race… Small, but enough guys to have some fun.  Dan Miller got things started and went solo early in the race but was soon reeled back in. Gets windy out there on the Highway! The next break was a little more dangerous; Rick Collins and Tony Lang. I think their advantage maxed out at about 30-sec, but we gradually roped them back in. The remaining laps were basically recovering on the highway, then riding 3 climbs back to the start / finish spinning away in the 39. Not hard climbs by any means, but if ridden fast enough, by the time you get 10+ laps into the race, those climbs hurt a little bit more.  As far as I can remember, every time I’ve raced here a lot of people including myself cramp up towards the end. This year was no different!

With a few laps to go our group consisted of Eric Lau, Ray Brust, Rick Collins, Tony Lang, and myself. We lost Rick to an attack of cramp somewhere on lap 13 or 14. On the second  climb on Lap 14 I expected a big attack to come by Eric, but he pulled over while letting out an “aaargh” while grabbing his leg. Now it was just me, Tony and Ray to contest the finish. There wasn’t much let up in pace all the way to the final climb. I attacked about 500ft from the finish with 1175w on the SRM, then I could feel my calves cramping like crazy… I sat back down and grinded it out to the finish at 800w to take the win. It’s been a while since I had an effort like that!

Olomana was also the first race in BME colors for my new team mate Kevin Kawainui. Not exactly a course that suits a bigger rider like him, but I’m sure we’ll have fun mixing it up some of the other races!

I persuaded one of my co-workers from Kiewit to come out and race Olomana, and she ended up winning her race!

I know that I’d won Olomana a few times in the past, but I couldn’t remember how many times, so I checked back through some old results…

Olomana Road Race
2012 – 1st
2011 – No race
2010 – 1st
2009 – 1st
2008 – 1st
2007 – 1st
2006 – 1st
2005 – No race? I might have been racing on the mainland.
2004 – 2nd
2003 – Living in Scotland
2002 – Not sure if I raced it.
2001 – Olomana RR was my first race in Hawaii… Flatted and ended up DNF’ing. Too fat, too slow!