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Chico Stage Race Report 45+ 4-5

March 31st, 2014

Chico Stage Race Report 45+ 4-5 – Scott Asbill 3.24.2014

Last weekend, Adam, Todd and I  made the trek to Chico to represent Owens Healthcare Cycling Team (my first as a member so I was fired up).

As we drove to the start of the Paskenta road race, we commented on the strong north wind which had the pro field completely shattered and in multiple groups of 5-6 riders.  We all speculated our races might be similar with early break attempts.  However, by the time we started our race, the wind had died down significantly so all attempts were easily covered.  At the beginning of the race, Adam was very attentive at the front and was carefully covering mini attacks while I sat back further in the peloton discussing the race with Tom Dillard.  After several miles of negative racing, the pace started to pick up a little and with the gravel section coming up in about 3-4 miles, I found Adam and myself pinned near the back of the peloton (not the place to be!).  I could see Adam was agitated as both he and I were unable to move up on such a narrow road.  Since I had already been warned by centerline rules, I decided to shift into cx mode.  I gingerly navigated off the paved shoulder, laced with potholes and debris, with Adam in tow.  We moved up on the far right side, one rider at a time, until we found ourselves at the front with about a mile before the gravel.   From there I ramped up the pace and hit the gravel road at mach 1 with only a few riders slightly in front of me on the left.  One of those riders slid and drifted abruptly into my line and forced me into the soft gravel and ditch.  Adrenaline pumping, I unfortunately lost all momentum, I found myself back about 25 or more spots (very similar to what Bill had told me what happened to him last year).  As I navigated through the gravel and carnage of riders on the ground (multiple riders with the rubber side up),  I found myself just back from the front group of about 12 riders, which fortunately included Adam and Tom.  When we left the gravel the front break was broken into several groups.  I bridged up to Adam which was nice as we were able to work together to the finish.  I crossed in 13th and Adam14th out of about 50 starters. (Tom flatted but finished)

The next morning at 8am was our scheduled Crit and I was nervous as a cat since I hadn’t raced one in a very long time.  I could tell Adam was a bit nervous too, as we both probed Todd the night before for advice.   After the first couple of laps I felt comfortable and in fact, about the middle of the race I felt good enough to bridge up halfway to a two man break but fell back wisely since I could see the break getting caught.  Adam and I stayed pretty close together (sure is nice having a teammate and wheel next to you you can trust) and in the top 10 most of the race.  With 1 lap to go, I think I was confused that it was the last lap.    I was sitting about 10th and was ready to start moving up, however when we hit the last turn I saw everyone starting to sprint and realized my mistake.  Too late to sprint, I rode in and managed 13th place and Adam finished safely back in the bulk of the field.

After a brief rest and sitting 13th and 14th overall, Adam and I were gearing up for the TT.  Having recently purchased  basic TT helmets from Chainlove, we both were feeling very aero (yet a bit goofy).   Since Adam and I were only about a minute back (GC), I thought our chances were good moving up and maybe even podium.  However, when we pulled up to the start and noticed every single rider – other than ourselves – had TT bikes with disc rear wheels we thought, “Uh Oh.”  I thought I had a decent TT but was 19th and Adam said it wasn’t his best TT and ended up a little farther back.

Overall, I ended up 15th and Adam 22nd GC.

A great weekend of racing, Sierra Nevada beer, camaraderie, learning, team representation, weather and friendship.  Thank you Owens for the opportunity to be on the team.  I am proud to be a member and look forward to many more experiences such as this in the future.


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March 31st, 2014 12:19:37

Chico Stage Race 45+ 1/2/3 Race Report

March 31st, 2014

Chico Stage Race 45+ 1/2/3 Race Report – Todd Dodds 3.24.2014

It was very nice leaving Redding at 11:30 Saturday morning heading to a road race.  Certainly more relaxing than heading out at 5:30 in the morning.  Scott, Adam and I had nice drive down to the big town of Paskenta.  As we got closer to town, we started seeing carnage from the races that started earlier that day.  Each field we passed, albeit, each shattered field, was heading out for their second lap; we commented on how the wind was going to be hard and that we were glad we only had only lap to ride.

Even though my road race was 45 miles long I knew it was going to be hard.  All the usual suspects were lined up with winning strategies discussed with their teammates.  My plan was to stay fresh and not chase anything.  I knew there would be a break that would form and could stick but I was not going to be the one trying to make that happen.  Sure enough, about mile 7 some guys started attacking and about mile 10 there were about 6 guys in a break.  All of the big teams had a guy in the break with the exception of Specialized.  We rolled along for the next 28 miles at a pretty steady pace.  It seemed like there were some big efforts every couple of miles or so but for the most part the peloton remained in tack.  After the water feed the pace picked up a little and continued to increase as we got closer to the dirt.  At one point the break had a 2 minute gap however once we reached the dirt, we clawed back all but 20 seconds.  I was happy because I stayed out of the wind and felt pretty good once we neared the dirt.  Of course once the pave turned to dirt, the peloton splintered.  I managed to stay with the main chase group for the first mile which was rapidly catching the break but that was before Larry Nolan decided to drill it.  Once he got in the front I could not hold on any longer.  By the time I rolled across the finish line, Larry had crossed two minutes earlier in 1st place.  That guy is an animal and he his 56 years old.  I managed 19th place and 2 minutes down on GC.  Had  a great day and the wind was not bad at all.

My TT was 10:46am so I had a nice leisurely morning.  I decided to ride the road bike versus mooching the Blazes TT bike so all I had to do was pin the numbers on a clean kit, suit up and roll to the start.  I had a good TT considering the bike I rode.  I finished in 25 minutes 16 seconds which was 1 minute slower than last year riding a TT bike.

My crit was at 4:20 so I had a lot of relaxing time in between races.  I raced the crit safely like the road race.  There was a break that formed with 3 guys and I thought it would stick for the entire race.  With 5 laps to go the gap remained at 24 seconds.  I manage to stay in top ten or so up to that point.  I saw Larry Nolan make a move with 4 laps to go and I was able to jump on a wheel just behind his.  He rolled around the course for about a lap and half and nearly brought the break back…I thought I was going to die trying not to lose the wheel.  With two laps to go some others got on the front and continued to drill it.  I managed to stay near the front as we rolled for one more lap.  We were nearly to the 3 guys who lead nearly the entire race as we headed toward the last turn and I was positioned about 8th wheel which was out of sprint contention.  I finished 15th and had a ton of fun.  I later heard that our lap times were not much slower than the P 1/2 lap times which explained why I was so gassed at the end of the race.

We had a great time at the race.  The promoters did a fantastic job and it is right in our back yard.  As always, thanks Owens for helping make this happen.  We have a great team with tons of support and I really appreciate it.

Thanks, Todd


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March 31st, 2014 12:13:03