Thursday, June 25, 2009

Pescadero Road Race (elite 4, 2nd place)

I woke up around 5:30 and looked outside to see the fog so thick it may as well have been raining so I quickly stuffed some rain gear in my bag before Ed picked me up at 6. As we rolled up to Pescadero we chatted about cycling and before I knew it we were rolling in to the highschool. This was my first race as a 4 so I was honestly a bit anxious to see what it would be like with a potentially faster field of 77 guys. So my race began and as we hit Stage road the peloton picked up the pace a bit and I fell into line about 10 back, waiting and watching. Once we hit 84 a couple guys tried to go off the front and I just sat in and enjoyed the free ride with the inevitable surge that ensued. As we hit the first feed zone 2 guys crossed wheels just ahead of me and went down amid sounds of crunching carbon and hissing tubes. I shook my head and thought, "so this is the 4's huh?". As we hit the first run up Haskins I soon found myself at the front grinding a steady pace in the saddle, conscious of my tempo and respiration rate so as not to dig too deep. When I hit the top I took a look and saw a Third Pillar rider and a Taleo rider about 25 meters back. I sat up and let them catch on and the three of us rolled down to the flats on Pescadero Rd enjoying being out of traffic on the descent. The 3 of us continued to work well together but we all agreed to pull through nice and easy since it was obvious we were going to get caught with so much flat ground ahead, which is exactly what happened as we neared the turn off to the highschool. As we neared the first hill on Stage I went to the front and upped the pace and I could hear heavy breathing behind me as I began the descent down into the saddle I let a couple bigger riders get ahead of me and I just sat in their draft. As we began the second climb on Stage I again went to the front and pushed the pace and as I neared the top I looked back to see some pretty tired looking riders and the pack pretty strung out. As we descended Stage and turned onto 84 I sat in on the wheel of my Third Pillar break-mate who had 2 teammates pulling ahead of him. I continued to sit in on the Third Pillar team until the base of Haskins. At this point I point I spun as hard as I could while remaining in the saddle dropping everyone but it seems I went a bit too hard too early as I pretty much blew up a couple hundred meters from the finish and held on for second, obviuosly not quite as good as winning but I at least I didn't have to regret not being aggressive enough.

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