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Mt. Tam Race Report

Old 09-16-06, 08:17 PM
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Pizza Man
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Mt. Tam Race Report

52 weeks ago today I did the Mt. Tam hill climb as my first race. To my surprise, I won my division (35+ Cat 4/5) in 44:48. From that point on I became obsessed with bike racing.

Here's a brief description of the course: 12.5 miles. 1st 4.5 are pancake flat along the highway, the next 4 miles climb 1500 ft, and the final 4 miles are rolling with a net gain of 550 feet.

Today I was one of the first to arrive early at registration to pick up my number. Only 9 of us had preregistered in the Pro/1/2 division, but I knew there would be several race day sign-ups. The guy in line in fromt of me was signing up and picking up #10. It happened to be Ned Overend...


Cool, I get to race Ned Overend!!

Wait, I have to race UP A HILL against Ned Overend!!!

So I get in an extra long warm-up and head over to the start. I see a guy I know who had the best time in this race last year on a Cervelo R3 with all the lightest drilled out components available, no bottles or cages, spedometer or anything else that might add a few grams. I ask him how much it weighs. He smiles and says "12 pounds, 10 ounces". I pick it up to verify and it definitely feels like it's at least 4 pounds lighter than my 17pound 4 ounce Felt F2C. I'm feeling uncomfortable about dragging an unnecessary 4 pounds up the hill, and that I gotta get me a bike like that for next year.

So, we're off and before I can get clipped in Overend is accelerating like we're in the final lap of a crit. The move is quiclky covered and within a mile we've got a nice 17 man rotating paceline going. We cover the first 4.5 miles in 9:55 (27.2 MPH Ave)

I accidently hit post, before I was finished, so here's the rest of it.

As soon as we make the turn and start the climb, Lucas Euser (TIAA CREF) attacks. I didn't know it at the time, but this guy was the KOM leader in after stage 4 in the Tour de Georgia this year.

The rest of us respond to match his speed, which seems brutally fast, but we remain about 5 seconds back when all of a sudden the guy in front of me loses a spoke. Since I'm no longer on anyone's wheel, I decide this is a good time to try to bridge up to Euser even though my HRM maxed out about a minute ago.

I bridge the gap, but bring Overend and a Team BMC rider with me. The pain level decreases from excrutiating, to almost tolerable when I get on the Euser's wheel, but this doesn't last long since Overend decides that this is a good place to attack. Euser covers and I manage to keep the wheel, but we lose the BMC guy. Euser and Overend continue to trade pulls (I think "attacks" is actually the correct term since we're climbing an 8-10% grade), while I just focus on the wheel in front of me. On a couple occasions one of their attacks drops me, but each time I'm able to get myself back on. The course flattens out a bit as we approach the summit before the rollers, and I'm able to recover a bit (a very little bit) and take a pull as we hit the top in 28:25 (18:30 for the 4 mile 1500 ft climb).

I continue to lead over the first roller and down, and just as we start the second one Euser attacks with a short burst. Overend covers and gets on his wheel, but I'm out of matches and I get gapped.
Their lead grows on the short descent, and even though I'm able to get real close on a couple of the rollers, I never can quite get back on and I come in 3rd 19 seconds behind Euser (1st) & Overend in a time of 40:50, nearly 4 minutes faster than last year!!

Now it's time for a beer and some time off....

Last edited by Pizza Man; 09-16-06 at 08:47 PM.
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Old 09-16-06, 08:36 PM
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what! wheres the rest! no teasing
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Old 09-16-06, 10:08 PM
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Wow. Great report. That's really inspiring what you did in a year. I can only hope for similar results with some hardwork this winter. Congrats on the great time. For some contrast, I finished 12th in Cat5 with a time of 47:59.
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Old 09-16-06, 10:12 PM
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A stupid mistake cost me first in the 4's Love the race though, always fun.
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Old 09-16-06, 10:53 PM
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that really is amazing.. i hope to have progress like yours as well.. but its probably going to take me 3+ years if i ever make it that far...
you definately deserve that beer. great job
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Old 09-16-06, 11:13 PM
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man you guys killed it! way to go!
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Old 09-16-06, 11:39 PM
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Nice... racing against Overand and Co. and hanging! I don't know if you get it, but there's this weird sensation of being in a race and actually competing with (and occasionally beating) guys who you thought were untouchable 12 months ago. You look around in a race and go "Holy smokes...that's XYZ!"

Makes we wish I had more build years...and talent

Go do the Pro 1/2, pick the races that suit you and die trying.

And let me know if you want to borrow the light wheels
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Old 09-17-06, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by BigFloppyLlama
A stupid mistake cost me first in the 4's Love the race though, always fun.
Do you ride for Webcor? My teammate Dan (the guy who got first) was talking about you and said you were super strong. Anyways, sounded like a tough little duel at the top.
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Old 09-18-06, 03:08 AM
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I live in the area and was unable (also too fat) to compete. Just for time comparisons, where exactly were the start and finish? I'm very familiar w/ the route.

thanks
B.
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Old 09-18-06, 09:58 AM
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Pizzaman! He delivers!

I saw the relaxing beer, but I assume you had pizza with it as well.

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Old 09-18-06, 11:53 AM
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wow, good job hanging with that level of riders! I'd be psyched out if I had to line up next to Overend on a hillclimb race.
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Old 09-18-06, 02:10 PM
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So in 52 weeks (one year) you went from a cat5 to a cat1-2??

Holy crap thatís amazing! I had my first win this year at the LOTOJA and also have the bug something baad although I donít see myself going any higher then a cat3 as my wife insists I raise my kids The boss is also pretty adamant about me showing up for work when I'd much rather be riding solo centuries
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Old 09-18-06, 03:35 PM
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Man that's impressive....go from a Cat 5 to racing with pros in a span of 1 year. And hanging on to the top 3.

Just imagine what next year holds in store.
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Old 09-18-06, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by skandal20
Do you ride for Webcor? My teammate Dan (the guy who got first) was talking about you and said you were super strong. Anyways, sounded like a tough little duel at the top.
Yeah, that was me. He also barely got me at University, although that was an incredible ride on his part, something like 10 laps out solo, well deserved. He's an amazingly strong rider and hope I'll see him (and his socks ) early next season.
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Old 09-18-06, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by BigFloppyLlama
Yeah, that was me. He also barely got me at University, although that was an incredible ride on his part, something like 10 laps out solo, well deserved. He's an amazingly strong rider and hope I'll see him (and his socks ) early next season.
metromint rider?? ya... that was a hell of a ride at the university RR!... So was your last lap!!
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Old 09-18-06, 05:58 PM
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Nice work Pizza!!!!
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Old 09-18-06, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by HillMut
metromint rider?? ya... that was a hell of a ride at the university RR!... So was your last lap!!
Yeah, Dan's the Metromint rider with the pink socks. Thanks for the compliment
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Old 09-24-06, 12:29 PM
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That was a fun course. I flatted in the first mile, though. Big slash in the tire, me for once without a Clif bar wrapper, I booted the tire with some electrical tape from my bars instead and pumped it up as low as I dared so the tape wouldn't rupture. I even broke the valve off pumping it back up but it continued to hold air, so I got back into it maybe 10 minutes down...I was in the first cat 5 group, got to watch the second one zip by as I futzed with my tire. I knew I was WAY out of it so I didn't stress trying to catch too many people, but I got around several from the second group of 5s and a handful from my group, so I didn't finish DEAD last. Didn't even bother to look at the results until they were posted online. Looking forward to doing it again next year, though. The weather was amazing, great day for a ride.
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Old 09-25-06, 09:03 AM
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Well done.
Makes me wish i lived in nor cal...you guys get all the good races.!
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Old 09-25-06, 09:29 AM
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Wow. 1500 ft in 4 miles = 375 ft/mile. At 18:30 for the 4 miles, you guys averaged 13 mph!
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Old 10-01-06, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by rm -rf
Wow. 1500 ft in 4 miles = 375 ft/mile. At 18:30 for the 4 miles, you guys averaged 13 mph!
Lotta sandbaggers in the lower cats these days. I looked at the results...the winning times for E5 and Pro 1/2 were only about 2 minutes apart.

The sport is growing fast, especially in this area, and we're seeing a flood of new talent. Kinda dreading what the 1/2 races will look like a couple years from now.
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Old 10-09-06, 09:17 PM
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Pizza Man's achievement has not gone unnoticed...
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Old 10-09-06, 10:55 PM
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I think Pizza's ready for bigger and better.
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