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.
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.
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.
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.