Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Snelling Road Race

Zachary Hilton
Snelling RR 35 +4's
Snelling, CA 
Place: 50
Field: 70
Teammates: George Bonanto, Peter Cathcart, Alexander Komlik, Paul Young, Phil Tercero, Phil Malaspina
Weather:  50 no wind, no rain, no sun...but who cares no wind at Snelling!!
Start Time:  12:40 pm
Total Time: 02:12:00
Power: 200 W avg, 819 W max, 194 W NP  
Average Speed: 22.20 MPH, Top Speed 33.84 MPH
Average HR: 165 Max HR: 189
Elevation Ascent: 1,785 ft


I'm riding my new 2015 Specialized Tarmac with Ultegra 6800 11 speed group set.  I ride a 53/39 11/28 for most races.  I am also racing with my Race Rim 46's Carbon Tubulars, and Vittoria Corsa EVO CX Tubulars.  I arrived early and warmed up on the trainer for around 50 minutes.  I don't really warm up until 45-50 minutes.  It was a long ride in the car again.  This time I brought a tennis ball for some in seat massage and stretching.  I didn't want any cramping.  I allowed extra time to stretch after I arrived.  I carried two bottles of Hammer Nutrition with me.  No need for a feed this race.  We did 4 laps.

I wanted to get to the start line early.  It gets really crowded there and if you aren't up from for the neutral start it gets sketchy in the back of the group.  We had 70 people register.  I had 8 SJBC guys and 7 were signed up for Revs Road.  The next biggest team was Rio Strada.  The neutral start went perfect.  Moto set the tempo and we were controlling the front.  Once the moto peeled off the wide open road the race was on full gas up the first roller.  There was no organization behind us, and SJBC took control in the front.  Several other teams were taking turns as we approached the feed zone for lap 1.  Of course the feed zone at Snelling is always an attack for the 35 4's.  Maybe because we do 4 laps and 2 bottles work out just fine.  No one was attacking the first lap and we all did a great job sitting in and watching the field.  The roads were a grinder as usual on Figueroa and Fields.  Make sure that everything is strapped and tightened!  Lap 1 completed.   In lap 2 after the feed zone a team named Genesolve came to the front several times and launched one of there riders up the road.  The first few times the field caught the solo attempt.      I think there was 4 of them, and they all looked like powerful crib riders.  Some counter attacks would happen as we brought Genesolve back in, but nothing would stick.  Several attempted to come around the front and attack but the group itself always pulled them back in.  This group was really strong and truly wasn't letting anyone get away.  Unless they were buy themselves.  On lap 3 a VSRT racer (not sure which one) launched an attack after the feed zone and I followed 2 others who were chasing him.  We got a bit of a gap and then they let up.  The VSRT guy was really strong, and maybe he was just testing the field.  He was itching to do something.  As we approached the rollers before Olsen Rd VSRT and a few others tried a break again and we had two guys to follow it.  They got a bit of a lead again but fizzled out and wouldn't work to keep it up. I thought it was going to be a great move away from the group with 1 lap to go but clearly it wasn't going to work.  Gene solve came up to the front again as we approached Figueroa and send sent one of there guys off.  This time he had around a 1:30 lead on us as we approached the feed zone for the last time.  SJBC and others kept the tempo high to finally reel him back in, and then Revs Road counter attacked sending one guy off the front.  He was able to get a good lead but was brought in as we turned onto Fields for the finish.  As we turned the 45 1/2/3's were screaming up to the line behind us.  I picked a wheel to hold onto and kept my head down as everyone swarmed all over and off the road up to the finish line.  I got boxed in a couldn't get around the wheel in front of me.  I slowly drifted back for an upright finish.  Congrats to my friend Tim Vickroy of Wells Fargo on winning Snelling RR this year.  We were teammates when Taleo Racing was around.  Looking strong bro!

I was happy with my performance.  My power numbers are up and I'm feeling great.  Each year I get closer to staying and competing for a top position at Snelling.  It's a great course.  I'm getting smarter about my positioning and saving my energy.  I might have had a bit more at the end if I hadn't spent time in the race chasing down some attacks.  This is a good block of training right now, and it's going to send me into our Team Training Camp in Paso Robles next month feeling strong!  Our Team Training Camp is pretty much a 3 day stage race :)

I used two bottles of Hammer Heed , an Oatmeal/Apple Hammer Bar, and two Hammer gels.

I've been taking Race Caps Supreme from Hammer Nutrition for a year now and I am hooked on the benefits.  On the longer distance races I used to get burnt out from the racing after two hours, but the race was for three hours.  I added some longer days of training, and with Race Caps Supreme I am now able to compete for an entire 3 hour road race.  I am also still a believer on a scoop of Hammer Nutrition Whey Protein mixed with water 30 minutes before bedtime.  I can wake up the next morning after a hard day, and do the same workout or race.

My next race is Chico Stage Race on February 28.


Thanks for reading!
Thanks to Race Rim Wheels!
Thanks to Hammer Nutrition!
Thanks to Voler!
Thanks to Vittoria Tires!
Thanks to SJBC Race Team!







Saturday, February 14, 2015

Knights Ferry Road Race

Zachary Hilton
Knights Ferry RR 35 +4's
Oakdale, CA 
Place: 12
Field: 17
Weather:  64 wet roads, no rain luckily!, sun was out in parts and warming
Start Time:  12:15 pm
Total Time: 02:56:00
Power: 169 W avg, 809 W max, 181 W NP  
Average Speed: 19.96 MPH, Top Speed 38.71 MPH
Average HR: 165 Max HR: 189
Elevation Ascent: 2,457 ft


I'm riding my new 2015 Specialized Tarmac with Ultegra 6800 11 speed group set.  I ride a 53/39 11/28 for most races.  I am also racing with my Race Rim 46's Carbon Tubulars, and Vittoria Corsa EVO CX Tubulars.  I arrived early and warmed up on the trainer for around 20 minutes.  It was a long ride in the car for 2+ hours.  I should have allowed extra time to stretch after that.  The rain stopped by the time the whistle blew, but there were still lots of water on the course.  I carried two bottles of Hammer Nutrition with me.

This is my first time racing Knights Ferry RR.  The course is comprised of rollers, flat, good pavement for the most part, and a few 180 degree turns on a really small two lane road.  One of the turnarounds you have a driveway to use, but the other is all road and a big shelf if you miss it!  This course is built for power and speed.  The total elevation is descent but thats accumulated over 59 miles.  Each roller is no more than 1 mile and 100 plus ft of climbing.  If you are a power climber, then this is your course.  My goals were to stay with the group until the end.  I would try my best to be smart and conserve energy.  I didn't know the course or many of the racers so I wanted to stay upfront to see where hazards are.  I wanted to always have a wheel to stay on, and lead into the 180 turns.  I had them charted out in my mind with mileage and there were 200 meter  signs.  We started off and I was sitting 4th wheel.  I figured with this masters group not much was going to happen in the first lap.  No teams with more than two were present.  We reached the first turn around and I led us through.  We were heading straight back in to a head wind.  I slowed to the right and allowed others to come around and no one would.  MM/Specialized racer Richard Gonsalves (this guy was the eventual winner, he went off the front on lap 2 and had a good 7-8 minute gap on us for the final lap)  came flying around us and I jumped onto his wheel.  One other joined us and I was hoping the chase was disrupted by the wind and no one paying attention, but the group caught us.  As we made it back through the start/finish there are some rough train tracks to go over.  We all made it through.  MM/Specialized and TopSport tried another attack and I jumped onto it also.  There were 5 of us in a great echelon trying to split the group up again on a windy section, but failed to keep it going.  I was burning matches doing this, but I wanted to be apart of it.  I always made sure that I was drafting.  With no teammates I was wasn't content just sitting in the entire time.  Team Revolutions sent a guy off the front with several miles left before the 180 turn.  We left him out there and he ended up with a good 1 minute lead, but we brought him back in right after the turn.  I led the group on the 2nd 180, and then MM/Specialized just took off.  I was sitting 4th wheel and putting it all out there on the course to stay tucked and in line.  He must of pulled us for 7-8 minutes.  He was clearly stronger than us but he wouldn't leave us yet.  Maybe that was his strategy to wear us down like that?  As we came back across the tracks again someones water bottle jumped out and luckily no one was taken down.  I think one other rider got a pinch flat.  No real attacks as we led up to the finish line for the final lap.  I didn't make it up front in time to lead us through the 180 turn.  I was trying to eat before the turn around.  As soon as we came through there were attacks that the entire group followed.  MM/Specialized was trying to break us all down again!  We let him go off the front.  No one wanted any of it anymore, and no one could really hold onto his wheel anyways.  I began to get some pain in my left upper leg and gluteus.  I did some stretching on the bike but wasn't sure what was up.  it took me about 10 miles to finally get the pain to go away.  That was a huge distraction.  Something on the bike or shoes was off.  Probably due to the fast race pace also.  We all became more aggressive in the chase though.  Everyone was talking short pulls and we had a great pace line all the way back to the finish line.  As we approached the 2K to go I was cooked.  I faded off and just wanted to finish.  The ride back was so windy.  Luckily I had a group to keep shelter.  I used two bottles of Hammer Heed and didn't need any of the Neutral Water that was provided.

I've been doing a few 50 plus mile and 3 hour rides recently, and that definitely helped to compete in this race.  So I ended up finding out the next morning while on my trainer that my left cleat's toe clip was just a little loose.  It was time to change the cleats out.  After doing some research I found that the abductor that connects the thigh to the gluteus was stained just enough to seize up and cause the pain while seated.  That threw my pelvic and hips off while riding with a loose cleat too.   So many things to review and remember prior to a race.  Thats why these reports are useful in the future!

I've been taking Race Caps Supreme from Hammer Nutrition for a year now and I am hooked on the benefits.  On the longer distance races I used to get burnt out from the racing after two hours, but the race was for three hours.  I added some longer days of training, and with Race Caps Supreme I am now able to compete for an entire 3 hour road race.  I am also still a believer on a scoop of Hammer Nutrition Whey Protein mixed with water 30 minutes before bedtime.  I can wake up the next morning after a hard day, and do the same workout or race.

My next race is Snelling RR on February 21.  It's our SJBC Race Team race for the month.  That's usually my first road race of the season.  I should be coming into it in good form.  It's a little shorter than Knights Ferry RR.


Thanks for reading!
Thanks to Race Rim Wheels!
Thanks to Hammer Nutrition!
Thanks to Voler!
Thanks to Vittoria Tires!
Thanks to SJBC Race Team!