Saturday, February 2, 2013

CCCX Circuit Race #1, 45+ 3/4, 2/2/2013

By Dennis Pedersen

I signed up for this race on Monday morning... and promptly came down with a cold Tuesday night. So I wasn't sure I'd be up for road-racing at CCCX on Saturday. But it was just a head cold, and a short ride on Friday reassured me, so I hit the road to Fort Ord after my usual race-day breakfast. Bob Montague lined up too; I was very happy to have a teammate with me.

It was cold with dense fog so we wore warm base layers, plus arm- and knee-warmers. I opted for no lenses too as they'd just fog up anyway. I now road-race on my 2007 Giant since I sold my 2009; I would rather invest in track gear at this point.

Right from the start I was at the very front, pulling the small pack of a couple dozen guys. A few from SJBC and from Bicyclebluebook.com took pulls too, but most seemed content to follow wheels. I didn't mind because I was just training anyway and I could justify my extra  work as helping Bob to sit in.

Each of the 5 laps over the rolling hills was about 12 minutes; 1 minute slower than I'm used to. That really made my legs happy! Even though I spent the whole race at or near the front I still felt I'd be able to contest the increasingly-likely sprint finish. This course finishes on a slight climb which helps small sprinters like me.

I'd marked a few guys to watch, but in the end they were not contenders. Instead a few sprinters who had sat in moved up on the last lap. I probably could have tried a breakaway on the last trip up the "stair-step" climb on Eucalyptus Road, as Bob later told me he'd considered, but I felt confident enough in my sprint to rest a bit instead.

Even so I was again at the front as we descended toward the last two turns. That enabled me to watch for guys who started their sprint early... as one guy did. I watched him on my right when he dramatically unclipped from his pedal, almost crashing. I followed another guy until he faded, then moved behind the guy who'd unclipped; he'd recovered enough to be first with two turns to go. Out of the last turn I jumped past him with a healthy gap up to the finish line for the win. Got $30 cash too.

I'm under no illusions; this race would be much harder with my usual 45+ 1/2/3 crowd. But I'll take this rare road-race win as the accomplishment it is for a slow old guy like me.

4 comments:

George Janour said...

nicely done dennis!!!

KarentheSlogger said...

Not bad for a YOUNG old guy!
-Karen

KarentheSlogger said...

:-)

Dennis the Mennis said...

You people are too nice, thanks!