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Nevada City Race

June 21st, 2010
Masters 35 + 1/2/3
This race starts before the whistle blows as most of you who have raced Nevada City know. The start is critical so you have to race to get a good position prior to the start. Well, if positioning was any indication of how the race was going to go for me, I was going to win. I lined up in the front row right in the middle. I was ready to go!

Even though I was positioned well at the start, it was also critical to maintain it since the first half of the first lap was supposedly neutral. I have never been in a neutral lap where I had to push 330 watts to maintain position, today I did. I knew at that point I was going to surpass my pain threshold for the next 55 minutes.

When the race was finally on, I was in the top 20. I was fairly comfortable with that position so I maintained it for about 5 laps. Guys were popping off with each lap but I was feeling good so I knew today was going to go fairly well for me. With each lap the top 5 guys were accelerating at the bottom of the hill which was placing pressure on the guys behind them such as me. However, I thought I was in a good position to stay with the lead group. On the 7th lap, I was on Larry Nolan’s wheel at the bottom of the climb. I thought that was fairly safe since we had a lot of time race. I thought Larry would be fairly fresh and could hang on. I should have known better since he is as big as a linebacker and is known for his sprinting and track abilities not climbing. At the base of the last climb the group accelerated hard but Larry couldn’t hang-on. I tried coming around him but I missed the opportunity. I was bummed and had visions of not finishing the race once again like the two times in the past. I was a little deflated mentally but physically I felt very good.

I soldiered on for another lap on my own and then noticed that another group was coming up. This was the first chase group which contained about 8 guys including Larry Nolan and Bubba Melcher. I was in the race again albeit in the first chase group. I integrated right in and we started to work well together. The group had some strong and experienced riders so I felt comfortable flying downhill and I felt like I was one of the strongest climbers in the group. By the way, Dave Albrecht was shed from the lead group and he joined our group. I realized at that point that I was going to finish the race.

With two laps to go I knew what I was going to do to win the sprint out of this group. On the last lap at about the half way mark on the climb I was going to accelerate very hard. I knew I would have to do this in order to beat Larry in the sprint. My hope was to drop them quickly so they could not respond in time. This would give me plenty of time to complete the rest of the lap and come across the line in the lead of this group.

On the last lap I was positioned about third wheel coming out the second turn. We were climbing pretty hard but not at max effort. As we neared the halfway mark, I was ready to launch like Jonz does at the Redding City limits signs on the Wednesday ride. I downshifted, stood up and accelerated. People were cheering me on and I felt like my plan was going to work. As we neared the top of the hill, I had a pretty good gap and I thought it was going to stick. However, as I mentioned before there were some strong guys in the group including Larry. With about 50 meters to go I look over and see good ole Larry and two others in tow passing me. I finished 4th in the first chase group and 18th in the 35+ field.

Even though I didn’t finish as well as I could of, I achieved my goal of finishing the race. Moreover, my confidence level increased significantly. Next year I will be in the front group racing for 1st place. By the way, Matt Ream finished in second place overall.



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June 21st, 2010 10:05:09

Blazing Saddles Series Race

June 07th, 2010

Reported by Paul Lennon:

Blazing Saddles went good for me until Brandon showed up and took first in 3 of the 4 races, I won the first one, still took first in the series overall.

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June 07th, 2010 13:11:23