Race Report – Hampton Roads Shootout – Daniel Shumacher

 In Race Reports

This weekend, I raced the 2019 Hampton Roads Shootout (Conquer the Canal Time Trial + Langley Speedway Criterium) as a tuneup for the 2019 MABRA Mid Atlantic Time Trial Series which starts in late May with the Argyle Time Trial. Two weeks ago I did a dress rehearsal of my logistics, Warmup, Training, Equipment following the end of the Naval Academy Road Race and TT.

Saturday – CCTT

This race is located south of Chesapeake in the Great Dismal Swamp and parallels US 17. It is a 12.3 mile out and back along a former road turned into a bike trail. It is very flat with 75% of the route being in woods although there is a little bit next to an open field near the turn.

I woke late but managed to get out of the door on time and most of the stuff was already in the car. It had rained overnight and the closer I got to the starting location the heavier the rain. Just walking the 15 feet from the car to the men’s room got me soaked. After checking in and waiting about 10-15 mins to see if the rain would stop I decided to find a dry location where I could warm up. I had remembered a strip mall just north and checked google for churches and schools as locations. There was a school nearby which had a large awning which served my purposes perfectly and I pulled the whole car out of the rain.

After getting everything squared I was able to do the whole warmup although I had to chop it down by 10 mins. After relocating back to the start I did all my final checks and got my bike, disc, and equipment set up. I had run BBS the night before and it was projecting I should maintain 253 Watts for the whole event. After talking with my coach the plan was adjusted to Quarter the route and maintain 245, 250, 250, 265/all out watts for each section. I had two rabbits in front of me and caught both of them well before the halfway mark (they were both on normal road bikes). I was caught by the guy who started a minute behind me just before the turn and we exchanged leads a couple of times before and after the turnaround before I really went ahead and put in a dig in order to get some separation because watching his pedaling technique and body movement I knew he had burned a lot of matches trying to get me on the outbound while I had been holding back and riding conservatively on the first half and was trying to “ride my race”.

I was able to get separation and probably clawed back about 30 seconds or so on him by the end of the course. Then I was passed by a second guy who put in an insane effort to win with a 26:37. I was disappointed to see the race ride away but it was such a great effort I couldn’t help but say “chapeau”. I just put my head down and try to finish as fast as possible and set a 5 min power PR and several heart rate PRs as well all firmly in tempo. When I saw the results, 5th, I was livid. Even though the purpose was to get real TT results in order to build for future races the execution was great, I still felt like I finished with gas in the tank.

Langley Speedway Criterium

This is an oval track with some slight banking and we were racing in a counterclockwise direction. The laps were mostly under a minute and we were racing for 40 minutes. There has been a rain shower that morning which wet the track but the locals said it wasn’t enough to make it slick. I got there early and managed to get the full crit warmup finished while watching a trucking school teach new student drivers. Somehow registration had given me the wrong number but we were able to get everything squared with plenty of time to get wheels in the pit and laps done before the start.

This was a combined 4/5 race with two major local teams THR Racing (16) and Fat Frogs (3) and 7-8 singles. I came to TT and signed on to the crit as a bit of an afterthought with no expectations other than pushing myself hard, have fun and finish upright. My goal was just to sit in the group and try to avoid working as much as possible while fishing with the front group since I expected this to be a typical cat 4/5 race. THR was pretty active in this race but they weren’t able to keep the attacks coming. It would string out for a lap or two but then eventually it would come back together. It did take a couple of laps for people to begin getting shed. It was a major problem because the refs were not pulling lapped riders or telling them to stick to the outside of the track. I really don’t see how they were able to keep everything straight. Just tried to follow every attack as much as possible and not get gapped.

There was one situation where we had a 5 person break up the road where I did do a pull but they did get caught and another where I had to burn a match to blow past a group in order to get up to the front. Starting out I was trying to stay on the outside of the track but on the last couple of laps I moved inside and on the final lap the sprint went to the outside rather than the inside. Didn’t really get a good sprint because I was pretty well blocked in the end of the race.

The Silver Lining

Overall I was happy with the performance and I was able to close the gaps when they opened and I finished on the front of the race. I had the fitness to ride with the group and think tactically even though I tried to set in. My buddy rode over to watch but ended up missing the race and while we were watching the next race (where Keith Johnson destroyed the field) I noticed they were calling my name out. Wandered over to registration to check placing (11th) and asked one of the officials why they were calling my name. Turns out there was an “overall category” for the “shootout” and based on my TT and crit performance I was able to win the Cat 5 overall for the two races. It had been a tie but the break was TT performance. I was really stoked because this was a silver lining I had not anticipated it was really cool to get the first “win” following a long hard winter in the gym and many cold miles on the trainer and the road.

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