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2014-08-30 Red Kite #14 Race Report by Brian Zimny

Red Kite Crit #14 - 8-30-14

I won the final round of the Red Kite Omnium Cat 2/3 race and likely put me in the top 5 overall in omnium points.  As usual the Pleasanton course was very windy and it hampered breakaway attempts. One strong group of 3 got away for 20 min and I was getting pretty antsy that they might stay away.  A group of three guys from a team I hadn’t seen all year (SDBC) chased it down and then the group played cat and mouse for the final 3 laps.
Going into the final 2 corners a strong squadra SF rider launched up the side and took the lead on the second to last straight.  Knowing how short the sprint was I jumped around him as he faded before the final corner and I took the win by a full 10 feet at the line. Special shout to Robin for chasing down some strong moves early in the race for me immediately after he had finished the masters race.

 

I’m really happy my wife and two little girls were there to see it.  Cute baby podium pics and finish line pics will follow.  Thanks everyone for a great season and good luck to everyone at Nationals and the remaining races instate this year. I am already looking forward to some off season team rides.

Red Kite Crit #14 podium - 8-30-14

2014-08-31 NCNCA State Crit Championships Race Report by Dean Laberge

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Phew, what a week this has been! Last Sunday at 3:20am we got rocked with a humdinger of an earthquake in Napa. Luckily we were all safe when the shaking finally stopped. When we reached for flashlights that are on the night stands we quickly realized we needed to find the night stand first, not good. My middle son Chris happened on a laptop that did the trick to light up the room. The damage report for the town is not so good, you have all been able to see that on the news. Current status is we have 150+ red tagged buildings and 900+ yellow tagged. We ended up with a yellow tag from our “new” foundation failing. it went in after the last big quake in 2000. Luckily the failure was that it slipped a couple inches. It needs to be raised up, rebuilt and then set the house back down again. ERRRR. After each aftershock we are on edge and last night we had another one at 2:am. The rest of the night I am restlessly trying to get ready for today’s races. So enough with my woes and on to the report.
 
This morning I raced Vacaville as a warm-up for the main race in the afternoon. My restless night showed when I hesitated causing me to not make the final move that went up the road. I could have closed it myself but did not want to take away some energy for the afternoon. I ended up 6th and went home to sleep.  
 
The state crit race is always a funny race. Everyone wants to win so bad that they chase down everything. It is so funny, they do not want to work together in a break and they do not want to field sprint against sprinters like me. So the breaks fail and more often than not it is a field sprint. Snovel and I used this to our advantage by only marking the few guys that are strong enough to stick a break. In my opinion the strongest was Cliff Bars Michael Jacques. Snovel was all over him each time he attacked which left me able to rest up. Thanks Jason! Riders would get up the road only to be brought back since riders would just sit on. Fast forward to a lap and a half to go. The last rider off the front comes back to the field and Jacques attacks. I had been following him for the last 4 laps waiting for this and I was able to get on him. We have only 2 length on the field so I did not pull through. As we are caught in turn 2 a Mikes Bikes rider attacks with me in tow to the third turn, four turns total. He is toast so I lead it out since it is a tail wind section. It was about half way down the stretch when I hear the deep wheels of Chris Espy on my left. I jump to get up to speed, slot in three guys back then take an extra 2 pedal strokes into the inside of the last turn. Ended up with clean air all the way to the line for a nice victory.
It has been a rough year and this was a nice way to bring us to the last chapter of the 2014 season, Natz in Ogden, UT.
Hope all goes just as smooth!
Thanks for reading.

2014-08-17 Red Kite #11 E2/E3 Race Report by Brian Zimny

Red Kite 2-3 crit 8-17-14

Quicky race report from Sunday.  Turn out was only a little smaller than normal despite San Ardo and University Road Races also going on.  I looked for strong riders in the first 15-20 minutes to form a break away since that seems to be happening more and more in these crits.  A few promising moves went with strong riders and I jumped on immediately but we were caught as there were still too many fresh legs to chase.  At the 25 min mark we had a hard lap, followed by a prime lap, then the always aggressive Johnathan Christensen from Limitless Cycling made a move with one other Squadra SF rider Alex Lockwood.  It’s a good start, especially since Squadra always brings a bunch of riders so they can shut the field down if you get into a break with one of their guys.  I jumped across with a Pinnacle Reactor rider Aaron Patterson who has won quite a few races this year and we made a good group of 4.  We started rolling away and had over 30 seconds (more than 1 straight away) pretty quickly.  We were working (or at least I was) REALLY hard.  My heart rate was into the 190’s for 20 minutes straight (high for me).  Then I looked back and saw 2 riders attempting to bridge across.  I almost couldn’t believe it.  They made it up to us a little bit later and it allowed me to catch my breath some but not a lot.  One of the riders to bridge across was recently crowned 30-34 district RR champ Chris Evans of Squadra so now they had 2 riders in the break.  I tried to pull through easy to catch my breath before the final laps when I knew it was going to get ugly.  Sure enough with 2 laps to go, both Squadra guys launch together.  Now it was up to the other 4 to chase them down and act like teammates just long enough to bring it back.  I only pulled through once I think and I was back at my limit quickly.  The Pinnacle rider took a huge pull and we rolled up beside the Squadra pair with half a lap to go.  I was hoping we could just continue past them but they latched on.  Leading up to the final turn I am totally worked over.  Unlike the past few races where I had enough time at the end to recover and sprint while everyone jockeyed for position, this time I came into the sprint with nothing left.  Alex Lockwood from Squadra initiated the sprint with one other rider on his wheel, Pinnacle in third and me in 4th through the final corner.  Out of the corner I just followed wheels to the line to finish in 4th place as the three in front of me fanned out and all crossed the line within half a bike length of each other with Aaron Patterson taking the win and securing his Cat 1 upgrade.  Congrats to him, he was the strongest guy on the day.  

 
Thanks for reading!

2014-08-23 Winter’s Road Race Report by Jason Boynton

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3 laps 72 miles.  Dan Bryant, Dean Laberge, John Fairbanks, Stephan Gianchino, Jason Boynton
The race started faster than usual and never really let up. Nothing could get away on the first lap as everything was chased down.  The first climb was insanely fast and hard, but it all came back together on pleasant valley.
Eropkin attacked on the frontage road and Stephan and I bridged up. We got a gap and rolled with it. We went super hard and couldn’t get more than a minute and were eventually brought back at the top of Cantelow. From there a barrage if attacks ensued for the descent to the frontage road but nothing could stick.  Dean rolled up and asked how I was feeling, I said alright considering the last 30 minutes, how about you?  He replied, better if I could help you get into a break.  Shortly after this conversation Roemer, theobald, Cameron Birky, grefrath, a  mikes bikes, and a lange twins rider got away as we got onto the Frontage road.  The field seemed content with this move but we were not represented..  Andres Gil went to bridge and I went with him, it was a crazy hard effort and  almost too much, but he and I worked well and just barely had enough to make it.  Another mike’s bike guy was in tow and we had 10 after we got there.  Unfortunately with
 this many riders, it was quite disjointed until we were able to shed the mike’s bikes guys, the Lange twins rider and one other. At that point heading into the climbing, we were six were rolled really well.    I was feeling the previous break and bridge efforts and wasn’t sure of what I had left.  I was able to make it over the climb and tried to consedrve some as we we rolled hard all the way to the finish (we did not get any time checks so had no idea of the gap).   Unfortunatetly for me,  the sprint opened up at 1km when Grefrath attacked, burky, countered with Roemer at about 350 m.  It was too early for my tired legs and I let Nick fill in to see how it would play out.  However, I just couldn’t muster a sprint and Andres alos came around as I felt like I was sprinting in oatmeal.  Roemer was able to use Birky and hold on for the win.  I rolled in in 5th.
very solid workout as Nats is 2 wks away.
thanks for reading,
jb

2014-08-03 Patterson Pass Road Race Report 35+ 1/2/3 Jason Boynton

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Pictured: Chris Lyman

3, 22 mile laps with a total of 6000 ft of climbing.  fortunately the previously predicted heat never arrived and the temperatures were humid but comfortable.  However, the winds were coming out of the west which was very favorable for breakaways.
Riders: Dan Bryant, Stephan Giachino, Jason Boynton
The race started normally with a tolerable tempo up the the first climb.   We went hard on the descent and Dan Martin and Todd Bell went away as we started the second climb.  No one really reacted or seemed to care.  Dan set a hard tempo up the second climb and I attacked hard at the top and kept it going until we came off the Wente Climb, but nothing was going and Martin had put on the gas.  When we hit the big climb the second time, Dan went full TT mode and rode an insane tempo up the entire climb.  This put most riders in trouble.  I went hard over the top, but we where catching another field and that messed things up.  When we hit the second climb Dan again set a hard tempo and I again attacked at the top.  This time we had small group but we weren’t going anywhere.  The field had reduced to 8 though.  At the bottom Cottell tried some efforts and I countered the final one and got away with Eropkin.  He wasn’t going to do much with Martin ahead, but he rode some on the flats,  and I was able to get rid of him on the climb.  I caught and rode through Bell and saw Martin 1-2 minutes ahead on the climb but never saw him again.  He held on for an impressive solo win,  I held on for solo second and Eropkin held on for a solo 3rd.  I think the only sprint was for 5-7.

Good day in the saddle.
Thanks for reading,
jb

2014-08-02 Downieville Race Report by Jason Walker

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Not only did I not have any major goals for Dville this year, I had to get talked into doing it by my friend at the last minute.   My family and I are moving to Wenatchee on the 12th and things have been busy.  But as my friend Matt reminded me, “Jason, you said this was your favorite race from last year; and btw, you got 2nd.”

Race didn’t kick off until 9:35 for us so we were able to sleep in our own beds and got there with plenty of time.

As others who have done this race would surely attest – the atmosphere at this race is 2nd to none.  The town of Sierra City quadruples in size for the race (no real data, just a guess), with presumably everyone who lives there volunteering.

My biggest concern for the race, in true road race prima donna/weight weenie fashion, was how was I going to get fed on top of Packer Saddle.  Last year I had the whole family there so Kerri was able to give me a bottle but not this year.  I figured I could probably find a friend with a significant other to assist.  And I did!

As I said, I had no real goals than the obvious – don’t hurt yourself – but I did think I could do well and maybe win the thing.  But as I bumped into my former teammate Nate Freed, whose fiancée Janelle was going to feed him (and now me), Nate let me know Jesse Miller-Smith was racing as well, and in my group.  This gave me pause.  If you don’t know JMS he holds the KOMs up Geiger (beating Bobby Julich’s record when Bobby was still racing) and Mt Rose, among thousands of others.  He is a world-class climber, so things just got a bit tougher.

We started, and as predicted, JMS took off a couple minutes into the pavement climb and was quickly by himself.   There were a few other eager beavers and I entered the dirt in 5th place.  I quickly got by 2 and then 5 min later got by another but couldn’t see Jesse.

One of the great parts about mountain bike racing, and especially Dville, is the effort you need to expend to pass people (or get passed by people on the DH).  Almost immediately into the dirt we were catching Pro Men and Women; I must have made 10-15 super-spin efforts to get by people through unfriendly lines but I had to keep the pressure on hoping JMS would flat and I might see him again.

I topped out, got my feed and started the singletrack in 2nd place.  I felt good.

From here my main goals were to limit how many times I got passed.  Last year I yo-yo’d with a few people and probably got passed by 20+.  I’m no slouch going down but there are some serious riders in this race.

So far I made it through Sunrise and baby heads w/o getting passed, flatting or crashing so I was happy.  But I hadn’t passed anyone either (other than on the climb between DHs) and still no sign of JMS.

The trail seemed quite a bit rougher and dustier than last year;  I talked with several riders from last year and everyone thought conditions were more challenging and the times showed it.  Last year Carl Decker won the race in 1:55; this year Levi won in 2:00, with Moeschler and Decker right behind them.

But I was feeling good and finally about half way through the descent I caught Jesse.  I was on Marc-Pro/Strava a few years back with Jesse and we are pretty good friends, so I felt okay talking a little shit to him.  I screamed “Ah Jesse, I’m going to get you!”  I then asked him if he flatted (I meant this seriously, not as a complete d*&^head statement).  He told me he’d been cramping.  I asked him if was going to make me earn or if he was going to let me by.  He let me by.

If he was cramping, and assuming no mechanicals, I thought this was the end of it.  But I kept the pressure on.  About 10 minutes later I got passed by the fastest/craziest descender I’ve ever been in a race with.  It’s hard to describe how much faster he was going than me but I was actually scared for him.  This rattled me for a minute and resulted in my crashing as I was approaching the bridge before Misery hill.  I somehow landed on my feet (much practice dismounting bike) which got a huge cheer from the aid station volunteers and I caught my bike before it ended up in the river.  I got back on and proceeded to stack it up on the bridge and some other guy got by me.

Last year I thought I won this race.  My friend, Stosh Bankston, who finished right behind me also thought I won.  Somewhere near the end of the race I’d been passed by Garrett Heitman and I had no idea.  So having these 2 guys get by me concerned me a bit because I didn’t recognize them from the pros and I also didn’t know where Jesse was.  I kept chasing.

The pivotal moment in the DH was about to take place and it was foreshadowed in a discussion with my friend Matt on the way to the race.  He was talking about a section of the course near the finish where there is a BIG rock.  I had no clue what he was talking about as I’ve only ridden the DH 3x.  He said you’ll remember it this year.   And I would.  As I approached the big rock it looked like I could ride up it on the left side but I hadn’t shifter properly and was in too big of a gear.  I got about half way up and quickly jumped off my bike; this thwarted the progress of the 2 pros behind me and to my surprise JESSE!  He was right on my ass.  Everyone had to get off their bikes and the pros got in front of Jesse with me in front of them and I quickly got a gap on him.

From here there was some flowy singletrack, some fireroad flats and descents and the pavement into town.  I went into TT mode and never saw the others again.

But I still wasn’t sure if I’d won and the 2 guys that passed me were at the finish line, so I looked at their numbers.  Sure enough, different categories.  I won!

The race course is cool (epic really) but the event in Dville apres race is amazing.  There are vendors everywhere, a bike check, bike- river jumping and beer.  I recommend everyone does the race at least 1x.

Thanks to Sierra Buttes for putting on such a great event and thanks to Folsom bike and all our sponsors for their support.

Jason

P.S.  I do have my Folsom jersey on but they gave me that winners jersey and felt obliged to put it on.

2014-07-27 Berkeley Bicycle Club Criterium E2/E3 Race Report by Brian Zimny

BZ Podium

I decided to do just one race at the 30th Annual Berkeley Criterium.  The nature of the course being technical, a bit bumpy, and having some climbing in it made me shy away from 2 races back to back.

I made sure to stay in the top 10 for the first 10+ minutes both to stay out of trouble and keep from having the accordion wear me out as the group expanded and contracted.  After only 12 minutes of racing, 4 of the stronger riders went off the front, each from a different team that was well represented.  At the bottom of the course I jumped to bridge up with one other rider.  Once the group of the 6 of us got organized we worked pretty hard to get a gap but it hovered for a long time around 30 seconds.  I was taken by surprise by how strong some of the guys were as I regularly saw over 500 watts in the draft on the climbing section lap after lap.  With 45 minutes of racing left I tried to be smart about my contributions, especially when it seemed like we were going to stay away the whole race.  Our gap grew late in the race to over a minute and I was confident we would stay away so I practiced the art of the “soft pull.” I stayed in the rotation but only pulled hard enough to make it around the lead rider as he drifted back.  By the time we hit the bell lap I was fairly rested…. just in time for one of the thinner riders to go for a 1 lap flyer.  Being third in the rotation when he jumped, the lead rider looked around for some one to chase.  I knew if I hesitated, everyone else would do the same and the win would be gone up the road.  This guy had been turning the screws on all of us up the hill every lap so I knew he had the legs, but probably wasn’t confident in his sprint.  I jumped after him and ended up towing the rest of the break back up to him and we regained contact at the bottom of the climb.  I hoped no one would attack at that point as I needed a little bit of jockeying for position to catch my breath before the sprint.  That is exactly what happened and we more or less soft pedaled until half way down the straight leading to the final corner.  I see a Pinnacle-Reactor rider that won the Colavita Grand Prix last weekend jump out of the corner of my eye.  I jump too and we are side by side sprinting toward the final corner.  I am leaving nothing in the tank for the final straight but still losing ground after my chase move earlier in the lap burned a match or two.  As we approach the turn he is carrying a ton of speed so I sit up and allow him to roll through the corner first.  He exits the turn in front of me with another rider in tow and as he rolls over the crown of the road and hits the off camber section, his rear wheel washes out and down he goes.  The rider following him also goes down.  I hit the brakes a little just in case they fall back into my line and when I realize I am safe (and now HORRIBLY over-geared for the sprint) I get back on the gas and grind out a sprint at what feels like 70 RPM before I cross the line for the win.  Behind me the crashed riders show serious mettle by getting back up and running across the line before the pack to preserve their placings.
Here is a video from the race taken by the second rider to crash:
I then got to relax and watch former teammate and Folsom Bike employee Matt Chatlaong crush the P/1/2 field easily and win the sprint by 4 bike lengths.  He attacked every lap on the climb until the 50 rider field was reduced to 15.  I would likely have been one of his victims to fall off the back as well after my efforts in the first race.
Thanks for reading!
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