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
Nevada City Classic
Field size 85
Result 37 Overall 6th cat 4
It was a hot day in Nevada city and I was a little late to getting my numbers pinned on my Jersey so my warm up was about 15 minutes. This would be my first category four race and the first time riding with such a large group. The course was a 1.1 mile lap with basically nothing but uphill or downhill. The road surfaces were good and anything that was sketchy was spray painted and noticeable. Once the race started I was towards the back of the large group and not really worried about fighting for position because the pace was fast and many riders were dropping off. I was able to hang on with the front group for maybe the first 4 laps after that I was basically riding alone. After being dropped from the front group my goal was to finish the race and not get pulled out. I continued at a hard pace and was trying to keep the group in sight. I was hurting and pushing myself way to hard if I was going to try to finish the race. I slowed my pace and was able to recover a bit. At this point the field had already been split for many laps. I dont remember exactly when I started using the neutral water station but I was using it alot towards the second half of the race. There was also a guy that was spraying the riders with a hose to cool them off near the water station. I rode through the water every lap. I was thankful that guy was there. I was frequently taking the bottles to dump on my head to keep me sanse and cool enough to continue. Throughout the race I saw two or three riders overcook the second turn and run into the hay bales but they were able to stay upright. There was one crash that I am aware of and that happened on turn two. I was cautioned for the turn but the race continued. I was able to throw a water bottle to some children who kept asking for bottles and enjoy the race. Despite there being 85 riders that started the race only 43 riders actaully finished. I was fortunate enough to not get pulled out of the race and was lapped with 2 or three laps to the finish. I was happy to finish and enjoyed the coruse and spirit of the fans. This race was the ultimate Hammer Fest!
Got to the coarse early around 6:30am. Start was at 7:40. Got number pinned and started to roll around the coarse with Roy and Geno to warm up. Roads were wide, 3 lanes on two sides, 2 on the other 2. Smoothest road surface i’ve raced on, only a few slightly sunken manhole covers to radle you on the coarse. Sun was coming out so i was warming up nicely after a few laps.
With about 5 minutes till the start we pulled to the start line. We had six team members for this race which was nice. My strategy was going to be try and sit in and be patient, look after team members, if one of them gets caught out in the wind let them in, help Geno out at the end if I had anything left. He had the best shot at a good placement and i know he’s strong and can probably manage on his own.
Whistle blows and we’re off. The first 10 or so laps are pretty uneventful. Speed was pretty low around 24-25 avg around each lap. We were bunching up in the tighter corners, turn 1 and 4. Turns 2 and 3 were huge so we could go 4-5 wide. E5 there were no cash prizes and as a result not much dashing early on. I stayed near the middle and around the other guys. It was pretty easy to move around the pack. Riding next to Geno with around 7 to go i looked back and noticed we were at the back, so I let him know we should probably start moving up. I had a feeling it was going to get a little sketch with such a big group and the low speeds. There was a lot of energy there to be released in a big sprint.
Around 4 to go I made a move to the front. Speeds weren’t that high so it was pretty easy. Got within the top 10-12 riders and just sat in. 3 laps to go I started to feel the speed picking up. It was around 27-28 avg around each lap. I was glad because I didn’t want to see an unsafe finish. I was holding my position in the top 3rd of the field and i knew i wanted to be there in case something happened. Second to last lap speed is pretty intense we’re starting to go through the corners pretty fast. Right after turn 4 I hear a crash behind me. I don’t look back since i was afraid i might lose it just doing that. I was thinking crap we had guys back there. Last lap went through the next turn and then looked back to see what the damage was. There wasn’t much of a field left. Didn’t see Darryl, Roy, Ken or Tony. Crap. Just me and Geno ahead of me. Speed was still high, going through turn 3 my rear wheel hit something and jumped. Saved it. One other guy yells at me Close one there! I’m thinking the same. One more turn thank god. Not sure why but the guy in front was setting up the last turn from the right lane. I swong out to the middle lane to have a better line. The guys in front of me started to get out of the saddle heading to the finish. My heart rate was going through the roof so i wasn’t going to try and sprint. Those guys started to pull away. Oh well nothing else i can do, just try to hang in there. I think i saw one guy go by but i was able to hold on to 10th place my best finish so far. Geno sprints for second place. Great job!
Rolled around one more lap to cool down. After turn 4 I see my brother sitting on the grass holding his shoulder. Not looking too good. Glad all the other guys made it through. He went to get it checked out and its a broken collar bone. Unfortunate he’ll be out for a little bit but should be ok after 5 weeks.
|May 27, 2012|
Ken was generous to offer to drive and so Tony and I met at his house and zoomed up to Folsom. We were the first race of the day so we were able to get some warm up laps on the course. The course was wide for the most part, turns 2 and 3 are a wide arc that run into a 90 degree turn 4. This was the first time I had entered 2 crits on the same day, I was hoping to finish in the main group in both races.
The E5 race was a bit sketchy, there was a lot of speeding up on the straighter parts of the course, and a lot of slowing into the corners (especially turn 4) with varying abilities to maintain a line through the corner. Through turns 3 and 4 the group spread out wide across the road, and then riders would get squeezed out on the narrower turn 4. I decided to stay in the front half and be on the outside on the turns. There was a crash (1 guy) on t1 of the last lap, the group was still together on the last turn and I rode in towards the back of the pack.
The Masters 35+ 5 was much calmer, riders maintained a more even pace with good pedaling through the corners. A couple of guys tried to breakaway but they were caught. At lap 3 my legs were feeling a bit tired but I hung on to the back. There was a crash on the inside of t4 on the last lap that took out 5-6 guys, I was on the outside and was able to get past and finished in the middle of the pack.
Thanks to Ken and Tony for traveling up together,
Congrats to Chris G. for 3rd in the E4.
I arrived early and was able to join fellow teammates on their warm up laps before e5 race. The course layout was pretty cool going clockwise from start line into the 1st and tightest corner. With clean lines going flat out through this corner while pedaling is possible. This lead onto the longest stretch of pavement (all of which is in excellent condition) which continuously arced to the right. By the way, the roads are WIDE! Moving onto the next actual corner, which is again tight by this courses standards, this corner is faster than t1 and leads onto start/finish straight again. I say start/finish straight but it actually arcs left. This section had a slight head wind today. Zero elevation change.
Onto the e4 race! 70+ riders, the largest field I’ve raced in. It was extremely nerve racking to think of the peleton shifts through the arcing sections and worse yet a bunch sprint! Scheduled for 40min the race started fast. Although primes were available my more recent goal is to WIN! That being said my race was fairly subdued as I conserved until the end. I sat in the pack watching the front for breaks, went with the speed changes as primes came up and just meandered throughout the field with relative ease. As the 9lap board was about to fly a crash on the back “straight” neutralized the field. I thought the crashes at Modesto were the worst I’d seen, the aftermath of this one was brutal, almost lost my breakfast. Thankfully rider was OK, or that’s what they told us. Officials cut race to 7 to go and off we went. A few more primes and I became more active on moving towards front with 3 to go. A local team had good organization with a 5 man lead out train with 2 to go. They burned their fuses to quick though. Bell lap, I got a clean line though t1 and pushed up to around 6th wheel on course. I say on course because I was off to the right of the pointy end of the peleton on another wheel which I thought would be good. Turns out that wheel was no good and riders start going by on the left, I’m boxed in! Finally an opening before we reach the final turn. I shoot through the gap and to the left side of the road so I can carry speed through the turn, money! 4th on course I accelerate right out of the corner. I can see 1st and 2nd and I’m closing! This is were I lost the race for the 2nd time. As I’m closing I have to decide were to pass. I shoot to the right of the leaders (as the course arcs LEFT!) lunge and we all cross within half a bike length of each other! Dang! Hindsight is always 20/20 but if I hadn’t lost 3-5 spots getting boxed in and given up 10-20 feet moving to the outside on the sprint…
Overall, it was an awsome race. Largest fields of the year, music blasting, primes, great course with unique layout. It was worth the drive and to make a day of it there’s great riding in the area. Highly recommend to all teamies and kudos to those that were there today!
|May 5, 2012|
Its not the crash that hurts, it’s the sudden deceleration. Just ask Thomas, who involuntarily dismounted at Cat’s hill Criterium while descending the hill at about 32 mph. The tree he hit will never be the same. The good news is that apart from road rash in huge amounts and aching all over he is good to go. and his new Leopard DC1 survived, along with the Williams carbon wheel set. I have spoken to Tom and Bryan a few times and he is considering racing at States next Saturday. As they say on the other side of the pond, “well ‘ard”.
E3 – Rory DNP. only 42 finished out of 72 starters
E4/5 35+ Phil Mai (Phil rides with us at TNT) 7 o/o 37
E5 – Geno 6th, Darryl Lueng 19th, Mike Lueng 20th o/o 28
J15/16 – Brandon 9th, Thomas DNP, Olly Barajas 6th o/o 17
J17/18 – Ram 15th, Arthur 18th o/o 22
P/1/2 – Ziggy DNP (pulled out with 8 laps with go in the 75 minute slug fest)
Cats hill criterium
Teammates Mike, Darryl
Field size 28
Fun crit! I arrived with plenty of time to warm up and so I hopped on the trainer for about 5 minutes. (Not a big fan of warming up) Race time! I started out near the back like I always do but once we hit the climb I made up some ground dispite being in a massive gear. After the first lap I was able to settle in and I was able to position myself within the top five riders for most of the race. With about five laps to go I did not want to pull and so I moved back a few spots. Once I hit the climb, I looked back I found that there were only 4 guys behind me. I believe the field was down to around 12-15 guys at that point. I found myself in the middle of the pack with two laps to go and once we hit the climb three riders went off the front. At first I was reluctant to chase because I didnt want to be the one pulling the three riders back. No one was giving it a good enough effort and so I ended up dragging the group within 20 feet of the three riders. They realized the gap was closing and hamered away. I then got passed by a few guys. Once i was back on the hill i made up some ground on the riders in front of me. I was able to pass up one rider on the descent and had a lonely but satisfying sprint for sixth place. There wasnt anything super sketchy in the race and I think this is an excellent race! If you havent done it do it!
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!