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2015-03-15 Bariani Road Race 45+ 1/2/3 Report by Chris Morris


Bariani Road Race Masters 45+ 123
56 miles, 4 laps
Field limit 75, 70 starters

Representing Folsom Bike/VW/Raley’s
Gus Platis
Ted Toribio
Jeff Dillon
Marty Cunningham
Chris Morris

Gus had laid out a strategy prior to the race that anticipated wind – unfortunately at the start of the race the wind was not cooperating. It wasn’t until about the 2nd lap that the wind started kicking up. This race had all the big teams show up with their big hitters and a large presence, so we knew it would be an aggressive and fast race with lots of attacks.

From the start the pace was high and the attacks began – our team was very active not letting anything go. It looked like we were well placed toward the front and ready for anything. Somewhere into the middle of the second lap I did not see Jeff Dillon, Ted Toribio, or Marty Cunningham. We later found out all 3 had flatted. Jeff Dillon was able to get a tube and get back on the course to finish the race. So that left Gus and me. As we rounded the finish heading into the 3rd lap the chatter started with the teams setting up for trying to split the group. The wind had now picked up a bit and was now starting to cooperate. So heading into about the halfway point the pace into the headwind starts picking up. I realize that I am too far back and I notice Gus is on the front drilling it and pushing the pace. I have one of those “o cr*p!” moments where you are just hanging on and decide I better go help Gus. I make it up to the front and I am moving into rotation when the attack happens. I see the group including 3 Hammer, 3 Coretech, R4R, Thirsty Bear and a few others, they are away and we are not represented. Gus was blocked in and I am on the other side of the group and I hear him yell at me “Chris if you can get there you need to be on that break” right as he said this a guy rocketed off the front, I was on him like a cheap suit. He took us most of the way and then he started to fade, I closed the gap and was on the line. We pushed the pace with solid rotation picking up about a minute on the group, then the games started. We had 4 solid sprinters in the group: Fairbanks, Saltzman, Albrecht and Aldeman, but some in the group wanted to conserve and started moderating the pace. I figured that Coretech did not have the right guy in the field – Heaton was trying to bridge. When he finally made it the pace went back up. Shortly after Hunter attacked the group. Everyone then looked at Coretech and thought “let’s see how bad they want it”. No one went after Hunter. I took a shot at bringing him back and had him close enough to bring him in, but no one wanted it bad enough, so I got back into rotation. Hunter took the win and the rest of us were racing for second. I ended up 9th in the group. Gus was a great teammate, chasing the attacks and keeping things in control so the break could stay away. Sorry for the mechanicals Jeff, Ted, Marty – you guys were mixing things up and the race would have changed with you guys in it for the distance. An epic day of racing.

Thanks for reading.

Chris Morris

2015-03-11 Folsom Bike Wednesday Night Race Ride Report by Ron Shevock

Well that was definitely a good time. A small-ish group showed up probably due to the threat of rain but it held off and was dry for the ride.

Group pretty much stayed together on Barton up to the stop light at the bottom of Sierra College, where as usual things began to break apart.

I maaaaay have had something to do with that as we crossed the intersection of Delmar I think it is at the bottom and I was surprised the pace was going kinda easy. So I moved all the way from the back up to the front with Erik Nelson in tow and we picked the pace up a bit as the road got steeper.

Somewhere around here the separation occurred and there were 7 or 8 of us off the front. I think I was the lone FB rider. Also around were Kessler, Erik Nelson, Tyler Janke, Mike Sayers, Curt Mills, Casey Fallon, Scott Hooper and maybe 1 or 2 others that I am forgetting.

Casey Fallon won the sprint to the top of Sierra with a nice momentum surge at the very top but we were all packed right on his wheel.

And on English Colony things stayed mostly civilized with one or two attempts of guys trying to get away early but they were closed down easily.

So with the next sprint at the coffee shop, we were all bunched together at the bottom of the last climb and I got antsy and effing drilled it from the train tracks from the back of the group. I caught most of the group by surprise and for a sweet gap but I knew I had a long way to go. I looked back and one of the DDA guys was chasing but he faded and off his wheel came Erik Nelson with a crap ton of momentum. My legs were burning and I was fading hard right at the very top and Erik snuck by me and beat me to the blue line by half-a-bike length. SO CLOSE!

After that I chilled as we regrouped and stayed mostly together down to AF.

Beginning of AF stayed pretty organized with the 8 of rotating nicely. Then about half way down I happened to notice that Jared was just hanging in the back and not rotating. I took that to mean that he was conserving energy for an attack at the next sprint point up to the Firehouse at Cavitt. The only other guy to notice this was Scott Hooper and the 3 of us just chilled in the back just off the rotating wheels and saved energy to attack on the firehouse climb to try and get the sprint point there

Leading into the bottom of the climb, Sayers hit the gas and strung us all out with a trio of DDA guys right on his wheel. I figured it’s now or never so again I drilled it from the back of the group with Hooper then Kessler on my wheel.

As we hit the meat of this kicker Sayers kinda blew up faster than I thought he would and the DDA guys kinda broke apart as well with only Curt left alone at the front. With the momentum we had we overtook everyone pretty easily with Kessler nipping me at the line and Hooper still on my wheel. ANOTHER FREAKING SECOND. DAMN IT! Haha.

Rest of ride was uneventful as we mostly cruised in from there with Curt I think it was going after the last sprint point and most of us saying “ehhh screw it” and we just kinda sat there and watched. Haha

Good times. I thought I would be able to make the remainder of these for this month but I am traveling for work next Weds, then again the Weds after that. Then after that I convert to MTB racing on Weds nights so I won’t be back at one of these for quite a while. Kind of a bummer!

Ron

2015-03-08 Red Kite Race Report by Phil Blay

I was a little sick Sunday but wanted to race at Red Kite. Weather was great, got there with plenty of time to warm up and prep for the race. Over 80 entered with the combined 45+ 3/4 and 55+3/4 fields racing together. Brian Accord was also racing the 45+ cat. I knew there would be crashes and kept my head up watching the group through the turns. Sure enough there were two crashes in the same corner, I was able to get around and not lose the peloton. Then as we were coming out of the last corner to the finish another crash where I had to chase hard to get back in. Last lap tried to move up but was blocked left and right. Ended up 14th in the 55+ with 24-28 entered.
I think Brian finished 10th in a large 50 or more field.

Need to kick this cold and regroup for Bariani Sunday. Hope to able to help my teammates!!

2015-02-28 Chico Stage Race Day 1 Report by Jason Snovel

Stage 1 – Holiday Inn Road Race

Photo credit: Alex Chiu Photography http://acaurora.smugmug.com

Photo credit: Alex Chiu Photography http://acaurora.smugmug.com

“Snovel, your rear wheel’s F*CKED!” Buckley was nice enough to point out so eloquently about 20 miles in on today’s 90 mile road race, confirming what I feared but refused to accept as I avoided looking down.

About half way through our first of two rompings through the 5 mile gravel section it was full gas, as I knew it would be and I’d done my best to stay in the top 10 or so spots. I don’t understand guys that ride that section in their drops, every guy I saw shoot off to the side or miss a turn was in his drops. You stay on your hoods, take what the gravel gives you, keep your weight back and push the big gear. Anyway, as I was saying, about half way through, amidst the symphony of gravel grinding, rocks bouncing off of carbon wheels, frames, cranks, spokes, helmets, glasses, my face, mixed with the coughing, snot rocket blowing, and screeching of middle-aged men who were fearing for their lives, I hear the dreaded “PING!” I dare not look down.

Before leaving for Chico, I had a good friend of mine over for dinner. As Zach and I sat at the dining room table, in between slices of pizza and gulps of Belgian beer, truing my 6 year old Zipp 404’s, he said, dude, you need to re-lace these wheels, these nipples look bad. Nothing like being told your nipples look bad before a stage race…or any time for that much.
So, I reach down, open up my rear brake as much as it would open, and ride on. I can hear it rubbing, and the spoke rattle every time I pushed anything over 300 watts. I thought about dropping back for a wheel, but not having put any in, I’d have hated to take someone else’s wheel only to have them flat and not have one, forcing them to drop out. So, there I was, feathering the front brake, choosing my lines and efforts, as well as whose wheel I rode, very carefully, and fighting the voice in my head, whispering, “Your brake is rubbing…your rear wheel is “F*CKED”…you’ll never make it.”

“That’s ok though, you only have 70 miles to go!” MAN I hate that guy.

The wind picked up.

We hit the feed zone at mile 46 and it was such a beautiful sight to see as I glanced up. Mary, beautiful Mary, holding up my bottle, the only one I’d get. The handoff was so smooth I almost turned back to give her a hug and thank her. I did that…later. ;)

Fast forward to the gravel, since I know you’re on the edge of your seat. The pavement leading into the gravel section almost did more damage than the gravel itself. My mantra? “Ride lightly…you’re as light as a feather”. Ok, so the second part of that wasn’t so believable, so I dropped it. “Ride lightly…float”.

“Once more unto the breach dear friends”

We hit it full throttle once again. The approach reminds me of the approach to the Arenberg Forest, everyone wants to be at the front, and for good reason. Again as the larger teams went on either side, a wedge formed that I so gently filled as riders wrapped around me like an old dingy quilt made of smelly, sharp elbowed fringe dwellers, and I was again in the top 10 entering the gravel. I took what it gave me. And came out none the worse for wear, minus a year or so from my life. “That wasn’t stressful at all!” I said to Baker as he rode up along side me. He said something I couldn’t quite make out due to the fact that I couldn’t see, or hear straight.

“You made it!”, at least a dozen guys said as they rode beside me over the next 15 mins or so. I was in pretty bad shape. Legs were starting to cramp as I ate everything I had and drank as if my life depended on it. Turning right through the town of Paskenta, it was on as we hit the cross head wind section. I’d anticipated it, and was able to maintain decent position, being careful, and counting my matches, and recounting, just to make sure. Keeping my wobbly wheel pinned on the edge of the roadway. Specialized, Mikes Bikes, and a few others took turns as they began to soften the field. I think a few riders got off the front, so Specialized went to the front to control it. I sat around 6th wheel and wasn’t about to pull through. Holtz looked back, ready to blast me, then, likely realizing I was solo, and hurting, turned back in frustration without saying a word and went back to work.

Fast forward to the finish…cramping, and afraid my wheel was going to designate as it cracked, creaked, and moaned with every pedal stroke, I was reduced to a seated sprint grabbing 12th. As you can imagine, disappointed.

In retrospect though, the 404s have been bomb proof and have had crap beaten out of them. Also, I was amazed that they held strong for over 70 miles, 5 of which was gravel!

Onto the TT and Crit tomorrow. It’ll be Merckx style for me, so the 11th place overall that I’m clinging to will disappear, like the cloud of dust that’s floating around my head as I write this…as soon as I take a shower.

Out.

2015-02-21 Snelling Road Race Report by Dave Mehl

Men’s 45+ 4s

Snelling Road Race
IMG_0297

Kevin Keady and I have been racing together this season. This was our fifth race together so far this year. We’ve been working to put ourselves in a better position at each race. The past few races we’ve gotten isolated from each other and didn’t have the best communication. We seem to be moving past that now. Although we still have our challenges.

The race started out as most 45+ Cat 4 races do, with a bunch of old guys with too much adrenaline but not enough sensibility. The first lap was stretched out decently, but still we had the same guys doing the same dumb stuff. Eventually luck was bound to run out. About 2 to 3 km before the finish line on the second lap is when it happened, on a perfectly straight, albeit bumpy, road. We’re travelling smoothly on the left edge, when I hear the classic “OH, SH*T,” follow by a hard jolt to my rear wheel, and the all too familiar sound of a crash. I was towards the front of the pack at the time, about seventh wheel. Apparently, only about ten or so of us got through clean. Unfortunately, Kevin wasn’t one of us. He got sent off into the muck on the left and spent the better part of the next lap trying to catch back on. It wasn’t until over halfway through the third lap before I would spot him again. During this time a break had formed, but never got out of sight.

Kevin and I did some work on the front to pull back a decent amount of the gap. Kevin yelled at me to get off the front so as not to wear myself out. We caught the break just before the final turn on the third lap. The final lap was much smoother. With about 2 miles to go, Kevin came around me on the left edge. I was very happy to have his wheel as he went to the front with about 1 km to go. He held a steady pace on the front until about 100 meters before the final turn, when we got swamped. It went from we’re looking great to we’re shit in just about a second. Luckily, there was a little gap on his right, which worked out as a guy on the left all of a sudden had a shifting issue and slowed suddenly. I hit it as hard as I could and passed a few more riders. I thought I would get fifth; alas, I got edged out by a guy right at the line. Sixth place. My best result to date. I was excited to the point of being irritating—luckily Kevin has the patience of a saint.

Now we know we have the fitness and ability to work together to be successful; so we will be working even harder to get better results yet. I hope to repay his hard work by getting him into a good position at the Land Park crits, where we are going to do two more races together.

2015-02-15 Copper Town Circuit 35+ 3 Race Report by Gus Platis

We had Ron Shevock, Mark Fiori, and Brian Acord in the race. The race started out with me thinking my legs didn’t have it in them to do well from the 78 mile road race effort from yesterday. So, I was ready to work for Ron, Mark, or Brian. The race got going and we all were active with trying to get one of us up the road in a break. Finally, Brian got up the road with another rider. Brian showed from training camp that he was riding well, so I figured that was a good move. Brian was off the front for I think a couple of laps. Mark, Ron, and myself worked well as a team chasing any attempts of riders trying to bring them back by sitting on there wheel and discouraging them to continue by not pulling through when they looked back for help. The pack slowly pulled them back with I think one lap to go. At this time I figured to get myself ready for a pack sprint. My legs didn’t feel that bad, so I figured I would contest in the sprint either by leading out one of us or going for a placing. The sprint was just after a small rise and a 300m slight downhill to the line. My plan was to start my lead-out early and motor on the downhill to the line with Brian, Mark, or Ron in tow. We got to about 400m and I started to get antsy to go. I moved up on the left side and past the first guy. There was nobody in front of me and I felt good, so I just put my head down and went for the line. Brian was right behind me for 4th.
Thanks all.
Gus

2015-01-31 Cal Aggie 35+ 1/2/3 Race Report by John Novikoff

I sure am pumped about our efforts on Saturday.  Well done everyone!

As this being our first true gathering of our new squad I was excited to see how we would all gel together.  We wanted to keep the plan simple, hope for a bunch sprint while staying attentive making sure breaks were covered as this race usually splits up.  We all stayed pretty active in the front, rolling off with break attempts while not throwing too much effort in the chase.  Brian Choi, Jason Snovel and Judd Van Sickle made some great covers and were in quite a few of the moves.  Breaks tried to materialize, but without full representation, they fell apart especially with our team doing zero work in the breaks.  Looking for each other with 5 to go, we collected and organized.  Dan Bryant made a solo attempt and built a considerable gap, which raised concerns, but we didn’t panic, and made the call to let it play out and other teams went to the front, upped the pace and he was reeled in.  Not being near the front at that point made it clear to the peloton that we were not going to chase, so they had to take up the efforts.

With 2 laps to go, we were lined up from Brian to Judd and we were 6 strong.  Brian brought us to the front on the last lap, and Kevin took over.  We had not expected the peloton to slow so much, so we found our selves on the front a bit early.  Kevin drilled it and we had some players fight into our train when we slowed a bit for the chicane and lack of man power being a bit early to the front.  At the turns we didn’t have it strung out as planned and our train had been poached by a few infiltrators, but Jeff and Matt kept the gas on to keep the pace high and not let it bunch for the final turn.  I let four guys filter in front of me for the final turn mistakenly and hit the turn watching Sayers and Chuck ramp it up.  I moved wide right and went from about tenth back.  I stayed along the right side which was not the fastest line and believe that was what cost us the win.  Carrying a lot more speed than Chuck and Sayers, when we hit the line, I ran out of road and we ended up Second.

Fantastic result and a win in regards to putting a plan in place and executing it.

John

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