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!