Monday, February 23, 2009

Snelling Road Race Report

Snelling turned out to be quite the blazing road race. To set the stage, let's just say that 4 of the best teams in northern California were well represented. California Giant Strawberries, Webcor, Z-Team, and Lombardi each had assembled a very decent squad. Add in 5 pros like Jackson Stewart, Daniel Holloway, and Max Jenkins, Paul Mach, and myself, and that added up to be one FAST field.

By looking at the pre-registered list, I think most people thought that the race was going to be won by a break away. So right from the begining of the neutral start, riders were pushing and maneuvering themselves to make a jump as soon as we were clear. Once the lead motorcycle gave us the green, the race turned into a frenzy of riders from all teams launching left and right. My impressions were that this was going to be the game of the day, and as it turned out... I was right. Since there were 4 strong teams, I knew that no break would stand a chance if all four teams were not represented. I tried bridging along with other riders but what I apparently didn't realize is that in trying to bridge up after a break has pseudo formed, I ended up dragging the pack back up, since I now have a giagantic bull's eye on my back, thanks to my new pro kit. This didn't happen so much last year, but things are changing and I have to learn and adapt.

In the end, Paul Mach and John Stroba helped get me to about 6th wheel going around the final turn about 300 meters from the finish. I felt really good and ready for a big result. Unfortunately, the train that I was on heasitated just enough to let another train come from behind. I did my best to accelerate and move ofer to get some kind of draft, but it was a little too late. The train had whizzed by the station and I was sprinting just to catch it. So 20th(?) place.

Major props to Ryan Eastman, who at the age of 17 is giving me a run for my money and placed just in front of me.
Major thanks to John Stroba, who helped me get into a great position just before the finish.
Uber props to Paul Mach, who was the most aggressive rider... by far!
Major thanks to Daniel Holloway, for cluing me in on tactical changes needed now that I'm a pro.

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