Monday, April 25, 2011

Tour de korea stage 7 8 9

After our rest day in Pyeong Chang (which is bidding to host the 2018 winter olympics) we woke up to 40 degrees and rain! Anyway the stage got shortened and ended up finishing on top of a climb. I was really cold and Im not usually much for long hill climb finishes so I tried hard at first but once i was out of the top 10 i just kept a steady pace and rolled in with some guys for 3rd. My team mates Yeon deok and Hyun gil did well. Hyun Gil dominated teh KOM at the tour de korea.
The next stage on paper didn't look to good for me but my teammate hyun gil told me that the hill was actually only 3km instead of the 5 that it looked like. So I became more confident. The race was under much better weather and I was feeling pretty good. The climb started and I just stayed with the biclo riders and followed wheels. I made it over the top with a group of about 10 and by the bottom there were 20 of us and we had caught the leaders. The situation was similar to stage 3 where most of the riders had been dropped on the climb but a group of 20 or so regrouped after the climb so I thought it would be another good day for an attack. I followed a few that didn't go anywhere and then when 2 biclo riders got a 50m gap i knew it was the winning break so i bridged across to them. We held a pretty good gap and rode the last 15km together. They were way stronger than i was and pretty much worked me over in the sprint but i was still happy with 3rd place and another trip to the podium.
The final stage was a flat 47km race through seoul with a narrow twisty final 3km into the olympic park. It was my last chance to win a stage and I thought it would end in a field sprint. I sat in the pack in the middle and moved into the top 10 with 5km to go. I rode the final 3km well and maintained my position but i couldn't move up in the sprint because i was gassed from biclo's lead out through the final. I ended up 5th which is still pretty good. My overall place was 19th but i wasn't really going for the overall after losing so much time on the first stage. The race was overall pretty good and im still satisfied even though i didnt' get my goal of a stage win. I placed 8th 5th 4th 3rd and 2nd and i really enjoyed the race which went through a lot of beatiful places.
Time to take a few days off my bike and then get ready for the criterium next week!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

stage 5 and 6

Stage 5 went ok but it could have gone better. The race was on a pretty nice course with 2 long gradual climbs and a 1km section of dirt road. As soon as the race started one of the biclo riders (the team made up of a former of olympian and 5 guys who are training to be pro bike racers that has been dominating the race) attacked. He managed to stay about 400m in front of the pack the whole race. I attempted to bridge to him 3 times once I got pretty close after attacking on the dirt road but unfortunatlely I didn't quite make it. He ended up winning the race by 3 seconds! The rest of us sprinted on a long straight up hill drag for the last 2km. It was a pretty tough sprint for me and I only ended up taking 8th. The top 10 get money each day so it was an ok result. I promised some of my co workers as well as the principal and vice principal that I would take them out to dinner for letting me have vacation for the race so I need to win a little bit of prize money! My teammates didn't fare as well getting caught behind a crash near the end and coming in near the back of the field.
Today was a big mountain stage with a 10km climb. I was feeling pretty good in the first parts of the race and when I saw a biclo rider attack i thought I would bridge up. I did and it turned out to be on the opening slopes of the climb. After bridging I kind of blew up and we were caught by the pack pretty soon after anyway resulting in me getting blown out the back of the group of about 40 riders or so. I caught my breath and managed to catch about 5 guys at the top. The descent was really fun and beatiful as the mountain pass went through Seobaeksan national park. Anyway I finished 35th but I wasn't really expecting to be a GC rider at this race anyway since i seem to completely blow up on any climb over 5km. Tomorrow is a rest day and then we have 2 more mountain days(with climbs that are basically exactly 5km) The final day is flat in Seoul and has a really twisty finish. Im gonna try my best to get the stage win there and make it over the mountains with the lead group the next few days.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Tour de Korea Stage 4 2nd place!

Today was stage 4 of the Tour de Korea. It went really well. The race was 90km long today and went through chungcheon nam province. It was really beatiful but the course wasn't very difficult. Also due to a tailwind we rode extremely fast making it really difficult for breaks to get away. I have been really impressed with how aggressive the racing has been here compared to other races I've done in Korea. It was basically non stop attacking the last 50km of the race but I knew nothing would get away today so I sat in the middle of the field and moved up to the front with 5km to go. There was a right turn with about 400m to go so I went through the last corner in about 10th wheel then moved up to the top 5 in the last 200m. I tried my best to get past the winner (which was another guy from the Biclo team who is training to be a pro Keirin racer). I was pleased to finally get on the podium and show my sprinting legs which unfortunately aren't quite as good as they were last fall. Im still happy with how I'm riding and there are 2 more stages that are likely to end in field sprints so I will still be gunning for a stage win. Tomorrow is likely to be a sprint and the last stage in Seoul is also. The middle 3 stages all have pretty big mountains but hopefullly i will be able to make it over the mountains close enough to catch back on to the pack by the bottom.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

TDK stage 3 Finally a good result!

I got 4th in the 3rd stage of the Tour de Korea today. It wasn't in a field sprint though. The race started off with 20km of neutral and then started with a 4km climb that was a KOM. Our climber Hyun Gil got 3rd place on the climb and managed to keep his lead in the King of the Mountains competition. I climbed a lot better than I did on Friday and managed to catch onto the lead group of about 20 on the descent. We entered a valley and no one was pulling the group when Lee Jin Ok (a 50 year old former olympic cyclist) attacked. 2 Biclo riders followed him and I thought it looked like a good break away. My team had 4 in the lead group but no one wanted to follow the attack so I attacked and bridged up to them on a small climb. After that it was over. All of the strong teams in the race were represented in the break and we worked pretty well together. The race had a few more small hills and then had a 25km long section on a causeway on the ocean which was pretty windy. We kept working well together till about 5km to go and we had about a 3 minute lead. As I usually am i was pretty tired just from being in the break for 50km so I just followed the attacks but the sprint started with about 2km to go. I faded bad with 200m to go and ended up 4th. Im still happy to have ridden well and made the break away today. My team also finished 3rd in the team classification for today. I think we will continue to ride well we have been in the top 3 teams each day and I think we can do well in the stage team classification each day. Tomorrow should be another ok stage for me. 4th is close but I still want to win a stage before the race is over!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Tour de Korea Stage 1 and 2

The first 2 stages of the race haven't exactly gone as i or my team had planned. The first day was really hard with a big steep climb right the beginning that blew the field up. Luckily our climber Hyun Gil took the KOM points and made the lead group but our other riders didn't make the lead group of 11 which ended up finishing 5 minutes up on the next group. I didn't climb as well as I wanted too either. Today was a flatter course but long at 130km. I sat in and moved up with 5km to go but I started my sprint too early and cramped up. I ended up around 20th but I think if there are more field sprints I can do better. Our team managed to win the team classsification for the day which was good though! The next few days all have similar courses with one big climb and the rest of the stage being rolling. I plan to try to follow the lead group and then sprint at the end. Also I haven't been able to update the blog much since we haven't been staying in places with computers. The courses have been really beautiful though and the racing fun.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Misiryong Hill Climb Report

Sunday was the first big race here in Korea. It was a 20km hill climb and I raced in the mtb team category with 4 other guys from my team. We ended up placing 3rd which i was pretty happy with considering that we put all of our strongest hill climbers in the team for the road bike category. The race was really tough though but everyone who raced with me rode really well. It was extremely windy and I heard a lot of people even had to stop near the top of the climb because gusts were so strong! Im really glad i was on a mountain bike rather than a road bike with carbon wheels! I felt a lot stronger at this hill climb than i did last year so I think I'm in pretty good form. The tour de korea starts this friday! Wish me luck!

Monday, April 4, 2011

race time!

The GMAT is over and its time to get down to racing! This weekends race is a team hill climb. Our team is splitting into 2 groups. There is a category for mtbs and a category for road bikes. Im riding the road bike category. The way the race works is each team has 4 people. The times of the 2nd 3rd and 4th rider from each team are avearged to make a team time. The winning team wins $1000. So its part team time trial and part regular hill climb. The first rider won't help the team at all so its in their best interest to try and help pace the second rider to a faster time. I think my team looks pretty good but i dont' know exaclty who else is racing. Should be an interesting race and a good test before the tour of Korea starts next Friday! Last weekend was pretty good I did a really nice ride on Sunday up to the south Han river (남한강). Its really amazing riding around there. Great climbs with fun descents and basically no cars. I definitley look forward do exploring and doing more riding there after the tour of Korea. So my race schedule this season so far looks like this
April 10 Misiryeong Hill climb
April 15-24 Tour de Korea
May 5 Children's Day Speed Festival Criterium Gwangmyeong City
Wish me luck this weekend! I will post up the results after the race!