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  1. #1
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    Copperopolis Road Race Report

    I love road racing OR Kevin I'm sorry I peed in your car.

    Drove up with Kevin (teammate) on friday night. Hotel was effing hot, sweat at night, dehydrated in the morning. Start the hydration Yoyo now.

    Woke up saturday morning and drove to the race. Got there w/ enough time to find a bathroom, register, and pre-ride the finish.

    Copperopolis works like this, Big Climb, rollers in the wind, small climb, crazy bumpy descent, repeat for 3 laps with a slight uphill finish just after the descent. I have 2 goals for this race, same as always.
    Plan A: win the race
    Plan B: Learn something that will facilitate Plan A next time.

    On the lineup I see a few familiar faces; the villiage pedaler who won Zamora and some teammates, and a guy on a Carbon Soloist (drool) that I think was at Ward's Ferry last weekend. A group of guys is talking about how they're cool because they didn't drink the kool aid and still have hairy legs. Whistle blows and we roll out. We roll out pretty unexcitingly to the big climb. About a third of the way up we're still just hanging out and I decide there's NO way I'm letting everyone take it easy so I push the pace at the front a bit. I try to keep the cadence a little higher this time (75?) because I've heard this will help save my legs for later. We get to the top and regroup and about half the field is gone. This includes the Sasquatch club. Awesome.

    The rollers are uneventful except that we manage to form an eschelon in a crosswind. THIS is why its so great to split the pack. Apparently, the guys left know what they're doing.

    The descent is insane. We're going 35, but if the road were smooth we would be going 45. I can't feel my hands they're vibrating so much. I'm avoiding potholes, gravel, rocks, shelled water bottles. Braking is futile because my tires are barely making contact anyway.

    On the second lap's big climb some guy in green takes off and proceeds to do the rest of the lap solo. The village pedalers organize the chase and are much more patient about it than I would have been. Kudos to them for being smart. We catch him at the bottom of the little climb with the intention of dropping him but he just hops right back on. By now I think the pack is down to 9.

    Then on the third lap's big climb he goes again! There's no way he can do that entire lap solo again but i'm feeling good so I go with him. I figured we'd wait for the group at the top. Once we get there, the group is nowhere in sight, we think there might be a 2 man chase, so we decide to work together but take it easy until the chase group catches up. This never happens and we slowly pick up the pace as we recover from the climb. Me and the green guy work together through the rollers, pass a lot of other group's stragglers, pass the juniors who started before us, and make it to the base of the small hill without anybody from our group in sight. Holy crap this might work. my stomach instantly gets queasy. I attack him halfway up the little climb and this sticks for all of 60 seconds. He counterattacks but I'm at that perfect cadence for standing and laying down the power. I decide he wants to work so i'm gonna let him. We make it to the bottom and hit the rollers before the finish. He's going 20 when he could be going 25. I'm 2 inches from his rear wheel and I'm not coming around for anything. 1km, still cruising. I've got all day, the pack isn't anywhere. I jump at 200M. I told myself not to do this at the beginning of the day. 200m Is too far. At least I remember to shift down this time for the incline. I look back and i've got maybe 3 bike lenghts on the guy in green. He's not on my wheel. Awesome. Time for pain. I keep pushing until I hit the line. I've got maybe 1 bike length but that's enough for me. Race Over. First win. Damn I feel happy. It's a cat 5 race but don't take this away from me.

    We finished about 4 or 5 minutes before the guy who came in third (the pedaler from zamora) but he had to solo most of the last lap in the wind. the field is either super far back or has dissolved.

    Drive home, I drank way too much dr. pepper at In-n-out and then there was a 20 min wait at the Bay Bridge toll plaza.

    Awesome.

    Plan A: achieved
    Plan B: Last week I learned that I descend faster because I'm heavier. This week I learned that crappy roads remove this advantage and I can't pull away in descents like I did last week. I think my heavier weight increases my rolling resistance over bumps. Also I need to remember to NOT JUMP TOO EARLY. I've done this in every sprint I've been a part of. I need to be less twitchy.

  2. #2
    Senior Member zimbo's Avatar
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    Nice job and congrats on the win!

    EDIT: Oh yeah, I was going to ask... Did you zero out the torque on your PT before the race?

    --Steve
    Last edited by zimbo; 04-07-07 at 09:15 PM.

  3. #3
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    hold on, havent even read it yet....going for a glass of wine =o)

  4. #4
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    wow read the whole thing without taking a sip..great story and congrats!!

    Ill be watching for you in the 4's

  5. #5
    Slow'n'Aero DrWJODonnell's Avatar
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    First, Great race report. 2nd Congrats on the first win. It sounds well earned and from my understanding, copperopolis is a big one out there. 3rd, there is no way that 200 meters is too far to jump from unless it is an uphill finish. 200meters is standard sprint distance - about 10-15 seconds.

  6. #6
    RacingBear UmneyDurak's Avatar
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    That was the worst race I have ever did! My legs felt better going last climb of everest challenge (on mile 80 or so), then when I finished.
    As far as I am concerned that race puts the end to the debate about "are road bikes durable". That descent was insane! I was flying 36+ without even trying and my handle bars were jumping all over the place. Heart rate monitor is another story thought, it died sometime on second lap.
    Congrats on the win. Personally I won't do that race again, until they fix the damn roads (which isn't going to happen.... ever!).

    By the way anyone know what else was going in that area? I was driving to Valley Springs (9miles from it), and there were signs about bicycle event going on. I am guessing some kind of tour?
    I see hills.... Bring them on!!!
    Stay calm and bring a towel.

  7. #7
    peloton surfing HillMut's Avatar
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    Congrats on the win!!! A 2 man break for a whole lap is brutal with the wind that was out there today, that makes the win that much sweeter...good work.

    The course was .. how do they say it? EPIC! My god, the only thing that could have made it more interesting would have been rain. I was suprised at how bad the roads were, even after all the stories I had heard. Atleast there weren't any deep potholes on the descent.

  8. #8
    Senior Member?
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    yes, I did zero the torque, and the numbers are remarkably less superhuman than they were last week.

    60min power = 278
    3 hr race = 259

  9. #9
    Veni, Vidi, Vomiti SteveE's Avatar
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    Your win even made the national news!!!!!

    Appleby win might be an upset, but not upsetting
    CBS News -


    "Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ...'holy *****...what a ride!'"

  10. #10
    Race to train jrennie's Avatar
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    While I agree that this falls under one of the have to race to appriciate it, it wasn't as bad as I though. During the race you just focus in and dont really notice the roads(except the buttery smooth part of the climb). Congrats on your win brian.

  11. #11
    Now Racer Ex Vinokurtov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrWJODonnell
    First, Great race report. 2nd Congrats on the first win. It sounds well earned and from my understanding, copperopolis is a big one out there. 3rd, there is no way that 200 meters is too far to jump from unless it is an uphill finish. 200meters is standard sprint distance - about 10-15 seconds.
    It's uphill.
    "I may not be as strong as I think I am, but I know many tricks, and I have resolution" - Santiago

  12. #12
    Two wheels is two wheels pelikan's Avatar
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    Brian, congratulations!

    *Note to self: next race find & stick to Appleby's wheel

  13. #13
    Racing iS my Training Pizza Man's Avatar
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    Great report, congratulations!

    That's a great one to win.

    As for my race (35+) that was one of if not the toughest race I've ever done.
    The hills were fine, it was the constant attacks on the cross wind section on the back. I missed a break with the 3 big teams in the race and had to work with a few other guys to bring it back. That about killed me and I was toast the rest of the way and I ended up 9th.

    By the way, Levi was there again, but I don't know how he did.

    Look, no Discovery uniform.
    http://www.pbase.com/bohebe/image/76813205

    What is that he's wearing?

  14. #14
    Carpe Diem bdcheung's Avatar
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    10/2 gear, the bastard child of the Armstrong-Nike relationship.
    "When you are chewing the bars at the business end of a 90 mile road race you really dont care what gear you have hanging from your bike so long as it works."
    ΛΧΑ ΔΞ179 - 15% off your first Hammer Nutrition order!

  15. #15
    Now Racer Ex Vinokurtov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pizza Man
    By the way, Levi was there again, but I don't know how he did.

    Look, no Discovery uniform.
    http://www.pbase.com/bohebe/image/76813205

    What is that he's wearing?
    Huh. I actually asked Johan if he (Levi) was going to be at Copperopolis this year and he said no.

    Will post my own report here in a few.

    Great job Brian! Did you get a medium shirt? They were out when I went to get mine so I ended up wth a large. At least I don't have to wear pants or underwear with it.
    "I may not be as strong as I think I am, but I know many tricks, and I have resolution" - Santiago

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vinokurtov
    Will post my own report here in a few.

    Great job Brian! Did you get a medium shirt? They were out when I went to get mine so I ended up wth a large. At least I don't have to wear pants or underwear with it.
    I laughed

    looking forward to your report as my wife wont let me ride on account its easter

    hmm is noon too early to start on nice cab?

  17. #17
    Now Racer Ex Vinokurtov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bayareawheeler
    hmm is noon too early to start on nice cab?
    Nope. And Zin's are appropriate after 10AM.
    "I may not be as strong as I think I am, but I know many tricks, and I have resolution" - Santiago

  18. #18
    Style-challenged platypus's Avatar
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    Oh baby, is this a hard race. I went out in the first group of 35+ 4/5's, but I got promptly left off the back at the base of the first climb. From there it was a nice 3 hour ride in the country. 20-25mph on the flats/rollers, and <10mph on the big a little climbs. Holy Toledo I can't believe how bad that descent is. I was maxing out my skills/confidence/huevos at 25mph.

    I can only assume I finished DFL, but at least I finished.

  19. #19
    cmh
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    Great job on the win and thanks for the report.

  20. #20
    Member Nacho Speedee's Avatar
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    I was in the 35+ 4/5 Group A race as well. My report...

    Someone blew a tire in the first 2 minutes of the race. Oy! We get to the climb and I'm feeling pretty good. I get up to the front and I'm riding comfortably until it kicks up steeply in the last quarter mile or so. I'm not prepared and I get gapped. We get over the top and I'm well behind the first two groups. Knowing that my race is basically over unless I give it all I've got, I put my head down and ride as fast as possible. 26 mph and I'm gaining slowly. Two others come up behind (thank you lord) and we work together to catch the pack. Finally, we're on and comfortably tucked in a group of 14 or so.

    I've got three other teammates in there so I figure we're golden. It's windy so nobody really wants to pull and we slow way down. A few people try to break but nothing comes of it.

    We come to the major descent near the end of the first lap and I think my eyeballs are going to shake out of my head. Absolutely crazy, but I'm glad they've patched the potholes because I don't know that I would have been able to see them. I get a few rocks kicked up into my glasses and mouth -- mmmmm...

    First lap is over and now I know what to expect from the first climb. I take the first part a bit easier, work on my gearing for the kick up, and stay off the end of the pack across the top. We all stay together through the windy section and we still have a pack of 14. Nobody is chasing from behind so the pace slackens. One of our guys attacks and I go with him, but nothing really comes of it. I'm realizing that I don't want to come down to the finish with 14 other riders, so I throw in an all-out attack on one of the rollers. Two guys come with me and we have a good gap. I'm thinking it will work until the two guys sit up -- ugh! The group catches up. We go over the last climb and down the descent even more crazy than the first time.

    On the final rollers into the finish, I'm at the back of the pack and ready to move up on the right for a final positioning and kick. But a group of 6-8 riders from another race is blocking the right side -- DOH! I move back around on the left, the sprint has already started, and I'm left picking up scraps. I think I ended up 8th or so. Arrggh! All that work, we had numbers, and I get out of position on the last sprint. My tactics need SERIOUS help!!!!! Off to Sea Otter...

  21. #21
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    Sounds like a brute of a race, congrats on a classy win!

  22. #22
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    i don't know if anything can be done about it, but we too had some almost serious problems with stragglers from other races. I had to bark at a few guys to keep them from working with us in the break (we get DQ'ed if that happens, right?) , and more when my partner and I were duking it out on the final descent.

  23. #23
    Senior Member JonRags's Avatar
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    Congrats on the win!

  24. #24
    Style-challenged platypus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nacho Speedee
    Someone blew a tire in the first 2 minutes of the race...
    I saw that fella. I thought to myself "uh oh, so it's going to be *that* kind of a party, eh?"


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