Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sun, Feb 6

Let's talk about the Super Bowl XYZ$&#@ .... Just kidding. You can click here to read my Super Bowl essay, then come back here to read about bike racing.

Yesterday, it was my first official race of the 2011 season, the Ronde van Brisbeen. After four weekends of training crits, it was time to see what it feels like racing something other than the familiar course in Fremont. The RvB takes place in Brisbane, just north of SFO, and east of 101. I haven't found out why this race has a Dutch name. I was signed up for the Elite 5 category, and along with around 11 other team mates, we started at 8am. After a neutralized first lap, the pace picked up and stayed high. Over the next 40 minutes, I managed to stay with 4 of my team mates near the front, when I failed to bridge the gap to the rider in front of me, due to lapped riders sneaking in between. With five laps to go, I suddenly found myself all alone in the wind and fell back, until I got company for the last 2 laps from another team mate. I finished 22nd with approximately a 1/4 lap back. With a field of 47, only 25 managed to finish without getting lapped or dropping out, therefore I was ok with my placing.

Today, another race, this time the Cherry Pie Criterium in Napa, where the first three finishers' reward is, you guess, a cherry pie. It was an awesome nice day, sunny, clear, and 80F by the time the race completed. I was registered in the 35+4/5 category. Compared to E5, at least you don't have the young crowd in your race, but rather more mature riders, which makes it somewhat safer. It was a big field of 75 riders, and my goal was to finish better than Saturday, without the illusion though to get a pie. My strategy as usual is to try to stay near the front, and counter all surges. While the field stretched out at times, there were ample opportunities to recover, and with only 35 minutes race time, I felt comfortable to maintain position until the end. With one lap to go, I moved up among the top ten, and the pace unexpectedly did not pick up until the chicane before the hill finish. This is when I failed again to get out of the saddle and sprint. Instead, I stayed seated, and lost some steam on the final meters, placing 12th. While I could have done better, I was still happy, considering size of the field and competing with younger Cat-4's.

So, two upgrade points and no pie earned for this weekend, and having managed to stay out of trouble. Next Sunday, the official Early Bird Criterium; my goal: top 10 finish.

1 comment:

DBcycling said...

Hi there! I'm Dominic from the PenVelo Cycling team too. I raced with you in the 5's at the Ronde Van Brisbeen. I was one of the juniors, i had a blue Trek. I enjoyed your report(s). I'll be racing the Early Bird next week too, so see you there!