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Early Bird Road Race. Ice Ice Baby…

Extreme icy conditions for about 10 miles, but luckily non of the Bears went down. Piers Barry and Eric Lagier blew the 35+5 field to pieces and were heading for a 1-2 finish. Unfortunately, Eric flatted twice (but still didn’t finish last). Piers won by nearly 3 minutes! Tanya won the Cat 3 race, while Greg McQuaid took 5th in the 35+123s.

Did the 45+123 myself and took off solo at mile 1 to get warm and to get a clear view of the icy road. Finally got company around mile 12 from Chris Courtney and Ziesing and about a mile later Carl Nilson and Dirk Himley bridged up. The pace slowed just before the climb and suddenly the front group grew in size and became 10. I became unhitched on the climb and rode solo once again to hang on for 7th. Himley won, Courtney second. Thanks Hans for the Race Report. 

It is estimated that more than 20 riders went down on the road due to the extreme conditions. Fortunately all ThirstyBears stayed upright.

The Early Bird Road Race segment on Strava.

The following is the race report from Piers Barry who did the ThirstyBear Cycling honor by finishing 1st.
Weather:  46 degrees avg. Sunny. Icy roads over 10 miles of the course
Got out to Patterson early with Eric Lagier, and met up with Hans, Tanya, and Greg.  Still pretty cold out there but course officials insisted the roads were almost entirely clear and dry except for a tiny possible couple ice patches.  It turned out to be tons of ice and huge deep pot holes with loose rock everywhere.  We heard there were more than 30 crashes during the race and seeing the torn jersey collection crossing the line it seemed pretty accurate.
I started my Garmin at the start line–but then didn’t know where the turn around point would be at the top of the climb–lesson learned.  Eric and I just sat in the pack for the first 10 miles.  Pace was moderate but still fast enough we caught the Cat 4 group who was neutralized as we road by.  The road was as much ice as pavement by this time.  Eric and I had just moved to the front third of the pack when a touch of brakes on the ice just behind us resulted in an uphill crash of 5 riders.  No injuries but we went up to the front and stayed there to keep safe.  The race was all together until the final 1.5 mile climb at 9.5% grade.  At the base of the climb Eric and I went to the front and ripped the field into pieces.  Only one rider from Roaring Mouse was within a minute of us by the turn around at the top.  Eric was right with me at the top and we went flying down the hill.   The stage was set for a 2 Bear team time trial for a 1-2 finish to the line but unfortunately a pot hole interfered.  Eric had his first flat (of 3) and he sent me down the road solo.  I was motivated by being out front, pushed the pace a bit through the ice and kept extending my lead all the way to the finish line for a very tiring 18 mile ITT.  Last thursday’s icy Thirstybear ride through Lucas Valley with Peter Badertscher was great preparation for this ride!  There was a chase group behind of 5 riders but I managed to stay well out of sight.  I finished around 3 minutes clear of second place.  Eric had second flat on the road, then another after the finish, but still finished 13th!  Thanks for reading.  See you Bears out there.

Thanks Piers Barry for the race report. 


The Early Bird RR crew minus Greg. Piers 1st, Hans 7th, Tanya 1st & Eric 2 flats.
The Early Bird RR crew minus Greg. Piers 1st, Hans 7th, Tanya 1st & Eric 2 flats.


See the results on our results page. 

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