Tuesday, February 22, 2011

3 Days 3 Breaks 2 sore legs

The past three days my teammate Matt Shackley and I did a mini stage race of our own from individual races in the southern central part of California. From valley of the sun stage race a week ago until redlands bicycle classic at the end of march we will be competing in a stage race every weekend, for some we will have as little a 2 days rest between them. This weekend however went a little something like this:

UCLA Road Race: The UCLA rr course was not exactly suited for me, with about 8-9,000 feet of climbing per lap and me not exactly being a climber it made all the sense in the world to go do it. the first lap was relatively easy Matt and I where sitting around the front waiting for the decisive move, on the first lap teammate Lars Finanger decided that he was going to make the move. After the climb lars was a wee bit tired, being a big boy as well climbing not a strong suit he hung out keeping pace on the climbs to finnish the race. on the second lap there was a break away with a lot of good contenders in it, this was the move that I decided to get in! there where 6 of us for a little while but for me the climb proved to be a little too much, I went back to the
peleton, but the race was not yet over. I started to unhitch at the top of the climb, a long way into the pain cave from the breakaway I thought I might not catch back on, but about half a lap later I was back. When I got back to the group the impetuous had disappeared from the group, however I was not going to let that happen. I started to work at the front and the rest got the idea that this race was not over. Matt, Chris Burnham and I did a lot of work at the front to bring that group closer while Pascal Bonaventure and Orion Berryman sat in. On lap 3 it started snowing, second race in my career that has been in a snow storm, and they where both in Southern California go figure. This lap we did alot of work to bring the field back to contention again, right at the top of the climb I began to unhitch again however this chase back to the group was a bit easier. When I got back to the group I had decided at this point or maybe a few laps ago that I was not going to climb myself back into this race, and was now working. After doing a good amount of work up the climb on the 4th lap, this time the hill proved to be too much, I did what I could now it was up to the others, wreaked from doing a bunch of work and getting in the early break and a little cold I pulled out of the race. the group that was left was very small on the 5th and final lap and the finishing order ended up being,
Orion 6th, Pascal 9th, Chris 10th, Matt 12th and Lars 13th

Pine Flat Road Race: After UCLA Matt and I continued on to go the next few races in the Fresno area, next on the agenda was pine flat. The race started out real relaxed and slow, well we can't have that now can we? this is a bike race, rolling down the downhill in the beginning a group of 7 of us rolled off the front. When we saw that we had a gap we started to push the pace a bit more and grow our advantage, after 25 miles our advantage was near the 2 min mark and we decided to do a bit of weeding out. After a few attacks up one of the climbs we brought the group down to the 5 strongest guys and decided to roll with that. After the decent and a bit of flat the race official told us that the group was only 1:20 back so we had to push yet a little harder. At about mile 50 right before the climb, the attacks started to come out of the breakaway group, I was able to follow some, but when we got to the base of the climb that was it for me. I rolled in at about 15th position and matt rolled in slightly after me, It was yet another good day in the break.

Dinuba Crit: This being the first crit back from my broken collarbone I was a bit apprehensive about taking the starting line, however once I did the racing gears kicked in and there was no problem. Yet again in the first portion of the race I found myself in another break away, after a little bit however the accumulation of the weekend had proven too much to stay with the two others, and I slipped back to a group of 3. I was able to stay with them halfway through the race and then my legs could not handle the accelerations that where put forth by these guys. I was on my own doing work for a few laps then I decided that I need that little bit of a break from the wind so I waited for the group to catch me so I could find a few people to work with. When I got back to the group Matt was on the front covering moves and willing to do work, so I told him to attack. He put in a good few accelerations and when that didn't work, we needed an alternative. We both went to the front and put the hammer down to get a smaller group off the front, when we had 3 guys to do turns it was gold, unfortunately Matt slipped back to the group after a few laps. The rest of the race I was in a group of 3 working pul for pull trying to limit our losses, with the first 4 spots up the road we where going for 5th. Blake Anton put in the attack for 5th, doing a bunch of work to chase him back I ended up 7th, after all a very solid week of racing.

The true heros of the week where however our hosts in Fresno, Byron and Cindy Beagles. they cooked us a lot of food and gave us a place to sleep, and so much more! couldn't have done it without you guys. Thanks a Million!

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