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Thirstybear p/b Akamai Victory at Womens NCNCA District Championship

Anne Valta & Tanya Fredricks goes 1 & 2 at Turluck NCNCA District Championship. Photo: Tahra Makinson-Sanders
Anne Valta & Tanya Fredricks goes 1 & 2 at Turluck NCNCA District Championship. Photo: Tahra Makinson-Sanders

Thirsty Bears had the luxury to have 4 bear ladies racing together (Chris, Leila, Tanya and Anne). Carla was basically in our field since the W50-54 started 1 minute behind, and was quickly towed to our pack by Jane Despas. The race was basically between Metromint and us, because we had the numbers over other teams. We also had the strongest riders. The plan was to keep me safe and rested so I could try to get away on the rollers (and hopefully tow Chris and Tanya with me).

Jane kept the pace pretty solid the first half of the first loop. Tanya, Chris and Leila took their time at the front as well, while I tried to settle in and be in good position for the rollers.
My few attempts at Keyes Rd didn’t amount to anything, and it became clear to us that Laurie Furman (MM) had tagged me for the race. I think she would have followed me to the porta john had I stopped for one 🙂 But when I saw the rollers at Hawkins I knew we had a chance. I surged hard on one of the steeper ones and heard Tanya yell: “We have a gap!” I kept my head down and pushed on for a minute or so and then flicked my elbow to let the gals behind know it was their turn to move to the front. No one was willing to work initially so I kept going because I could see more people were starting to catch on. Finally Jane came to my help and when we turned to Lake Rd. there was five of us on the breakaway: Tanya, Chris, myself, Laurie and Jane. We knew Laurie wasn’t going to help in the pace line since we had the numbers on her.
On the second time on Keyes Rd. Jane got tired of our company and took off. For a few seconds I entertained the idea of going with her but decided against it. The section was flat and I hadn’t been able to shake Laurie in my earlier tries there. It was going to go down to the Hawkins rollers, again. I even let Tanya and Chris go 40-50 meters up the road twice and Laurie wouldn’t leave my wheel! So I tried to save as much energy as possible while taking turns up at the front with my teammates. Finally, the steep rollers were in front of us. I took a deep breath and surged as hard as I could hoping it would be enough. Laurie was right next to me for the first few meters but as I crested the top she had dropped behind me. I kept going down the hill with everything I had while taking a peek on my heart rate. I was at my max but I didn’t care because I knew this was my best chance. My great teammates made sure they didn’t help Laurie on the chase, and they let me get away. Not until I heard from the moto that I had a minute on them on Lake Rd, was I able to relax and enjoy the moment. Tanya secured the second place after taking off at 3km to go. Chris had to now play cat and mouse with Laurie and missed the 3rd by less than bike length. Leila came in 8th. It was a hard fought victory and I am so proud of my teammates who helped me defend my title.


 Photos curtesy of Tahra Makinson-Sanders

Max powers to the podium at Northern California District championships 55+

Max leading the pack. Photo: Tahra Makinson-Sanders
Max leading the pack. Photo: Tahra Makinson-Sanders
Max finish 2nd at District championship. Photo: Tahra Makinson-Sanders
Max finish 2nd at District championship. Photo: Tahra Makinson-Sanders

Race report
Turlock Road Race Northern California District championships
Thirsty Bear: Max Thompson
2nd place

Category master:55-59 1,2,3
Riders 50
Weather sunny/windy
45miles (that’s just wrong!)


There were a few teams representing
Sun power with 3 guys (1 sprinter). 3 feet it’s the law with 5 to 6 riders(2 sprinters) . Morgan Stanley (coulter and Terisaki). Pen Velo 3 guys and a bunch of other random
Teams. Race started off with a slight downhill the wind was light at this point and we were going fast for first 8-9miles. I stayed near the front to watch for attacks from hammer (hunter) make a wish (Joseph foster) who
Can TT well. 3 feet it’s the law sat in pretty much the whole race. Lots of attacks from Hunter and Joe Foster (joe was working with Hunter the whole race). I would bridge when they got too far but nothing very threatening to begin with. At mile 5, Joseph took a bit of a flyer and I decided to jump on . Legs are feeling pretty good at this point and I saw the KOM (not really a hill)
But thought, okay, I’ll give it a try. I jumped away from Foster, looked back, saw I had a big gap, and got the KOM. Later I found out the KOM was a wood fired pizza that I shared with my teammates.
A bunch of attacks by Foster and Hunter, Reno wheelmen, Audi and a few others. The group let them dangle out there for a while nothing much happened. Pace was pretty fast but peloton wouldn’t let me or anyone else get away. A few random teams tried to get away, Core tech and a guy from the Reno wheelman but no such luck, the field wasn’t having it. Started getting windy towards the second half of the first lap and the field was getting guttered in a
Long line. Few more attacks by the usuals. Have to say these masters don’t really work as teams, most Goya just sitting in. Get through lap one and the fields totally together, starts going fast again and into the headwind. Sprinters are all siting in, zip through first 20mi, usual attackers, I take some flyers with foster and company. I decided to stay at the front and watch for any opportunities that might stick or a solid group that I could get away with. Finally we’re now at mile 42 or so and we make the right onto Lake street straight into the headwind! Perfect now the field is guttered, core tech driving the front, Vetterli moves up(team Ca Tech.) then he and core tech punch it with Foster, most everyone splinters off, groups form. I’m near the front but keep getting gapped, dig deep to bridge the front group, now 2 guys foster and vetterili, me with Hunter chasing them. Hunter says to
Me “pull them
Back we can make it”. I look at him and sit up and say pull through! The chasers are
Coming, Hunter won’t pull through.
I look over to my left and out of the corner of my eye there’s Jonathan Laine (sprinter from 3 feet law team), he flies past us, I hammer to get onto his wheel. In less than a minute we are worth the 2 leaders
(Foster and vetterili), 1.5mi to go! Dropped Hunter, now I’m gassed after just having made it across and bridging all the splits. The field is splintered into chase groups. It’s now a 4 man break, big gap
Back to Hunter and chasing field. We slow down, cat and mouse time. I know it’s going to be me and Jonathan when the sprint comes. It’s 1000m to go, hoping he doesn’t go early, then we’re in the middle of the roller before the finish straight,
He sprints (early) hard,gets the win. A fun day of racing.

Max finish 2nd at District championship. Photo: Tahra Makinson-Sanders
Max finish 2nd at District championship. Photo: Tahra Makinson-Sanders

More photos from Turluck: Photos thanks to Tahra Makinson-Sanders.