Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Pescadero Road Race

On Saturday, Carmi, Mark "Mastoras of the Universe" and myself carpooled to the Pescadero Road Race. The morning started with an Ensure, bagel, Clif Bar and medium iced latte with extra shot at the Java Detour - which has become a pre-race ritual. We got to the venue with plenty of time to change, warm-up and rub some BKW (Belgian Knee Warmers - a.k.a. Freddy's Choice) into the legs. The weather conditions were overcast all morning and Freddy's Choice worked like a charm throughout the race - a little too well in the shower 4 hours later. Anyway, Willem, Clauss and I rode for a few minutes before the race and eventually ditched the vests in Clauss' car only to find out the start had been pushed back 15-30 minutes. Antonio and Matthew joined us at the line and chatted for a bit before the Cat 4 A group rolled out to the hills.

The leaders of the main group set a moderate tempo on the way up to the rollers and a small group sprinted for a preem 10 minutes into the race. Clauss rode to the front of the main group and provided excellent support. Antonio, Willem and Matthew rolled up the sides of the group and made a presence on both climbs before the right turn on to 84. The main group worked together into the light head winds and our team placed themselves in well protected spots. Antonio and I rode next to each other most of the race and made a strong presence on the first climb up Haskin's Hill - we actually set the pace at the front and managed to out descend the main group with 4 riders trailing - who did not want to work together. Later, we re-connected with the main group and went into the second lap with a bit more pressure on the pedals. Willem, Antonio and I rode along the side of the main group again to place ourselves at the front on the descents to 84 with Matthew making an appearance as well. This time the main group rolled faster towards the main climb (Haskin's) and 3 riders made an attack - Willem answered with his aggressive style and managed to shell the Third Pillar rider pulling his teammates. This counter attack brought Antonio and I back to the front of the pack in excellent position before the right turn to Haskin's Hill. One rider attacked in the big chain ring towards the bottom of Haskin's and led a train of riders into the final climb. Antonio and I were in the 9th and 10th position going into the hill and worked back to the front of the group mid way up the climb. I pulled at the front of the group for as long as my legs could handle and 5 riders came around with 300 feet to the top. Luckily, Antonio was in this group of 5 riders and we all fought up the climb for the last few meters. In the end our Cat 4 riders made a strong showing with Antonio in 5th, Willem in 11th (?) and myself in 6th

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