Red Kite “Bump” Circuit Race (E3/4)
Race Report by Travis Retzer
We had a great team going into this race, and our goal was to definitely let our presence be known.
We rolled out at the base of the climb, and headed up on our first of 4 climbs (3 full laps of racing ahead). Right as the whistle was blown, 2 guys jumped up the road to form the early break. We established our position at the front of the group, waiting to pounce on any moves that looked promising. Some moves were made, but nothing that panned out.
At the mid-point of the second lap, Charlie made a great attack. He went on the flat section, leading in to the main roller. A couple of guys made different attempts to bridge, but we covered the moves, eventually ending up with their surrender to the peloton. After a few minutes, a group surged and pulled Charlie back. We made the 90-degree right hander, leading in to the climb at the base of Patterson pass for our 3rd ascent. I took advantage of an opportunity to move to the front. I looked at Nate, who was sitting in front (per usual), and he proceeded to say: “go time”!
I made a jump off the front, and tried to get as aero as this body will allow. I tried to settle into a rhythm, knowing I had to bridge about a 1 minute gap to the leaders. I came up on a SJBC rider, who somewhere along the way, managed to get out front, but was about 20 seconds behind the lead 2. He proceeded to jump on my wheel. Shortly thereafter, we got passed by a group of 3 additional riders, who proceeded to motion for a pace line. We started working together, and managed to catch the lead 2 just after the finish line, entering the bell lap.
The pace line wasn’t really anything worth bragging about, but we managed to hold a 45 second lead on the field, entering the climb for the last time. About half way up, guys stopped working together. 2 of us kept trying to drive the pace, in an attempt to hold off the field. To be honest, my pulls were getting a little shorter, partly due to fatigue, but also, I knew I had a monster of a team behind me. I knew that if we were to get caught, there was a plan in place to launch a counter-attack, prior to the finish.
Right before the last little hump of the climb, a rider launched a nicely-timed attack. It split our group of 7 in half, leaving me awfully close to no-mans land! Unfortunately for him, as he sat back down, he had rear-shifting problems; I took advantage of his misfortune, and jumped into the 3rd wheel slot as we entered the short recovery section, prior to the finish.
Based on a pre-race conversation with a buddy of Nate and Chris, I knew gear selection at the finish was critical. We entered the final 90-degree right hander, and I was 3rd wheel. Right after the turn is a short dip, followed by a short and sweet uphill (affectionately referred to as the “bump”), I stayed in my small ring, and dropped down on my cassette. The first place rider looked over his shoulder for us: as he turned back, I made my move, and gave it everything I had. I opted to stay seated and just power my way to the finish. I was able to sneak by the guys, opening up a few bike lengths of a gap for the win.
Tons of credit goes to my teammates! They showed great control of the front end of the peloton throughout the race, with a well-timed attack by Charlie. His attack was what allowed mine to stick. As I rode the break, I had a lot of confidence, and minimal pressure. I knew my job was simple: ride as hard as possible! I knew if things came back together, that DDA was going to be ready to make a strong move to the finish. Luckily, I managed to hold on.
Thanks to Nate, Chris, and Charlie for all of their help in that race. It was a great way to start off the season for the cat 3 division of Data Driven Athlete Racing.