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Cycle Folsom Message Board Race Reports › Snelling Road Race, 26 Feb 2011

Snelling Road Race, 26 Feb 2011

Brian
TheManTheMachine
Rancho Cordova, CA
Post #: 49
There were all kinds of reasons not to race Snelling: the weather (cold rain & snow predicted earlier), flooding (last year the course was flooded), my fatigued legs, and my recent cold. The weather was cool, but not wet. There wasn't any flooding, and I wasn't as sick as I was a week or 2 ago. But my legs did feel dead, but that's racing, right? I lined up with everyone else for the Masters 35+ Category 5 race, along with Jeremy­ and Jeff­, both Cycle Folsom notables and racing for Bicycles Plus. Turns out Miles­ is racing for Team Revolutions; today was the first time I've seen him since he had a little spill on a wet road back in November.

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The first of four, 12 mile laps, was very tame with the peloton moving around 18-20 mph. I pre-rode the course a week earlier and knew some of the corners were tricky and possibly had sand on them. I went to the front for the first set of 15 mph chicanes to pick a clean line. It wasn't my intention to be off the front, but everyone else was content riding slow. The peloton was one compact group rolling through the finish after the first lap.

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On the 2nd lap, a DBC rider went off the front, but no one was willing to chase him down. Jeff made a little effort over one of the small climbs and I followed his wheel. Without much effort we had a gap. We ended up catching the DBC rider and briefly had a 3 man break. I was feeling the fatigue in my legs and every time the DBC guy pulled through, I was at my limit. I didn't want to blow myself up on the 2nd lap, so decided to drift back to the peloton. A few seconds later, Jeremy comes cruising up with another guy with some distance off the front of the peloton. I tried jumping on their wheels, but again, I was at my limit. This ended up being the winning move. On the first time check the 4-man break had 50 seconds. On the 3rd lap I tried to get the guys at the front of the peloton organized in a rotating pace line to chase them down, but after two rotations it fell apart. Both Body Concepts and Peninsula Velo had 4 or more guys (none in the break), but neither team could get organized. By the end of the 3rd lap the break had 2 minutes; everyone else was racing for 5th.

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On the 3rd lap the peloton had a crash on the back side of the course. On the 4th lap, a pro woman Tibco­ rider in a solo breakaway passed my Cat 5 peloton [Later I read that it was Erinne Willock and she soloed the win]. We were slow. She looked like she weighed 90 pounds, but was riding faster than us into a headwind. Eventually the Cat 5 peloton would get passed by the Pro Women's peloton, but this was right before the fast part of the course and we were literally right on their heels. Just before heading into the corner before the bumpy road, the same corner other guys in our group crashed, the Pro Men's peloton raced up the side of us. Great, 150 cyclists all going into the same tricky corner. Relief, no one crashed. But then my Cat 5 group got neutralized to create a gap behind the woman's group because the finish was about 3 miles away. Because we were neutralized, everyone moved up to the front and were then able to recover, and this was right before the finish. Sure enough, with about a mile to go including one corner and a small hill, we were set loose. Guys nearly started sprinting from a mile out. The pace shot up to 28 mph. I stayed near the front in the top ten, but there was no way I was going to take any wind at that speed from that far out. I picked a good line through the final right-hand turn and kept my speed. A guy in front of me went way wide which was fine, but then he cut back across the course. I literally had to grab a handful of brake, fishtailing my back wheel like a power slide, but was able to quickly recover and get back into a sprint. I was gassed, but kept pushing to the end up the hill. There was a Rio Strada guy in front of me, so it was my final goal to sprint ahead of him. The official results were not in when I wrote this, but I counted about 7 guys in front of me, plus the break away of 4, so that would put me somewhere between 10-15. Not bad considering my legs were cramping over the small climbs on the last lap and a half. Miles also had a strong finish just a few places behind me. Jeremy went on to take first with a solo break from his break-mates; Jeff would then sprint from the 3 man chase group for second. Way to go guys!

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El Patron raced the Masters 35+ Category 4 race which was on the course at the same time as my race. Apparently he got in a 2 man breakaway and finished second.

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No need to sprint for a finish when no one is in sight around you...

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Thanks Krysta­ for taking the great photos­!

I know Chad­ raced, and I'm pretty sure Patrick­ raced too. I'd be curious to hear how their races went.
Chad R.
cjrich25
Antelope, CA
Post #: 1
Hey Brian,

The 35+ cat 4 group B race was pretty slow. Numerous riders jumped off the front but were eventually swallowed back up. On the third lap the pace picked up to around 25+ for several miles and we dropped a few riders but it eventually cooled off again. The sprint on the final lap started about halfway through that extremely bumpy section and I ended up getting 25th overall. I didn't have much left for the sprint and that is something I plan on working on. Looking forward to you Jeff and Jeremy coming up to the cat 4's so we can maybe help each other out.

Later Chad
A former member
Post #: 3
Brian, I could tell you were not feeling it when we were in the break. It would have been great having 3 CF guys pulling away at Snelling.

After Jeremy and another rider bridged up, the four of us focused on working to extend the gap. The Davis guy was doing all he could to hang on, taking short slower pulls. I wasn't sure if he was sandbagging at that point. Near the end of the second lap, the break away came close to failing. During a rough stretch of road my computer sensor came loose and went in to my rear wheel spokes making a terrible racket. I didn't know if I should stop and fix it or try to ride through it. I kept pedaling and eventually it kept clear of my spokes (for the most part). At almost the exact same time as my incident, Jeremy's front wheel skewer came loose and he nearly lost his wheel. He had to dismount and fix. Jeremy was no where in sight as we finished lap 2. Not knowing what happened to Jeremy, the 3 remaining riders kept the pressure on, but I knew it would be hard to keep the gap without Jeremy. A few miles down the road, I was not that surprised to see Jeremy back in the group. He did a massive effort to catch back on to us. At that point I knew we had an excellent chance to stay away the rest of the ride.

We had close to a 2 minute gap by the time we started the 4th and final lap. the group slowed a bit in the headwind section. Jeremy and I were doing most of the work trying to keep the pace up. When we hit the tailwind section, we put the hammer down. At that point I knew we were not going to be caught but wanted to keep the pressure on the other 2 riders.

With about 1500-2000 meters left the Pro/1/2 riders came flying past us. Jeremy was pulling at the time and thought it was our peleton and immediately jumped in the group. I was yelling at him to stay out of the group (You can get relegated if you draft outside your group). At that same point the moto referee drove up and said, "Where's the 4th rider?". the Davis guy pointed out that Jeremy was up with Pros, but just as this happened, Jeremy pulled off and let the Pros go. Jeremy's jump gave him about 100 meter gap from myself and the other 2 riders. Seeing that Jeremy now had the race well in hand I sat on the wheel of the next strongest rider. We took the final right hand turn and prepared for the uphill finish. I patiently sat on his wheel until about the 150 meter mark, I downshifted, hit it hard, and blew past him. It was a great race and was pumped that Jeremy and I finished 1-2.
A former member
Post #: 6
Well my race started out pretty mellow as well. For the first lap and a half we would get going for a minute or two at about 22mph than then bunch up at about 17mph no one wanting to do any pacing up front. After about a lap and a half we were neutralized to let a cat 4 break pass right before the section with the tail wind. I had been toward the front but at this point was sitting about 15th. This is when a two man break got away, I never saw it go, they must have gone as soon as the cat 4 had passed and hammered it through the fast stretch of the course. In the next lap I finally learned that there was a breakaway from our race marshal who said the break was at 1:16 already. This was about the time I saw Curt on the side of the road with a flat. For the next lap and a half a group of about 14 broke off the front and started chasing. We were organized enough to pull away from the rest of the group but not enough so to catch the break of two. To make matters worse we got neutralized again half way through the last lap killing our lead on the main group. We tried to break off again but by this time it was too late to catch the two man break. I stupidly pulled hard down the last main straight and big hill and was gassed coming into the final turn. To make matters worse I got pinched and had to slam on the breaks just like the last race at Fremont. Sprinted to regain speed but by that time it was too late. Think I finished somewhere around 10-15 like Brian. Congrats to Jeremy and Jeff.
Brian
TheManTheMachine
Rancho Cordova, CA
Post #: 50
Way to hang in there Patrick. I pre-rode the course with a couple of other guys (Craig & Alex) the weekend before. It wasn't as windy, but Craig and I rode the course together trading pulls for three laps and averaged about 19.5 mph. During the race, my average in the peloton was 20.3 mph. That's pretty sad. I can see that maybe in a crit where it's usually going to come down to a sprint, but in a road race? Hopefully as the season carries on, the racing will be more like racing. At one point in the peloton the guy riding next to me said to me, "feels like I'm on a club ride." Yup that was about it.
Brian
TheManTheMachine
Rancho Cordova, CA
Post #: 51
Jeff, when I pre-rode the course I was running my Conti GP4Ks (23x700) at 110 psi and nearly rattled my teeth out of my head and vibrated my wrists till they were numb. I'm not surprised people started seeing things come loose on their bikes. For the race, I slapped on my winter commute tires, my 25mm GP4Ks and ran them at about 95 psi. It was way more plush, as plush as that road could be. I would highly recommend giving 'em a shot. Check out what Nick L. has to say about tire width and pressure in his Ask Nick column of VeloNews: http://velonews.competitor.com/tag/ask-nick­.

Bottom line you and Jeremy rocked-it! I would have loved to have ridden up there with you guys, but it just wasn't my day.
A former member
Post #: 7
Check it out guys. There are hundreds of photos from the race posted, including ones without watermarks. Photos
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