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ThirstyBears Aaron & Scot score 1st and 4th at the Mt Hamilton Road Race

2013 Mt Hamilton Road Race Report – by Aaron Long
Cat: Masters 45+ 3/4
Field: 40+ strong – including Scot McLean, Lance Haag & Aaron Long on the line for the Bears
Weather: 60’s , wet roads early, thankfully no rain & dry roads for the descent and run in!
Aaron showing the field how they ride in Rio.
Aaron showing the field how they ride in Rio.
 
Plan:  Scot n’ Aaron to take turns attacking and work for Lance in the sprint when it came back together.
The whistle sounded and with strong headwinds it was a rather smooth start up to Grant Park  (1/3) – With mainly Angus Murray (Privateer), Craig Lindburg (Cushman & Wakefield) & Alexander Komlik (SJBC) driving the pace…that is, until our Scot McLean turned the screw, stringing out the peleton and getting a gap.  With Scot off the front and the 3 above chasing, Lance and I settled nicely into 7th and 8th position.
On the wet descent past the Grant Park entrance it came back together and I rolled through and pushed to pace up the next climb getting a small gap.  As they chased me down Scot rolled past us and hit them again…making it look super easy into the headwind!  Again, he had a nice gap with the 3 above doing the majority of the chase work.  By now the 40+ peleton was strung out & down to 20.  At some stage here I think Lance was caught out by one of the many gaps forming in the heavy winds…
As we approached Smith Creek (2/3) Scot had attacked a few more times and had them all on the ropes -but each time they would claw their way back to him. I’d say about half way up from the Creek I was still hovering in about 7th (on the rivot no less) of just 10 riders left.  Mr Mclean was certainly the best climber on the day but that headwind wouldn’t allow his solo break to stick.  As we approached the 5km and 1km markers to the summit Angus countered one of Scots many attacks and got a gap going for the KOM which he won…Komlik was 2nd and I may have been 3rd just in front of the group of 7.
With an essentially “free ride” up the mountain due to Scots aggression I saw Angus sit up- So, put my head down and drove it across the summit doing my best “Falco” (Salvodelli) impersonation down the backside (not pretty).  At the bottom I was solo with no one in sight until about the neutral feed zone when 2 riders bridged up…Justin Eatinger (Penn Velo) & Roysei (Real) Kaneko (Sho-Air/SERT).
We quickly agreed to go for it and did well together sharing the work.  We had a good combination as Justin and myself at about the same size and “Real” was built to climb at about 30lbs lighter.  We’d drag him across the flats n descents and he’d keep the pressure on going up the rollers – occasionally having to ease for us both.  At mile marker 40 we passed the 2nd feed zone – topped up the fluids and got our fist glimpse of the chase group.  It looked like 7+ but afterwards we learned just 4.  With them looming we continued to press as I’ve often heard stories of breaks getting caught in the final km.
The final 21 miles took seemingly forever with the unrelenting headwinds but we did it.  The 5km marker came (so happy), then at the 1km we kinda stalled and I pulled through joking I’d be the lead out man.  As we approached the 200m sign I thought it would read 500m and Justin blew by me – I thought it was over but I put my head down and thankfully, on the little riser his legs locked up and I had an easy roll in.
We later learned that the 4 man chase group had split into a couple of pairs and that Scot caught them all and put it to them in the finally – securing a well earned podium for 4th!  Lance also managed to do well in one of his first Cat 3 events- with a field of 40+ riders; a respectable top half 18th place showing.
Great break-mates and racing Lance & Scot !!
Looking Forward to more soon,
Aaron
Relive all the action by clicking on this Raceshape
Relive all the action by clicking on this Raceshape
 

 

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