Parc Place

BY KENNETH LUNDGREN

Sunday’s Tour de Parc out on Long Island was more fun than anticipated. A very fast course, two long straightaways with one wide uphill on one end and a tight turn at the other, pretty much a sharp jacknife…

At the criterium, Northeastern Hardware had wunkerkind Nikolai Masluk (18 years old, won pretty much every Cat-3 race last year), Sean Melcher (19 years old, races for Penn State, coming back from nasty crash at Nationals), Rafal Urzedowski (a rider who reminds me very much of Roger, that low cadence, huge engine — when Raffy gets out of the saddle on a climb, get ready for PAIN!), and Mike Rosenhaus (class rider, Junior National Champion on the track, fresh off his win at High Point, scary fast for a 45+ rider).

Race started off fast as usual. When the pace slowed, I tested the legs and off I went. Power great, but I was sucked up within a lap. Once caught, Rosenhaus took off… This pretty much was the rhythm of the entire day, attacking and counterattacking. Me and Mike. Luckily, one attack will stick. Key is to hit them repeatedly…

Well, after about 20 minutes, it started to rain. I love riding in the rain, but riding in a crit in the rain can be suicidal. However, I should say, the rain forced the peloton to go slower around that sharp turn, so it was nice to see the field play it safe…

About that sharp turn: I suck. When I took it wide, I’d be okay. But early on, when a couple moves violently went away, me and Sean would go to chase them down. I’d be right on Sean’s wheel in the turn, and fooooooooom he was gone, Dr. Fast Twitch. I was DYING, those high-end pops not for me… Out of the saddle, I was a turtle, zero pop, zero acceleration. Gotta work on that! To make a long story short, after about the 4th lap, I didn’t get out of the saddle once, just powering out of that corner seated — much better this way and I actually got into a sweet rhythm, able to close gaps or pass guys as the race went on…

Northeastern was very aggressive in hopes of forcing the peloton to constantly chase, saving Sean and Raffy for the sprint… I would say we got into most if not all of the moves that went up the road. I got away with Ward Solar from Nerac and right away he seemed so strong, but I pulled through and for half a lap we actually had a rhythm going — but we were caught. Of course. Rosenhaus blasted off the front not long after and a few guys bridged, including Jermaine Burrows from United. The group seemed dangerous but Somerville and Mengoni shut it down, blasting around for 4 or so laps and reeling the break back…

With 3 to go, I took another flier, caught on the backstretch. I stayed near the front here, and as we hit that sharp turn, the pace slowed so I took off again, really trying to dig… I made it about a half lap until a strung-out peloton caught me. I sat up to the left, ON THE CURB, and I swear I thought I was going down, the pace so fast, guys all over the road… Many riders brushed me, bumped me, and I’m ON THE CURB!!! Thankfully, somehow, I didn’t go down. It took about six seconds (felt like a million) for the field to pass and I latched on at the back.

At the back? What am I doing here?! Up front all race and for the final 1.5 miles I’m dead last!!! That’s bike racing!!! In the end, Sean was boxed in, Raffy didn’t feel great, and Nikolai was spooked by the rain. No result for the team, but we tried like hell… If we had more guys, we could control things much more effectively. No one had huge representation other than Somerville and Mengoni, and they were pretty organized… When we have 6-7 guys in the field, NEH is pretty good at getting a guy in the right move and then shutting things down. Well, there’s always the next race!!!

I try to always look at the positive and I was very happy with the ride, as I was worried how I’d hold up with all the Vo2 and anaerobic threshold pops. I don’t have any massive acceleration, but when I’d attack, I’d surge up the side and hit full speed as I hit the front, blasting away… As mentioned, after the third lap I didn’t get out of the saddle, not for anything… I was also happy I could recovery quickly between efforts. I was in Attack Mode all day and after 30 seconds in the peloton, I was ready to go again…

Race was short and hard and today I recovered well, easy 2h on the Power Cranks… This was what I wanted to open the legs, test them, see where I’m at… My 1m, 2m, and 5m maxes were all virtually the same! You can see the type of rider I am!!! No Somerset Somerville anything for me this weekend, as it’s back to the training… Tour de Parc was 2 weeks away from States, perfect, and from here on out I control the watts until I toe the line at the State TT, then looking to have a decent ride at High Bridge (in my opinion, one of hardest races on the calendar), really trying to hit max form by the end of June for the State Road Race…

Thanks for reading.

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Kenneth Lundgren's Diary | Tuesday, May 20th, 2008 | | |