Race Reports

Cascade Cycling Classic, a Team Race

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IMG_0719In Northern California we have the pleasure of being graced with somewhat gentile transitions of the seasons; allowing those of us who choose to suffer on bikes in bright colored spandex with like minded individuals the chance of being able to race from the early pits of January till the colorful weeks of September. Well before this stretch of racing months are over, the riders who partake in this self-torture, like the seasons they ride through, endure undoubtedly their own personal seasons of change. Read the rest of this entry »

The Race Formerly Known as Leesville Gap

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Tiger Woods Fisting; Photo Credit: 2005 Getty File

Tiger Woods used to dominate the Masters, in his first nine attempts at Augusta he won four times. A win percentage like that in golf is almost unprecedented, let alone in a major as storied as the Masters. Tiger was as dominating a figure as the sport has ever seen. In the seven attempts since those first nine though, Tiger has won just twice.

So what changed? Well quite a bit’s changed for Tiger, but the reason many believe he’s not as dominant as before can be traced back to two major course alterations that occurred in 2002 and 2006. Those alterations were aimed at making the par 5’s Tiger was so accustom to reaching in 2 shots outside of even his range. Lengthening those holes would force him to play 3 shots to reach the green just like everyone else. These changes came to be known as “Tiger Proofing” the course. Read the rest of this entry »

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.

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Chico Stage Race Report – Elite 3

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Paskenta Hills Road Race 2014 - The Gravel Lap 1 (Photo: Alex Chiu)
Paskenta Hills Road Race 2014 – The Gravel Lap 1 (Photo: Alex Chiu)

Chico Stage Race hosted by Chico Corsa Cycling Club and managed by Mike Painter is the event I’ve been most looking forward to in the early race season, I’ve been planning for this race weekend since November really.  A 90 mile road race with two laps through a four mile stretch of gravel and a few well placed climbs, a challenging time trial that is usually windy, and Downtown Criterium finale add up to one epic race weekend.  My team has similarly been planning to hit this stage race for months.  Curt Mills setup a rental house; complete with pool, four bedrooms, three couches, multiple flat screens, and a large kitchen with bar stools for planning race strategy over beer, wine, and great food.  We had a near full squad of cat three guys ready to race (Curt Mills, Andrew Shimizu, Eric Brickler, Tyler Janke, and Casey Fallon), while a few key players were temporarily sidelined and sincerely missed due to injury (Patrick Callan, Travis Retzger) or family travel (Nate Dunn).  Collectively we planned to take this weekend by storm, and luckily for me the guys were willing to put together a race strategy aimed at landing me on the top step.  Their confidence in me was apparent upon arrival when I was forced to take the master bedroom; while some of the others took up couches, shared beds, or slept in a twin.  Confidence is a rare feeling for me but I did my best to start translating their humble support into a focused approach to the stage race weekend.  Here is how the race unfolded… Read the rest of this entry »