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Central Coast Circuit Race #1 - 2.20.10

posted Mar 11, 2010, 11:57 AM by Tyler Wertenbruch
Jim Budd and I (Kevin Offhaus) did the Cat 4 and 35+ races today at Fort Ord. The races were on a closed (SWEET!!!) 4.3 mile loop with some rollers and an uphill finish.

The Cat 4 race was pretty subdued with very little organization. The third Pillar team definitely had the numbers, however didn’t seem interested in moving up and dictating the race. Not much happened until one lap to go. The only place anyone could really get away was the final climb before a fast decent, sharp turn and, finally, an uphill finish. Jim and I stayed towards the front of the last climb, however got separated a bit on the decent. I found his wheel again right before the turn to the finish. Unfortunately, we grabbed the wrong wheel in the sprint. Jim was essentially pushed off the road in the last 50 meters by a, let’s say, technically challenged rider. Luckily, his mad CX skills took over and he miraculously stayed upright for a 6th place finish. The guy that pushed him off the road then pinched me into another racer and I got blocked for an 11th place finish.  That reminded us that positioning is EVERYTHING. Hopefully we can improve on that as the season progresses!

The Master’s 35+ 4/5 race was a very different story. The San Jose Bike Club had big numbers in this race and was conveniently absent from the earlier Cat 4 race, so they were well rested!!! Needless to say, they dictated the race from the beginning. They sent a flier early and no one was willing to chase. Jim and I tried to get the other teams with numbers to organize (Third Pillar AGAIN); however no one felt it worthwhile to establish a chase, bridge the gap and take some control. BIG MISTAKE. We started pushing the pace a bit but, of course, once we reeled in the flier, another San Jose guy would attack and so on. Subsequently, we popped on the last climb and were unable to get back together. I think San Jose went 1-2-4 at the finish. The lack of organization of other teams was frustrating, to say the least. However, it was beautiful to watch a team organize and execute a plan so well.