After having lapped the field and finished 2nd at BP Winter Crit, Jason is right back at it! Here is how it went down…
Late… because I always run late for crits, I got my number and got dressed in the car, listening to the heavy pelting wind and rain. “It’s nice in here,” I thought. “Maybe I should just stay warm instead of racing.” I took my time getting dressed and had already resigned myself to an abbreviated warm-up. I forgot my trainer, so I rolled down the parking lot hill a couple times and my butt was already getting soggy from the road.
Rolling to the start, there were 4 Mikes Bikes, 4 LangeTwins, and a collection of others. Hunter Ziesing from Hammer showed up with the wrong number and quickly joined our field. It was his second (maybe third) race. There were about 10 of us total. Hunter said he was going to attack from the gun… and he did.
I started from the back of the group, being extra cautious on the first turn and Hunter, Greg Tsutaoka (LangeTwins), and Mike Foley (Mikes Bikes) went clear right away. With several teammates in the field, I knew that this first lap break was likely the move that would stick, so I immediately motored up to their group. By the time I got there, Greg was already calling “uncle” and was unable to pull through.
Mike & Hunter were both barking at Greg for him to pull through & I said that we needed him in our group if we were going to stay clear. Greg was in our group for now.
The race continued for a couple more laps with everyone but Greg taking some pulls. There was a nasty headwind on the final stretch and it always sapped your energy when you did work into the wind, then had to hit the final 400m climb. Greg dropped out of our group & pulled the plug on himself and then there were 3 of us.
Mike took 2 primes and I took 2. Hunter sat out of all of them, saying, “I’m just happy to be out here.” Our tempo was good and we had locked up the podium.
With about 6 to go, the chief ref screams at us that Hunter didn’t register and that he needs to drop from the race. Huh? Hunter continues with us and would end up being ineligible for the race.
Two laps to go, I try a hard dig on the backside and coming into the straight and final stretch. I pull off in the final stretch, letting Mike come by. We are going a bunch slower and he’s in the wind. Coming into the hill, he’s a bit agitated and swings wide right for one of us to pull through.
Wide open door! I pin it to the top of the hill and motor really fast through the turn at the bottom of the hill. Hunter is with me. Mike is off our group. I continue to motor hard through the back side and then into the final stretch.
Looking back, we’re clear, so I need to keep something in reserve for the final sprint. I ease up a bit, watching to see if Hunter is going to try to pull around. At about 200m to go, I pop and give it everything I have… First. Pie and primes are yummy!
Thanks for reading,
I was looking forward to three days of team camp for months, but due to work and due to the stupid no rain for months, then raining every weekend situation, I bailed on the Friday and Saturday team rides. Instead of slogging through Santa Rosa, I figured I’d slog through the Folsom Crit. It’s 20 minutes from my house and I’ve done this course a million times. It’s a very simple course with no major turns, just sweepers, and I figured I could get a good result in a decent field.
Because I happened to be home instead of Santa Rosa, I got some extra “honey-do’s”, because, you know, I’m home. The last “honey-do” was picking up a granite fountain from a neighbor’s house (those things are heavy) and it made me late to the race. I arrived with 45 minutes to start. I still had to grab my number, pin it, and get warmed up. After a series of frustrating missteps getting all my gear on, I was ready to race, and I joined the field just as they rolled off the finish line.
For the first lap, I fiddled with my gloves, still getting them on, and keeping the bike steady in the rain, wind and puddles on the course. Did I mention it was raining?
4th lap was the first prime and I went clear with Jeff Watson (LangeTwins) and Jeff Galland (Zipz). Jeff Watson took the prime and Galland gave us the “we’re clear” and we started motoring.
Watson was blown from his sprint and had trouble pulling through. After some very direct words about not pulling through, Watson dropped back to the field. (Sorry for being so direct, Jeff!)
This left Galland & me together off the front. Once it was just Galland and me and we got a 20s time split, I looked back and told Jeff that we were going to lap the field.
Jeff took some short pulls for the first 8 minutes and for the final 23 minutes, it was all me on the front, steadily drilling it at 350 watts. I was concerned with lapping my first field and stopped racing, really. To win the race, tactically, I should have done things differently. Now that I’ve lapped a field in a race, my bucket list is checked and next time I’ll go for the win (Jan, I promise).
“We” caught the field with 3 or 4 to go and I motored right through the group, hoping they would let us go and that we/I would be out of range of any last lap stupidity. No such luck. Beth Newell (Go BETH!) tagged us and now the field was back together. 2 laps to go became 1 lap and on the final lap, I was more concerned about being out of trouble than about setting myself up for the sprint. (I’m still on the front, btw.)
Final turn is about 200 meters to the finish, slightly uphill and this year was in a major headwind. Coming off the turn, a very pathetic pop out of the saddle, and I watched Jeff take the field sprint, leaving me 2nd place.
Nice work Jeff Galland on playing your cards and about tagging the right wheel. He let me have all the primes… thank you Sierra Nevada, Cytosport, and Bicycle Lawyer (Zin Man wine) for supporting cycling. Jeff also gave me his winnings. While I’m not thrilled about Jeff sitting on my wheel, that’s his card and he raced his race (and won). Next time, I won’t make it so easy, though.
Thanks for reading!
Here are the ingredients for a perfect race;
Dedicated 35+ 3 race = no 1 & 2’s to bully the peloton
1. Noon start = get to sleep long
2. 59miles only, with a meager 2K feet of climbing = An easy start to the season.
3. High sun, little wind, and warm temperatures (Boy I love California)
4. Add 3days and 375miles of Coast Ride as base miles and continuously doing serious training rides with the ThirstyBears!!
5. Being accompanied by Piers Barry.
It all started with a nice 2.5 hour drive out to the middle of nowhere together with Piers and Piers’ friend, David Campbell. We did our usual 15 min warm-up, riding up and down the road for 2.5 miles, primarily to test that our gear was race ready. However David used the opportunity to have a flat. Better then, than during race.
Knights Ferry Road Race 2014 – 59miles out and back twice.
Field was 40 man strong with Kovarus/Wells Fargo Racing Team, Bell Real Estate Cycling Team and Team Fremont/FFBC p/b Chipotle well represented. Especially Kovarus with 9 riders had the opportunity to dominate this race. Piers and I were in sync with our tactics. Stay in front, control the race, ok to let one guy go and let him hang to dry 15 sec out, but if anyone tried to bridge or more riders go, stay on their wheel. Do not take any pulls ourselves. We were only two riders and could easily burn up all the matches trying to control the race.
12 Noon we are off, tempo is modest and Piers and I sit in the middle of the field, but I use the first little climp to get up in the front to be sure to stay in control of the race.
Givargis Betoshana from Bell Real Estate Cycling Team had sneaked off from the gun and few noticed this until we approached the turning point first time and he comes flying solo way ahead us. The Kovarus team sets tempo up in front and we bring back the first break. Then follows 40 miles of constant attacks from Kovarus and a few other teams, but they are all half hearted and chased back. Dave Rossow from LuxVue – SunPower Racing takes some massive pulls and I stay tucked away just behind him. Martin Szwarc and Tim Zsoka Team BP/Sierra Nevada/Reliable is active contributing in front. Unfortunately Martin Szwarc flats and missed out on the finish.
Our tactics is working out. I have closed down a number of breaks while Piers conserved his energy to go for the win as we get closer to the finish. However, having chased down 8-10 attacks over the first 50 miles it seem more and more likely that it will be a sprint finish and there are many strong legs in the field.
We come to the rail road tracks, which naturally slows down the field, and Dave Keefe LuxVue – SunPower Racing attacks. I turn on 750 watts and within seconds I am coming up fast behind him. I look around and see that I managed to gap the field, so I shout to Dave “lets do it” as I fly by him and for the next 30 sec we ride together. We come to a turn which I corner full speed. As I look back, Dave is gone…Shit, 5 miles left and now riding solo with a field of 40 chasing me. Should I sit up and wait or go all in? I go all in.
I know Piers has been saving his batteries all day, so the longer I am out there with the others chasing, the better are Piers’ chances to counter attack and go for the win once they swallow me up.
I am in adapted TT mode, pulse hammering at 185 bpm and ride in the screaming red zone. I don’t look back once, as its serves no purpose to see if the are close or not, just focusing on keeping the pace at maximum. 1 mile goes, 2 miles goes, 3 miles goes…I cannot believe that they have not caught me yet. I am at a tipping point, fuel is fast running out of the tank and I am starting to doubt that I can hold the pace much longer. I get to think of my solo stunt at last years Snelling RR and it gives me renewed energy to try harder.
I see the 2km sign! Only 2 short km to go, but it’s the 2 km with all the climbing on the course. Not really what I wished for, but how hard can it be? I need to make it. As I hit the 1km for the final climb I get into the little ring and spin as fast as I can. It’s do or die. I cannot look back fearing that the hungry chasing group will be right behind me. They must be right behind me. Half way up the top I see Rick from VeloPromo standing on the side and I shout to get him to tell me where the chasers are. He replies “They are coming fast”. I dig deep and pull out the last juice, the 200m sign is coming up, I get up and start sprinting, No one is going to take this from me now! 20m and I turn my head and to my surprise they is no one near. The field is just passing the 200m sign. I F***ing MADE it. One hand in the air for victory!! Gasping for air. This is how races are won.
According to Raceshape I managed to quickly built a gap of 20sec, which grew to 35sec after 4 miles. The last mile I lost nearly 20sec especially on the climb.
Piers did an amazing job as I went away. Piers went up in the front and continued to take false leads helping to keep the tempo down. Coming up to the climb, Piers went for it, but unfortunately too many grabbed on and of fear that he would pull the chasers up to me he sat up. Thanks Piers!!! – The dynamic duo is back!
So we get to Knights Ferry with at least an hour’s time to suit up and get ready. All’s good. Until somehow the keys get locked in the car. Hans is down the road in his running shoes, and most of Duane’s gear is still in the car. Duane’s on the phone with AAA and time is ticking by. Finally he agrees to let me try and smash his window so we can race, and we’ll all split the cost of the replacement. I grab a rock the size of a papaya, smack the window pretty hard and, to my disbelief, nothing. So I wind up and smack it even harder and it just feels like plexiglass, I can see it flex. No go. By now people are walking by and commenting, what the hell are you guys doing, as I take repeated blows at the glass and am unable to break it. Then a guy comes over with a pair of vice grips acting like I’m some kind of pussy and he tries whacking it a couple of times, to no avail. Finally I realize if you hit a window on the corner, that’s how they blow. Sure enough, with 10 minutes to go, we suit up and line up for the race.
Masters 45+ 1/2/3 started with a field of about 50 guys, 8 of ‘em Thirsty Bear. With that many in the field, we had to do something and the whole race, we sure did. When I say we, I mean They ‘cause I just sat in. It was just constant attacks, mostly TB, but every time other teams would shut it down. I think there were enough sprinters that had teammates to keep things in check.
About halfway through the 87-mile race, even though the terrain is pretty flat we had managed to lose half the field. The whole race TB was attacking, trying to form breaks. I’m not sure if there was a single break attempt that didn’t have a TB in it. And then with about 6 miles to go TB went to the front and just kept the pace high, to discourage more attacks. We averaged 24 miles an hour over the whole race.
It’s not my kind of sprint finish. It’s a bit too big of a hill for me, but at some point Brenon came around, told me to get on his wheel and he just drilled it. With about 100 to go, Don Langley shot by us with the guy that got second and Dan Shore who ended up getting 3rd, but they had so much momentum I wasn’t able to get right onto Dan’s wheel. I closed the gap down but only right at the finish line and didn’t have enough road to come around. I‘m actually pretty happy with 4th place considering how strong a lot of those riders were, but I do feel like I let the team down a little bit, the way everyone worked so hard the whole race and then that amazing lead-out and I didn’t podium.
The ridiculous things we do to capture upgrade points.Driving three hours round trip to Sacramento for a 40 min crit.
It was a full field of 75 riders and to make a long story short, with one lap to go I was in 4th place with about 500 meters to go and the front few guys started to slow so the decision was to go or wait. I knew it was early but if I waited I ran the risk of getting swarmed so I elected for glory. There was a technical turn with about 250 to go and I had a good gap off the front and could see the promise land. I hit the gas coming out of the turn but got passed with about 5 meters to go and I thought I could hold on for 2nd but got nipped at the finish. Was hoping for the win but satisfied with a podium and more importantly earned a few points.
Desperately seeking Cat 3,
Video curtesy of Greg Price. Happy that CJ did not ride like that.
Photo: Alex Chiu Photography
Quick update.. always a fun “dust-off”, Cal Aggie is usually the first race of the season for me. Rolling out solo for Thirsty Bear, my new San Remo skinsuit felt fast, even sitting still.
With just me, I played this race differently than if I had teammates. I was trying to get breaks going off the front, but not doing any work on the front. Nick Theobald, Safeway, had several attacks as I also did. Nothing strong was sticking. The field let breaks with unknown riders (Rio Strada & such) roll off the front, but the legitimate strong-man breaks were pulled back rather quickly (bummed.)
I was resigned to staying towards the front at the end and placing as high as I could at the end in a bunch sprint. I came through the final chicane and motored up the right-hand side, passing a bunch of riders (I was about 10th wheel off the turn) and nipped a former teammate for 5th place at the line. Best placing for me at Cal Aggie and a perfect day and venue for a race.
Chuck Hutchinson (Marc Pro), Chris Espy (Specialized), Jeff Galland (Zipz), Dave Albrecht (Zipz), and me were the top 5.
Photo courtesy of David Cheung. Click for more pictures from the race
Men 35+ 1/2/3 Race Report by Greg McQuaid
With Phipps racing in the 45+ field for the first time, a bunch of other strong 45+ guys seized the opportunity and decided to race with the 35+ youngsters instead!
The field was stacked with Kevin Metcalfe, Dan Martin and Nick Theobald definitely being the guys to watch. Piers and I planned to conserve as much as possible for the first two-thirds, figuring about 10 strong guys would still be around with 1K to go.
And that’s pretty much what ended up happening. We knew Dan Martin would go at some point but thought it would probably be earlier. Instead he launched a blistering attack that nobody could match. With Dan’s teammate Nick just following wheels, Scott Bromstead, Piers and I tried to give chase to no avail. With 500m to go the field had completely shattered and we limped across the line with me in 4th and Piers in 6th.
Afterwards Piers and I played a game of coulda, shoulda, woulda but ultimatly its hard to complain with a good hard race and sub 16min times. It was January 1st after all…onwards and upwards to 2014!
Super woman Tanya flyes to the finish!!
Tanya’s great start of 2014 season winning at San bruno Hill Climb.
Women Cat 3/4 Elite
1. Tanya Fredricks
9. Leila Cavanaugh
Men 35+ Cat 1/2/3
4. Greg McQuaid
6. Piers (Batman) Barry – missing his Robin…which would have made all the difference
Men 45+ Cat 1/2/3
1. Chris Phipps
2. Hans Gouwens
3. Dan Quirk – Great start for our new team member at Thirstybear Cycling.
6. Gardie Jackson
Men 55+ Cat 1/2/3
8th – Alan Roberts
Overall results click here
San Bruno Hill Climb Strava Segment:
When I saw 4 FW riders on the registration list I never thought it would end like this! Rio Elite State Champ 2013!! (FW leads the Elite team rankings in Brazil)
From 2010 through 2012 I’ve been racing successfully in the Master B (40+ 1/2/3) category here in Rio, Brazil – along with a few M45+ 1/2/3 races in California.
- Garner enough ranking points for the ‘Rio Select Team’ for the UCI 2.2 Tour do Rio (Earned enough points but Rio’s cycling Federations budget came up short)
- Score a Road Race podium (It took all season but finally in September at Botofogo)
- Focus on the State TT and go for the podium – play by play below
ThirstyBear Sponsors and teammates who’ve kept us all inspired!
Coach: Hunter Allen
Strength Coach: Alexandre Zerlottini
Training partner: Phil Kassab who constantly reminded me “you can win it”
3 Shops – Gustavo, Genesio & Paulo
CVCs – John Kosloski
Love doing 2,000 feet of climbing in 12 Miles then The Mt. Tam Hill Climb is the right place. Marking the end of the season all the main riders in great Marin area summon for a day of race and after race celebration.
See all the great pictures from the the 50th Mt. Tamalpais Hill Climb.
Congratulations to Adrien Costa for taking the victory in the Pro 1-2 field 2012!
|1||Adrien COSTA (1 – Cat2)||Los Altos, CA||0:41:43||296167||104||Slipstream-Craddock|
|2||Christopher PHIPPS (1 – Cat1)||San Francisco, CA||0:41:45||233623||112||IronDataThirstyBearC|
|3||Julian MARTINEZ (2 – Cat1)||Walnut Creek, CA||0:42:47||214569||110||Fremont Bank Cycling|
For more race results check out http://www.usacycling.org/results/?permit=2012-2956
Start Line at Stinson Beach Park, US Highway 1, Stinson Beach, CA. Race goes north up Highway 1, right on Bolinas-Fairfax Road, right on Ridgecrest, finishing at the Rock Spring parking lot on the West Peak of Mt. Tam.
For more check out http://www.goldengatevelo.org/tam and register at https://www.usacycling.org/register/2013-2970
Thanks to last years great sponsors including Joseph Mendes, real estate and loan services, Pelo Fitness, City Cycle and GU.
The official race report by NCNCA:
Hail of a day at Masters Road National Championships
Christopher Phipps (San Francisco, Calif./Thirsty Bear Cycling) won the first national title of his career when he emerged from a two-man breakaway to win the men’s 40-44 road race by two seconds. Phipps, who missed winning the time trial on Wednesday by less than one second, finished the 110-kilometer contest in 2:48:36.
With 82 talented competitors in the field, the riders were guarding against early attacks. With the field quickly answering any attacks, it remained together through the first two hours of the race. As the group approached its climb up Mt. Bachelor, Phipps and the winner of this race in 2012, Matthew Carinio (San Luis Obispo, Calif./Rock Solid Cycling), attacked. That duo traded pulls as they ascended Mt. Bachelor, but gradually Carinio ran out of gas. The winner of Wednesday’s time trial national championship, Richard Feldman (Ketchum, Idaho/Durance-Colnago), was bridging the gap. With approximately five kilometers remaining in the race, thunder struck and hail fell.
“I just put my head down and went as hard as I could,” Phipps said. “They (hail stones) were falling all around me and I thought they’d start to hit me soon. Sure enough, they started hitting me in the back and those things hurt. Then they started to cover the road, so you can’t get out of the saddle because it is so slick. Then, it’s like cyclo-cross. You’re just pedaling as hard as you can with your head down. That last turn, I had a big gap. I just put my head down and went for it as hard as I could.”
Phipps crossed the finish line two seconds ahead of Carinio, who placed second. Daniel Bryant (Carmichael, Calif./Folsom Bike-VW-Raley’s) finished only two seconds behind Carinio in third place. Local rider Ryan McKean (Bend, Ore.) placed fourth, edging Feldman, who placed fifth in the race.