Sunday, March 13, 2011

CCCX Road, 45-Plus 1,2,3; March 12

By Geoff Drake

Dennis and I carpooled down to Fort Ord at the very sane hour of 8:15 am. As usual, he invited me to go to breakfast beforehand. As usual, I refused. It’s a running joke between us. For the life of me I can’t figure out how the guy inhales all that food before a race. Or where it goes, since there isn’t an ounce of fat on him.

It’s my practice to stay among the top 10-12 riders in most races, to better monitor things and stay away from potential crashes. The cool thing was, every time I looked around, there was a phalanx of white jerseys right up there with me: Russ, Miles, Dennis and Ken. What a pleasure it is to ride with such a strong group of guys!

On the third lap, John Novitsky rolled off the front in the company of two others. It looked like the right move to go with, but I decided not to jump right away—I figured it was better to let them get up the road a bit and then jump hard across the gap, hopefully leaving the field behind in the process.

A few moments later, Dennis came alongside and we exchanged a knowing glance. Cool! He went to the front and gradually upped the pace, with me on his wheel. This was perfect, as it strung things out, and from there I just came around him, slingshot fashion, and sprinted across to the break. Thanks Dennis!

Since strong teams were represented in the break, we had plenty of help in the field slowing things down. Russ, Miles, Dennis and Ken did a fantastic job and we soon had a sizable gap.

At first our group of four was pretty ragged, but eventually we started working together. The last two times up the climb, Arthur Jones attacked repeatedly. I managed to bridge up each time, but the guy was obviously strong. Coming into the sprint, I was second wheel—not ideal, since I knew Arthur was right on me. At 150 meters I jumped around the first guy. As I headed for the line, I told myself I am NOT going to lose this sprint, but dammit, Arthur came off my wheel and pipped me at the line. I’m thinking it was only by a wheel. I even threw my bike, to no avail. Second place for me.

When I got home I was dismayed to discover that there was a miniature version of Mark Edwards on my right shoulder, whispering things in my ear. I tried not to listen, but it was no use. So I got on the trainer and did a 1x20 L4.

The next day, I had a nice notice from Larry Nolan in my inbox: I’m now a Cat 2.


Mark Edwards said...

Great race and report Geoff! I had to search the pictures for quite awhile to figure out who all we had in the race; a testament to how well you guys stayed out of the wind. There seems to be a more frequently occurring theme in recent race reports; everyone is either racing hard, or resting up for their next attack. Gone are the days of Bike Trip pulling the peloton around for no apparent reason. It's fun to see just how far we've come as racers - both as a team and as individuals.

Another stellar result against tough and experienced racers. Good Job to you, Dennis, Russ, Ken, and Miles!

And, a big congratulations on your upgrade! I don't think anyone has ever been more deserving.

Geoff said...

Thank you Mark!