It was a good course, decent field, hot. Leah got the hole shot, the first turn was a little sketchy but we were able to stay in the front four or so. I moved into second pretty quickly and stayed in small group of three for a bit. Drumm led but crashed in the first of the ribbon turns on the back half on the first lap, and I led from then on. I LOVED that back section- definitely a strength. I felt like I was cruising and not working too hard. Drumm crashed again on one of the transitions between dirt and concrete, tangling up third too. From then on I was alone and just keeping it smooth on the twisty half, then digging deep on those long straightaways, doing my best to keep a good gap on the strong crit racer behind me. I was stoked to have my first really good race of the year. Thanks so much to Cameron for the water- it would have been a lot harder without that. And great support from the team, plus my bike rolled perfectly with a new wheel build from Walter at Fresh Air and killer new brakes from Paul.
Bike Monkey did an amazing job as always- I’ll definitely keep coming and hope their cross races continue to grow.
No, not Monster Park or whatever they are calling it now. On Sunday Candlestick Point served up sand and the kind of wind that used to blow homeruns back in bounds before the Giants split for fancier digs. The course was solidly technical and hard in spite of its flattness. The team made an excellent showing, the ladies leading it off with Kathleen in sixth and Leah in seventh, Kathleen perhaps showing a bit of fatigue from Saturday’s Lion of Vallejo yet still railing the sand.
In the men’s A race it was Benford, Daryl and myself. Tough start with few passing spots led to a frustrating first lap trying to chase down Jason, don’t think I would have seen him except for a small crash on his part. Jason came 27th, I was 18th after grovelling all day and Daryl was 38th with a nice whack to the face from his stem. Big shout out to Daryl for sticking with the A field at the big races, the step up from the B’s is rough.
Fresh Air -Hunter’s B men threw down hard, the only dark spot was Nicks flat. Kyle Rode fourth after his excellent effort on Saturday, for which it seems he won an oven mitt….. perhaps weighing 23 pounds helped him float through the sand. Team leaded Mr T held on to 18th in spite of his roadie leanings, and Jon B was 36th. Jon was a C last year and kept his head up even with multiple crashes, Candlestick is a tough place to learn to ride in the sand, huge props to Mr Bekefy for stepping it up. I probably missed someone, sorry. Great day and the vibe was awesome, thanks to the team and special thanks to Paul Components for the custom ano job on the brakes.
My first race in the new team kit! I got up early on Saturday and headed out to El Dorado Hills for this brand new race. The weather inland was usual for this time of year, with clear skies and a morning chill that gave way to dry heat as the day went on. The course itself was spacious and not very technical - a combo of dusty dirt road, thick bermuda grass and trampled hardpack, with most sections wide enough for two or three racers to ride next to each other with room to spare. It was a fun re-introduction to racing, considering I spent the previous week out of town on vacation and gorging myself and not riding.
Congrats to the Folsom Bike crew for getting a new race on the calendar, hopefully it will be back for next year and improved.
Today was a fun day. We rallied with a full car to Prunedale for CCCX #5. Heather, Kathleen and I were racing As, and Jason was racing right after us with the Elite Men. Kathleen and I almost missed our start due to the line being moved up the hill this year, and were staged in the back row. The uphill climb shattered everything pretty quickly, and we found ourselves right with the group after a backup on the first corner. I grabbed Kathleen’s wheel and tried to hold on as long as I could, which ended up being pretty much the whole race. Kathleen saw me back there, and sat up so I could jump on her wheel. She was trying to push me hard, getting me to draft on the straights and hopefully take a few pulls myself - a perfect team exercise. It didn’t quite work out - I have a lot to learn from her! She is smooth on the corners and while I was hanging with her for some, I didn’t ride others quite so well and found myself playing catchup. It was so fun to chase her around, see how hard I could push it and follow her impeccable lines. This is my second year of really getting out there (dabbled a bit the year before that) and I’m still learning a lot about how hard to go and how to rail even when tired. I’m really glad to have a teammate who can push me harder and make it fun. Most days I can’t hang with Kathleen, but I sure did enjoy it today!
Jason had a great race too, but I’ll leave that story up to him. I tried to get some shots of him tearing it up out there in our spanking new team kits.
Had a great double header this weekend: dfL final Saturday and Candlestick Sunday. Sunday I lined up with a big group of (real) women for the first time this year. I had a pretty good start and moved up a few places in the first lap, then I stayed there the whole race. I was pretty close to second for a few laps, and solidly gapping the rest, then I had to slow it down- this one was a real shock to the system.
I got caught very briefly and was looking forward to a wheel, but the woman dropped a chain and I reluctantly attacked again. I held her off the last two laps for third. Travis thanks for convincing me NOT to get a front derailleur- nothing but trouble! I’ll live with the shouts of ‘just use your big ring!”. I’m also LOVING being back on the Hunter race machine.
Overall it was much better than I could have hoped for! I always really like that course- flat and fairly technical. The steep ride up still gives lots of folks trouble, though it seemed to have a much smoother lead-up this year.
Looking forward to rolling deeper at the next race. Leah and MA- let’s do it! I was sandwiched between 2 each of Rambuski and HRS ladies.