Race Reports

Land Park Criterium

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In what’s become a NorCal tradition, the Sacramento Golden Wheelmen hosted a great weekend of racing – starting with the Land Park criterium Saturday and ending with the Bariani road race on Sunday. Here’s a quick recap of the 1st day at Land Park.

First off, the day’s weather was amazing. I (Curt) started the morning on the local Coffee Republic group ride with Eric, but turned back so I could catch some of the early races with our Castelli rep Andrew Nelson of Servizio-Corse. Andrew might be the most chill dude around and is always great to run into at races. To Mr. Nelson – thanks for letting us hang out under the shade of your tent and shoot the breeze, we really appreciate everything you do and feel lucky to have such a solid partner.

Shortly after spectating a couple races, Tyler and I lined it up in the M35+1/2/3 as a warm-up for the E3 race. That warm-up race was slightly warmer than anticipated and I suffered greatly in moments. In the end though Tyler and I both stayed safe and rolled in with the pack.

The next race was the Elite 3, and this time Tyler and I lined up with Nate, Casey, and Eric. Within 500 meters the race was fast and lo and behold, Casey was in the break. As soon as that break got caught, Eric ventured into a break of his own. This break was comprised of only two men, one of whom I’ve been reminded is still only riding with one good arm. Even so, the two men held off the field for what felt like 5-7 laps. Impressive stuff. Unfortunately for the break, a couple of the Golden Wheelmen riders were like, “what’s a bridge?”…and chased and chased.

Long story short, break gets caught and we weren’t very good from there on out. Luckily everyone finishes safely and we end the evening with beers and burgers at Pangea, and then a quick stop at Gunther’s. All in all, great day racing bikes.

Madera Stage Race

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Here’s a quick recap from our team’s trip to the Madera Stage Race – this weekends DDA roster included Casey, Eric, Nate, and me – Curt.

Time Trial:
Our team’s hopes in the “race of truth” hinged on Eric Brickler, who’s racing with one good arm (“to make it a fair fight”) – and Casey Fallon who’s ramping up for the Chico Stage Race in a couple of weekends. The two of them laid down solid efforts and landed just outside the top 10 (11th and 13th respectively) in a full 75 man field. Nate and I did less well, but remained in remarkably upbeat spirits all the same – really well done Nate and I.

Nate, back at it!
Nate, back at it! (photo credit: Alex Chiu)

Criterium:
Needing a fair amount of time to land in the top 3 in GC, we decided to do what we enjoy best and just race our bikes in the crit. This crit felt a little like a P/1/2 race where there’s this constant aggression until a break get’s established that’s agreeable to the field, only this field was pretty disagreeable and that wasn’t going to happen. The whole race attacks would go, get caught, then the counter would come – for 60 minutes this went on, making it easily the most difficult race we’d done all season.

Somewhere in the midst of the relentless attacks, Eric shows his incredible race savvy and unleashes his killer sprint to land a time bonus prime that moves him into the top 10 in GC. Again, all with only one good arm.

Finally with two to go Casey put in a perfect move, got a gap, and put the bit between his teeth (his words, no fake british accent used). The pack was caught trying to determine who was going to chase this down, I love this moment in races. Read the rest of this entry »

Coppertown Circuit

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The internal dialogue that was raging inside my head at 5:45 Sunday morning was leaning towards me sitting out of the Coppertown Circuit race that day, but for some reason my usual crutch of excuses were failing me.  Looking for that extra push of motivation I asked my teammate Case (money-big-time) Fallon what he thought, only to be replied with a throwback picture of Renshaw leading out Cavendish, HTC days, with the caption “let’s do this”, right there I knew what I’d be doing with my Sunday. Read the rest of this entry »

A Soggy Weekend of Racing

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I approached the weekend given the weather forecast with complaints and talk of being risk averse.  Lately I’ve been trying to make better decisions given responsibilities I have or whatever should be focused on rather than going around in circles at 30 mph in a down pour on one inch of rubber.  After much noise, I decide to race with the Data boys and indulge in some early season racing; rain, responsibilities, or not.

Bicycles Plus E3 Winter Criterium – Saturday February 8th, 2014

After riding up to Trailhead Coffee with the boss-man Nate Dunn I changed into a dry kit at Blue Ravine ten minutes before the race.  Soaked when the whistle blows minutes later, let’s see who wants to race in the rain.  I think I calmly took about half a lap of getting blasted in the face by rooster tails before deciding I would attack…the conditions were possessing me but my legs were telling me to chill the F out.  Must have been about three or four attempts to get away then Mr. Garrett Marking put in a savvy little dig just before the speed zone (quick tail wind section on the backside) and I zipped up to him and figured we could give it a go, why not, who cares if we are only ten minutes into the race? Read the rest of this entry »