Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Tyler's Race Report: Nationals

Tyler Brandt
Junior 17-18 year old

National Championships

Time Trial: 44th place

At this point in my racing the time trial is the weakest part of my racing, but I feel that I am able to post a decent time, and I hope to improve my time trialing in ffered on to the line with the wind blowing my all over the place. I crossed the line with a time of 27:52 and I was a little disappointed because I was hoping for around 27:30 but I felt good with my ride nonetheless. I knew that I could not crack the leader board, but I felt that I had put in a respectable ride.

Road Race: 26th Place

I woke up bright and early for the road race. Our race started at 7:30 and I was up at 4:30 in order to get food in and it gave me plenty of time to wake up and get ready for the race that I had been training all year for. I was excited but relaxed, I knew that I would give it my all, and I felt like if I could make it without error through the first few miles and get in good position then I would do well. Getting on the start line early was almost more important than the warm up due to the 172 guys that were signed up for the race. I was able to get a decent spot in about the third row and I got a great start and was able to move up into the top 10 and find a good place to sit and relax. I felt good and then at about mile 3 I looked to my right as a Rock & Republic rider came screaming by me and in to the gravel off the road. I saw him go over the guard rail out of the corner of my eye, but I did not realize what was going on behind me. I did not even think about the consequences of going 50 mph and going over a guard rail. I did not realize that about 50 other guys had also gone down. My race was ahead and that’s where I was headed.

We did four laps out on a 10 mile circuit then returned to the start/finish area. There was one super steep climb that was about half a mile long and that was the only part of the course that I felt could be decisive until we got off of the circuit and up the finishing climb. I was able to find the sweet spot of the field and I just sat there trying to conserve my energy. I was suffering up the steep climb, but no one was drilling it up the climb so I was able to gut it out each time. The first few laps there was a dense fog that we could barely see through. I was sure happy that I had pre-rode and drove the course as I knew each corner and climb and was able to shift before each. Two guys had broken away on the first lap, a Hot Tubes rider, Ben King, who had won the Time trial and a Colavita rider. On the second lap we caught the Colavita rider and Ben King was going solo. No team was chasing too hard though and the gap was slowly increasing.

We started the final climb about 8 minutes back of the leader and the strong guys started to drill the pace. I was able to stay over the first few climbs but as we hit the long climb I was not able to hold on all the way. As I started to fall off the pace, Micah Herman of the AMD team came up behind me and gave me a little push and told me to follow him, and I tried but I just could not hold on. I suffered up to the Condo’s where Ethan caught me and he took a hard pull in our chase group of about 5 riders. Through this section my legs quads began to cramp and it seemed that they were pulling against me, it was ridiculous how painful it was. We started the final climb up to the resort and the finish and I was hurting. I tried massaging the cramp out but that did little. I just concentrated on getting through each stroke and was able to make my way to the line without too many riders catching me. I felt good with my ride, a little disappointed, but I knew that I could hang with the top guys, and if I had good legs I know that I could have gotten top 10.

Criterium: 25th Place

My race was not until 4 in the afternoon so we had plenty of time to get ready for the race and get some packing done since we were leaving early the next morning. At 12 there was a huge thunder storm and that was interesting, so we decided that we were probably going to race in the rain. We got down to the course about 2:30 and I got to look at the course and get good and ready. I was excited with the course, the finish was only 200 meters from the final corner so the sprint would be determined mostly on positioning, and if it was wet then I could have a lot better chance since I am not a great sprinter. There was also a slight uphill after the first turn and it was all around a course that I felt good about. As I was warming up it started to sprinkle, then it began dumping and thunder storms, and I was excited. I always enjoy racing the rain, it feels epic with the water shooting all over your face and you’re soaking wet.

I was able to get another good place on the starting line and I got off to a good start and even got in a little attack at the beginning and was in a break for a lap. I then took it easy and got into the sweet spot of the pack. I am not sure when, but a break went and it started to pull away. I went with a couple moves to bridge up, but each time the pack chased hard. Then as the break started to get seriously dangerous I gave it my all and took off and was able to get within 2 seconds of the pack, but then no one would pull through and drive the nail in. And then my race was done. I continued to attempt to bridge, but I got no where and I rolled into the finish disappointed that I did not make the break.

I felt good with my experience at nationals, and I feel that I was able to develop a great deal over the past year. Nationals is always a great place to test yourself against hundreds of riders your same age, and I was able to see that I am heading in the right direction, and that I am able to race with the best of them. I had a great time with the team and we had a lot of fun hanging out and watching the Tour. Thanks to all of our sponsors for giving juniors the opportunities to compete around the world. I am off to Superweek in Milwaukee and I plan on some podiums next year and maybe even a jersey,
Thanks for reading,
Tyler Brandt

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