Race Report: San Bruno Hill Climb 2016
Back in September I wrote about how the racing in 2016 started back then (The 2016 Road Race Season Starts Here). The observation was pretty apt for multiple reasons. Foremost, the racing starts here the second the calendar ticks over- January 1st! In order to be anywhere near competitive and at least within shouting distance of a reasonable race weight one needs to put in a few miles over the tail end of the preceding year. Second, NorCal racing is stacked with people who can ride bikes fast, a talent acquired in large part by riding all year. So, when in Rome and all that, and by copying the locals with some Winter miles in the bank I raced the San Bruno Hill Climb.
The day before I performed a fitness test. I had pre-ridden the San Bruno climb two weeks perviously so knew that I would require a 17 minute effort, plus or minus. So, off to a local climb I went, knowing it would be an effort of similar duration. I must confess, I was pleasantly surprised (see the data below). For that effort I managed to average 340 w for almost 18 minutes. Not bad seeing as back at the tail end of Summer, when I did a test on the same club prior to the Mount Tamalpais Hill Climb I averaged 348 w. I’ll take that for December 31st! So, I figured that I should be able to manage an output similar to that on the San Bruno course. Pleasingly, the data bode well for 2016- seeing as I am not far off of the numbers from last season so early on, I expect 2016 to see me surpass the previous numbers.
The race itself went pretty much as expected. I put out a similar power to the preceding day, although a little lower (331 w vs. 340 w) for more or less the same time. This effort was good enough for second in the category 3 field. Not a bad result and the numbers pretty much tell the story. I was more or less at threshold power and threshold heart rate (which happens to be 186 for me) for the race, which is below what it should have been for a 17 minute effort, so right there is an improvement I can make. Also, a few very hard efforts as some attacks went (forcing a max power of 929 w) were hard work. Those types of suprathreshold efforts have not been on the radar at all in the preceding months. Something to work at.