Preview from the podium: Sea Otter Circuit and Road Races
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” Abraham Lincoln
Preparation is the key for the best experience, and best results you can muster this 2019 at the Sea Otter Classic. We suggest riding smarter, not harder. The track doesn’t let up; not as you are climbing, not in the technical curves, and definitely not while getting smacked by wind and leading or chasing for another round.
Even if you have ridden on the Laguna Seca race track before, your pre-race planning is vital. Familiarizing yourself with the nuances of the course will enable you to yield the best results. Most professional athletes will tell you they use visualization and course research as part of their extensive race preparations. With the help modern technology, we can show you the course from the rider’s point of view using Raptor video footage, as well as share in the words of wisdom experienced racers.
TWO PODIUM PLACERS SECRETS
Access to tips and tricks from the top racers can only stand to help you and your results. We spoke with winners from Sea Otter Circuit and Road Race including Cat 1, 3-time podium (1st in 2016 and 2017 and 3rd in 2018) winner, Dana Williams of Team Mikes Bikes p/b Equator Coffee and Shai Simchi, who won 2017’s Sea Otter Road race in Cat 5 category.
CIRCUIT RACE: Dana says familiarity with the course, training, pre-riding all came into play, along with the help of his teammates, of course. He stated that “positioning yourself at the bottom and throughout the main climb was vital.” However, wait, there’s more:
Dana continues his advice by sharing that “positioning at the top of the corkscrew isn’t the most important part of the course, but you certainly want to be towards the front. If you are off the back at the top of the climb, then it’s challenging to catch back up to your competitors”.
Most road events start and end at the ‘Tire Bridge.’ We suggest you go early and ride the loop if you have the chance. If not, check out Dana’s video of what it’s like to pedal through the twisty, section that arrives at turns labeled #8-#11. The “Corkscrew” is of a series of lefts that after the uphill approach, form the infamous feature. It rather spectacularly drops away from under you, and then you get to the right turn, easy enough, but too much speed will throw you to the dirt on the outside, so make sure to monitor your speed while always looking at the apex of the next turn and other riders. A HUD is a great tool for doing this safely and effectively.
Interviewing several former racers, they all say it’s usually windy as you exit the corkscrew. Dana’s Everysight Raptor smartglasses captured a nice preview video here:
First place 2018 Cat 5 winner, Shai, has a data-driven training program. He uses the Raptor smart glasses for workouts year-round (like the workout created by Coach Dana Williams as seen in this clip). Using professional coaching programs that he uploads to his glasses, Shai is able to train solo, with partners, and always with a strategic plan. Shai knows when to push watts, steady his heart-rate, and when to recover. His words of wisdom on the race include: “breaks can happen on the very steep hill that is basically the beginning of each lap after the first one (race start at the top by the parking lot. it is a controlled start until the bottom of the hill where the race actually starts).” He goes on to advise to save your legs for the finishing climb because if you get there as a group, this is where the race is won. Having course data in front of you, along with your own output readings of HR or Power, keeps yourself from blowing up on the other laps, and is a huge advantage. If you are aiming for the podium, Shai’s stats on the last climb were: 2.46km 150 meters of elevation gain, 6% average time: 7:20 avg power: 323 watts.
Check out Shai’s testimonial, here:
For more course references look here:
Barloy Canyon Rd is 2.4km at an average of 6%: https://www.strava.com/segments/288363
The final section of it is 300 meters at 10%: https://www.strava.com/segments/3948140
Proper training is not wasted if you can actively monitor your performance during the event. Dana and Shai were able to use their Everysight Raptor smartglasses to view their real-time effort, stay on track (pun intended), and know when to put in more effort that they had previously reserved. They could monitor their real-time effort output, seeing their heart rate and power displayed in real-time, right in their line-of-sight. Imagine the advantage that they had, knowing that there was more gas in the tank so that they could push it to the finish, and grab the coveted podium spots.
- Weather: Don’t forget pre/post comfort preventing chill or dehydration (Sea Otter can have many weather extremes in the same day).
- The course doesn’t let up; you are climbing, managing technical corners, or fighting the wind.
- It’s not just about the corkscrew (But don’t forget to bring one either *cheers* ).
- Arrive early or go a day in advance to walk or pedal through the course.
- Know your power or HR zones, using training and data collection.
- The base of climb positioning and final climb are key to finishing at the front.
- Ride to plan and stay in your best range. A computer is excellent, a HUD that lets you monitor during the event is even better.
Don’t forget to stop by the Everysight booth to check out the Raptor smartglasses! Ask questions directly to the product development team. Come demo Raptor or have a chat and get some exclusive Everysight swag! Bonus: Raptor riders are welcome to stash their backpacks at the booth – as you are part of our team! Ask at the booth #P82 if there is still room, we want to be your part of your team! #GoEverysight #followYourVision #RideRaptor