Madera Stage Race 45+, Day 1 – Ben Hur Hillclimb TT
10.3mi. First 6mi rolling hills, with 5mi good pavement. Miles 6&7 horrible pavement. Miles 6-9 were uphill and the last mile rolling.
I used a full TT setup; Dan Quirk used aero bars on a road bike; Shawn Daly used foam on his road bike bars to rest his forearms. It looks like it’s going to be a ThirstyBear vs Hammer throw down. Our teams have 6 of the top 9 places. We have a flat 10mi TT tomorrow to set up the GC going into the CRIT and RR.
Results from today: 1. Adams, Hammer 33:12, 2. Lyons, TB +0:20, 3. Ziesing, Hammer +0:58, 4. Nielsen, Ca Tech +1:06, 5. Quirk, TB +1:07, 6. Martin, R4R +1:10, 7. Miller, Victory Velo +2:18, 8. Albrecht, Hammer +2:26, 9. Daly, TB +2:29, 10. Baumgardner, Global CTI +3:12
Madera Stage Race – DAY 2
Today we had a flat 10.4mi TT in the morning and a 40min CRIT in the afternoon.
We were down 20 secs in GC going into today and interested in making that up before we started chasing time bonuses in the CRIT (and RR tomorrow). I beat Ron Amos (GC leader from Hammer) by 22 seconds in the TT and took the GC lead …
DQ’s time is inaccurate but we think he rode well and kept his 5th place standing. Shawn held his 9th in GC despite his custom foam bar padding falling apart from the rough road.
Over lunch at Chowchilla’s finest, we devised a plan for the CRIT. I wanted to chase the prime time bonuses (two 5 sec primes) and go for the stage too (20-10-5 sec time bonuses for 1-2-3 on stage). It was a risk because it would depend in me getting in position to sprint and then actually try to win the sprint. But it seemed like a fun challenge so I asked the guys if we could do this.
Dan and Shawn were amazing. They rode solely for the team GC and we controlled the race! They set me up for the first prime which I took over Dave Albrecht. Then Dan got in a two man break that nabbed the second prime. I was up 7 secs on GC now heading into the final laps. I was hoping to get it over 10 because the road race has 30-20-10 time bonuses.
DQ and Shawn took control the last two laps and I picked my place heading into the final turn. I got a good jump but Albrecht blew by in the last 100. Then Chris Ott got me right at the line for 2nd but I held on for third and got 5 more secs time bonus!
We are up 12 seconds in GC going into the road race. Going to be another great team dual…. We are ready for anything!
Results are up at USA cycling.
Not sure if Jason will send an update but he is doing fantastic in the 35+ after his killer TT (he equaled the time of the third place P12 guy today!). He should be leading GC.
Day 3 – Road Race
Madera 35+ 123 Stage Race Report
Most of the 35+ regulars were short on family capital or gassed after strong Chico Stage Race performances the week prior. My TT was running well and I wanted to race more races this year that suited my strengths. Despite the fact that the Time Trial stage is a big decider in Madera, I haven’t had a killer performance there… until this year.
13 of us lined up for Madera 2015 and I was a little nostalgic that this stage race that I cut my stage race teeth on many years ago was now a B or non-race for a lot of people. This race hasn’t changed. Still the same crappy roads on all the stages, late results, and I still love every minute of it.
Criterium – 40 minutes, 25mph avg, crit was pretty slow, but with 2 guys per team (except me and Joe Staron from Bicycles Plus), there were several short and half-hearted attacks, but nothing with gas that would make them stick. Mikes Bikes, Oliver Ryan and Scott Cox worked really well together, taking each a 5 second prime and taking 1st and 2nd in the crit, respectively. It was an exercise in smart teamwork that many of us saw at the Chico Stage Race the weekend prior.
Time Trial – 10.4 miles, 22:08, 28.2mph, 1st and ~40 seconds on 2nd place. My pacing was good from Chico, where I also ran well. Uncharacteristically, I went out hard. I eased up a little in the second section after the first turn with the expectation to crush the final half of the course. I didn’t really look down at my Garmin because I was paranoid about hitting a hole in the road (like I did in 2013 and flatted). Jonathan Eropkin from Chronos was always on the horizon and he was my 1 minute man. I was about 3 seconds off him when I finished. This was a really good run for me and I would have been tied for 3rd place in the P12 field with this time. I was about 40 seconds faster than 2nd place and with time bonuses from the crit, Oli Ryan was ~12 seconds behind me.
Road Race – Early. Cold. Windy. But then the race started and the layers started coming off quickly. We were combined with the 45s field and I was really happy that 12 of us in the 35s didn’t have to mess around for 70 miles playing cat and mouse. It was also good to have Dan, Tom, and Shawn from the 45s group as well as a lot of the “45 guys” who I know already. More racers means more fun racing. John Olsen from ArtsCyclery was off the front early and everyone let him dangle on a short leash. That lasted until about lap 3 when he got reeled in. It wasn’t too crazy or fast on all sections, including the rough pavement and I think Dan Quirk was on the front for every single trip through the rough pavement. The 45 ThirstyBears were controlling and regulating the field really well. I was following Oli Ryan all day who was my only danger man, being 12 seconds down on me meant I couldn’t let him get 1st or 2nd because time bonuses would leap frog him over me on GC. I was going a little nuts as he is a very smart, patient, and tactical rider, and we were on the back a lot, talking, while I wanted to follow every move and attack at every opportunity. On the final lap, the 45 Bears were regulating the front with three 45 non-GC threats up the road. All 35s were in the field and I was staying close to Oli. When we got to 1km to go, approaching a long set of punchy rollers, Jonathan Eropkin from Chronos launches a hard attack off the front. I stay with it and it’s game on. Lines start forming and we are overtaking a 4s field. I use the 4s to my advantage and come around, close to them on the right as most of the field is advancing and moving on the left. 200 meters is marked and I have good position and an open door on the right side. I went as hard as I could and I have that extra couple important pedal strokes to take first place by a wheel, in front of Joe Staron from Bicycles Plus. After playing defense the entire day, I pulled out a strong offense and won the 35s road race and the 35/45 field sprint. The three 45s remained up the road, but by only a couple seconds and Tom kept his GC lead. What a fantastic Madera for ThirstyBear p/b Akamai!!
Chico Stage race Mens 55 1,2,3 Report:
Thirstybears: Alan Roberts and me
Stage1 Road race: 45mi (shortest RR ever)
Weather: partly cloudy, cool but perfect for racing, headwind at gravel, tailwind finish.
Field: Approx 35 guys
Saturday Feb 28th, 2:45pm
This was my first ever 55’s road race, wasn’t sure what to expect, Alan made me aware that there’s not much team work in these races(really, come on!). the 2 teams with 6 and 4 were 3′ it’s the law and Audi (I think), a few other teams with 3 guys but they didn’t do much. There was one guy riding for Bahati (LA Crit guys) and he was about 250lbs, I’ll hand him credit later in the race. Alan and I decided to stay near the front, watch for early attacks, then punch it out of the gravel and try to get rid of some guys. We started off and from the gun 4 guys went up the road(Bahati, 3’, 2 other s), great let the other teams chase, only 3’ had a guy up there so others had to ramp it up, no problem they did. It was Fairly uneventful with the 4 up the road within site. Got to the gravel and I took a little dig at the front to test these guys, some others came up, Alan took a few digs. , we started to catch the guys in the break. With them in site, I did a hard effort and passed them, got near to the end of the gravel, hoped Alan was nearby, we lost a few in the gravel then made the right onto pavement and I went as hard as I could barely made it by the right side of a slow group of guys ahead(had about 2’ to get by), Alan came charging up the left, plan is working we’re hurting the field as hoped, get over the little hill in 3 mins(dang I needed another 15min of climbing!!) good thing is we have about 15 guys now. Pace is steady down the valley, some minor attacks, then we get neutralized 3+ times! A group was passing us then we’d pass them, trouble is the stragglers got back on as did just about everyone(so much for our mini mega efforts). Referee was holding us for at least 4mins (frustration) while going about 7mi an hour downhill. We make the right and now it’s only 8mi or so, no attacks, no one working, then it’s 4mi to go, a few half hearted attacks, Alan and I sitting near the front to make sure no one important goes up the road. There was last year’s winner(Dave Montgomery) in the field 2nd and 3rd place from last year also. We watched them mostly 3’ guys. This is where something really goofy happened, Bahati guy (Anthony) rolls off the front not hard, everyone watches, I ask the teams aren’t you going to go after him it’s only 2mi to go, everyone’s looking around! Im not going after him because he’s no threat to me and it puts the other teams under pressure. It was laughable on their part not to chase him down. Anthony is gone from site now (smart gamble!)as we come inside 3k to go, everyone’s jockeying, 1 k to go! Ramping it up, I’m 2nd wheel, 200’ hill coming, can’t see finish, decide to hit this hill sub sprint pace but shake some guys off, no one comes around. Then I see the finish, guys start passing me, Jonathan Laine (3’) passes me fast, he’s gone, 2 others pass then I go all out and pass them back for 3rd in the field sprint (wish I would’ve known there was another hill after the 1st! (Dohh). Bahati 1st, Jonathan Laine 2nd, I’m happy with 3rd about 12 sec down, perfect! Alan finishes 7th right behind me.
Stage 2 Downtown Crit 30min (so embarrassingly short!!)
Weather: 12-15mph wind, cool, sunny
28 starters, lost 7 yesterday
Sunday March 1st 9:25
The Crit is a 6 corner course, smooth, fun fast. Race got going late after a crash from previous category (guy landed on his face!), pace was steady, not very fast, Alan got up front ramped it up, I cruised around In the top 5 at the front, a few break attempts got brought back. Nothing much to speak of, pace was steady not that fast, guess they were saving it for the TT. Have to say it was a very safe race. Alan got a few primes, then with 2 to go, we both got at near the front, Bahati takes a jump, get’s swarmed with .5 laps to go, Alan is in front going into turn 5, then bumps up the speed, I move up to 3rd wheel, no one comes around, we hit the last turn fast, Alan is rocketing up to the line, guy in front of me fades, pass him Alan WINS! I cross the line about right next to him for 2nd. Thirsty Bear is warming up now!! I’m very happy for Alan and our team! Next up TT
Stage 3 Time trial 10mi
Weather: wind 12-15mph (Northwest) perfect clear day.
Didn’t have enough warm up, got to my start, all good, I felt sluggish for the first 4mi (tailwind). Decided to just get in the pain cave at mile 5 and see what my legs would do. Going into the cross headwind I started pushing it, each mile closer to 10 I’d get my power up a little more, 7mi to go, pain cave, dig, 8mi, harder, 9mi (can’t see finish). Get over the line, thought I’d goofed the TT up. Find out I WON Alan got 3rd in the TT and SO we got 1st and 2nd GC!! Another great weekend of racing!!
Also well done race by Holger, Scot, Chris, DQ, Jason, Moritz, Jacob and Piers.
I want to also thank our many gracious sponsors (the big ones Akamai, Cogniance, Cloudmade, Sutter Health Novato and everyone else!), Hans, Kyle and Eric for all they do without them all the team wouldn’t be the same!
Thankful for all the support!!