So this past weekend Jess and Grant joined me for a trip south to compete in two Texas Cup Races – Walburg and Pace Bend. Both races are within 45 minutes of Austin, so we decided to make a “family weekend” out of it (probably our last family trip before the new baby arrives).
We headed down early Friday for packet pick-up in Austin. Registration was a breeze and we grabbed dinner at the flagship Whole Foods on Lamar. Then we headed to our hotel in Georgetown, which was only 15 minutes from the start of Saturday’s race in the small, German town of Walburg, TX. The Walburg race is the first “big” race on the Texas cycling calendar and is historically known for really bad weather – rain, freezing temps and strong winds. Last year the winds were 50+ mph and racers were literally “blown off the road”. Luckily the weather was in the 50s and sunny, so it was perfect racing weather.
The race on Saturday went “OK”. It was the first time I had an opportunity to race with some Moritz teammates (Brian and Thomas). I basically had horrible position all race (narrow roads and 100 riders will do that) so I had no chance to compete in the final uphill sprint, but I finished with the pack. Brian did great and took 8th. It was really great to have Jess and Grant there cheering me on at the finish. I finished 39th, but felt like I came in 1st.
After the race we headed for our new hotel for Saturday night – The Lakeway Resort on Lake Travis. I got a really good deal on the rate and it put us only 30 minutes from Sunday’s race at Pace Bend (which was key since my race started at 8 a.m.). After checking in we headed to an early dinner at The Oasis on Lake Travis.
As you can tell from the pic above, Grant had a great time at The Oasis. The area around Lake Travis really is beautiful (with all the elevation change, it really feels more like California) and The Oasis is a must stop for anyone that has never been before. The views at sunset are pretty spectacular.
Sunday’s race went a little better. We had a full field of 100 riders again, but this course suited me better with a few short hills. I felt good the whole race and tried to get a few things going – chased down a break, attacked and got a 3-man break going that didn’t last long and then attacked again solo on the last lap (which didn’t stick). I decided to wait and make one more move on the last hill before the final turn and downhill finish, but got stuck behind several slower riders and wasn’t able to accelerate on the final climb. I ended up finishing 35th. Our average speed for the 44 mile race was 23.7 mph, but it never really felt that fast; the course just had a really good “flow” to it. My normalized power for the race was 250 watts and my peak 60 minutes was 263 watts. 263 is higher than the FTP I’ve had in my training plan, so it looks like my training is working; therefore, I adjusted it up to 260 watts in my Training Peaks software.
Grant had fun, Mommy had fun and Daddy got to test out his early-season-legs. All-in-all a great weekend.