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Cycle Folsom Message Board Race Reports › Early Bird Road Race (Patterson) 22 Jan 2011

Early Bird Road Race (Patterson) 22 Jan 2011

Brian
TheManTheMachine
Rancho Cordova, CA
Post #: 28
Last Saturday was the first road race of the Northern California & Nevada Cycling Association. Not only was it the first race of the season, but it was my first bicycle race ever. It was nice to show up in Patterson, CA and run into some friendly Cycle Folsom riders that are also taking a stab at racing this year. I ran into Jeff T and Jeremy B, both riding for Bicycles Plus. I knew they would be riding in my category race (Masters 35+ Cat 5) and knew Jeremy would be kicking my ass later in the day. I also ran into Curt M and Chad R, both of Roadrash Racing and CF members. And of course, El Patron rolled by and gave a knuckle bump for good luck.

The Early Bird Road Race is an out-and-back that climbs up Del Puerto Canyon about 20 miles to the county line and then runs back down. The last 2 miles to the turn around pitches up like Prospector's Grade, hitting 18-19% in some sections and is all well above 10%.

I lined up with Jeremy and Jeff. Our category was pretty small, about 20 riders. By the time we were half way up the canyon, we were all single file and Jeremy, Jeff, and myself were never more than 10 back from the front. I took a couple of little pulls just to feel-out the group. Jeff said, "What are you doing. Don't pull!" Shortly after Jeremy went to the front and started taking monster, 2-3 minute pulls. There were only a few other guys near the front that were interested in trading pulls. Jeff and I commented later in the day that we never saw half the guys because they were always behind us.

Right before the 20 mph hour sign for a right hand turn that marks the beginning of the real climbing, Jeremy attacked off the front. Jeff went up the road with a couple other riders. I knew what was coming and didn't want to red-line myself too much. I did the steep pitches at my own pace and dropped a couple of minutes behind Jeff's group. However, while doing so, I passes a few guys and put a huge gap into the others behind.

I was bummed to see Chad R just below the turn around fixing a flat tire, and at the time, I wasn't sure what Curt M was doing at the top just hanging out (apparently he blew out a tire that was not fixable). I went around the cones and went down as fast as I could, wanting to close the gap and hopefully catch back on to Jeff's group. That would be impossible. After about riding 10 miles solo into the wind I found myself in no-mans-land. I couldn't see anyone way up the road in front of me and I couldn't see any help for as far as I could see behind me. I was hung out to dry, but I was still ahead of most of the racer. Eventually, a group of 4 riders caught we further down the mountain which was a relief. Finally someone to draft off and work with. It was nice to see Chad's friendly face in that group (although we were not suppose to be working together - he's in a different category).

When we started hitting the little rollers near the finish of the race, I could tell some of the guys were tired, but wasn't too sure what they would do. When we got on the short climb to the finish I made sure I had room to move up. The Victory Velo (Auburn) rider on the front slowed way down, like to 13 mph. I went to the front and moved to the right edge of the road so that I could check one shoulder to see if anyone was going to attack. No one was coming up; they were all gassed. I kept checking my shoulder and made a little dig that opened a bike length and there was no response from the followers. I can't say it was really a sprint, but I was happy to roll across first from our group.

I ended up finishing in 6th place. Not bad for a first race and still working on winter base training. Jeremy ended up riding solo in the wind for some time as well on the descent. Eventually Jeff's small group caught him. Jeremy would take second Jeff would take third. Way to go guys!

Photos:
Jeff on the front, Brian third wheel (Jeremy off the front)
Jeff flying the Bicycles Plus colors
Brian huffing and puffing up the canyon
Steve W.
PedalinSquares
Folsom, CA
Post #: 28
Brian, that's an outstanding result for any rider, and considering you're still in the base-building period of your training program, I predict that you will be getting on some podiums in another couple of months when the more prestigous races begin to fill the calendar.

Congratulations - great effort!
Curt M.
curt.mills
Rancho Cordova, CA
Post #: 27
My rear rim cracked slightly causing it to lose true, causing it to rub on my brake, causing my rear tube to overheat and explode like a balloon, which then hit my front derailuer and snapped the aluminum band that holds it onto the frame. The good news, i was second wheel entering the climb and only lost a few positions while my brake was apparently rubbing. The bad news, i felt really good before everything went wrong, which actually makes it tougher.

The other good news was that i saw a man for the second straight year racing with an arm in a sling, which was pretty inspirational. I also got a kick out of everyone I knew doing really well after putting in a lot of work this winter.
A former member
Post #: 1
This is how the lead group broke down...

Jeremy was the first to summit and I
followed in 4th position about a minute later. I quickly took over
3rd on the descent. After the descent a group of three of us
organized and started chasing down the 2nd place rider. By the time
we caught him I realized my mistake. I should not have been helping
the chase when I had a teammate out front. I stopped cooperating with
the chase at that point. Eventually the group caught up to Jeremy but
not before he rode out front for 10 miles! The group of 5 traded work
and hammered out the remaining 10 miles. No one was in a hurry to
start the sprint. At about the 200 meter mark, Jeremy hit the gas and
I was right on his wheel. Jeremy hit the finish a bike length in
front of me, but another rider flew up the left side and nipped Jeremy
for 1st.

When I checked the race results, it had Jeremy 3rd and I was 4th. The
rider that nipped Jeremy for 1st was listed in 2nd place. I talked to
a race official that said the first rider came in 3 ½ minutes in front
of our group. Knowing exactly who was ahead of me on the climb and
that no one passed our group on the way back, this had to be a
mistake. I placed a protest with the race official, but USAC results
still show him in first. In another twist, the rider who finished 1st
in our group was DQ’d because he was a Cat-3 rider.

Hopefully the results will be corrected and Jeremy will be awarded his
well-deserved 1st place finish.
A former member
Post #: 1
Awesome finish Brian...your first race!!! Thanks for the commentary.
Brian
TheManTheMachine
Rancho Cordova, CA
Post #: 29
This is how the lead group broke down...

...When I checked the race results, it had Jeremy 3rd and I was 4th. The
rider that nipped Jeremy for 1st was listed in 2nd place. I talked to
a race official that said the first rider came in 3 ½ minutes in front
of our group. Knowing exactly who was ahead of me on the climb and
that no one passed our group on the way back, this had to be a
mistake. I placed a protest with the race official, but USAC results
still show him in first. In another twist, the rider who finished 1st
in our group was DQ’d because he was a Cat-3 rider.

Hopefully the results will be corrected and Jeremy will be awarded his
well-deserved 1st place finish.

Jeremy was totally strong on Saturday. Not only did he hit the climb and the turn around first and sprint to the finish (uphill), he also took several monster pulls going up the canyon. When I saw Jeremy and Jeff at the race start, I knew who I'd be chasing. Jeff you got a well deserved 2nd place too!
Oz L.
ozlee
El Dorado Hills, CA
Post #: 7
Great job guys! Great way to start the racing season. It'll be cool to see all CF'ers on the podium at the same time! :-)

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