Sunday, May 11, 2008

SoCal District RR Championship -- Pro/1/2 and Categories

Today's turn-out was much better! And from this participant's perspective, it was a great day of racing with everything you expect as a customer: on-time starts, safe course, quick and accurate results, and even some neutral feeds. Thank you Bakersfield, Kern Wheelman, and Sam Ames, et. al.

The only thing you could do better is to bring back the Woody course for next year!

Quickie Report from Pro/1/2 Race

In 2007 I got into the early break and despite getting popped eventually, I still managed a 10th-place finish. The effort probably took a year off my life. Worst cramps in memory and untold cell damage from rampant free radicals!

I wanted something more enjoyable for 2008, so both Cookie and I opted to play it conservative and sit in the group for the early going. And a good sized group it was, with about 75 starters rolling out for three laps (93 miles). As per my pre-race comments yesterday, the All-Star Green Giants and the LaGrangian Nation were by far the biggest teams represented, and they quickly established the early break. Now, I can't give you accurate information because I was so ensconced in the shelter of the pack that I didn't even see who went up the road. Eventually I heard it included Jorge Alvarado (LaGrange) and Adam Livingston (Green Veggie Oil). From that point forward, the remaining 15-20 guys from those two teams did an outstanding job of marking attacks and disrupting any meaningful chase. Got to give them due credit. Some strong dudes gave solid efforts (Rigo, C-Walk, Eli, Nat Faulkner, Marco Rios) but nobody ever got far.

Going into the last lap, the 3-man break had 2.5 minutes, but it might as well have been an hour. The field conceded that we were racing for 4th. By now Cookie and I both realized we'd survive the day, so we started putting out some efforts. All for naught as it turned out, and about 30 guys were left for the field sprint. I had an advantage, having done the sprint yesterday, and I knew it was a deceptively long drag slightly up-hill with some head-wind. Best for a waif like me to wait a bit. The fast guys like DeMarchi and Marco Rios didn't even notice the wind, but a lot of others did, and I passed guys left and right as they sputtered out a couple hundred meters early. Miraculously, I managed to once again get 10th place, last money spot, and with significantly less pain than last year. The difference, of course, is that this year I can't even pretend I was in the hunt for a win, whereas in 2007 at least I gave it a go. Oh well, sometimes you don't race to win, but rather just to survive.

Results and Podium:

Did you put your money on Adam like I told you to yesterday?

Women 1/2/3 Results and Podium:

...and I just noticed that the official results are up at SCNCA so you can visit there for all the rest of the races. Nice riding by teammates Smitty, Chesta, and Steve W. in the 3's and 4's in some large and tough fields. Thanks especially to Kim W. for feeding us today, and to Kevin Ryan who handed me a mussette with a bottle and a cold Coke.

Misc. Other Stuff

After more than thirty years of racing, I figure I've seen most everything, but I was wrong. We often race on roads with cattle guards and mostly they're just an annoyance the saps your speed and occasionally knocks out a water bottle. But today I saw something scary. Tom Githens and Karl Bordine (was it Karl?) got themselves caught in a cattle guard on the uphill and the front wheel on each of their bikes got stuck sideways between the bars. Bikes and bodies flipped right beside me as I scooted by. Karl rejoined but I never saw Tom again. Let's hope he's okay as he's signed up for Mt. Hood with the rest of the LaGrangians.

Also sorry to hear that C-Rancher Brett went to Bako and had an unfortunate crash on the descent. Get well soon Brett, and buy some Tagaderm!

And finally, not provoking an argument here (really, I promise) but I'm curious why so many riders decided not to race in Bakersfield this weekend. We had a strong local showing last year but the SB group was much smaller this year. I'm really just wondering why. I spent some time talking to Sam Ames, the main man behind this race, and we were lamenting the turnout (Saturday mostly; Sunday's fields were good). He's genuinely interested in making it a great weekend of racing that attracts big fields. What must he change?


Steve Weixel said...

I saw Brett riding back as I was starting my second lap. There were a couple of other riders trickling back as well. And one looked like he was holding his chest, and I saw a few ripped jerseys and torn numbers, so I figured something happened.

I also saw a few guys standing on the side of the descent my first time through. I wonder if that was related to the cattle guard incident.

Wracher said...

First off - congrats on some good racing Mark. In the podium photo two days in a row - you do us old guys proud!
On to Bako, it just peeves me to no end that just as I decide to take some time off, my old training roads turn into state champ courses - oh well. I don't think folks, that have only driven through on the 99, realize how good the riding is to the east in the Sierran foothills. There are many loops that could turn into killer RR courses, and as you say the Woody course is one of the best! PS congrats on beating MKA - I was only able to do that once, up at Mt.Hood and only because of a mechanical. Those Worthy boys are tough as nails.

Kimberly (aka. DrKim) said...

For me, it was merely that next weekend is the Kern women's stage race...which is a 4-stage race which DOES include 72 miles on the Woody course, and I just didn't want to drive to Bakersfield two weekends in a row.

TnA said...

For me...let's see...Daughter's First Communion on Saturday followed by Mother's Day on Sunday.

Hmmm...Bakersfield is going to lose out over those 2 for me every time.

anony-miss said...

For me, I'd get dropped on anything over 3% grade, so no-do.

Anonymous said...

What this? You couldn't give my teammate a madison sling? I thought you liked us? Good job Mark!


P.S. I was registered for the 40+ but climbing driveways puts me off the back of a group.

Marco Fanelli said...

Hey Bud-

When I passed Pat, he shot me a look that said, "Dude, why are you sprinting so furiously for 10th place?!?" least that's how I interpreted it... So I should have responded with, "Dude, when you get to be my age, you'll sprint for 10th place too!" And besides, the prize money almost covered the gas to get home.