7/25/08

Road Atlanta Race Report

Since everyone is watching the tour (except us right now, without versus in our hotel room :( ) I will talk in "cycling" terms so I can sound just like Karel.
This race report is based on Karel telling all his cycling buddies what happened during the race as he was on the phone for our drive from the race until we got to our hotel and from just watching the race.
As for me, this was the race report I received from Karel....
"It was really hard, that climb was tough, I am happy with my performance, can you get me some cold water I had no fluids for the last 3 loops"

After a 7 hour drive, we arrived to the Road Atlanta car racing course around 5:30pm. We watched a little of the 35+ race and we both registered for the weekend. Karel for all 4 races and me for just sat and sun. I watched the girls race so I could scope out my competition. Karel relaxed for a bit and got ready to warm-up. I acted like a spectator so I just snacked on food and got my camera ready to take pics.
As Karel was warming up I prepared his water bottles (Heed + aminos and water and aminos).
The race started at 7:15 (a little late) and the race was 16 loops (around 35 miles of a 2.4 mile course). Karel placed 4th in this race last year and he absolutely loves this course. However, this year the course loop was backwards from last year so the crazy steep hill that the boys descending on last year was a crazy steep climb at the beginning of each loop. There was still a steep downhill with lots of windy roads along the way so this course is absolutely made for karel. All his intervals at his max would pay off at this race.
It only took 1 loop until Karel made his way to the front of the 50 Pro 1,2 field. Karel likes to sit in the pack and get a feel of the crowd until the race "gets going". However, this time Karel was all about action and instead of responding to moves, he was making them.
Karel and around 6 other guys formed a breakaway which stood strong for about 6-8 loops. There was one solo rider in the front that was totally TT'ing it the whole time. Karel and his group had the chase group trying to catch them for a few more loops and it wasn't until Karel's group caught the Cat 3 riders who started 2 min behind them. So the pro's lapped the Cat 3 riders and now the Cat 3's were hanging on with the Pro's. The Pro chase group got closer to Karel's breakaway group and there was no slowing down on the big climb.
I was enjoying taking pics and cheering but I knew I couldn't get too confident in karel. The race is never over until the riders cross the line. So much can happen in 1 loop and with the race only having 1 loop to go, I knew this would be a sprint to the finish.
The solo rider from a development team won the race by a min or so and then comes the big group of Pros and some Cat 3's. I see Karel in front of the pack but since he was first on the descend down the hill he knew there was no way he could keep up his pace. Karel had all the guys behind him as he was descending and then for a crazy sprint finish, Karel ended up in 7th place. There was a crash on one of the end loops which kinda shook up the riders but it wasn't until the end of the race that everyone looked like that had experienced enough pain for the evening.
So, congrats to Karel and a great way to start off the weekend of racing.
Tonight is the crit in downtown Norcross, GA at 8pm. Karel LOVES crits and hopefully he will have that boost in his legs for another great finish. Tomorrow (sat) we both do a road race and then on sun is the circuit race.
Karel and I rode 4 miles to the circuit race today and practiced 3 loops of the course which we will do on sun. Karel gave me some great pointers and I think he wants me to make some girls suffer...hopefully I won't be the one suffering :)

My computer at our hotel is a bit slow so I put the pics on snapfish for your viewing

http://www2.snapfish.com/thumbnailshare/AlbumID=232557097/a=49603030_49603030/t_=49603030