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Pine Flat RR

Pine Flat RR
M45+ 1/2/3
Field size: 22
Result: 6th
Teammates: None in my race. Chris Gaitos in the E5′s.

Chris and I drove up on Saturday and pre-rode the entire course loop without the out and back section. I felt like crap with a terrible stomach ache but it was worthwhile to see the course, especially the last several miles. We stayed at the cheapest hotel  you can imagine with a broken electric wall heater, but it was only about 1/2 mile from the start and they had comfortable beds, so it served it’s purpose.

We started at a good pace and after the turn around, or maybe before, there were many many attacks. All of them were covered so it was a constant surge. Finally after turning on Riverbend Chris from San Jose was ahead then the first and second place winners bridged up and they were gone. Then came the main climb. There were eight of us so about half the pack had dropped back on the climb even though the pace was moderate. After the climb there is a short descent which we were taking pretty slow. Hunter decided to attack and no one seemed to care. After a few minutes I took the lead and picked up the pace to catch Hunter. I didn’t jump but went hard enough that there was a gap between myself and the others. We caught Hunter then I slipped back to rest for the final couple of miles. It would have been a good time to attack and it might have worked because everyone seem pretty tired. But I played it safe and saved my energy for the last little climb which would come after the fifth cattle guard. This is a hilltop finish so with 200 m to go someone took off. I was second but could not close the gap on him then about half way up I got passed by a Berkeley guy. So I finished 3rd in our pack and 6th overall.

This was my first race of the season. My second race was to be Snelling the following week. After Pine Flat I figured I was starting to feel better and had high expectations but that’s not how it worked out. Wednesday I got my first clue that something was amiss when my time up Sierra was 90 seconds off from the a week earlier. I didn’t ride on Thursday and went for a short hour ride on Friday. Saturday rolled around and at 4:45 am I was on the road to Snelling. Garry had full support setup with the team tent. I started about mid-pack. After Olsen Rd I had gravitated to the back of the pack. Not a good sign. On the second half of lap 1 with a strong tailwind the pack was strung out long so you can imagine the pace was fast. Before completing lap one my race was done so I turned left and headed for the parking lot.

Bill

 

Snelling Road Race

Cat 4
No in Field. 50
Teammates: Lindsey
Overall position:11th

Arrived way to early but always a good idea to use the restroom before they become “busy”. Did my warm up on the trainer, thanks Garry for setting the bike up, rode over to the start area which was freezing, we had the usual pep talk from the mentor, Meredith, and then we were off.

Normally the neutral section is the chance to watch the other riders and see how they are at riding in a group, no chance of that, within a couple of miles my chain came off. Luckily we had a support car and before long I was back on the bike chasing the group. It was great been paced back although at the time it felt like I could cough up a kidney due to it being so cold. I eventually saw the group just before the neutral section ended and the motorcycle official then got me back to the group. Several riders were impressed that I had managed to catch up and they left room for me to ride on the left hand side of the road out of the wind.
The pace was steady for a while and then once we hit the feed zone the pace picked up. However not long after we were neutralized for the first time to let the 1/2 group go past, then not long after that we were neutralized again. After that we picked up the pace and kept it going, we were neutralized a couple more times and by the third lap the group had dropped to about 30 riders. On the final lap small splits started to occur in the group and by the time we got to the bumpy section before the finish, there was a group of around ten at the front, then six of us behind, on the final climb I caught a couple of riders and coming up to the line I caught the Metromint rider but she just pipped me on the line.

All in all a good race considering the bad start and the fact my chain came off a further four times but luckily I was able to keep going. Bit disappointed that I missed the top 10 by such a small margin, but hey hopefully by next year I will have my new Leopard bike.!!!!

I arrived got registered, and warmed up. My warm up ran a little longer than it should have and I almost missed my start. Once the race got going we rode along, and since the field was very small there was no shelter from the brutal wind. There were some attacks, nothing stuck though. The pace started to pick up, but then we were neutralized by an other pack. While neutralized the speed hovered between 10-13mph. It was very slow. This happened about 5 times, it was very frustrating. With to laps to go I clipped the wheel in front of me and almost when down. As we went on to the last lap there was no attacks over the hills as I expected. On the long stretch before the last turn I had good position, but coming out of the final corner going for the sprint I pulled my foot out of my peddal. I still managed to come in 6ht. Thank you to Garry for having the tent up, Dad for standing in feed zone with bottles for me.

TNT – Thursday, Feb. 23

sign in, socialize and stretch before 6:30pm
+ 4 lap warm-up, 18mph, then 20mph, then 22mph, then 24+mph
+ one lap recovery to discuss what went right and what can be improved
+ 4 lap warm-up, 18mph, then 20mph, then 22mph, then 24+mph
+ one lap recovery to prepare for technique sprints (good form – light gear, head up, in the drops, hips start the sprint, core keeps it solid, do not go 100%
+ 5 laps “use and abuse” – groups of 3 to 5 riders cooperate for 4 laps and then attack each other to try and win
+ one lap recovery to discuss, switch if desired (too fast or too slow)
+ 5 lap “use and abuse” repeated until 7:50pm
+ 10 minutes cool-down

I hope to see you there! Larry

Not So Early Bird Crit

Races: 4s and Jrs.

Team mates: 4s Mike Baxter, Jrs. Brandon, Ram, Arthor

My first race was the E 4′s. As this was my first 4′s race ever I was very exited. When I got to the early bird corse I registered and then went back to the car to warm-up. I got a good warm up and headed to the line. The race started quickly, but soon we developed into a consistent rhythm. As we continued to go around I new lap cards were out but I could not see them and no one near me knew the number of laps to go. Then I finally found out that we were on two to go, I tried to move up, but I did not get very far. Mike is right when he says I need to work on my pack movement skills. I finished the race in 20th. I would like to thank Mike for keeping an eye out for me, and for the occasional “You need to move up”.

After the 4s I had about 15min before my Jrs race. So I used this time to ride around. Then I made my way back to the start for role out. The race started straight away with an attack, which I responded well to, despite just finishing a race. The race had two speeds for most of the time. One was slow, and the other was fast chasing down one of many attacks.With one to go I was in the perfect position following wheels of a lead out train. Then going into the sweeper the lead out train blew up, and I found my self boxed in. I finally found a hole, but by that time there was only about 150m left and two of  riders who were not box in had started there sprint well before me and now had a big gap. I sprinted hard and was rapidly closing the gap to one of the riders but unfortunately I ran out of road. I finished the race in 3rd. Behind me Brandon in 6th and Arthur in 11th, Ram worked hard to nail back a break way, but in the process destroyed his legs. All in all it was a good day of racing!

TNT – February 14

sign in and warm up prior to 6:30
group paceline warm-up at 6:30pm – 6 laps building speed from 18 to 23+ mph – smooth and “perfect”
two technique sprints with excellent form in a light gear
3 lap “scratch” race; one lap recovery/ gather up and socialize with teammates
2 lap “scratch” race; one lap recovery/ gather up and socialize with teammates
1 lap “scratch” race with ballastic start and an even faster finish; one lap recovery/ gather up and socialize with teammates
repeat as many times as possible
cool-down

See you there, Larry

NotSo Early Bird Criterium Cat 5 U30

Got to the course about an hour before my race. Went to register and saw Geno and Chris registering aswell. We agreed to do a warmup together after we got ready. Our warmup was pretty quick, we just spun around the backside. After that we went to the start to see the finish of the junior race. Thomas, Brandon, and Arthur were racing. Saw Brian, Mike, and Gonzo watching aswell. Thomas pulled out a third place.

 

We were up next so we rolled to the start. Whistle blew and we were off. In no time we were up to 25-27 coming out of turn 1. Had a feeling this was going to be a fast race. 2 laps in I got on the wheel of some guy making a move to the front. Got up to around the 10th spot but it was really hard to maintain as the field was strung out in the front. We were blazing 28 down the back stretch. I started to fade and a gap was building so i decided to pullup and fell back to the pack. Not worth the energy this early in the race. I saw chris go by me which was rare since he spent most of the race towards the front. I spent most of the time in the pack, rode Geno’s wheel for a few laps. Geno was having a lot of fun chating and making it look easy. Sometime in the middle of the race there was a crash on the front stretch. Two guys got together, one went off to the left the other to the right. I was about 4 riders back so i made it through the middle without any issues. The pace seemed to slow a bit after the crash but was back up the next lap. Guys were sprinting out of the saddle after every turn it seemed. The speed was up and down constantly, 27-28 out of the turns then back down to 22-23 towards the end of the straights. With 2 laps to go i did the same thing as i did earlier. Hooped on a wheel that was making a move to the front. Got up to around 10th, field was strung out again and the pace was just too much with still a lap to go. Started falling back. Not exactly what i wanted at this point but i was cooked. Just tried to hang on the rest of the way. Saw the guys go by me as they made their move for the finish. I ended in the back of the pack, Geno 5th, Chris 11th. Race was fun and fast,avg was 25.5 per my garmin. Still got a lot of training to do to build up fitness and work on timing my moves better. Till next time.

Not So Early Bird Crit 2012 35+4

Race number two for the day. Had a 3 hour rest after the E4 race so I think I may have been way to relaxed. The field was about the same size as the E4 race, about 30. I usually like the master’s races a bit more as they tend to be safer. Not today. From the whistle the pack just felt nervous. That’s the best way to describe it.  Had Chris as a teamate but really didn’t see him much as he tends to stay on the outside while I prefer to be buried in the pack. SJBC was on the front for the first few laps setting the pace. It was a rather moderate pace so the field stayed bunched up for the most part. We had the typical elbow bumps and what not that happen every race but nobody was doing anything stupid. Well, except for one guy. From his bike position you could tell he wasn’t a regular on the crit circuit. Most of the time he’d be either up on the hoods or the tops with locked elbows. His bike handling could be described as vague at best. Guys were starting to grumble. So after he almost took out the guy right in front of me I decide enough is enough and move up to have a little chat with him.  I’m pretty sure it went in one ear and out the other but I felt I had to do it. Normally, I’d rather not single one person out but in this case I felt his sketchy riding posed an excessive risk to the rest of us. Anyways, back to the racing. I’m not sure what our average speed was but it seemed slow. This didn’t bode well for the last few laps. At 2 to go I was sitting midpack biding my time. It just didn’t feel safe so on the backside between 3 and 4 I decide to ramp it up. I hit the front and drill it. Take it up to about 30 or so and just hammer across the start finish for the bell. After about 800 meters of this my legs call uncle and i give an elbow wag for the guy on my wheel to pull through. Nothing! I move to the right and still the guy on my wheel just sits there. A quick glance under my arm and I see why. My inept friend from earlier is the one sitting there. Crap, I end up pulling into the gutter and letting off the gas.  Hopped back on the tail end of the pack. I was pretty cooked after the effort but was able to surf wheels and cross the line in 16th. In the end everyone stayed upright so my hard effort wasn’t a total waste.

 

Mike