Copperropolis Road race is one of the epic spring classics in Northern California and is often referred to as the “Paris – Roubaix” of California. No cobblestones but famous for rough terrain and miles of pot holes.
Copperopolis Road Race (63 miles) 45+123 Race Report.
Bariani Road Race, March 17th 2013.
Women’s Cat 4: 2 laps, 28 miles; Result: 1st Place
With over 60 women in the field, I reluctantly approached the starting line. Seconds before the whistle I thought I heard a gunshot, but it was merely an exploding tire, fortunately on the bike next to mine. It was a welcomed wake-up call. As soon as her wheel was changed, the whistle blew.
My only goals for the day were to A) not get in an accident, B) not miss a break, and C) position myself for a sprint at the end. The center-line rule proved extremely frustrating. As we rolled out, I found myself near the back of the pack on the left. It seemed nearly impossible to move up safely through the annoyingly slow swarm. By mid-lap, I eventually managed to move through the middle and up the right side on the shoulder.
As we approached the rollers, a handful of strong riders emerged to quicken the pace. A couple Mintie women and a strong SoCal gal on Ritte tried to get in a break, but I made sure to stay on their wheels, and we managed to shed about half the field.
I rolled through the first lap (going into the last) at wheel #2 and tried to work with the Ritte gal ahead of me to get in a break. My garmin registered 34 MPH as I tried to pull in the front (there must have been a tailwind!). No luck. I tried again by pulling to the far side of the road, but no luck. Then I tried to get the six or so riders at the front to work together, but only a couple women were willing to work. We slowed, refusing to carry the 20 riders who were left in the group. In hindsight, it was probably the worst time to try for a break.
Someone yelled that the gap behind us was closing, so we tried to organize a double paceline, but like before, several women refused to pull through. I let myself fall toward the back of the 20 to recover as we wound through the turns of the back country roads.
The pace quickened again at the rollers, and the group morphed into single file. I positioned myself as wheel #2 or #3. Positioning rapidly changed as various women tried to break or move up. I hopped on any strong wheel that emerged to keep my position. With one mile to go, I hopped on a Dolce Vita wheel, and we managed a small gap. I thought this is it, I have a chance.
BUT THEN, a moto stopped us before the last turn due to a helicopter and ambulance tending to an accident on the overpass. All 20 women rolled up refusing to hold their positions. We were held for 5 minutes as the helicopter flew off and the rest of the field caught us at the stop (the woman was in our race and reported to be conscious). We pleaded with the moto to let the lead 20 have a few seconds gap for a safer sprint. He finally caved.
So there it was. Instead of a 28 mile race, we were unwillingly signed up for a 0.5 mile race with one turn and 20+ women at the new start. I figured I had no chance.
Rounding the turn, I fought for my wheel #2 positioning. Two single file lines graced the flat at 27 MPH. At 300 meters, I pulled to the side, let out a war cry, and sprinted seated. Two women hopped on my wheel. I put my head down and kept going. When I looked up, I was nearing a crowd of people, but didn’t see a finish line. I thought I had much further to go when the two women tried to come around me. Fortunately, I looked down and saw the white line as I crossed with about a wheel’s length ahead. 1st place. Surreal.
Thanks for reading.
See all results here. Megan is now added to the hall of fame! Welcome on board.
Weather- a few clouds @88′ -hot & very windy
32 riders on the line
55 miles (point to point)
5,743ft of climbing
2010-2012: Raced the Master B (40+) class here in Rio and finish mostly on the podium with a few wins. Though the fields are smaller than California – many of the Brazil National Champs live in Rio – so it’s always a good test.
2013: Decided to up the ante’ and jump into the Elite class – Big commitment as jumping back and forth here is not allowed…
Last year: 4th in this race with the Master B’s. This years prep included driving out the previous 2 weekends to ride the course. Recommended
Elites were the first group off with a long 15km neutral promenade through Angra dos Reis a beautiful oceanside village about 2 .5 hours from Rio
Below: Results are in!
Very happy with mid pack finish – did not embarrass myself… Looks like would’ve won Masters A, B & C races by 2+ minutes. Upgrade was right on time. Lots of work ahead…
More than 370+ photo’s on Facebook here: Tour do Rio
Would love to host a TBC Rio training camp 2014…interest?
Will be up for Berkeley Hills & Mt Hamilton in May – Looking Forward!
Victory to Chris Phipps at Madera Stage Race 2013 with winning support from Ken Gallardo, Phil Hynes and Kyle Ashton
Being just a week after the big time Merco Stage race, the long standing Madera stage race has seen a drop in its masters fields the last couple fields, but we still had a strong 35 rider field show up for the most compact stage race on the calendar.
The small field had several teams of 3 or 4 riders with Mike’s Bikes, Lange Twins, Ritte Racing and Cushman & Wakefield among them. ThirstyBear Cycling was represented by Kyle Ashton, Ken Gallardo, Phil Hynes and me.
Between the start of the stage 1 criterium at 12:50 on Saturday and the finish of the 68 mile stage 3 road race at 10:45 AM on Sunday less than 21 hours elapse. (we lose 1 hour with the time change)
Stage 1 Criterium (40 min): The plan was to be aggressive without going too deep since the TT was just 3 hours later. We attacked a lot but nothing stuck. With 3/4 of a lap to go I attacked with Phil on my wheel and I was hoping we could get something but were swarmed in the final 200M. Steve Heaton (Hammer Nutrition) won the sprint. Phil ended up 12th with me 19th, Kyle 24th & Ken in 28th all finishing with the same time.
Stage 2 TT: 10 miles of flat and good to fair pavement with some pot holes. Velo Bob decided to do something totally wacky this year and run the TT in reverse alphabetical order, so I would be starting 9th in our field and 1st on our team. My 30 sec man was Oliver Ryan from Mike’s who was a good carrot. I felt really good in the TT and ended up catching 5 guys and finished in a PR of 21:20 (& tied Nate English for 3rd on the Strava Segment behind Evan Huffman (now with Astana) & Paul Mach)
We had a great team result with my win, Kyle in 4th, Phil in 5th & Ken in 17th.
Stage 3 Road Race: 68 miles, 4 times a 17 mile mostly flat loop with some rollers and a 3 mile really bumpy section. Sitting in 1st, 4th & 5th in GC was a great position to be in going into the final stage. We figured I would only really be concerned with Brian Choi from Stuzio who was in 2nd and Nick Theobald of Safeway who was in 3rd. If anyone else lower down in GC attacked we would keep it in check or have Kyle or Phil go with it. It was a pretty relaxed 1st lap, then on the rollers a couple guys lower on GC attacked & Ken just went to the front & rode tempo with Jason Grefrath from Lange Twins taking a few hard pulls keeping them within 30 seconds. At the end of the 2nd lap, Nick attacked on the final big roller and I was on his wheel. We quickly caught the 2 man break, but we didn’t too far before the pack had us back. Later that lap a 3 man break got away that I thought had a chance. It was Jacob Berkman from Mike’s along with Levine & Grefrath who had both flatted in the TT, and they were all down over 1:50 in GC, so we didn’t have to chase right away, but the rest of the field worked to pull it back on the bumpy section.
So, we were back together again with Ken at the front pulling us all along at 40+ kph and the three of us sitting on his wheel enjoying the day. Ken was just awesome riding a hard tempo on the front for long stretches for most of the race. On the final lap, we knew the bumpy section would be the place where all the action would happen and sure enough it did with the 4 of us and all the strong guys at the front trying to get away or at least make it hard on everyone else. About 5 miles from the finish, I went to the front and went hard for a few seconds and saw I had a small gap, so I was off to the races at full gas the rest if the way. I have to tell you that my new Bontrager Aeolus 5 D3 clinchers with 25mm Bontrager R3 tires were awesome on the terrible pavement and I was able to fly over the roughest of it at full power and solo in the last 5 miles for the stage and GC win!
Kyle and Phil finished in the chase group with Kyle hanging onto 4th GC and Phil dropping to 6th due to Joe Staron (Lange Twins) picking up a 10 sec time bonus.
Thanks Ken, Kyle & Phil, as short as it was, racing the Madera Stage Race with you guys was the most fun I’ve had in a long time!
See all the results here.
Merco Almond Blossom RR Women’s Cat 3/4 March 3rd.
Merco was the first race of the year the ladies’ team had not just one but three Thirsty Beers(yes, this was how my team listing somehow ended up in cyclocross this year) in the same race. We like to capitalize on this when possible, but we were concerned about being three small hill climbers in a mostly flat race. Fortunately Hans helped us with a race plan. I was especially excited about any plan at all to try to avoid having a painfully slow and uneventful race ending in a full field sprint like last week at Snelling.
Our plan basically was to attack and counter attack as much as possible on any little roller that came up and see if we could form a small break or at least drop part of the field. Tanya and I alternated attacking repeatedly starting about 5 miles into the race but the field had us pegged early on and a few particularly vocal riders seemed to be watching our every move and broadcasting to the entire field that the Thirsty Bear gals were plotting evil hill sprints again. Jenny put in at least two excellent counter attacks when we thought we were maybe starting to tire people out. Unfortunately none of our breaks managed to stay away for very long, but we did shed about 15 riders off the back. The race slowed down in the last 10 miles as we were taking a quick hiatus from the attack mode and no one else from other teams was willing to make a move. It came down to a sprint finish at the end, with 2nd through 8th place finishing within a second of each other. We finished in 6th, 8th, and 15th. Our new team recruit Megan was positioned well and put in an excellent final sprint for 2nd place. We had a lot of fun, got a great workout in, and enjoyed learning to race more aggressively with help of teammates! Hoping for hillier races to come.
Thanks to Chris Lundy for a great post.