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Jan “Sprinter-king” Go All In To Finish 2nd at Tour de Nez

Jan sprints to finish 2nd. Photo: http://erikakali.smugmug.com/Tour-de-Nez-2015
Jan sprints to finish 2nd. Photo: http://erikakali.smugmug.com/Tour-de-Nez-2015

Masters 35+ 1/2/3

Field: 40
Teammates: Chris P., Jason G., Neil B., and Tom L.
Cheering section: Alan R. and Max T.
I have raced this race several times and it has always been hard. This race takes place in downtown Reno and has been one of the best events. It is well organized, the results are up fast, competition is tough and the prizes are cool.
Neil came and stayed over at my house Friday, and our plan was to drive up at 10 am Sat. We left my house at 10 went to Perry’s in Fairfax to get a sandwich for lunch. Well, we ran into the Fairfax downtown parade and it took us 30 min to get around it. We were both stressing a bit trying to get on the road and make it to the race in Reno, 3.5 hour drive. Neil and I drank a ton, knowing how hot it would be in Reno. I think we pulled over 4 times to go pee.
Phipps driving the field forward. Photo: http://erikakali.smugmug.com/Tour-de-Nez-2015
Phipps driving the field forward. Photo: http://erikakali.smugmug.com/Tour-de-Nez-2015
We ended up making it to Reno with 2 hours to spare. We found the Pelophant and the other guys as they were getting ready for the 45+ race.

The course was a short one. Lots of turns, some good headwind and a slight riser. Our plan for the 35 race was to either get myself in a break or keep it together for a “field” sprint. Notables in the race are Dean LaBerge, Chuck Hutchinson, Michael Buckley, Justin Rossi, Craig Roemer and plenty of other guys that have been racing very strong this year.
Jason and Neil pushing the pace. Photo: http://erikakali.smugmug.com/Tour-de-Nez-2015
Jason and Neil pushing the pace. Photo: http://erikakali.smugmug.com/Tour-de-Nez-2015
As the whistle blew Phipps was on the front driving the pace. Tom jumped on an early move and ended up with a preme. In the first 7 minutes I found myself hurting so bad as if it was the last two laps. The pace, I felt, was so hard, that I was going to drop out of the race. Buckley, Phipps and Chuck were taking turns drilling it on the front to force a break. Luckily Jason came to the front, too, to help cover moves. I looked around after the first 20 minutes and I could tell the field was now down to about 20 guys. And people were getting dropped each lap. 25 min in I was wondering when I would blow up and pull out as well. Gaps kept opening up in front of me and I tried to close them down, slower each time that happened.
Once the lap cards started to show up, 12 to go, I was trying to be a bit more positive in my head, but that was very hard. I wanted to give up, but then I saw Phipps chase down a break, and then Jason would attack or also chase down guys. And I can’t let those guys do this much work without finishing this thing off. Coming into the last few laps I was unsure how things would play out for me. Still doubting myself. With one to go I was about 8 guys back, not a good place to be on a short course with a lot of turns. Luckily I shut off my head long enough to move up to third wheel, but then lost position and ended up 5th wheel around the second to last corner. Then I told myself now or never, got up and hit it hard and sprinted around the guys in front of me. That last corner was coming up fast and my line into it was terrible. I was first through the corner and again hit it towards the line. Put my head down and went and crossed the line with no one coming around me. Here I thought I had won, but Rossi had been off the front for three laps. I was so tired I didn’t even see him go, thinking Chris and Jason brought back all the moves. Well Rossi is one fast dude and he took a well deserved win! I came in second ahead of a stacked group of survivors. This was one of the hardest races I have done. And I can’t wait for next year. I ended up finishing two water bottles in this 50 min race. Phipps ended up with 3-4 premes (we can’t call him a climber anymore).
Power Train. Photo: http://erikakali.smugmug.com/Tour-de-Nez-2015
Power Train. Photo: http://erikakali.smugmug.com/Tour-de-Nez-2015
The seven of us who went to Reno had a great time. It was such a fun atmosphere in Reno. Thank you guys for racing and cheering!!
Also a big thanks to all our sponsors Akamai, Cogniance, Red Whale Coffee, Cloud Made, Sutter Health, HVR Software, The Ride Home, TNT Plumbing, Warman Security, iWin, ACME Bikes, Castelli and OSMO.

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