The last time I did the Wente Road Race was 2 years ago when I was Cat 5; that day ended in me being dropped from the pack on the 2nd lap, soon making me loose my lunch on the I-580 overpass. You could say this race and I have some “history”.
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 »