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2018 Fish Rock Race Report – Todd Dodds

March 30th, 2018

Adam and I were the lone Owens riders participating the 2018 Fish Rock race presented by Bike Monkey.  We had a such a great time last year that we decided to participate once again.

The race was on a Saturday and the start time was at 10:00am leaving from Boonville.  The later start time was great since we stayed in Ukiah which was about a 30 minute drive.  Also, we had to deal with some bike repair issues that Adam had so we had plenty of time to deal with those.

The forecast was calling for some morning clouds turning into a sunny afternoon.  That was a welcome treat considering that earlier in the week the forecast was calling for rain.  The thought of riding for 4 plus hours in the rain did not sound very appealing.

We had a mass start with approximately 300 riders.  Since the race is approximately 72 miles with nearly 10,000 feet of climbing you can imagine how the start was…not too fast which was fine with me.  We rolled along for what seemed like 10 feet and then started to climb.  In fact, the whole race was either ascending or descending.  I do not remember a time when there was flat terrain.  As we got into the first climb I decided to roll towards the front and try to ride near the front all day.  I wasn’t feeling great but I did manage to make it into the second group.  The pros and other fast guys already had formed a group ahead and I could not maintain that pace for entire race.

There were about 10 or so riders in my group and we managed to stay together almost all the way to the Fish Rock climb which is where the 25 mile dirt section starts.  That was about at mile 40 and about 4500 of feet climbing left.  I decided to stop at the rest stop before the climb and fuel up.  I figured I would catch quite a few of the riders in the climb and those that I didn’t ,I would catch on the descent.  Riding the Santa Cruz Stigmata was the perfect choice.  It climbed very well and descended even better.

 

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As I got into the Fish Rock climb I started to bridge up to some of the riders that did not stop at the rest stop or left before me.  I decided to slow slightly because I didn’t want to kill myself catching them on the ascent knowing that there was a lot of racing left.  As we got into top of the climb there were was about 5 people ahead of me so I knew I had to pin it on the descent to bridge.  The dirt was perfect and I recalled the descent from last year so I felt really good.  Sure enough, I started to pull riders back.  At the bottom of the descent I manage to catch everyone I was riding with prior to the rest stop and put a large gap on others.

We had a lot of riding left and of course it was all rolling.  I was definitely feeling all of the climbing that I had done and I did not have much left in the tank.  I had a about 3 riders catch and pass me on the way to the finish however none of them were in my class.  At the finish line I managed to place 2nd in my field ( 50 – 59) which was beyond my expectations.

Overall, I had a great time.  It was the first race on the Stigmata and I was really impressed on the way it handled and climbed.  Also, thanks to Owens for all the support.

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March 30th, 2018 16:11:50
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