Freifelder 1st, Lundgren 2nd

BY KENNETH LUNDGREN

Hey Gang,

Training going well over here… Last week I had some great riding… I recovered well from the Kingwood 36k on SUN, rode the PowerCranks at recovery pace on Monday…

On TUE, I blitzed two long LTs and posted my best data of the year — good timing for it. I did two longer intervals, and on the second half of both intervals my watts were not dropping off as much as usual and I posted 5 and 8w improvements over my best previous data, so I was very happy. Shattered, but happy…

WED I did a longer 2h PowerCrank ride over rolling and hilly terrain… I maintained endurance numbers on the flats, pushed SubThreshold wattages up the climbs… Riding the PowerCranks in a disciplined manner can be hard — you either want to hammer or ride easier… So I’m getting good at holding the desired training zones on them… I used to get various aches and fatigue in my ankle, behind my knee, in my hips etc when riding these things, but now there are no issues… I finished WED’s longer ride feeling very good…

THURS and FRI were strictly recovery rides on the road bike…

SAT we had the CRCA Power Points Race… I race for Northeastern Hardware, but I also do key CRCA events for the Blue Ribbon Cycling Team, which finished 2nd overall in the CRCA standing last year… There are many strong riders in this club (which is the biggest in the country) and CRCA races are arguably the most team-controlled races we do all year… They’re a blast to do…

So it was only my third mass-start event of the year, and I WAS worried how I’d feel… The Power Points Race in NYC’s Central Park is arguably the hardest of the year. There are two sprints each lap, up Harlem Hill and then up the Start/Finish roller of Cat’s Paw. So our goal was to get Harlem Hill each lap… My job for the team was to keep the speed up after the Cat’s Paw sprint, string it out, allow Blue Ribbon to regroup at the front, then help the leadout…

Well, the plan worked to perfection… Mark Alden won 3 of the Harlem Hill sprints — it was beautiful to watch… On the backstretch, I really tried to gas it, really trying to prevent any attacks, and then on the descent, the Blue Ribbon train took over, usually 4 riders on the front, Mark Alden the 5th guy… And they BLITZED it up the climb…

At the end of the day, we won the race — Mark eked out John Loehner of Axa for the win… Seeing the team race as one unit was unbelievable, and we all fed off each other’s energy… I was VERY happy with how I felt… I was able to fly up Harlem Hill each lap, and then after Cat’s Paw I was able to keep the speeds very high… A foom foom day…

SUN we had the Jersey Shore TT, and this was the first TT of the year I was doing after completing a race the day before, but I opted to do this because of prep for Killington, where we’ll be doing an 11-mile TT the day after a 75-mile road race…

I felt very good in the TT… I had a decent warm-up… I went out safely, not feeling too comfy bombing through the downtown section with all the side streets and potholes, and then I took the first turn slow. People were SCREAMING at me to slow down, and I later learned Dave Wilson, one of my teammates, had crashed hard about 90s before I got there…

Once in the park, I was able to dial in the effort… My knee felt fine, zero issues, but I also spun more, 104 rpms for the day… I wanted to muscle the gear more, but I’m saving that for Killington and States… I’m willing to sacrifice some speed here in order to be 100% healthy later on…

I caught a few riders, and at the turnaround (which cut back through a parking lot), I didn’t see Freifelder on the road. I first thought maybe he had crashed… I turned around fast, didn’t see anyone there, and then I caught Jason Walters.

THEN Freifelder caught me. Bam. Just like that. He was on his new machine, and he looked awesome, very supple pedaling action. I think he did blow his load catching me, as we were able to ride side-by-side to the finish for a good 7+ miles… But he had caught me for 30 seconds, and I was going fast and feeling good — very impressive on his part…

We bombed it back to the line, finishing together. Dave won, I finished 2nd overall, and we had some big time gaps on the 200 starters… I was very happy with my ride, and Dave looked awesome, and it’s great timing for it. State TT is less than two weeks away… I knew with the windy conditions, he’d be the favorite, but I thought at 30+k that the distance would favor me… Well, Freifelder looked STRONG and certainly has to be the favorite to win States… 30 seconds is a lot of time… Two weeks before State TT is a good time to show your hand, and Freifelder is holding the better chips right now…

Having said that, Jersey Shore TT ain’t the State TT and I’m planning on having my best ride of the year at Chatsworth… Jersey Shore had a few technical spots, rollers, heavy wind you had to deal with, and Chatsworth is historically fast going out and fast coming back — and roughly 10+ minutes longer than Jersey Shore, all things I’ve been training and preparing for… Regardless of how fast Freifelder and anyone else goes, I just want to SHATTER my PR at the State TT…

Organization at Jersey Shore TT was superb. Big tent at registration, seamless process signing in and getting your number, plenty of port-a-johns. Having that huge neon timer at the starthouse is awesome — no more guesswork when you go off… The course was well-marshalled — again, the NJBA TT Cup events are professionally-run events, and I’m sure riders doing these for the first time are immensely impressed…

Also, kudos to Anthony of CyclingCaptured.com and Jan Curran of SmugMug.JanCurran.com. Both of these photographers take amazing pictures and it was great seeing them out there, braving potential terrible conditions… Also, Mark Curran had a strong ride, and I hope he can keep it together for States… In the NJ TT Cat-4 Cup, we have Dworkin, Vaccaro, and Curran battling for the final spot on the podium… It’s gonna be a dogfight, and it’s great seeing so many riders getting fast out there… Toby and Sasiela are FLYING out there right now — love seeing these guys getting faster week by week — the sky’s the limit, gentlemen!!!

Killington Stage Race this week… First week of the peak. LOTSA fast dudes in the field, and I’m just hoping to survive that first day… I have no illusions of getting in a break — just want to survive…

If the first day stays together, and this is a big IF, then I’m hoping to have a kablamo second day at the 11-mile TT… Mr. Freifelder will be there, and I’m sure some other guys can motor in TTs as well, but I’m realistically hoping to go faster than ever and snare a top-5, then look to somehow make it to the top of Mt. Killington the next day!!!

Thanks for reading, and hope you all enjoy this Memorial Day weekend!!! My grandfather spent 3 years in Europe during WWII, so this time of the year is always special for our family. He came home from the war with this huge Nazi knife, and this knife still hangs on my wall over my desk, an ugly reminder of what my grandfather sacrificed during the peak years of his life… My mother said he never uttered a word about the war… I can remember going to the parades as a kid and watching him march with his pals, how they all seemed like a true family… Sometimes we complain about frivolous things going on in our lives, and then I think about what he must’ve went through over there, and my problems aren’t problems anymore…

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Kenneth Lundgren's Diary | Tuesday, May 25th, 2010 | | |