Masters 35+ 1/2/3
45 min race around downtown Suisun
After “racing” Dunnigan Road Race on Saturday, and only lasting 2.5 hours, I wasn’t sure how my legs would feel. I did go to Recharge in Fairfax after I got home Saturday to try and recover for the crit Sunday. I woke up Sunday am and the legs weren’t too sore.
Once I got to the race I warmed up nice and easy. Just spinning the legs. I did a couple of minutes at a harder pace and felt surprisingly ok.
I packed my pockets with ice and grabbed an ice cold water bottle then headed to the start line. It was hot.
The race started and we were at speed very quickly. If you haven’t done Suisun before, the course is very short, at about .5 mile. It is a four corner crit and the turns are sharp and tight.
The attacks started right from the gun. Chris Evans, Ben Albracht, Aaron Patterson, Jonathan Baker, Scott Cox and others wanted to get a break going.
Evans would attack and guys would chase or follow. Then Baker would attack and same thing guys would chase or follow. This was how the race kept going and I was right in there along with Dean LaBerge and Steve Pelaez.
It was the most active race I have been in in quite a while. I was getting very tired from all the chasing and closing down moves. Then, finally, four of us got a good gap just when the pack let up a little and gave us “an inch”. Chris Evans, Jonathan Baker, Steve Pelaez and I were gone. We had about 15 sec and about 15 min to go. Evans and Baker were very strong, and Steve and I were taking shorter pulls playing the sprinter roles. At one point I wasn’t sure I would be able to stay in the break.
It was a chess game at this point. Evans sat on us for a while, then I sat on for a bit. Baker took strong pulls on the front hurting us. Once the lap cards came out I went into countdown mode and just shut off the head.
With two to go Evans put in an attack got a gap and the three of us just looked at each other. Then Baker jumps after Evans and Steve and I follow. The three of us take pulls and close Evans back. As we exit the last corner I am behind Baker and Steve. I knew from the start that it would be best to sprint on the left side of the course to the finish and I was hoping to get that line. Steve broke right off Bakers wheel and I went left, great. I put my head down and gunned for the line. I was able to come away with the win with Steve in 2nd, Baker in 3rd and Evans in 4th. It took everything I had to stay in the break. These guys were riding very strong. I was lucky to be able to come away with the win.
A big thanks to all our sponsors Akamai, Cogniance, Red Whale Coffee, Cloud Made, Sutter Health, HVR Software, The Ride Home, TNT Plumbing, Warman Security, iWin, ACME Bikes, Castelli and OSMO.
Friday’s Road Race
Jacob, Eric, Joel, Duane, DQ, Brenon, Piers, and Hans were on the front for much of the first 50-60mi of the race as a GC favorite was solo off the front. They did a great job keeping it at 1:00 gap. And then as we approached the feed zone #2 (with Dani, Jules, Lex, and Otis ready to hand out bottles), we heard the cat-2’s were catching us. So the boys brought back the breakman to keep us together in case we were neutralized. Eric then led us up the hill for about 8mi to discourage any attacks. I sat on Brenon’s wheel the whole way as he led Jason and I up a few wheels back. Piers was close by and took over after Eric’s massive effort. We hit the last 3k into a strong head wind and attacks came but nothing stuck. Brenon and Piers continued to shut things down. I got up to second wheel with Jason on me. I jumped on a couple moves in the last 1k and followed a guy into the final 600m as we turned into the driveway toward the line. I took the lead with 400 to go and went hard up into the wind. Held it through 200 as we swung left with a tailwind.2013 National 45-49 crit champ, Eric Martin, came by like I was standing still. A huge guy, Joel Brazil, was next followed by 35 leader, Eric Sheagley (DQ’s former Oregon teammate). The line was fast approaching and then I felt a guy coming in the right. I lunged for the line, hoping to snag 3rd in the 45’s but got nipped…. by Jason! Smiles all around….. When you have 8 guys killing themselves to put you in position to succeed, it feels great when the result comes. Piers and Brenon came in the front group of about 25 as well. My memories of this day will be sitting in the pack looking up to see TB on the front….
Saturday – Time Trial
It was windy with some rollers (into the wind), and a couple tight turns over the 9mi course. I had a goal of breaking 19:00 (stretch) or at least getting 19:15 ( hopeful reality) which I thought could give me the 45 GC lead. I was pleasantly surprised to catch my 30 sec guy, Sargent, halfway through where I also was averaging over 30mph (tailwind…). Pasco was my 1:00 man and I had gained 20secs on him by then too. The headwind and rollers came next, reminding all of us that we would pay for a fast early pace. I gained a little more on Pasco toward the end but the last 1/2 is a blur. Just glad I made it safely through the turns (no risks). I figured my 18:53 was going to be enough to do it and was thrilled to hear that only Dan Bryant (18:19) was ahead of me in 35/45.Jason had a good day next fastest at 19:07, followed by Sheagley in 19:09, and then our secret weapon, Piers in 19:23 (in borrowed shoes, disc wheel, and helmet from Hans because he left that stuff at the condo)! We had 3 in the top-5 overall today!GC – 45+
Martin +57GC – 35+
Saturday afternoon Crit, and Sunday Circuit Race.
Saturday – The Crit
Sunday – The Circuit Race:
“The Circuit Race Breakaway” A note from Eric:
Hans had encouraged me to be on the outlook for a break and be ready to bridge up if the opportunity arose. With 20 miles to go, just after the feedzone, Shane Savage from Mighty and Rob Evans, Bear Development Team (3rd in the crit), attacked and got a small gap. Stephen Bedford, who had won the Crit and been on a solo break for 50miles in Friday’s road race went for it to get in the break. This guy should win the most active rider at Cascade trophy. I was fortunately up at the front, as Tom had told me that this was the spot where most breaks would form. So as soon I saw Stephen take off, I jumped and stayed in his wheel. We quickly got contact with Rob and Shane. Knowing I had 9 other hungry Bears in the field and 2 GC contenders, they all looked at me, and asked if I was going to pull or not. I looked back, saw we had a gap and I said “lets do it”. We got a good break going constantly rotating. Rob and Stephen were further down in the general classification, while Shane was 36sec. ahead of me and 1.45min behind Jason after 3rd stage so I should be careful how we played this. We gradually extended your lead from 55sec to 1.55min at 10 miles to go, but could then hear that the pace had picked up in the field and at 5 miles to go we only had 55 sec. At the bottom of Archie Briggs we knew that the field was closing in on us fast. No reason to play tactical or not pull, this was pure survival and we all gave it all we had. Stephen managed to get a gap, but I tried to chase with Rob in my wheel. Rob went by me at the flat section and bridged up and passed Stephen, while Shane was trailing behind after he had done some massive pulls in the break. I tried to push the pace, but there was no more juice in the tank. As we approached the steep finish I could hear the main field coming like a steam train. I squeezed out the last drops of power and managed to drag my bike over the finish line as 3rd, with Piers finishing 4th, same time as me. That was close. Super excited to get this prominent podium spot thanks to a strong team effort.
A note for our Editor in Chief Hans Gouwens:
Not sure who else was there that late spring evening when Tom showed up with his styrofoam helmet and his 22 lbs aluminum bike with down tube shifters, but we all spanked his fat ass and hairy legs. It took him about 3 months of determination to reverse that process and make us look like a bunch of overdressed Euro Pro fools.Tom started racing in 2008 with a few Hill Climbs to make sure he was safe and less likely to crash. In 2009 he won his first road race at Wente as a Cat 5 and quickly became a Cat 3 after that.
In 2010, he won his first 45+123 road race at Spring Hill and in 2011 he was kind enough to measure his sprint for the line to give me the win at the Mount Hamilton Classic – what a team mate!
After that, he went on to win the State Criterium Championship and three Stage Races. This past weekend, however, truly showed how strong and determined Tom has been lately. No more hairy legs, but an eye for detail and specifics to get the job done to grab the biggest win so far. It was truly fantastic to see Tom pull it off and wear that yellow jersey all the way back to Fairfax. Tom, you made us all look good!
San Rafael Criterium
Masters 35+ 1/2/3
I think everyone who raced Pescadero today or in years past would agree that this race is definitely one of the more demanding ones on the race calendar. There’s not really an easy section on the 28 mile lap which race groups traverse 2.7 times. Climbs, technical descends, and wind are the main ingredients on this fun and exciting course, and so it’s clearly my favorite race of the season.
Kind of an odd race.
4 strong teams: Arts, Squadra, Mike’s & ThirstyBear.
A break on the 1st lap had one guy from each team (we had Eric), but we caught them the 1st time up Haskins.
On the 2nd lap, Jan attacked solo & got his gap up to over a minute, but he was caught before we got to the feed zone, then immediately attacked again & got away with Profumo.
We caught them on the 2nd Haskins climb, but then after the descent it seemed the 4 teams were all content to just ride slow tempo for the entire 3rd lap & let it come down to the final climb up Haskins.
Jason & Piers went to the front to up the pace as we approached the climb & Piers set a hard pace for the first couple minutes. I went around & attacked hard, trying to get away, but just couldn’t shake Matt Adams (Mike’s). He beat me pretty good in the final 100M sprint.
We had Jacob in 8th & Piers hang on for 9th to have 3 in the top 10!
Don’t believe your eyes! If in doubt, open your mouth (preferably before the finish line)
“Sometimes You Have To Risk Losing Big To Win”. Tanya Fredricks Overall GC Victory at Mariposa Road Race 2015
Day One: Flat Time Trial:1: Always expect the unexpected:When a herd of cows are being driven down the entire road for what feels like a mile, and you are stuck behind the posse trying to get to the start of the race, relax. Everyone else is also stuck behind the madness, too.2. Don’t sweat the small stuff:
When you warm up with a disc wheel (something you’ve only practiced with once before the race) and then change your mind 15 minutes before the race because the wind has picked up, don’t panic. Just because you can’t get your regular wheel back on and HAVE to use the disc for the windy race, keep calm and motor on.TT Result: 2ndDay two: Hill climb and Circuit race:
1. Stick with what is tried and true:Questionable Mexican food the night before the Hill Climb? Maybe not the best choice. Enough said.2. Never assume:Coming into the circuit race, I had almost 2 mins on my closest rival, Camille. Her teammates were well behind at 7-8 mins. I felt all I had to do was stay glued to Camille and make sure she didn’t get any lap time bonuses. At the end of the circuit race, I had accomplished this and assumed I was sitting comfortably on top of the GC for the final RR stage.At dinner later that evening, a friend asked the simple question, “soooo how far up the road were her teammates?”. Having no clue how far up the road her teammates had gone, I got a huge sinking feeling in my stomach and a complete loss of appetite took over. It was confirmed after dinner that I was no longer 1st in GC but actually now 4:33 BEHIND the leader going into the final stage. Although I went to bed at 10pm, not much sleep happened that night.Results:Hill Climb: 1stCircuit Race: 3rdDay Three: Road Race1. Keep your enemies close and your rivals closer:
This is extremely helpful in stage racing when one day your biggest rival may need to be your break mate the next day.I thoroughly enjoyed the circuit race, chatting and getting to know Camille. She is kind, smart, and knows how to race a bike. We developed a nice rapport as we circled around the 7 lap course (while her teammates quietly time trialed themselves into first and second place in the GC). Little did I know at the time that this was the perfect plan her team had laid out, and I fell hook, line and sinker into their trap.Fortunately, she also came to my rescue in the road race and became my break mate for 48 of 50 miles. Together we were able to take back 25 mins and secure my place on top (she placed second GC).2. Choose your friends wisely:I don’t know what I would have done without the amazing support of my teammates…especially when I realized my huge rookie mistake from the circuit race. They stayed up late with me to wait for the time gap checks to be posted and believed in me that I could somehow still pull this off!3. Act like you can:My only “strategy” to salvage a GC win was to go from the gun and try to recover a minute per lap (read: suffer). Although this sounded daunting, I decided to think positively and give it my best shot. I guess my acting skills were good enough to worry my contenders. They kept asking if I would be okay shortening the race to 3 laps. I needed 4 laps to punish myself for my stupidity in the circuit race. 4 laps it was.Road Race Result: 2ndStage Race Result: 1st in GC!An incredible weekend of racing with the best team/friends around! Thank you to all my ThirstyBear teammates, Zac, our sponsors, and our weekend mascot, Timpa!Tanya