New Year's Day 2011
by Jim Langley
While we didn't get the Team Bicycle Trip/Symatec win we were looking for, Mark Edwards taking second in the super competitive 45+ 1/2/3 and Joe Platin taking second in the packed 55+ 4/5 field was an awesome way to kick-off the New Year and 2011 season.
I contributed, taking the last podium spot in the 55+ 1/2/3s. Also racing strong in Mark's race were Geoff Drake who finished 7th after a pack of 3 riders overtook him just before the line, Ken Sato in 9th and breaking into the elite 17-minute club) and Detlef Adam in 15th in his first race after a 17-year hiatus. Scott Martin took 13th in the 45+ 4/5s, one of the largest fields of the day.
Like the previous years I've done this fun race it was cold at the bottom and foggy enough toward the top that you weren't sure where the sprint marker or finish was. It's a 3.5-mile climb so it's about the length of the Felton Empire repeats we're all so fond of. But, near the halfway mark there's a right turn that drops you down into what I think is the San Bruno state park. So, you actually get a little descent to rest and get ready for the steep stretch the follows to the finish.
Mark said that it was shortly after this little dip that Cale Reeder put on the afterburners and blew the pack off his wheel. Mark chased but couldn't reel him in. It's the perfect place to do it if you've got the strength because it's bumpy and it kicks up again and your legs kind of quit on the descent and don't want to work again - at least so soon. In my race it's where Mac opened a tiny gap that he held to about 100 meters when Steve Archer sprinted around him for the win, while I could only hold my best pace to the line.
Joe's 55+ 4/5 race came down to him and Martin off the front. Joe held the lead and got clipped at the line by Martin Hyland who we are friends with from the Low Key Hill Climb series.
Here are some photos and captions. The podium shots are from Carl Nielson who finished 3rd in Mark's race and saved the say since the battery died in my Canon and Ken's cellphone's camera was clouded from being in his pocket.
|Cale Reeder (center), Mark Edwards and Carl Nielson: 45+ podium|
|The 55+ 4/5 podium: Winner Martin Hyland, Joe Platin and Daryl Nelson|
|55+ 1/2/3 Steve Archer winner, Mac Carey and me.|