Since I had to stay in Austin for the Baha'i Faith (www.bahai.org) New Year celebrations, I did not do the stage racing that was on down in Fayetteville. But it worked out ok as I was able to put in two back-to-back five hour rides on Saturday and Sunday to clock up over 180 miles. This is the most I have done in a long while, especially on concecutive days!
On Saturday I joined the Austin Tri-cycles group ride which still had a good group turn out despite the large numbers of people racing in Fayetteville. There was also a group of professional tri-athletes present in the group from the Cervelo Racing Team and this kept the pace pretty high once we turned off Mopac onto South-west Parkway for the "un-official" 10-12miles of racing. I made the front split over one of the hills by following one of the pro triathletes across. At the end, there was about 15 or so riders contesting the "sprint" which finished at the top of a steepish hill. The three pro tri guys were leading the way down the hill with me tucked in behind and a couple of roadies were right behind me. One roadie made his jump and I countered with my jump. Immediately I found myself in front and sprinting full tilt. Adam from Mellow Johnny's bike shop was the only one who stayed on my wheel but I dug in deeper to keep going. He popped and I was the "un-official race winner" :) I re-grouped with a dozen others and continued on 620 to do "That Dam Loop". While talking to Jen McRae (criterium strong woman) I hit a pot-hole and my bottle came flying out, so I stopped and returned to grab it. This made for a painful solo chase into head wind. I could not close the gap as the group was working well together but the gap stayed about the same. I started catching up with half of them on the final hill-climb. There was another re-group and re-fueling at the gas-station before four of us, including one Kelly Benefits rider rode through Lime Creek at a brisk pace. The Kelly Benefits rider rode away from us on the "triple pitch" climb but after this climb, we were riding at recovery pace. I rode back through the city and did another hour on my own before heading home with an epic ride under my belt fueled mostly by Usana products (REV 3, Peanut butter choc crunch bar, and the oatmeal raisin bar). I did make a stop back at the ATC shop for several tasty Tacos.
Sunday's ride was supposed to be with Austinbikes, but no-body was there so it was a solo 5hr ride for me! It was a nice sunny day out and I cycled out to the Texa's Hill Country out West. Did some nice tempo riding but mostly just steady 200watts or so pace. Tomorrow is a well-deserved day off before resuming with Training on Tuesday.