Red Kite #3 E4 & E3/4 Race Report

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Fun times in Livermore today. My goal for the day was to try and scrape up 4 upgrade points to finally free myself from Cat 4 Purgatory. I signed up for both the E4 and 3/4 race to increase my chances.

Elite 4:
Lined up with 42 other racers for this one. There were some familiar faces in the field which was a good thing, mostly I recognized riders who knew no better than to sit on the front and try and ride fast… I used to be one of them. Tucked myself safely in the front 1/4 of the peloton for most of the race, ended up off the front a couple of times but dialed it back to conserve. (on a side note, I hate racing this way, total lack of aggression). Things got strung out on the last lap but on the second to last straight the field ballooned and hesitated slightly. I pounced, powering away into the final corner, I was certain that someone had followed me up but when I looked back, I was alone. Knowing full well I couldn’t relax I sprinted my ass off to the line and crossed with 1-2 bike lengths of a gap. Win number 2 in the books, stoked to seal my upgrade points in the first race.

Josh Keel takes the win at Red Kite #3
Josh Keel takes the E4 win at Red Kite #3

Hit Play below and then fast forward to 2:30 to catch the winning move and sprint.

Elite 3/4:
This race was quite a bit harder than the 4’s race (go figure) it was also a lot squirrel-yer. It seemed that after my earlier win the field expected me to drag everything back…. not going to happen. I was fine if people wanted to go up the road if they wanted me to pull it back alone. If there was an organized chase though, I’d be right there taking pulls. About 10min into the race a solo rider went flying off the front and the field did nothing… his gap quickly grew to about 15 seconds and finally chases/bridging attempts began. At one point Metromint had a rider in a bridging break up the road when his teammate in front of me decided he wanted to be up there too. he starts laying down the power and dives into one of the 90 degree turns….. only to clip a pedal and go sliding across the tarmac. I thought for sure I was done… this was not a thin dude, boy was thick. I envisioned myself cartwheeling over him, race over, effed up. Lucky for me (not for him) he slid enough out of my way so that I only ran over his arm… with both wheels. I felt bad and did a quick systems check and carried on. A couple of laps later a rider from Team Leadout ended up playing pinball inside the peloton and went down hard… I felt bad, his bike was toast and he was pretty beat up. I wasn’t feeling too confident of my options going into the final on this one, fortunately Rio put 2 guys on the front with 4 to go and strung it out pretty well. Sadly they ran out of steam with 2 to go and so the yoyo race came back… One to go and I’m sitting about 15th wheel, not the greatest position but I’ll take it. Flying down the back straight and i’m sure this is going to end in a bunch sprint.. all of the sudden a rider rips it up the inside and I think to myself that this is the move. I spool it up and give chase, get away clean and attempt to bridge. By now we’re at the final corner, the guy I bridged to has imploded and I realize a bit late that I may have jumped the gun. I begin my sprint as soon as I round the corner when another rider flies by me…. I’m sprinting for 2nd. Sprint as long as I can but am caught by 2 more riders… ended up 4th. Great event, had fun and came home with 5 bottles of wine… can’t complain.

Josh Keel

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