Saturday, January 5, 2008

San Ardo Road Race - can't catch a break (20070828)

The races are really piling up now - the California Cup series packs a
ton of races into a very short amount of time, and August 19th was the
San Ardo Road Race, the 5th out of 8 events, and the 4th or 5th weekend
in a row that I've been racing or travelling...

This race in particular is a logistical challenge because it's nearly 3
hours away - halfway to Los Angeles, but I pre-registered and sent my
money in, so I'm going...

In the 3s we had Boris, Sean, James and I - that's a pretty good crew.

There was a very early break that looked pretty good, and James looked
like he got in the move. Webcor had 9 guys in the field and Form Fitness
had 5 or 6. They each had folks in the break, and so did we so I
proceeded to kick back in the pack and watch the fools who didn't get
someone in the break blow motors on the front trying to chase it down
through all the Webcor and Form Fitness disruption.

Meanwhile, Sean had a mishap where some yahoo swerved around or
something causing mid-pack lameness which resulted in Sean having a
spoke nearly broken for him. His wheel was rubbing enough that his day
was done. Boris had been travelling a lot so he didn't have his motor
with him, but we're still okay.

Until...until...there's a form up the road...looks like a
that our rider? is James. Uh oh.

Turns out he didn't quite make the gap to the break and they were
motoring something fierce, so now we have no one in the break and about
50 miles to go to the finish. I am now one of the fools on the front,
killing it to bring the break back. James pitches in (and more
importantly) works around the pack behind me getting others to lend a
hand. This continues for some 30 miles or so, and I'm starting to get tired.

I figure the break is probably nearly reeled in and since I'm not going
to have a sprint after all the work I'd save something up for the
inevitable counterattacks so I turn off the jets and sink into the pack.

The break does come back, and now it's counter counter counter...I
figure with so many teammates, nothing is going up the road without
Webcor and Fusion so I wait for things with them in it, then bridge up
or go with them. I must have covered 10 attacks. Felt like a hundred. A
couple were promising, but after much thinking I believe I've learned
that breakaways simply take more dedication than I or my breakmates were
putting out. We were never really driving it when we were off, so
everything came back.

Then we curved through town, all lined out, stayed lined out over the
bridge, I had great position for the last hill, and when the big effort
started on the hill before the last corner and little finish straight, I
detonated and shut everything down, rolling in with nothing to show but
a great workout.

Well, hey, I like great workouts, and I'll try harder next time if I
want the break to work...

There were some really fine performances on the day though, that's for
sure - Stephen's ride was fantastic, and the P/1/2 action was great.
There were real pros there, and both Joel and John were in the mix full
strength. Very cool.

The next day is the University Road Race, one of the hardest races of
the season, so all I can do in the remaining hours of the day is focus
on recovery and try to get ready...

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