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Foothill College Circuit Race report – boys 15-18 cat 4/5

sunday july 13, 2014 with james and conan

whistle blew. Everyone started hammering the descent. Got on a kid from tieni duro’s wheel, on the right side of the pack. We turn the first corner and kid in front of me fills a gap to his left. Great, I’m in the wind. Look behind me, and guy behind me to the left isnt looking like he will let me in. Oh well, started to drift back looking for a gap. see the climb ahead and i think the pack is gonna take it easy first lap as everyone is trying to get a good position in the pack. Boy was i wrong! Pack accelerated and my lungs blew up. Hindsight 20/20, I should have warmed up 3x more. Got dropped towards the top of the climb, with James behind me. tried to catch up on the descent, but the pack was gone. Looked behind me and there are 5 or so riders behind me dropped all but one(i think it was a rider from SJBC). We worked together for a few laps, but he disappeared behind me when we got lapped by the pack.  Soloed the next lap or two and finished 13th of 20, not too bad. Conan finished 2nd.

mistake #1: barely any warmup lungs blew out trying to stay with pack on first lap

mistake #2: bad positioning at the start line. should try to position myself next to teammates and towards the front center of the group.

mistake #3: underestimated pack on first climb


Red Kite Criterium…opening up the account

Have only raced Red Kite once this year.

Haven’t raced on the Livermore course all year.

Enough build up.

Arrived and ran into Dillon Chang.  He had raced the race before me and was leaving.  He wished me good luck.  He couldn’t stay.  He had brought his family and they had other obligations other than watching me suffer.


Pinned on my number.

Warmed up.

Began the race.

Slotted in.

Pushed a little.

Sat in.

Felt okay.

Halfway through the race and the pace slowed.

Decided when the pack slowed to go.  Went too early.

Jumped away from the pack with eight laps to go.

Got away from the pack for nearly a lap before getting caught!

Swung out and to the left alone.  Put in a little dig.

Turned the corner and no one followed.  I smiled inwardly.

Hit the long stretch against the wind by myself.

I tore down the stretch alone!  Looked back for someone.  No one was there.

Turned the third corner and suddenly halfway across the stretch felt the fire in the lungs.  It was as if the first two corners didn’t count.  My chest was on fire.  My nose could not suck in enough air.  Yet I was so close to swinging around the last corner before the start/finish line and having a moment of glory.


I looked to turn the corner and be ahead of the pack before getting gobbled up.

I kept waiting for my recovery to kick in.  I was talking to my body and trying to will it to calm down and recover.  It refused to listen to me.


One hundred feet from the last corner and a lone rider zipped by me and paused to see if I had anything left in the tank.  Of course, it would have been nice to have some help earlier.  The lone rider pushed past me and led the rest of the pack past me.  The pack gobbled me up.  Bother.

Lost my glory moment.

Tried to recover.  No recovery.  Drag.

Had a lot of fun.  Rolled around the course a couple of more laps and the race was over.

Finished last.

Raced another race.

Flatted with five laps to go.

Felt good in the second race.

Love racing.

July update–Fourth of July at Davis

Fourth of July at Davis was …. painful.

Arrived and ran into Rey Surla who brought up two juniors for their races.  The first junior was on course when I arrived.  Rey was racing later.  I warmed up and realized that the Fourth of July at Davis Criterium had been brutally fast and grueling the last time I attempted to throw my hat in the ring.  I lasted ten minutes of the 40 minute race if memory serves me correctly.  I popped and got dropped.

With those memories in mind I warmed up on the Giant TCR Advanced and then headed to the line promising myself to have a better showing than the last Fourth of July at Davis.  As I got a warm-up lap I noted that the course was reversed for some reason.  It was probably to eliminate crashes I figured.  I toed the line and saw some familiar faces in the pack but no Team Fremont racers in the race with me.

The instructions were given.  The whistle blew and I couldn’t clip in.  Bother.  I tried to clip in and for the life of me couldn’t perform that simple task.  Then, suddenly, click!  I was in the rear of the 88 racers!  I had to crank it up and cover some ground.

For two laps I just weaved through the pack and tried to get into the upper third.  I was close when the announcer called a prime for the next lap.  The pace kicked up.  I was already moving and squeezing through the pack and the increase in speed was meaningless.  So, I thought.

The lap ended and I was maybe 25th but looking to push up another ten places to rest and recover when the heartless announcer called out another prime!  He announced back-to-back primes!  Bother.

Every lap the pack was slowing at every corner.  They would go in five or six wide and have to squeeze through in twos and pushing the four others back and causing a ripple effect throughout the pack.  It didn’t help my situation of trying to get in the “sweet” spot and rest and recover.  There was no rest and recovery.  There was just pain and suffering and more pain and suffering.

First prime down.  I was still about 25th but then we hit one of those corners where everyone needed to check to see if their nail polish hadn’t smeared or something and suddenly I went from 25th to 45th. Bother.  I dug a little deeper.  I refused to have the same results as last Fourth of July at Davis Criterium. I dug deeper and closed the gap and hung on.

It was the second prime of the back-to-back primes that broke me.  Lap cards came out.  12 laps to go.

I had dug so deep that I thought that I could see my own beating heart and the pack was pulling away.  I closed my eyes and tried to go back to the well and dig a little deeper.  There was nothing left.

With 10 laps to go I was pulled.

30 minutes of pain and progress at the Fourth of July at Davis Criterium.


Watched Conan race.  He got second.

Watched Rey race.  He finished mid-pack.

I left even though Conan and Rey were racing again three hours later!

Good work teammates.

A Busy July ahead

This seventh month of the year finds me preparing for at least four if not five races between now and August. Hope the legs have it in them. Hope to see the team out in force. Everyone needs a little sun and fun.
My first race of July is on Independence Day at Davis. Fast and frenetic the Fourth of July Davis Criterium should be painful.
My second race of July comes just two days after Davis at the Red Kite Omnium. Love Red Kite and the Red Kite Omnium even though I don’t know what an omnium is supposed to be. Will be racing two races that Sunday. No church for me that day.
Following Red Kite I will be heading to Watsonville for the Watsonville Criterium. The course is really technical and I will have to be on my toes to make sure that I don’t miss the train as things heat up. It is a very long drive for one race so I better be ready to suffer and find some success.
The following weekend I will lace them up with the team at Colavita Grand Prix. Looking forward to that race. It is such a fun course. Just need to race smart.
The last race of July for me will be the following Sunday in Albany at the Berkeley Bicycle Club Criterium. Should be fun. Should have fun.
Looking forward to seeing a bunch of teammates out at the races this July.

“Life may not be about your bike, but it sure can help you get through it.” ~ Hallman

Sea Otter Classic Circuit Race E4

Sea Otter Classic Circuit Race 22 out of 66 in E4. Avg speed 23mph.


The Sea Otter Circuit Race is on the Laguna Seca race track in Monterey. I had done this race two years ago in my first year of racing as a cat 5 and got destroyed. I got dropped after 3 laps and was pulled from the race. Going in this time being about 20lbs lighter and being able to threshold 50 more watts then last time, I had hopes for a decent result. The race is 8 laps around the 2.2 mile road coarse, about 5-6 minutes each for a total of about 45minutes. There is a 2 minute climb that pitches up to 12% on the back side of the track leading up to the famous corkscrew descent where speeds reach up to 45mph at the bottom. This track is absolutely a blast to race on! A super smooth, wide roadway with sharp and sweeping turns with flat, climbing and descending sections.


My plan for the race was to keep up with the lead pack and let the 12% climb up the back side thin out the field and try and sprint for the finish. I had an idea of how the race would pan out. The 1st and 2nd laps would be fast as the pack will try to separate the men from the boys, then mellow out until 2 laps to go where the pace would pick up and then go absolutely ballistic on the final lap and I was right. The race started off fast and the pack charged the hill hard but still within my limits. I made sure to be mid pack at the top of the climb each lap so I would be in a good position for the decent. After the decent each lap I was able to sit in the pack and recover/conserve energy for the next charge up the hill. I stayed smooth and relaxed on the climb when it appeared others where struggling. On the 2nd to last lap a group of 4 made it off the front of the pack with a small gap maybe 6-8 seconds. They were brought back by the start of the final lap as I prepared for the fireworks to begin. The final charge up the hill was pretty much at my max and I hit the top of the climb in the top 10. One guy attacked and this turned out to be the winning move. It’s amazing he opened up a 10 second advantage by the top of the climb and held it to the finish. After the descent on the front straight the pack started to come back together. Unfortunately the pack was still very large ~35-40 left and this would come down to a sprint. The pace was very high going into the final few turns not dropping below 30mph. This is too fast of a finish for me so I just fought to hang on. 200 meters to go I got ready to sprint but looking up the road the barricades narrowed the finish down quite a bit and there was not enough room. I ended up following the wheels in front of me across the line without a sprint for 22nd place. My brother raced with me as well and finished 45th. Overall i’m satisfied with my performance having redeemed myself from my last attempt two years ago. Racing on this beautiful track by itself makes it all worth it.

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Yours truly charging the hill on the second to last lap.

Enjoying seeing Cindy and Liz on the front page of the website :)

Snelling Road Race

Another great day for racing. Used the new ride (VAN) to it’s full extent, we packed in 7 people and 7 bikes (6 racers). I raced Cat 5 35+ with Robert and Nathan we all worked together in this race to give a safe wheel and good draft space. We had expectations of getting to the sprint with one guy racing for a win. Turns out our results don’t show how well we raced. Our learning is to sit in longer, we went fast with 2000 meters to go but that left us with a difficult sprint at the end. Special thanks to my team members for all the help.

Copper Town Circuit Race

Perfect weather day and lots of teamies for this TTE. Damon and I raced CAT 5 35+ we were able to assist in bringing in a break away after playing with our food as Larry would say. Damon pushed the paced multiple times which gave me an opening to get a podium finish. Great day and personal best result. Course is great for someone who is not into steep climbs but can hang in grinders, downhill sprint at the end is sprinters advantage.