The team was busy over the President's Holiday Weekend. There were Time Trials, Stage Races, and Track Omniums. Here are some race reports from them:
Congratulations to Tony Darr!
55+ 1st place at a windy and rainy Fiesta Island TT. Rained all 3 laps.
Tony’s first win of the year and 1st win of the year for UC CYCLERY! BOOM!!
Valley of the Sun Stage Race:
Stage 1: Time Trial
The weather was sunny and the wind was the usual. There was a strong field in the 55+ including the ITT World Champion. Kal, Reed, Jimbo and I did our best and had good results. I placed 3rd, Jimbo finished 12th, Kal right behind at 14th, and Reed had a respectable finish especially considering he is still recovering from that bad crash a couple of weeks ago.
In the 45+, Sal and Terry were as close as it gets to each other’s times, both finishing in the top 20. Roger put in a good effort and realized that it helps to train on the TT bike before the race.
Stage 2: Road Race
The weather was crappy! Strong winds, heavy rain, temperature kept dropping. In the 55+, all four of us started the race. Kal and Jimbo covered all of the attacks on the 1st lap. As we started the 2nd lap, Reed came off and was apparently smarter than the rest of us as he decided to stay warm in the car. Kal was riding strong but had a flat and the wheel support car was stuck in traffic which made it impossible for Kal to get back on. With Reed and Kal out, that left Jimbo to drag my butt around for the rest of the race. The second lap had a KOM that turned into a sprint between the National Road Champion and myself and I was fortunate and came out ahead. On the third and final lap, there were several attacks that had Jimbo and I working the entire lap to cover. On the last climb to the finish, I was battling with the National Champion and unfortunately I missed a shift and the 1st place finish by a wheel.
The 45+ start time was later and the weather was worsening. Apparently Roger was the only one who didn’t watch the news as he showed up and braved the elements. Terry and Sal were wiser and had a much more enjoyable afternoon (so we hear). Roger suffered through the weather but hung in and finished the race.
Stage 3: Crit
The weather was crappy! Strong winds, heavy rain (does this sound familiar)? 55+: it was down to just Jimbo and I (there was no reason for Kal or Reed to be out on a wet crit course just for the glory of 1 race). I had no chance to advance my position in the GC and just needed to survive and finish for a 3rd place in the GC. Jimbo seemed to be enjoying the crit, he was out in the front several times keeping the pace fast. We both finished safe and kept upright the entire race.
Even though the weather was crappy (am I driving this point across clearly?) we had a good time with teammates.
Hey hey... I raced on Saturday too. We had a dry start, but by the 2nd lap, the rain was pretty steady and relentless throughout the day. Thankfully, while it was windy, it wasn't gusty, so it was manageable. I suffered. I couldn't find my legs at all and with the short climbs being all Z5-6 efforts, they were draining me like a D cell battery trying to start a car. I managed to go into the 4th lap with the main group. At this point, I couldn't feel the pinky and ring fingers on my right hand or either thumb. About a half mile from the right turn to start the climb, I took a flyer to see if I could get my legs to work. The pack let me go, and Paul Vaccarie from Monster Media went with me. Remember the car battery analogy? Paul and I are about 50 meters in front of the group and he pulls alongside and says we might as well give it a try, maybe the leaders will just be content with watching each other. He takes a pull, I go back to the front and watch my wattage plummet. Zero...drained...empty. No excuses...over. Paul pulls through and I head back to the pack. About a kilometer and half from the finish, I completely unravel as the pace picks up, losing about a minute before crawling across the finish line.
I did skip the crit. Unfortunately, our anniversary weekend was spent with me riding in the rain and Paula nursing a 4 day long migraine. I just couldn't justify keeping her in the car for an extra few hours so I could defend 25th place in the rain for 30 minutes.
All in all, it was racing. There were challenges and mixed emotions, but it was fun. I can't wait until next year!
Great job everybody! While I didn't race at the Valley of the Sun I still managed to burn a few calories at the Velo Sports Center in Carson on Saturday. The second omnium of the year featured the following three races: Elimination (Miss 'n out), 30-lap Points race (sprints every 10), and 12-lap Scratch. It was my second official race as a Cat 3, and although the field wasn't as deep as the week prior it was still very competitive. I managed a 2nd place at the Miss 'n out and a 1st place at the Points race (4th, 2nd, and 1st during the three sprints). After the first two races I was comfortably leading the omnium, and in order to secure the victory I had to place no worse than 3rd in the Scratch. That did not happen because when the winning move happened I was boxed in. Five riders took off and I had to close a considerable gap with only 1 1/2 laps to go. I managed to pass one rider, crossing the finish line in 5th. I finished the omnium in 3rd place overall. A little disappointed, but I had a blast and felt strong and fast.
Many thanks to Terry Johnes who gave me the team speedsuit. And yes, I managed to fit into it. 😉
I have an unfortunate story to share about my friend, Nick, who rides for Monster Media, and his wife, Casey. Last Monday they went for a ride, and afterwards, Nick went to REI in Kearny Mesa. He was fiddling in the back of his RV when he saw a guy remove his bike from the rack and take off! He hadn’t locked it, yet. He was going to before going in to the store.
Nick took off after the thief, but was too late. He came back to his RV just in time to see the guy’s girlfriend taking off with Casey’s bike! He couldn’t catch her either! Both stolen right in front of him. What a day!
He called the police and reported the thefts. REI has video of the thieves, so we hope someone will recognize them. Here is a description of the bikes, keep your eyes and ears open:
Nick’s bike is a Kestral Legend with Di2 and Roval Wheels.
Casey’s bike is a Specialized Diverge with disc brakes.
Race report from Santa Barbara Road Race, 55+ and 60+, January 28, 2017:
Spoiler alert! I'm going to have to add a new excuse to my list. Weather conditions were perfect, sunny and warm, 70F, light breeze, pretty rare for this time of year. Carlson and Fenton in the 55's and Kal and Reed the 60's. Pretty good field even if small. Three laps around the familiar road course and then a new finish section of a few kilometers that we've only seen backwards in the neutral roll out to the course. At the bottom of the main climb I saw Greg go to the front and lay it down blowing the field up. Reed and I were back with the second (third?) group by the top and the false flat. Reed managed to keep us in contact with the splintered field and we labored back to the growing peloton on the rolling downhill. Greg was away for a time but he was with hangers on instead of racers so they came back. We lost more riders on the last go 'round up the climb and looked like about 15-20 riders only coming into the sprint. The sprint set up was made unusually frenetic due to the terrible, crappy, lousy, did I mention terrible?, road conditions so there was two lines heading into the finish section. One line was to the far right of the narrow lane and one to the left. Both the tire lanes and the center of the road were so bad they were practically un-rideable. Coming into the finish section for the first time we went round a bend and the road straightened out and thankfully got much smoother. I was in the right sprint line behind Greg Fenton as we straightened and we both saw what we thought was the finish at about 250-300 meters. Parking area and big white tent next to the road. Greg lights it up and is motoring, big specialized rider hangs for about 50 meters and just opens up the door in between which was my cue, I make my 55x11 smoke for about 75 meters and start looking for the line, and start looking for the line, did I mention I was looking for the line? Finally I stopped looking for the line. Still can't see the line, Greg already sat up, then I sit up and still have to wait 5 secs for the remaining riders to catch up, I still don't see the line. Was there actually a line, maybe I just dreamed it. Anyway, we both coulda, shoulda, woulda, blah blah blah.