USA Cycling Southeast Masters Regional Road Race - Alcova Road Race
Surprisingly, I rewatched the last hour of the race and chatted over it. I mainly wanted to see everything that I couldn’t see during the race.
What was going on behind? Was anyone in cahoots and trying to jettison me (at one point I thought that was happening with the 2 favorites getting tired of me being there still, and somehow everyone was skipping pulls when we needed to stay up the road).
While a road race isn’t as exciting to watch on a GoPro as a fast downtown twilight crit, I decided to post this so that you can see the cadence and different ways in which riders move about as we try to save energy and then drop a watt bomb on each other.
I have to say, I love masters racing. The quality is A+ even though people seem to mock it. There’s a different type of camaraderie after the races. More important, the quality of people are A++. Usually successful people from different walks of life, all trying to have fun smashing their bike.
Dad watts are no joke. Watch 56yo Brendan Sullivan casually increase the pace at times where I did 800W to keep up. W T H.
Alcova Road Race Course
Rolling hills northeast of Atlanta is how I’d describe it. The hills were much punchier than I expected, and after riding over and getting to ride on a portion of the course, I was shocked to be climbing on hill in my 39-25.
Here’s the Strava file from the RR and TT.
This video is the last hour of the race, so let’s take a look at what happened before.
Ride Data For The First 1h35m
WKO4 nerds: already 12m51s at 95% VO2Max! For those unfamiliar, 15m of this in a workout session will leave you dead. Master’s racing is NO JOKE!
387W Normalized Power for the first 1h 35m!
As you can see below, I’m trying to save as much as possible, but over the 5 laps, things were really spicy.
23m30s between 398-594W, my FRC/FTP zone (yes, they typed in wrong in that chart and it drives me crazy too).
There was a prime at lap 2 which I lost to Will Eustace. Things heated up before then as well as guys tried to split the field on a long uphill drag.
It was really hot on this day, almost near 90F, and really had to stay on top of hydration and food. Science in Sport gels are my go to since they go down easy, aren’t too sweet, and don’t need water to consume. I also went with their Go Drink Mix over the Beta Fuel as there’s slightly more sodium.
Basically, you need a ton of watts to make it through this course. The highway climb was hard 6 out of 8 times.
There were about 3-4 main splits but things kept coming back together. Since I had no teammates, I really had to try to get in as many little moves as possible, but was 100% in every major split; only to be surprised that things came back together more often than not.
We’d get over the 1-2 minute climbs, but the downhills were so fast and there was a mild headwind at times that really slowed us up on the uphill drag to the feed zone.
These Atlanta / Florida / Southeast dudes know how to race, and they race hard.
The Final 4: Who To Beat
The group was whittled down to 20, then 15, then 10, 8, and now, in the video below, 4.
Bruno Moreira: I raced this guy at Nationals and have heard his name before. He’s an ox. I didn’t want him in the group.
Unknown at the time, but Brendan Sullivan, former World Masters Champion, and a diesel that had a ton of grit. He seemed like someone to make a cheeky get away, but I was thinking I could drop him on the climb if it came to it, but I didn’t want him on the long drag towards the finish.
Unknown at the time as well, Will Eustace, who worried me. He beat me for the prime sprint and was nose breathing and eating as guys were gasping for air. Afterwards, a guy rolled up and said, “Will’s been kicking our ass all year, congrats on beating him.”
So, the four of us are here, no teammates, let’s do this.
VIDEO CLIFF NOTES:
8:30 first attack up backside climb 14:00 two laps to go 15:00 I talk some race metrics 21:00 highway climb 28:20 slow drag preview where things are gonna pop off - like 3-5% with headwind 32:30 Former Masters World RR Winner, Brendan Sullivan attacks 33:30 Last Lap - Sullivan OTF
Final Stats of the Race
Over 15m of 95% Vo2Max Metric.