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Nor Cal Race Reports

Old 02-11-07, 10:57 PM
  #1  
Pizza Man
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Nor Cal Race Reports

We had 3 crits in the Bay Area this weekend and I haven't seen any reports, so I'll start.

I was glad I had registered for the Cherry Pie crit today instead of either of yesterday's 2 crits since it rained all day yesterday and today's weather was great. This was my first time racing a crit in the Pro/1/2 and I knew I was in over my head as I lined up next to Jackson Stewart and noticed that he, his teammates and many of the other teams had radios. I wish I had a radio too, I think some tunes would have helped. Then there was Fred in a full Predictor-Lotto kit riding a sweet Ridley Noah.

It was a windy day and the course had a moderate climb into the wind to the finish of each lap, followed by a 180 degree turn at the top.

Anyway, we were off and up to 30+ before I could get both feet clipped in. I knew I had no chance of winning so my only goals were to not crash, get a good workout and have fun. I quickly assumed my usual postion in the first 2 laps of a crit, hanging on for dear life at the back. But the race did settle down a bit and I was able to move up through the field to near the front. Since we slowed and bunched up several times as we hit the headwind I decided to "attack". No one realized I was trying to attack and just thought that I was happy to tow everyone along for a little while. I managed to stay near the front most of the time, but there were so many accellerations that if I coasted for a few seconds I'd find myself at the back very quickly.

I don't know how many people started the race, but we seemed to lose a guy or 2 every lap or so. 3 guys managed to break off the front and if I had the strength to go to the front and help real them in I would have, but I was just trying not to get dropped. With 2 laps to go Fast Freddy attacked and tried to bridge up to the breakaway, but all he managed to do was totally string out the main pack and drag us through a blazing lap. He sat up and let the pack (me included ) go by him. The pace on the whole last lap remained very fast & I just tried to move up a bit on any wheel that went by. I felt good, and wanted to sprint to the line, even though I was a ways back and sprinting for 15th at best.

Then with about 150M to go I heard a crash to my left, I was in full sprint and I could see from the corner of my eye that it was coming my way. I started veering to the right, but couldn't quite get out of the way. The guy in front of me and to my left fell right in front me, and my front wheel glanced off his back, but I was able to get around him without falling over, but was still 120M from the line, in my top gear and near a dead stop, so I just lightly pedaled in with the rest of the pack happy to have kept it upright.

No crash, great workout, and definitely a lot of fun.
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Old 02-12-07, 05:50 AM
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Nice write up! Sounds like one of those sprints where you'd need a pair of pliers to remove the chamois...
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Old 02-12-07, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Pizza Man
Then there was Fred in a full Predictor-Lotto kit riding a sweet Ridley Noah.
I misread that sentence as "there was a Fred in ..." and I thought it so very strange that a Pro/1/2 guy would make such a gross fan-boy oversight as to wear a UCI pro team kit at a crit. Then I realized you meant the actual Fred. As in Freddy Rodriguez. Wild.

--Steve
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Old 02-12-07, 07:24 AM
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We pretty much have one race in town where all the pros show up, and that's the CSC Invitational crit. I do think they have a cat 4 race too, so that'll be cool.

I'm always so envious of folks who live in (relative) cycling Meccas...
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Old 02-12-07, 07:59 AM
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I also thought you meant a fred until my jaw dropped around line 15. Awesome!
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Old 02-12-07, 08:16 AM
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I emailed my recap over to the racing equivalent of the Dali Lama, Vino (as in I pester him constantly with numerous racing question )
Pick your Flavor:

Apple:
Apparently Apple pie must be the code name for waterlogged crit race with lots of potholes. 4/5 race was 45 minutes and riders were being pulled not as the got lapped but almost the instant they went OTB.
Given the conditions, the pace was fairly fast and the entire group was strung out almost single file most of the time. About 10 min. from the bell I was feeling good and the field was down to about 25
riders when I got pushed wide in a corner (not intentionally, it was rather hard to navigate through the river) and was left with the option of the hay bale calling me in or smack right into a huge pothole. I hit the pothole and flatted. As I rolled off the course another rider offered me a front wheel and I did the NASCAR pitstop and got back out there only to be told by the official that I was out because I didn't make the wheel swap at the start/finish line. Day over.

Cherry:
Thanks to the Christian cycling team, we got some divine intervention with blue skies and sunshine in the E4 race. Course is a bit sketchy with lots of holes, reflectors, manhole covers and painted lines still wet from all the rain. Toss in the mandatory puddles and lets go racing with 84 of you new closest friends. Finish was uphill which was a nice change. There were 5 sprint bonuses in the race and I found myself starting to go for the first one when I realized I was burning matches sprinting for a gift cert for a restaurant in a city I would leave in an hour. I tucked back in and tried to stay out of trouble for the remainder of the race. The pace was fast enough for no real sprints just accelerations. As we rounded the last corner and the uphill sprint was on I jumped a little to late and was kind of boxed in. Two riders touched wheels next to me and one went down causing carnage 5 FEET from the line. I stayed out of it and finished 9th. Getting use to racing with that many guys all sprinting is going to take some time.
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Old 02-12-07, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by zimbo
I misread that sentence as "there was a Fred in ..." and I thought it so very strange that a Pro/1/2 guy would make such a gross fan-boy oversight as to wear a UCI pro team kit at a crit. Then I realized you meant the actual Fred. As in Freddy Rodriguez. Wild.

--Steve
I thought the same thing exactly.

Holy cow man, you raced against a 3 time US Pro champion and Giro d'Italia stage winner. How cool is that!
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Old 02-12-07, 01:24 PM
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Pizza failed to mention that he AVERAGED 27mph for the hour-long race... Way to go Pizza! See you at spin class where I KNOW I can hang with you...
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Old 02-12-07, 01:34 PM
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Ok so I don't think I am better than anyone else but am I the only one that knew it was Fast Freddie as soon as I read about the Fred in the PL kit on a Ridley?

Mucho impressed you hung with them and really did even better than that from what I read...great ride.
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Old 02-12-07, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by bdcheung
I also thought you meant a fred until my jaw dropped around line 15. Awesome!
Actually my jaw dropped when I heard him announced at the start and every time I saw him during the race. I'm hoping we got in a photo together. So far I've found one of him with a piece of my arm in it. I think I'll buy it and have him autograph it at the Tour of CA.
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Old 02-12-07, 02:27 PM
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autograph your arm?
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