With all of the rain in So Cal this past month, a group of us headed East to have some fun in the sun at the Tucson Classic Stage Race. Tim represented UCC/JW Flooring in the 45+ class, Mark and Kal were representing in the 65+, and Jimbo, Tony, Bill, Reed, and myself representing in the 55+ class.
Stage 1 – Time Trial:
This is a short (3.3 miles) uphill course and the years are taking toll on the asphalt, as it was rough with horizontal cracks. During our morning warm-up/pre-run we had a nice tail wind and things were looking good. Fast-forward to the start of the race and the wind had changed and we had a head wind the entire race. Had I anticipated the change, I would have swapped out my wheels. We all put in our best efforts and I was fortunate enough to be in 1st by the end of the day. The best part of the day was that Cindy had also won her class and had her 1st ever yellow jersey.
Stage 2 – Road Race:
The course was 2 laps that were hilly and a just over 20 miles each. We started early (pre-dawn) and the wind was already blowing. The conditions didn’t prevent aggressive racing as the attacks started with the whistle and continued throughout the entire race. We had such a strong presence (5 of us in our class) that we not only looked impressive, but we were able to answer every attack. Jimbo, Tony, Bill, and Reed took turns chasing down every attempt to make a break. On lap 2 a lone racer rolled off the front, but the local guys told me he would come back. As he continued out of sight I realized the local guys may not have been completely honest with me. I lead the chase with but our efforts were too late, he was able to stay ahead. I was able to win the field sprint for second, thanks to the support of the team. After all of these years of racing you would think I would have known better. The team certainly gave me all of the support I needed. I’ve learned my lesson.
Stage 3 – Circuit Race:
This stage was 6 laps around another hilly 5 ½ mile course. You would think everyone would be tired and take it easy since this was day 3 of racing, but that wasn’t the case. Our team answered every attack and chased down everything that moved. It was another hard race but we gave it our all. I was able to sprint for a 3rd place finish, unfortunately I didn’t have the legs to make it to first.
Overall the weekend was very successful, I ended up with 2nd in the GC. I also had several other racers, including the main sponsor, make a point of coming over to complement our team not only for the excellent racing, but also for our camaraderie, support, and professionalism on and off the course. We all had a great time racing, dining, and hanging out together this weekend. We made some life memories which are worth more than any race medal.
I’ll let Tim add to this report about the 45+, and Mark can report out about he and Kal’s 65+. Oh, guess what? Mark was at each race on time, dressed, and bike in working order, for the most part. (This is an inside joke, I’ll gladly tell you about it sometime).
Jimbo had several jobs this weekend. He was a racer, a mentor, and a mechanic. He started out helping one of our SDBC Sisters with her bike and before you know it, he had a line of racers requesting his assistance. Even though Jimbo had put in a hard day’s race (each day, he did this everyday) there he sat on the hard dirt bent over bike parts to help others. What a guy!
If I’ve left out any important details or didn’t give credit where I should, please forgive me, I could be getting forgetful as I age.
Thank you team!
The UCC/JW Floors mountain bike team participated in round 2 of the prestigious GoldState series. This is the premier race series in southern California with 7 races and 5 different venues. Round 1 was rescheduled due to rain, so this was essentially the first race of the series. It was held at Bonelli Park in San Dimas. It was a 6.4 mile course with about 800 ft of elevation gain per lap. The team was dominate, winning 5 first places, a 2nd, and three 3rd place finishes. All nine team members that competed finished on the box! Team results summary is as follows:
After a couple months of preparation, the day of the race finally arrived. It was my debut in Cat 1 Men 45-49 of the Goldstate series in which I got 3rd place !!!
It was a very interesting race in which I got the opportunity to measure myself against some strong and experienced competitors who already dominate the category. My purpose of this season was to place in the top ten. Yesterday I realized that whenever someone sets a goal for themselves, it is so they can overachieve it and yesterday was no exception.
My start was fairly slow within the group but with the intention of being able to measure myself. It was before the first descent when I realized that I was already placed in 4th and when I got an idea of how the rest of my race would be.
Unfortunately, I experienced some technical difficulties when I fell on a concrete drain section that could have potentially put me out of the race, but thankfully I was able to get going again. Just before the final downhill section, I managed to connect myself to the rest of the competitors and move to 3rd place. I maintained my position and at the same time making sure I was attacking all the segments until crossing the finish line.
The race ended last Sunday and now I am back to training while keeping in mind GoldState #3 at Fontana.
After not having a good race at the Social Endurance competition, I had to admit I was very disappointed. Even though I got first place I didn't do good in the overall. In the past weeks I didn't have the time to train/ride like I usually do due to a personal project that I was working on and it took most of my time. After three weeks I was finally able to go back to my training/ride routine. My goal was to do good at the race in Bonelli, so I had to train harder to get back in shape faster. One of the things that help me get back in shape was training with Cesar and doing the "slow" RACE pace UCC/JW Floors Wednesday Night Ride.
Sunday morning I woke up, I eat my breakfast accompanied by a big cup of coffee, drove two hours up north and got to Bonelli Park. When I got there Cesar and I went for a warm up in to the first climb to take a look at the first part of the course.
When the race started, I passed other competitors in the climb and positioned myself in 5th place overall. Before completing half of the first lap I was on 3rd place overall having Tinker and Stephan in front of me. After 3 laps they had about a 1 to 2 minute gap on me, but I was in 1st place of my age group. During my 4th lap I had cramps due to pushing myself too much so I decided to slow my pace for the 4th and 5th laps. In my 5th lap I had Chad G closing in on me from behind. I thought he was competing under my category which made me push harder. Before finishing the 7th lap I saw that Chad was 30-40 seconds away with 32 minutes more to go (out of the 4 hours) so I decided to do the 8th lap. I was trying my best to get a good place overall in the race. My legs were going through episodes of cramps and started to get tired. I started climbing at the end of the climb I looked back I didn't see Chad, I kept going, when I was doing me second climb (after crossing the pavement about halfway through the last lap). I noticed that Chad was in the parking lot cooling down (he didn't go for the 8th lap). Because of this I could just quit and still win my category, but in my mind I was "YOU CAN DO IT CHUY, nothing to lose if you don't make the lap". From this point I was competing against the time, and I was passing a lot of competitors from Cat 1 cross country. My legs were suffering a lot but I never gave up. Finally I was passing through the grass almost to the finish line, I heard the guy in the microphone saying " 4 minutes remaining". I sprinted the last 200 meters and I ended up my 8th lap with 3:58:45 (hour:min:sec). My Results were 1st place 30-39 and 3rd place overall.