Saturday, January 31, 2009

Good Old Poor College Kids Firestone Santa Ynez RR

Off and on road race over the years, has gone by a lot of names, today's edition used some subset of those words in the title. What a venue. You wonder why Pro teams come here for training camps? Nearly pristine roads and typically awesome weather. Like today. Those of you waiting until Blvd RR to start 2009, hey, check the weather forecast!

But seriously, the UCSB Cycling Team did a terrific job promoting this race and hopefully they raised some good money for their season. Judging by the (mostly) large fields, I'd say they banked a few grand. Nice.

I will start with my own race, because, well, this is my blog. More categories and pictures will follow below, including a stacked pro/1/2 race, but you need to read every word of my race report or else my blog will take control of your computer and then send non-stop love letters from your email account to Britney Spears. [Note to self: don't blog after drinking wine on empty stomach]

You know you're not focused for the race when you: forget your race license, forget your race wheels, and forget to arrange a feed. Fortunately, I remedied the first two before the start. The feed issue didn't dawn on me until my bottles were empty. Doh!

40+, 2 laps for 67 miles, ~45 starters
From the gun, Greg Leibert from Cynergy rolled pretty hard and, shockingly, there was no reaction from the field. Obviously many of these guys are not SoCal regulars. I wasn't about to let him TT away so I scooted on up with two others attached. Couple rotations and we already had a thirty second gap. Hmmm... 67 miles rotating with four guys? Why not? Over the little bump of a hill and we looked back to see Todd Darley (Cynergy), Joe Wenninger (Cynergy), and Dave Gonyer (CA Pools) motoring up. Greeeat, now Leibert had two teammates. Our gap stayed at about one minute for the entire lap. At both turn-arounds, we could see the field was still motivated (with dudes like Mike Hecker and David Larsen pulling hard) so we never let off the gas. Going into lap #2 we were seven, but we dropped two quickly, the numbers really favored Cynergy (3 out of 5). At the far turn-around, with 16 miles left to race, we saw that the field finally cracked and that our gap was safe. On the return leg, Greg was strong and one of his surges popped his two teammates plus Gonyer. Lucky for me, so I started pulling hard and within a few minutes we were totally clear. I was dying of thirst and totally fixated on Greg's half-full bottles. Refreshing water sloshing around... I almost conceded the race in exchange for a swig! (Then I thought about C-Walk and his 90-mile training rides on a single bottle.) Final time up the little bump and I pushed hard enough so Greg didn't try any funny business. If he got a gap on me over the top, with 5 miles of false-flat descending, it would be all over. Fortunately he didn't, and we rotated together until about the final KM, upon which he jumped me after my pull. It was all I could do to pull him back, and then I locked on and he was stuck in front. I jumped at ~200 M and came by to win by half a bike.

30+, 67 miles, only about 25 starters
Small field but stacked. The rumors about Jamie Paolinetti's return are true. He won. We will probably be saying that a lot this year.

Sorry, no pictures of this race other than a hard-to-read list of hand-written results.

Cat 5, one lap 34 miles, 50 riders (full)
I arrived at the hill in time to see the final surge up the hill, led by Chicken Ranch and Team Platinum Performance.

A group reassembled over the other side, but big bad Derek Johnson easily won the gallop to the lime. Congrats Derek!

Photo courtesy of Goodman Graphic.

Here are the rest of the results from that race. Lots of SB locals high up in the placings!

Cat 4, one lap 34 miles, 100 starters (full)
A burner of a race. My Platinum mates rode strong as a team and snagged the silver (Tom Anhalt) and bronze (Doug Urbach). Key work done by Steve Weixel to make it fast into the finale. Crucial for a narrow, one-lane finish.

Photo courtesy of Goodman Graphic.

More SB'ers in the top-10: Ray Turon (Chicken Ranch) and Bill Lupo (Echelon)

Cat 3, two laps 67 miles, big field (not sure of number)
World's strongest Cat 3 --Chesta-san Gillmore-- pounding the hill toward the end of the first lap.

...with Matt "Chicken-Ranch" Benko nipping at his heals. A group of 10-15 formed down the other side and that was that.

A long sprint, with Matt as the highest SB finisher in 4th. HeyRon in 9th and Chesta in 11th. See him smiling back there? [Actually, I forgot to mention that a VERY STRONG rider soloed away from the break and won by a comfortable margin. Not sure who he is, but he was a horse out there! So the picture here is the sprint for 2nd.]

Photo courtesy of Goodman Graphic.

Read for yourself.

OK, until earlier this week, I had planned to do the Pro/1/2 race. Some things happened, including getting a bit of intel that the entire Team Type 1 pro squad would be racing. I wasn't in the mood for that kind of suffering. Throw in a few more random pros, like Aaron Olson and Ted King, and you could pretty much guarantee it would be fast.

The biggest shock of the day was to see M-Dubb lined up to race. No I did not photoshop in a picture of him. He really did it. Hairy legs and out-dated McGuire kit and everything! Very cool to see actually. He should be racing --for fun now-- because he is absurdly strong.

Great to see C-Walk in the new kit and rocking the Specialized bike! Nice to see AO do the local race too.

The boys from SLO (L-R): hardman Ozzie Olmos, wiley old vet Craig Nunes, and Pro Tour rider (!!) Brian Vanborg of Liquigas.

As expected, Team Type 1 dictated the race, and after lots of attacks, they established a select front group which they drove all the way to the line. C-Walk bridged up and rising star Vinny Owens got in there too. I think they were the only amateurs. In the final few km's, TT1 tried to keep the speed high but Aaron attacked them and messed up their plan. Well, not completely, since they still took first and second. Gritty ol' C-Walk hung on for 4th, a damn fine result in that crowd!

Photo courtesy of Goodman Graphic.

Cool to see Cookie rip off a good sprint in the next group. Any sprint in which you nip speedster Aram is a good sprint! Seth was right up there too, an awesome result for his first ever pro/1/2 race.

Photo courtesy of Goodman Graphic.

Yoza... that's a good field for January 31st!

The women's 3/4 race had a great turn-out and Susie Willett popped off a nice 2nd place. Sorry no pic, but here are the results. Cool to see lots of SB riders in there. Good job!

...and Women 1/2/3.

I don't mean to short-change the women's races but I didn't gather any stories or pictures. Hopefully some of our awesome-local-women-bike-racer-bloggers will scribble down some notes for us to read!

For more of John Goodman's incredible pictures, visit his gallery. Thanks for being there, John!

'til after Mothballs.


Anonymous said...

As I was telling someone yesterday, you are such a great ambassador for the sport. One who happens to be one of the best bike racers in the state. Very cool combination.

Anonymous said...

Mark--Thanks for the great summary. SB did awesome. Minor addition: I could be wrong, but I believe that these are pre-disqualified lists. Lots of riders were DQ-ed.

Drea said...

U R Amazing! Some of team type 1 roomed with a gal pal of mine, funny stories :) Not able to disclose.

Marco Fanelli said...

Anony #1-

Anony #2-
You might be right about some DQ's, but it looked like they were posting the names after the 15-minute protest period was over. Not really sure though. I must admit that I crossed the center line (barely) when Greg and I sprinted, but I think the moto condoned it because we came up fast on somebody from another race and it wouldn't have been safe to try squeezing between him and the line. No cars or any other issues. I like it when the officials use some discretion in things like that.

First off, congrats on your running-race win today. Are you going to win every race in 2009?? Second of all... No, no, no... you cannot drop a juicy morsel like that without some follow up. Private email will do just fine! Sworn secrecy on this end, I mean, it's not like I want to find salacious rumors to blog about or anything!

Drea said...

Oh no, actually I'm good at teasing :)

Dave Jacobson said...


great job.....You make me wish I was lighter and could climb like you....

TnA said...

If the results have the names, those are the official results (post any DQs). The preliminary results are just rider numbers...

Anonymous said...

Not true. Preliminary results very often have the names. Then the protest period, then official results sometimes have a signature from the commies.

Marco Fanelli said...

That's true (speaking as someone who has had his name scratched off the first version of the results!)

Plus, anybody who's ever raced at Sea Otter knows this. You look at the first version of the results and see somebody's name who supposedly won by 40 minutes in a one hour race. Then you wait another two hours for the corrected version...

But in the comment above, I was only talking about Saturday's race, and there they were waiting the 15 minutes and then posting names.

TnA said...

Yup...I was referring to how in particular they were running it on Saturday as well. The preliminaries were just bib numbers. The final results were the names :-P

Anonymous said...

Though check out the Cat 5A results. Derek won both 1st and 4th places! (I know he is big and bad, but that big?)

TnA said...

That's TOO fact, that's EXACTLY how they're recorded in the SCNCA results!

I guess that means it IS official ;-)

Genghis said...

Nice win, Marco. We will probably be saying that alot this year.

Jacob said...

Congrats Mark! Looks like C Walk is still as good as ever also. Say hi for me

Marco Fanelli said...

Thanks Chris and Jake!