E3 (cat 3) Race Report by Nick Caster (May 5-6).
I started off April right; with a renewed commitment to training, focused miles, and lots of Pabst. The Golden State Race Series (GSRS)was coming up and I was the reigning E3 Champ (chump). I knew I wanted to win the overall again, rack up some points, and represent DDA. Jason and I had a plan, and in theory, it was a good one. Jason would usher me to the finish line, all 1800 watts of glory parting the sea of crit racers. I would then come around him for the win, sirens would sound, lightning rods would shoot from the tips of our one-fingered winner salutes. Back to reality where the race started uneventful. Standard E3 stuff, really. One guy goes, everyone chases. It’s like watching 6 year old soccer. There goes the ball, there goes all the kids. Repeat x 100. At one point I found myself off the front for half a lap and nabbed some pretty rad photos.
I decided to chill out and re-enter the pack. I heard one crash from the rear and a lap or two later, another crash. Turns out that crash was the now viral video of my old teammate Danny Mossman getting taken out by a rogue drone. I’m not saying I had anything to do with it. I’m not exactly a Tonya Harding fan, but were this women’s figure skating, Danny was Nancy Kerrigan and that drone was Shane Stant. Danny is okay, which is why I can lightly joke (heal up quick Danny!). Again, uneventful, but the green jersey competition (new to GSRS this year) did liven things up a bit on the front straight as fellow racers conjured up their inner Sagan and went for green glory. In the closing lap, I couldn’t find Jason on the back stretch so sat firm at 3rd or 4th wheel. Moves went and I surfed, staying right where I needed to be. Read the rest of this entry »
Race Report by Jason Smith.
We had one goal for the race, get Nick Caster onto the podium. We decided that nothing would get away unless Nick was in it and if it stayed together I would get in position to keep it long with me moving to the front so we would hit the last two corners 1-2 to lead him out. Nick was clear that I was not to let up on my lead-out, that I needed to just stay on the gas and when I ran out of gas, he would come around me. I was worried that starting the lead-out before corner 4 would be too far for me to get him there, but was hopeful that I could pull it off. Throughout the race we tried to be aggressive, each taking turns trying to get something going off the front, but nothing developed.
There were a few times that I thought about making a move for a prime, but in the end decided not to, I wanted to make sure I stayed focused on the finish. I knew there were a number of strong riders, including several guys from Rio Strada Racing that could all make it very interesting. Read the rest of this entry »
Folsom Winter Criterium M35+ 3/4
Race Report by Jason Smith.
Coming into the race, my expectations were high and I was feeling the pressure to do well for the last couple weeks. All week long I was playing out the way I wanted things to go in my head to mentally prepare for the race. The weather forecast was looking shaky, so I made sure to pre-reg so that I couldn’t back out if it rained.
Come race day, I was excited to break out the newly minted 2017 Data Driven Athlete Racing kit and was hopeful to get to be the first person to have it displayed on a podium. As we lined up, I began to take stock of who was going to be in the race and what I thought they might do. I knew that I needed to keep Nick Roberti, Danny Mossman and Jose Cuevas in my sights at all times, as they can all finish a race in a hurry. The race started pretty smooth as everyone seemed motivated to stay together, and it must have been apparent to the organizers because they started in with the primes. First up was the beer prime and Roberti was near the front. I knew he is a master prime hunter and while the beer prime didn’t interest me, I wanted to keep close in case it lead to a break. Next prime was $50 and since that was more than the race purse, it had my interest. I tried to be near the front so that I could make the jump after the last corner and it worked out. It was also a good chance for a little finishing practice and my race day was now paid for.
A break got away lead by Alex Velez of Folsom Bikes and they were staying away. At first I wasn’t too worried because the Tesla team had a full squad in the race and didn’t have anyone up the road. But Tesla weren’t at the front and break wasn’t coming back. Sierra Nevada then went to work with Greg Price of Rio Strada Racing and led the charge and got everyone back together with 4-5 laps to go. I knew at that point I needed to stay toward the front and make sure that nothing else got away. As we approached the last lap, it slowed down just a bit, then as we hit the last lap it ramped back up. As a result, I got swallowed up a bit on the long back stretch. As we hit the final curve, I was probably too far back, but feeling very comfortable. Nick Roberti really opened it up and the race for the podium was on. I probably came out of the final turn somewhere between 5-10th and looked for where my clear path would be. I let loose and began to make up spots. I found a slot on the inside and was able to come across the line first. Another great day on the bicycle, next stop Cat 2! (full results)
What’s new for 2017? More focus on Master’s racing and some new talent.
New to the team for 2017:
Nick Caster – E3, from Rio Strada Racing
Jason Smith – E3, from Rio Strada Racing
Scott Hooper – E3, from Top Club CX
Jeff Scott – E3, from NorCal Hub
Nick has been around cycling most of his life but only really got the bug himself in 2013. Nick won the 2016 Golden State Race Series (E3) and is expected to win more in 2017 in order to impress his new teammates and new finance’ Tiffany.
Jason is known for his ability to dish out the power in a finishing effort and has done well in his short 3.5 years of racing by topping the podium with 4 wins and numerous top 10’s.
Scott Hooper is a stalwart in the local cyclo-cross scene and has been beating up the DDA riders in and around Folsom on weekly race/rides for years. We are hoping to give Scott the itch for more road and crit racing so he can show the rest of the region why we recruited him (plus, we don’t have to chase him down on the group rides anymore).
Jeff Scott is another local rider (Roseville) that has been causing havoc on the local group race rides the last year. He’s also shown a lot of promise in the cross arena along with his short time on the road. Jeff is a self-professed Crit lover and has amassed several wins in his brief racing career and we expect the winning ways to continue this year.
Returning from last year are:
Charlie Velez – E2
Travis Retzer – E2
Curt Mills – E2
Nate Dunn – E2
Chris Flower – E2
Tyler Janke – E1
Josh Keel – E3
Patrick Callan – E3
We must congratulate Andrew Shimizu for landing a spot with Mike’s Bikes racing team for 2017. We are thrilled to have been a part of Andrew’s cycling life over the last several years and proud of what he’s done for himself and our team. All the best for 2017!
With several riders moving up to the Cat 2 level last year and also becoming eligible for Master’s racing, we are expecting to put up some roadblocks to the other teams in our region while getting the top spots on the podium ourselves.
Data Driven Athlete Racing has always focused on being an aggressive team trying to make the race difficult in an effort to give our team the best chance to win. Our additions this year only fortify this commitment and go towards setting up the next several years of putting the throttle down each time we enter a race.
Data Driven Athlete – Science backed cycling coaching services
Barrell & Janke Law LLP – Family Law Attorneys
Race Rim – Locally owned and operated fully hand-built race wheels.
RPT Fit – Bike fit service owned and operated by Team member Travis Retzer