ThirstyBear Cycling’s CJ Wolf steps onto the podium at Central Coast Circuit
Race: Central Coast Circuit
Classification: 35+ 3 & 4
Time: 50 min
Field size: 11
In my desperate hunt for upgrade points, I find myself driving 2+ hours for a 50 min race with 11 people. Their usual circuit coarse was being occupied by a 5k run so the race organizers had to use an alternative coarse which was as generic as they come. It was a 3 mile out and back – down a hill, 180 degree turn, back up the hill, down another hill, 180 turn and back up. One team, Don Chapin, had two riders and in the first lap one of them attacked into the headwind and nobody went with him. I was trying to organize the group and a few people did some work over the next lap but I was doing the bulk of the work. So instead of pulling everyone along – I attacked at the bottom of one of the short hills halfway through the 2nd lap and when we got to the top- the field was reduced from 10 to 5. Then after the next turn, I attacked again and only the other Don Chapin rider and other rider remained. Since the Don Chapin rider had a guy up front, he just sat in and the other guy was dead weight only doing about 10% of the work. I thought I could catch the solo rider so I stayed on the front dragging the two riders along. The gap was 30 seconds and to my disappointment, it didn’t come down through 4 laps so it was now a race for 2nd place. As we approached the final turn – I wanted to be in the lead to prevent getting jumped coming out of the sharp turn (my bike handling needs some work). The finish was about 300-400 meters with a short climb, flat and then another climb. I attacked out of the turn hoping to get a gap but the Don Chapin rider that had been sitting in the entire race stuck to my wheel as we drop the other rider. The Chapin rider came around on the flat and I couldn’t close on the last knoll thus settling for 3rd. Although this wasn’t my first top 3 finish -it was my first time stepping on a podium thus making the drive worthwhile (photo attached). Now I just need to move up two steps.
An hour later I did the elite cat 3/4 and at the start the guy to my left was 16 (almost a 1/3 of my age) and the guy to my right was 20 . The top 3 finishers were half my age and it was their first race of the day. It was a good workout and I finished 5th (out of a mass field of 11).