Lauren's Win at The Rad Race

Lauren's Win at The Rad Race

CINCH athlete Lauren de Crescenzo took a massive victory on Saturday, winning The Rad, the 6th stop of the Lifetime Grand Prix Series. This was a breakthrough
performance in a number of different ways. We will dive into her performance and share the strategy and data behind her win.

Lauren raced 112 miles, all above 6,000 ft of altitude with 10,400 feet of elevation gain. There were more than 30 mph winds on race day as if the course was not hard enough. We used our unique CINCH methodology to craft Lauren's race strategy. This method divides the race into three manageable sections: Race Open, Race Flow, and Race Close. By dissecting the race into three parts, the race plan is easier to comprehend, manage, and also track the athlete's progression in each race.

The Race Open:
The race open in these gravel events often decides the outcome of the entire day. You must make the selection with your competitors as the pack will work together faster than you can behind, no matter how good you are. So, the plan for Lauren was to ride aggressively to fight for position in a decisive double-track section. In the double track, which was very rocky and technical, Lauren was to ride smoothly to avoid flat tires and crashes. Afterward, at mile 10, came a key road climb that Lauren was to use to either attack or close the gap to her competitors to make the lead selection. She entered the double track with the leaders and then exited the double track with a 20-second gap
behind Alexis Skarda and the lead group. She used her short and long surge zones to reconnect with the group on the short pavement climb. Power-wise, this broke down to 290 watts for about 10 minutes of fighting for position before the double track. Then, to close the gap to the leaders, it took her 370w for 1 minute and then 340w for 4 minutes to stay with the leaders. Lauren nailed the Race Open strategy, exiting into the Race Flow in contention with three other competitors.

The Race Flow:
The plan was to work smoothly with the others, riding at her Medium zone, which is 250w. It can be difficult to hold back as the natural tendency is to push hard to avoid getting caught by the riders behind. It's no secret Lauren loves to pull and work hard, so she planned to try and pull less than she would typically. She did 217w and 250w power-wise normalized (showing she used her zones well.) Also, within the Race Flow, she focused on eating and hydrating by drinking the entire 2-liter USWE pack before mile 45. The pack had over 270 grams of carbohydrates in the Neversecond C30 mix. This was to front-load the carbs before the major climb, which came after 2 hours in the race. The race flow was much shorter than in other races due to the critical climb occurring midway through the race.

When making a race strategy for athletes, it is KEY to make it around the athlete's training and Rider Type. Lauren needed to try and go solo to avoid a sprint from her breakaway companions or risk getting gapped on one of the many technical downhills to the finish.

The Race Close:
The Race Close started halfway through the race, where Lauren was to try and attack her rivals on the 1.5-hour climb. The strategy was to use a CINCH Play (The Knockout), a series of surges in different lengths but keeping the pressure on between them. The target was to attack early on where there was more oxygen and less exposure to wind, try to get a gap, and then ride steady power to the top of the climb. Lauren executed this well, making two 350-watt attacks, one for 30 seconds and one for close to a minute, to distance the break. She settled into a rhythm between 220w and 260w for much of the climb.

Alexis caught back to her during the climb, but Lauren stayed focused on the strategy and rode her pace. The damage had been done at the base of the climb, and eventually, Alexis had to slightly back off the pace. Lauren entered the long rolling descent back to the town with just a 30-second lead. The plan was for her to ride her Low Medium zone, 230w, every place she could pedal that was flat and downhill. Then, on the short climbs, she was to ride Low Threshold (280w) to Threshold (320w) on each one. Alexis, an excellent technical rider, made contact again after a rocky section, but

Lauren waited for the next climb and rode 320w for 2 minutes up it to cement her
winning gap. From there, Lauren surfed between 230w and 320w to the finish to win by over 2 minutes. Lauren averaged 230w (normalized) for a winning time of 5 hours and 52 minutes for the whole race.

After a challenging season, this was a breakthrough performance by Lauren. She
executed her race strategy against a super high-level field on a more technically
challenging course, with the final climb being far from the finish.

Lauren, however, was not the only CINCH athlete who won their ride that day. Each one of our athletes had personal wins in their races and goals! Here are some of the other excellent rides won at The Rad!

2nd Overall Rob Irish 70 mile
2nd Jacob Winklehake 20-29 70 mile
2nd Kirsten Alder 50-59 70 mile
4th Overall Kimberly Moritz 40 mile
5th Jon Pomrenke 40-49
9th Jim Everett 60+ 70 mile
10th Avery Gibson 20-29
13th Pro Women Tori Dippold
19th Steve Shultz 40-49 70 mile
21st Overall Meg Griffith 40 mile
22nd Pro Women Caroline Wreszin
23rd Matt Woolly 30-39 70 mile
30th Kevin Adeline 40-49 70 mile

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