Our team raced hard throughout the year, and it paid off!
The team has placed third in the NCNCA Premiere Series for 2013, which is a huge achievement. View the announcement and more information can be found here.
Sat 9/21 was the first Sac CX Race of the year. The forecast was a 30% chance for rain, but in true cross style it was 100% rain. What normally is a ripping fast course ended up being a mud fest with almost everyone finding it a challenge to keep the rubber side down. Fortunately the crashes just ended up in very muddy riders. All and all an Epic CX day lots of fun and better than a 100 degree day anytime.
The Folsom Cyclebration Omnium was a race that I had on my calendar as a must do and one I really targeted to improve on from last year. My plan for this year was to try and crack the top 10 in the TT and shoot for top 5’s in the criterium and circuit to have a shot at the podium for the Omnium.
It started with the TT. The wind switched directions from previous days and was blowing a hard headwind for the return leg. I changed tactics accordingly and I tried to tell myself to save a little for the way back. But I red lined early on the way out and just had to suffer and hold on for the way back. Finished 11th. Alright, I’ll take that.
In the crit, Folsom Bike teammates Kevin Keady and Kevin Harris were in the race and unfortunately, I did not get a chance to talk tactics before the race started (I went out on the bike trail for my warm up and stopped to help 2 ladies who clearly needed help changing a rear flat). After a little Folsom Bike marketing, and a quick ride back, I make it back as we line up for the race. Things were pretty much business as usual. BP rotated guys on the front keeping the pace high. With six to go, a Victory Velo rider goes hard and pulls a quick gap of 20 seconds. BP does not react and I am on the front thinking if should chase. I keep a strong pace, but if I go now, I will have nothing for the end. Then here comes the boom. Kevin Keady comes by and says, ‘get on’. He lays down a monster pull for a full lap and reels in the breakaway rider. Kevin pulls over to get a much deserved rest. I work a little on the front and get back in line but keeping good position. Rob Leever (BP) breaks with 2 to go and I follow. I thought this was the move. But he sits up with one to go and I realize what just happened, I took the bait. I hear it coming and the BP freight train comes by working for their Omnium leader, Robert Goss. I give one hard push and join in line in 7th wheel. I follow it to the finish and hold on for 10th. Both Harris and Keady get caught behind some ridiculousness that nearly takes out the pack on the last lap. Fortunately they stay rubber side down, but get relegated to the back. In the end, not exactly what I wanted. But I learned another valuable lesson. On the up side, I am in 9th place in the Omnium. Still an outside chance for a podium.
For the circuit race the same Folsom Bike crew assembles and Phil Blay joins in on the fun. They all make the decision to work for me. I am concerned that BP has 2 fresh, strong riders that have not raced this weekend (Patrick Norville and Jared Ellison) but Kevin K. quickly points out, ‘Yeah, but we have Phil!’ This was the statement of the day… The guys kept an eye on things and control the front, Kevin Harris livens things up and goes for a flyer off the front on the uphill and holds it to Blue Ravine, but nobody goes with him and BP picks up the pace and reels him back. After the prime lap, a 3 man breakaway goes with three laps to go. They get a 30 second gap and I hear that the second overall in the Omnium is in the break. With two to go Kevin Keady comes to the front and starts the chase. He brings the gap down to 10 seconds. With one to go the pack lets them go up the road a bit and at the top of the hill the chase is on in full anger. The gap is about 20 seconds and we have FB and BP intermingled on the front working hard. Phil’s turn; he hammers a blistering pace on the front for a half mile, stringing things out. This was perfect, easily bringing the break back and keeping anyone from coming up from behind. Norville (BP) who is in front of me, pulls out and goes and I follow. We catch the break away riders just before the last corner. A Truckee Bike rider comes by on my left, and I take his wheel; Norville is spent. Sitting second wheel, I follow this guy to the line. Robert Goss (BP) who was sitting on my wheel the whole way around the last lap comes by me with Dean Klotz for Team Leadout. I thought I might of had 4th, but a photo finish places me in 5th.
I end up in 6th for the Omnium. I am a little deflated that I couldn’t bring home a podium place for my teammate’s effort. This may be a bit of a long race report for a non-podium finish, but it is merely the least I can do for the guys who helped me out this weekend and give them the huge props they deserve! Thanks guys!
Full results from the 2013 USA Cycling Road Nationals are available here.
Challenge Road Race
Yesterday I raced Challenge Road race with a fast field of about 30 guys. There are 6,700 feet of climbing during the 2 laps for the E 3′s. I was happy to see Stefan Giachino in the race and racing hard. The race stayed mostly together for the first lap. The attacks started after the first descent on the second lap. 2 riders got away and their teams did a good job of blocking. The 2 leaders had up to 1:30 on the field and it seemed most of the field had given up chasing. Frustrated that no one would work I decided to just drill it on the climb with Jacob Albrecht of Whole Athlete. We splintered the field and caught the 2 leaders. A selection of 7 or 8 guys made it to the top together and it came down to a sprint. I was forced to start my sprint seated because my calves were cramping so bad but Jacob and I got a good jump and I managed 2nd place.
Winters Road Race
I attacked on each lap of the race and got away with 2 others on the second lap. We stayed away until about a mile from the top of the climb on the third lap when a selection of about 25 of the main group which was led by Data Driven caught us. At the very top there was a split in the group and I was forced to do a lot of work up front to reel the front group back. We managed to bring it all back together and it came down to a tight bunch sprint. I was pushed tight against the yellow line and finished 7th.
Dunnigan Hills RR
What I knew about Dunnigan is that I didn’t want the 92 mile road race to finish together. I tried several different attacks and finally one with about 35 miles to go stuck. Eric Brickler of Data Driven and I worked with 3 others very well until the closing meters of the race. I was stuck on the front with about 500 meters to go and couldn’t get anybody to go by. Finally Dan Tedford from Squadra jumped and Eric Brickler followed from the back and took the sprint. I finished 3rd a little frustrated I didn’t plan the closing meters better. But I learned a lot.
I wasn’t able to race near as much this season as I wanted but I’m happy to have finished off my last month strong. Now I’m off to school again and getting stoked for CX season!
Nice day for a time trial in Castro Valley! This TT course is pretty tough, it includes 6 miles out with some elevation on the first leg, about 6 miles and 600′ ascent, but the return is 5 miles and really fast.
We had 26 in the Masters 45+ 3/4 field. There were lots of racers who were not part of the Red Kite Omnium Series and typically show up to all the TT events. I was a little worried.
I was trying to secure my Omnium placement and pick up as many spots as possible on the #2 racer. I ended up taking 2nd in the TT and picking up 8 spots on him and keeping the Omnium lead.
Looking forward to next weeks final Criterium.
(Anyone recognize the photo bomber?)
Also raced the Master 45 123 and took 5th. I started about 10 minutes after finishing the first TT, I was smoked….but, moved into 7th overall in this Omnium.