Snelling Road Race
February 23, 2008
February 23, 2008
8th Place, Cat 3
I was really excited for this race because it was to be the first road race of the season. I wasn't sure if I was going to be doing the juniors or the cat 3 race because the cat 3's field limit was full. I got to the race early in the morning and just squeezed in to the field of 100 riders. It was a 5 lap 65mile race. Ethan and I road through the neutral section of the race for only a few miles and then the race began. A few guys got off the front and there was a nice large gap between them and me and the pack, so I decided to bridge the gap to open up my legs. It felt nice to get going. The rest of the field came rolling right up on our wheels. A while later, still on the first lap, a new break started to form. It was a large one of 12 riders strong, including Ethan and me. We all started to form a paceline realizing we had the gap. It was perfect just enough riders to be able to stay away for the remanded of the race. Coming around through the first of 5 laps, I saw my dad along side the road smiling at him with joy. As we got further and further into the race the other riders in the break started to not cooperate, I have no clue why. Didn't they want to win I thought to my self. Then it happened, some guy riding like a jerk wobbled around and clipped Ethan's wheel. Ethan started in slow motion, it seemed, tipping over until crash he and Charlie Avis (Team Specialized Juniors) went don with a thud. I was directly behind them and played it cool and swerved around them into the mud, staying on my bike the whole time. Few I thought but still worrying about Ethan. It was a very strong head wind, and the break had a good 30 seconds on me. I new I couldn't bridge that by my self, so I slowly road awaiting Charlie to get up because I new he was very strong. He got up and road up to me and said lets go. Him and I just put our heads down and took about ten second pulls. We rode through on to our third lap with everyone cheering us on.
We hit the right hand corner and finally faced that nice tail wind. Charlie took a very long pull, and we were reaching them. I just really wanted to get back up there so I came around him for my turn to pull and just drilled it for a nice long pull. We were now back in that break. That was a close one! It seemed that every time we got to that back section with the head wind, nobody wanted to take a pull. They were all just looking around for someone else to do it for them, so I went up front a lot. It was hard; Charlie and I had to organize the paceline basically the whole race. We came through for the last time until the finish for our fifth and final lap. I was now starting to think a little about the win, and thinking this is definitely possible to do. My legs were feeling great. The lead motor was giving us the time gaps, so coming around through the back section we new that this break away would succeed. The other riders decided then that they didn't have to work as hard now, so I took quite a few pulls to keep it going without killing my self before the finish. Some of these riders were riding like sissy with the exception of a few riders. I don't like that. Charlie believed that him and I could get away with about 3k to go so I went with him on my wheel then shortly after he came around tacking a pull but they were right on us. Then with about 11/2k to go a guy went off the front I thought that he would get caught, I mean how could all of there guys let him go after all of this. That gap was slowly getting bigger. One guy even said 'well there goes first place' I thought to my self what are these guys thinking, there riding like sissy men, I want to win and I went with 1k to go took the right hand bend leading to the short slightly uphill finish. They caught my and came up to my wheel. A few guys passed me and I came in 8th place across the line. I almost caught the guy he got us by now only about 4 seconds. After the race I was happy with how I race did and did not at all regret going with 1k to go, sacrificing 2nd place. I was not racing for 2nd place I was racing for the win. You got to risk it to win it.
3rd place, Junior 13-14
The day before the race my teammate Christian and I drove up together and arrived in time to ride the course a couple times before it got dark. In the morning we caravanned up to the registration area. After warming up all the 13-14s went to the start line, but right before the start some guy got a flat and we had to wait for him to change it. On the whistle we started out on the 3-mile promenade behind the neutral support car. When we got to the course the car pulled off and we started to ramp up the pace. Right away we were pushing a 30-mph pace line, I got slightly dropped on a small rise and had to chase back on the descent. The whole first lap I was barely hanging on to the lead pack of 5, but on the second and last lap I got my legs back and was able to stay with the group until the final sprint. I pulled ahead of one of the riders in my group but could not catch Marcus Smith and Alexander Freund. In the boys 13-14 race I made my first point-series podium of the year (even though they had no actual podium), and I earned my first points toward a Cat 3 upgrade.
This year was my first year at Snelling. It started with Joey, Anne, my Dad, and me going to Merced at about 11 am the day before Snelling. We stayed at the Vagabond Inn Merced. We got there at around 1 or 1:30. Ryan Grant arrived at like 8:30 and Stanley at 9:15. Joey and I had the chance to pre-ride the course, so we did. I didn’t think Joey would have a problem, and I knew I would be fine if I could power up the rollers. That night Joey and I were supposed to have dinner, but he and his mom wanted to eat early so instead we went to DiAngelos with my dad’s teammates. There were about 22-25 of his teammates present. It ended up being the right choice because we saw some of the Team High Road girls there. Since I had gone to the Team High Road presentation I had a folder with all the Team High Road bios. So I went to the car to pick up the folder so I could get their autographs. I wasn’t sure who was there and they realized I had the bios with and one of them followed me back to my table and pulled all the bios of the girls who were there. It was pretty cool. Team Roaring mouse (my dad’s teammates) were impressed that I got their autographs. The next day was Snelling. I got there at about quarter to seven. I wanted to make sure I got a good warm up. When we started to line up everybody started to get cold because it took a while to get everyone else started. Plus right before our start a Tieni Duro guy rolled on something, got a flat and had to change his tube!!!!!! We had to wait for him and my legs started to get cold. Half way through the promenade lap, the field started to split up a bit. I got stuck in a group with David Tisdell and two other Easton Specialized kids. After awhile I got dropped (I guess I didn’t warm up well enough because I got cold). The backside of the course was REALLY windy!!!!! I was only able to average 13mph on the backside. On the last lap, as you get closer to the bumpy section the wind started to ease up a little so I was able to go faster. One of the kids from my original group had dropped off and I caught him. We started to work together and I took the first pull. I was only going 16mph and he asked me to slow it down, I finally flicked my elbow and he pulled through. He was only going 11mph, so I decided to drop him. After that, I ate one of my GU’s and trudged on. Right before the bottom of one of the rollers I saw David Tisdell sitting at the side of the road. At first I thought he crashed. So I yelled ahead and asked if he was okay. He said he was but he had a loose cassette so I charged on. After eating my other Clif Shot. I turned onto the bumpy section. There were very few smooth sections, but the left side of the road proved promising. Before the last turn, I heard a truck behind me. And my dad yelling at me from it. I started to go harder, I turned then I started my sprint. At the end I clocked my self at 1hr and 51min. and I averaged about 17mph. I didn’t as well as I had hoped, but I finished strong and I was happy about that. This was my first real road race, but I hope to do better next year.