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Old 04-22-06, 11:04 PM   #1
Pizza Man
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Wente RR Report

I haven't posted a road race report in a while, but today was my first race in the Cat 3's so I decided to write about it.

The race was 64 miles, with 4 laps of 15 miles, then another 4 miles to the finish, halfway up a big hill. There were 2 major hills on each lap, one was about 700 ft (the finish was 400 ft up this climb), and the other was about 300 ft. I don't know the field size, but I'm guessing it was around 70, with 7 from my team. The first lap was pretty relaxed, but felt a little faster than Cat 4. A couple guys tried solo breaks, and one was caught at the start of the second lap. On the second lap climb 3 guys broke away and bridged to the other breakaway guy (I would later find out that one of the bridgers was a teammate of the breakaway guy). In Cat 4 & 5 I always rode near the front and never let a breakaway happen without me in it, but I was the new guy in the Cat 3's and I was riding a little further back in the pack than I usually do, so by the time I worked my way up to the front, 4 guys were gone. For the next 40 miles I rode near the front (against the advice of my teammates who were trying to have me save my energy for the end), taking short pulls with about a dozen other guys, covering breaks, and a few of us were trying to organize, but never got it together. We'd go hard for a mile or 2, then no one would want to pull, so we'd slow. The 4 man break was long gone, so the pack was racing for 5th.

As we went by the start finish line with 4 miles to the finish (about 3 flat then a 1 mile climb), I was leading again and took a look back. It looked like everyone was still right there and I was exhausted, a couple guys took off on solo breaks here, I was too tired to cover the first, but managed to get on the wheel of the second, but this only lasted about half a mile before we were caught. I slowed a bit and a speedy guy from Squadra Ovest went by and I got on his wheel. He took a really long hard pull to the base of the hill, and then about 10 or so of us started climbing the final hill like crazy racing for 6th. We quickly caught the late solo breakaway, and now the race was for 5th. By the top of the steep part I was in a group of 4 as we headed for the false flat to the line. I gave everything I had over the last 200 and was 2nd to the line, finishing 6th. The guy who beat me in the sprint rode for the International Christian Cycling Club, and their guys had done a lot of work at the front of the peleton, so I didn't feel too bad about it.

Overall I was pleased with the result, but I wish I had got in the 4 man break, just to see if I could have hung with those guys.

PM
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Old 04-22-06, 11:38 PM   #2
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Nice job and nice result for being your 1st cat 3 race. I wimped out today and stayed home trying to get over a cold and getting a crappy 45 minute ride in instead of racing with the 4's at Wente. This has been my worst season and my training is suffering as well which means my racing is crap.
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Old 04-23-06, 12:47 PM   #3
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I think we should start a poll to see how long people think it will take Pizza Man to upgrade to CAT2
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Old 04-23-06, 03:35 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Snicklefritz
I think we should start a poll to see how long people think it will take Pizza Man to upgrade to CAT2
My goal is to make Cat 2 before the end of the season so I can try 1 race with the Pro/1/2 group. Levi Leipheimer has showed up at the last 3 races I've done, and I think it would be a blast just to be in the same race as such a well known pro.
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Old 04-23-06, 03:37 PM   #5
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sounds like you're more than capable of doing it! great race report.

They don't combine Pros-Cat3's there? At some of the races here they're all lumped into the same field.
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Old 04-23-06, 04:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PenguinDeD
sounds like you're more than capable of doing it! great race report.

They don't combine Pros-Cat3's there? At some of the races here they're all lumped into the same field.
I think it depends sometimes on the race. Most of the time there are enough men to split the field into a lot of different groups. For the women, we sometimes have all CAT races.

So Pizza Man, what were you doing before you got into cycling? Seems like you wil go from CAT5 to CAT2 in one season which is really fast. hehe...curious what sports you were involved with before
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Old 04-23-06, 07:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snicklefritz
I think it depends sometimes on the race. Most of the time there are enough men to split the field into a lot of different groups. For the women, we sometimes have all CAT races.

So Pizza Man, what were you doing before you got into cycling? Seems like you wil go from CAT5 to CAT2 in one season which is really fast. hehe...curious what sports you were involved with before
We have a lot of racers around here, so they rarely combine Cat 3 with Pro/1/2 (except in the 35+), but they do combine them at some of the smaller races.

I was a runner for 20 years before I started biking late last summer. I think a lot of guys have successfully made the transition from running to cycling. The toughest part for runners is not the physical, but the mental aspect of cycling. There is very little strategy or technique involved in running, but so much in cycling that I'm sure I'll be learning for many many years to come. But that's what makes cycling so much fun for me right now
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Old 04-23-06, 10:26 PM   #8
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Nice report Pizza Man and congrats on 6th place. I worked the race near the start area and managed to spot you a couple of times. I hope you enjoyed the Wente RR. How did you like that technical decent and the hay wall?

Thought you might try the crit today but guess not? Good luck the rest of the season. I'm betting that you will get at least one 1/2/pro race in this year.
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Old 04-24-06, 12:04 AM   #9
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Good job Pizza. I had the 45 4/5 RR won after a bunch of work burning folks off, but got stupid and pounded to finish line that was actually another 20-30 yards up the road. In short, I blew and got gobbled up by the chase group within sight of the line, ended up 7th.

Crits were all big field sprints (and big fields). Decidedly mediocre finishes with the front groups (I did three crits). Tried some breaks but got hunted down by the teams every time.

But we didn't crash, flat, or have a mechanical (I did flat Friday on the pre ride) so I guess the bad luck has been toned down a bit, though I found I broke my frame at Sea Otter so ended up riding my crit bike in the road race.

Madera?

Trekking TW: Road race was a fun course, you guys did a really good job. I saw folks out sweeping on Friday.

BTW, I'm donating some 1km and 500m signboards to the club for next year
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Old 04-24-06, 09:35 AM   #10
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Yea, we had a sweep crew out Friday afternoon. Glad you enjoyed the course, it's part of my lunchtime rides each week. Sounds like we could use the 1km and 500m signs!

Did you get a chance to see Levi at all? I guess he broke away on the final lap and was cruising along effortlessly with 4 miles to go.
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Old 04-24-06, 10:30 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trekking_TW
Yea, we had a sweep crew out Friday afternoon. Glad you enjoyed the course, it's part of my lunchtime rides each week. Sounds like we could use the 1km and 500m signs!

Did you get a chance to see Levi at all? I guess he broke away on the final lap and was cruising along effortlessly with 4 miles to go.
Missed him. Did call him a sandbagger when he crossed the line at Copperopolis though...cracked a bunch of people up

The signs would be great, but not as good as if I paid closer attention. I was happy with the ride considering I'm like 8 pounds over my racing weight thanks to getting sick and the grating I took at the Otter, but man, that was just dumb.

I also got caught out on the 45/55 crit, they flagged the field off before I made it around on my cool off lap from the E4's. I dropped your folks a note, it was more of a suggestion to let riders know if they are doing that than a complaint and I hope it's taken as such. They were really making a big effort to keep on schedule. Your folks did a great job with all the haybales and the course was spotless.
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Old 04-24-06, 10:53 AM   #12
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Trekking,

The race and couurse were great (though I agree a 1K and 200M to go sign would have been nice ).
I liked the descent a lot. It was kind of sketchy the first time because I had not seen it before and I was in the middle of the pack, and we were riding 2-3 wide most of the way down. A couple guys took the turns a bit to fast and almost slid off the road. I was near the front of the pack or leading on the next 3 laps and we were single file, so I had a good line in all of the turns.

I skipped the crit. Too flat for me.
Did you race it, how did it go?

Vino, don't you ever take a weekend off?
No Madera for me. As a Cat 3 we don't get to do the hill climb on Friday that the Pro 1/2's get to do, and that would be the only stage where I would stand a chance to gain some time.
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Old 04-24-06, 11:04 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pizza Man
Vino, don't you ever take a weekend off?
Not until I get that sticker. I'm also doing Tuesday nights up here. Got 30 in the field? I'm in.

I'm doing Madera in support of the team, though we're still walking wounded and will only have myself and two other guys in the 45 race. We've won it the last two years and at least have to try to defend.

Where's Steve E? I understand he crushed all but one comer in his race.
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Old 04-24-06, 11:07 AM   #14
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[QUOTE=Vinokurtov]I also got caught out on the 45/55 crit, they flagged the field off before I made it around on my cool off lap from the E4's.[/QOUTE]

Sorry to hear that. They should have had you wait at the start area and apply the free lap to it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinokurtov
They were really making a big effort to keep on schedule. Your folks did a great job with all the haybales and the course was spotless.
Thanks, the leaf blower I used got a good workout yesterday morning! Glad it did, because I didn't since I was not feeling well... sinus infection. I skipped my 35+ 4/5 race.
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Old 04-24-06, 02:33 PM   #15
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A few cool pics from Roland Mariano. Pulling the field up the first climb. Third pic is Steve E on the left in the green Webcor AV jersey. Go baby!
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Old 04-24-06, 03:51 PM   #16
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Here's link to more Wente RR and Crit pics:
http://www.glennjamesphotography.com/
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Old 04-24-06, 09:27 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinokurtov
A few cool pics from Roland Mariano. Pulling the field up the first climb. Third pic is Steve E on the left in the green Webcor AV jersey. Go baby!
Yep! 2nd place in the real "Old Guy Sandbagger Race". My best finish yet in a road race.
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Old 04-24-06, 11:14 PM   #18
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The results are up.
http://www.vsrt.net/WenteRR06.html

There were 90 starters (& 70 finishers) in my race, which is more than I thought.
I think that means I get 4 upgrade points toward Cat 2 if my math is correct.

"NCNCA alternative method to award Cat 3 to 2 upgrade points. Min of 20 riders. Winner gets 1 point plus 1 additional point for every 10 riders in the race up to a maximum of 12 points. 2nd place gets 2 points less than 1st, 3rd gets 3 points less than 1st, 4th place gets 4 points less than first etc. Examples in a race with 30 riders 1st gets 4 points, 2nd gets 2 points and 3rd gets 1 point. In a race with 100 riders 1st gets 11 points 2nd gets 9 point with 8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 for places 3rd - 10th."
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Old 04-25-06, 12:04 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pizza Man
The results are up.
http://www.vsrt.net/WenteRR06.html

There were 90 starters (& 70 finishers) in my race, which is more than I thought.
I think that means I get 4 upgrade points toward Cat 2 if my math is correct.

"NCNCA alternative method to award Cat 3 to 2 upgrade points. Min of 20 riders. Winner gets 1 point plus 1 additional point for every 10 riders in the race up to a maximum of 12 points. 2nd place gets 2 points less than 1st, 3rd gets 3 points less than 1st, 4th place gets 4 points less than first etc. Examples in a race with 30 riders 1st gets 4 points, 2nd gets 2 points and 3rd gets 1 point. In a race with 100 riders 1st gets 11 points 2nd gets 9 point with 8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 for places 3rd - 10th."
Be nice if they did something like that on the 4 to 3. Beat a field of 30 and you get the same number as if you beat a field of 100.
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Old 04-25-06, 09:18 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinokurtov
Be nice if they did something like that on the 4 to 3. Beat a field of 30 and you get the same number as if you beat a field of 100.
Here's the 4 to 3 upgrade requirements:

"Need 20 points in any 12 month period; or experience in 25 qualifying races, as a Cat 4, with a minimum of 10 top 10 placings that meet the requirements below. The 25 races can be over any period of time."

At the rate you've been going, I'd be surprised if you don't have 25 races with 10 top 10's
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Old 04-25-06, 10:20 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pizza Man
At the rate you've been going, I'd be surprised if you don't have 25 races with 10 top 10's
I'm close and should have been finishing things off in the next two weeks but that string of bad luck and getting sick set me back a bit. I'm hoping we draw the needed field numbers at some of our local races this month, so I can plug in a few of those in the mix.

It was a hard call between really focusing on a few races for the 20 point route, or doing some quantity for the 25/10 upgrade. You lose a little edge doing so many races, but the races I would have focused on I ended up with 3 mechanicals so I guess I went the right direction. Tough year, last year I had a win and two podiums by this time.

After the upgrade is out of the way I'm backing it off and then am going to work towards the Master's Championships in Minden and Diamond Valley. You should take a look at the roadrace, there's enough climbing to make thing interesting for you if you can work with your team on the flatter stuff.
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Old 04-25-06, 10:29 AM   #22
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Vino never rests he just races and races and races. He's sick very sick.

Pizza great job in your fist 3s race. I've felt like the jump from 4 to 3 must be the hardest. Your distances have gone up by a 1/3 or more and the competition has gotten stronger. Thanks for the report keep up the great work!
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