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Poor College Kids Road Race 01/29/2011: The Collection -

posted Feb 13, 2011, 10:11 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Mar 1, 2011, 10:42 PM ]
Took my medicine today (again!) from some very fit dudes, namely, Amgen and some Sho-Air. The tempo started pretty high (21 - 23mph) and didn't relax much at all from the start through the main first hill about 5 miles in. I remember thinking it (I) can't go on like this for 2 laps - 68 miles. It was tooth and nail at the peek of that first and only substantial climb about 1.5 kilometers long. There's a false flat at the top and the tempo stayed tuff. I was red-lining, seeing God, beckening the engine room, "MORE POWER!" But it just wasn't there. I lost contact and my race was over. I rode out the remaining 60 miles at/near my limit, determined to make my ride like the race I came to do. One of my personal rules is not to quit, especially if I get dropped, and if I have the ability to keep riding. At least the weather was good - not too cold and sunny out after the fog broke.

I'm posting this because I think it's important that Nexus people share in their disappointments as well as their glory rides. Ya, it's a catharsis, a purging, but it does have it's therepeutic values. Sharing experiences during race events is also team building. I hope others will do the same as it interesting to hear about club mates' experiences. I did see a couple other SLO Nexus riders there and waved to them. But not many. I think they were in the cat 4 or 5 races that went off just ahead of my group. I hope they had better fortune than I did. There were lots of crashes at the finish line. NOT FUN!! I see this at every race. One guy actually ran in to me as I was at the turn-around making the turn for lap 2. Only by luck we both didn't eat pavement and wreck the bikes. Please use discretion people even/especially while sprinting if you are there at the end!

- John Hawkins

Slow start with 60+ riders. About 3 or 4 miles into the race a 7 man breakaway left the peloton (3 guys from the Rock Solid team) they ended up getting at 3+ min gap and we never saw them again. I started near the back of the back which was a mistake. Lots of accelerations then breaking in the back and a couple other Rock Solid guys up front covering the attacks by other riders then lots of blocking going on. With the centerline rule and narrow road it made it nearly impossible to move up from the back unless you rode on the far right near or on the dirt. Just over 34 miles (1/2 way) into the race a two man chase broke away from the peloton. They got about a minute on us. Then at around 46 miles another guy from rock solid made a solo break. There were now about 40 of us in the peloton and I was getting impatient so I moved up front. About 7 miles from the hill (50 miles into the race) 3 guys attacked and I went with them I looked back and there were 5 more guys behind me that formed a 9 man chase group that broke the peloton. We worked hard and forming paceline similar to the hammer ride this really got us going. By the time we reached the hill we were all tired and decided to keep an even tempo up the hill then REALLY push the downhill so peloton (which didn't seem very organized) couldn't catch us. While our goal was not to get caught we also proceeded to catch the other chase groups ahead of us on the downhill. This created a 12 man group getting ready for a crazy sprint for 7th place. I put my elbows out and stayed out of trouble and finished 6th or so in the sprint (maybe around 12th place overall). I hope everyone else did well and were safe. One guy posted a video of the last 3 minutes of the Cat 3 r
ace that included a terrible crash at the end going 40+MPH check it out!!!

- Steve Sharp

So Seth, Jesse and I rode the 5b race. It was the first race ever for me and Seth as well I think. Didn't know what to expect so just chilled in the back on the way out there were no breaks so it was pretty mellow. I think everyone had in mind to attack the one hill on the way back and hold I guess. I went off the front halfway back just cuz i was impatient and wanted to push the pace and experiment, Got swallowed up by the group again and settled back in before the climb. Attacked the climb and had a 10 man break, very unorganized and another group of 8-10 caught on, guys weren't pulling through on the gradual downhill and the frustration turned into a two man crash (one broken collar bone) almost got caught up in it but did some offroading instead, Sprinted up to the 10 guys ahead and pushed the pace at the front no one again was pulling through content to just sit on my wheel the last two miles. I think the other group of guys had caught on, I motioned for guys go ahead and slowed down but to no avail, I knew they were just going to blow by me (I dont have sprinting legs) but did what I could. Several guys moved around me with 300 left. I was thinking I'd be happy with a top 10-15 finish until about 200 out someone clipped my wheel from behind, Next thing I knew it was slidding on the tarmac. My bike wasnt rideable so just walked in. Thank God I didnt break anything just road rash at 37mph. So I'm in the market for a new shimano 9spd rear wheel and front right sti shifter, If anyone has any they have lying around or want sell a guy on a budget let me know, cuz my bike out of commission for now. 

- Thanks, Michael Paine

Other accounts from the 5b race: unlike Mike, I was unable to make it to the front for the attack, although I caught the break right as they were cresting and attempted to catch up on the descent but to no avail. I was caught behind the break and ahead of the second group coming over, leaving myself alone practically redlining trying to catch the break. As the second group starts catching I am too spent to jump on and was once again alone trying to catch the newly formed break. After the first crash, legs on fire, I redline it to try to catch the group and still can't catch on. I was then on my own to fight of the chase group behind me. Close to the finish I catch the end of the second crash (Mike was riding a hell of a race) and narrowly beat out the second group.

Lessons learned for first race: 
You have a better chance of getting in a break when you are in the front of the peloton
Chasing down a break is too hard by yourself- work with others

Getting ready for the next one.
I hope you're feeling better mike.

- Sef

The course is a out and back. 34 miles per lap. masters do 2 laps.

For the second year I raced (well entered) the masters race. After getting dropped on the first climb last year I vowed to race cat 4 this year. Well I registered late and the 4's was full. I found myself lining up again for the 35+ masters. 

At the start the pace was ok with the normal speed up slow down that was magnified at the back. Near the end of lap 1 I was dropped on the climb. I formed a group with 2 other riders. Soon we were caught by 4 other riders but lost 3 of our 7. That left 4 of to chase. Just after the end of lap 1 we had chased back to the tail end of the pack. A few miles later going over the climb I was dropped again. I found myself formed into another group of 4 and chased back. We regained the tail end of the field just before starting the return trip. On the final climb I was dropped for the third and final time. I watched the race ride away. 

Overall I was pleased with the race. This year I made it farther than last year before being dropped. Plus I put out several hard efforts chasing back on. I'd say I raced some 60ish miles of the 68 mile race.

- Brad C