Field: E4 40 starters
Placed: Deniz 18th, Matt Cox 25th, Andrew 33rd (Mechanical)
Here is Matt Lucero's Race Report from the Sea Otter Classic weekend:
Team mates: none
Super hard day, 6 laps around a circuit following a last 3-4km finish that was uphill. I felt well rested while at the start after 2 days off the bike. My goal was to stay in the front of the pack, react to a breakaway if it had enough numbers, and if nothing went OTF to sit in and wait for the last uphill kilometers to the finish. The Circuit was rough with a good 5 minute session of ascending in the beginning of the circuit, followed by some descending and then another climbing section to end the circuit. After the 2nd lap I realized the importance of proper positioning prior to the 1st uphill section, and made an attempt to be top 3 before entering the beginning portion of the circuit. Every time up the hill I pretended that this was another interval that I do during training and to make sure I use 100% effort to get to the crest of the hill with the bunch. Basically this was the story for the entire race until we departed the circuit and headed for the uphill 3 km finish. I again positioned myself in the top 10 and was in the red hoping that everyone was hurting as bad as me. An attack came, and when responding to the attack I realized I was in way too big of gear to follow, but to be honest I didn't have that top end speed to have keep pace. The last 1km was ridden solo and surviving to the finish. I ended the day in 14th place out of a pack of 45ish riders. It was an awesome race and looking back I've learned a lot about where my training needs to go. Since the race, I've dedicated myself to performing intervals and getting the necessary recovery so that I can come back rested and ready to put the work in.
Team mate: Arthur
This was by far the funnest race I've ever done. The course was raced on the laguna seca speed way. The topography consisted of a short hill climb, false flat, another punchy hill climb followed by an awesome descent with banked turns that allowed for some fast speeds. The goal was to keep upfront the whole race and hope that after racing around the circuit the climbing would pop enough people of the starting 75 racers. Well I did exactly as planned, stayed upfront, and dug as deep as I could to stay well positioned as we crested the hills and descended down the circuit. By the last lap everyone was fatigued and I knew that if I could make the final ascension and stay in the top 10 on the way down to the finish line I'd have a chance for a good placing. So to start the last climb I placed my self all the way to the front and pulled out my inner Jans and said "shut up legs" to stay in the first 5. I made the fast descent and as we started to make the final 2nd to last right turn into a head wind at 1 kilometer to go I decided to attack but was beat to the punch by a rider in-front of me. This caused a reaction to the bunch and at this point I realized that the race was going to be decided by the final 200 meters. The sprint came down but I just didn't have enough watts to finish strong enough and placed 18th. Overall, I was proud of my race for three reasons.
1) I placed myself in a position to win
2) I had the legs to make the last hill climb in the top 5
3) I continued to have positive self talk while racing
Field: E3/4 ~ 70 starters
Teammate(s): Deniz, Andrew
Finished: Deniz 22nd, Andrew 32nd
Here is Deniz report:
After the first couple of laps of surges, Andrew moves to the front and takes a dig and strings thing out a bit. After his effort, Andrew moves back and recovers. After that point, I didnt see Andrew until the last lap. More on that later.
Ding ding ding! Prime lap and I'm sitting near the front of the field. come out of turn 3, I'm all of the sudden IN the front pulling. Take turn 4 and i look back, and I got Berkeley dude on my wheel. Crap i remember him from Wed's track racing, and i say "eff it" and start my sprint. Man I really want that wine! With 50 meters to go Berkeley guy and and other racer passes me and snatches the Wine outta my hand. After that effort I move back to mid field to recover and try to hang on through the other prime laps.
FWD to 5 to go. We have 2 guys OTF and people in the front of the pack sit up and are telling people to pull through. I move the the front and I yell "LETS GO!" and take a dig. They let me go and I'm bridging to the guys. I look back and i see to the left that we get Data driven dude attack and the rest of the field follows and swallows me and the small break. thank god. I suck wheel and try to recover again.
I'm not sure if it was 3 or 4 to go, we come through turn 4, and on my right i see guys getting pinched into the curb and pow! crash.. I try not to panic and try to hold my line and hope that the crash doesn't come into me. We move slightly to the left, then all of the sudden, POW! Another crash on my left! The crash splits the field and I move up and get reattached to the front of the field. Adrenaline is now pumping, and my tired legs now feel fresh all of the sudden.
Ding ding ding. We go through the bell lap, and I see a Squarda SF guy race his hands like he won as he crosses the line.. But wait.. There is one more lap! The field is yelling at him.. and he looks confused. After he realizes what happens, 2 guys attack and are OTF. Speed picks up and im tryin got move up. Chris from FFBC is leading the chase hard. Chris now blows up before turn 3 and Im digging hard to move up. There is an opening on the right and Im going for it to move up. Nooo a Jr throws his bottle and doesnt clear the curb and bounces back in front of me. I scrub my speed and try to stay as straight as possible to make sure i dont cause a big crash. We go through turn 3, and we are going full gas into the headwind. I'm trying advance a few more spots but can't. Boom I see Metromint guy flying on the left side with Andrew in tow. YES GO AnDREW!! Turn the last turn into the finishing straight and I see andrew on my right. I blow by him and sprint with everything i have left. Unfortunately the adrenaline ran its course. Came through 22nd.
Field: E3/4 - 50 starters - 3 Laps
Here is Deniz report:
Lap 1. Pace was already high from the start since we had a sprint/KOM at the county line. I didn't contest it and i just went with the surges. We hit the crosswind section on Keyes and the breakaway gets established. People are chasing and I'm thinking they are gonna get reeled in. but Wait.. they are staying away. Chris from FFBC makes an attempt to go after them. I wanna go with him, but im blocked in!! arghahghag!!! I finally get to the front and make an attempt to bridge to Chris, but hes fading and not making up any ground. His teammate follows me and we pass Chris. We are working, but the field is on us. I go again with Nick from Endless Cycles. But nothing. We keep on getting shut down. Nick gets regulated to the back for center line violation. I never see him again. At this point i'm gassed and need to recover. FFBC now is in the front chasing. We see the break but we cant get them.
Lap 2. I tried to get bottle at the neutral feed, but somehow got passed by.. hmmm I need water! I still have one left and i gotta ration. Anyways. We keep on chasing. FFBC gets help from couple of Davis guys.. and I take some courtesy pulls to help bring back the break. We are making some ground, but still they are staying away.. We hit lake road and couple of guys break free and are on the hunt to catch the break. I stay put since well... I only have one bottle left and I don't TT well.
Lap 3. At this point I was gonna try my luck with the neutral water and see if I can get a bottle. If I didnt, i would pull out. Luck me, I get one. At this point we know we are gonna have to sprint for the last top 15 places depending on how many stay away. I take a few courtesy pulls in the tailwind. Once we hit the cross/head wind through the rollers, I try to get something going with a few guys. But my legs says no go. I finally sit up and just try to sit in until the finish. Legs are feeling a little crampy cramp.. We hit Hawkins and one guy goes OTF. Hawkins hurts now. We turn on to Lake rd. and the speed picks up a bit. Davis guy goes OTF. I hesitate and try to follow so i take a dig. but the field is on my tail so i sit up and let everyone else pull him back. with about 1k to go, we see the chase group and we are gaining on them. Team Bell leadout train gets to the front and i'm hanging on for dear life. 200 meters and one of the guys is going backwards after his pull and for some dumb reason I didnt go around him, instead i slow down, then pass him. Now I stand up without shifting down and i cramp and loose ground. I muster whatever i have left and pass another guy in front of me.
Teammates: Andrew, Matt C, & Matt L
Andrew RR: 8th, Circuit race: 1st, TT: 8th, Overall: 5th
Matt L RR: 6th, Circuit Race: 6th, TT: 7th, Overall: 8th
Matt C RR: 7th, Circuit Race: 3rd, TT: 11th, Overall: 10th
Here is Andrews report:
Ill try to keep this short and sweet since there is a lot to cover,
Stage 1 - 76 miles
Pretty nice day out and really the plan was to stay together till the end and try to do as little work as possible. fast forward to second lap, we are heading into the wind and a topsport and Audi go off the front and we think this is healthy. keep them insight and let them burn up. Wrong they hit and right hander and the slight uphill and there gone and we kind of started to panic a bit and since we are the biggest team. All of KRR are at the front drilling it to bring back time with the rest of the group doing nothing much! We drilled it at high speeds for 40 miles and still the break had 2 min on us. WTF!? On the last lap we still had them around 2 min and the GC win 1 - 2 done so we sat up and let the other fool around! The last 3 km KRR started carpet bombing the group with attacks and ended up 5th 6th and 7th and the same goes for GC and down 2 min on overall. Man that was tough to swallow for sure.
Stage 2 - 75 min Circuit Race
NEW goals, Get a rider on the overall GC 3rd and be only on the defensive and make other people work. So we decided the both Matt's are going to cover all moves and I would sit in and wait for the finish.
This worked SO AMAZING. Any way both Matt's start covering attacks right off the gun and then after a lap or 2 they figure out oh shot this is 75 min. Any way Matt Cox rolls off the front and really starts to dig hard! YES, 3rd on GC starts to look around for help and then he goes to the front wasting his energy. then and another junior attacks and catches Matt and they start really working well and are drifting away and shit hits the fan with GC riders 1 2 and 3 and they are just killing themselves on the front trying to bring it back. Perfect both myself and MATT L. (we thought we had a chance in the TT, more about that later) Anyway we come together late on the second to last lap and we ride as a group until the end, 1K to go i'm just sitting on back and based on wind. I knew I had to attack into the wind and I also knew the group would go to early because there is two rollers and the finish is after the second. everything goes as I thought and we are approaching the top of the second and i just say Eff it and see a opening on the right and drill it 500m out and hold it to the line for the win,
it was a perfect team race with a win great job.
Stage 3 - 10 mile TT
I'm going to sum this one up real quick:
A - We got smoked by the TT bikes, no chance.
B - This really hurt way to much with wind and big rollers and shitty roads.
Field: E4 - 26 starters
Teammates: Deniz and Andrew
Finished: Deniz 1st, Andrew 7th
E3 - 30+ starters
Here is Deniz Report:
This race has been on my radar since last year. After getting 6th last year, I really really wanted to win this one. My friend Samit told me last week he had a dream a few weeks back of me winning a crazy sprint. Andrew told me after getting 6th last week that he had a feeling i was gonna pull the big W today. Looks like I had some good mojo going into this race.
Pretty uneventful really. Couple of guys got away, but we could see them in the distance. We were actually gaining on the E3 , but once we hit the gravel, that all changed. We never saw them again. Oh yeah the gravel section. completely different from last year. 2nd turn through that section had loose gravel.. When i hit the turn, i went straight! haha. The 2 guys got caught after the gravel.
We roll through the finish line and we have a Ritte dude attack on the roller and hes OTF. Nobody seems to care and everybody who was still with us started to get settled in. After a few miles of letting him cook out there, Andrew gets to the front and pulls really hard and everybody follows suit. He makes everyone pull through and we catch the guy about a mile away from the turn into the gravel. Andrew and I move near the front and turn into the gravel. Andrew is in front of me at the front and i guide him through the best lines through the turns.
So there was a few more attempts for couple of guys to get away, at one point a few guys opened up a small gap and i went with, but NOBODY wanted it to let it go. We hit the gravel again with Andrew in front of me in the front and hes towing me. We got a bit slower than we did the first couple of laps since people are tired and are getting ready for the sprint. Fast FWD to 1K to go:
I'm sitting about 4-5th wheel on the right side where its a little from the wind. On the left Folsom bike dude makes his move, but clearly breaks the yellow line rule and he gets greeted with a lot of F-bombs. Hes got a gap, but i'ts manageable Andrew moves up on my left and i get behind him. we hit about 300 meters to go and there is a surge. I follow it perfectly, but Andrew moves back. We hit the 200 meter bump, but I'm seated and waiting. Folsom dude still OTF, but really close. I hear someone trying to wind it up on my right and about 150 meters to go I start my sprint and go through a tiny gap between 2 guys in front of me. I go HARD.. But wait.. about 50 meters to the finish line there is a pick up truck parked in our lane and hes not moving. I catch the Folsom guy and I get in the left lane and pass the truck. I Look up and there is the line. I'm through first and the fist goes in the air Billy Idol style! Holy crap.. I won!!
Big big thank you to Andrew for being the perfect teammate today. With out you i don't think i would've won. Congrats on your 7th, specially considering you've been on 'biotics this whole week.
Here is Ben's Report:
I pulled off after 2 laps. Success for me today was pinning on a number in my 1st real race of 2013, enjoying that awesome course, and not destroying my knee so it can continue to heal :)
Maybe its my lack of fitness, but the E3 race was fast! The attacks started a 1/2 lap in... and the eventual break stayed clear til the finish.
Field: E4 - 60+ starters
Teammates: Arthur, Matt C.
Finished: Deniz 6th, Matt C. 9th, Arthur 13th
First lap was a little nerve racking. I guess everybody was ready to get going and trying to scope out the new course. Of course there was a lot of breakaway attempts, but they all got pulled back. We roll through the finishing straight and I mark the 300 marker where they let you use the whole road for the sprint. False flat drag with a tail wind.. This is going to be interesting.
2nd lap. We make it through the small farm roads and I was sitting probably 3rd wheel, and we make a right hand turn into the head wind and all of the sudden i got a big gap on the group. I look back and I'm thinking "OK this is not what i was supposed to do.. What should i do?!?" So I slow down a bit and start riding tempo and wait to see if anyone will bridge.. Nope the whole pack is going SLOWER than me! Ahh c'mon. probably another 1/2 mile finally someone tries to bridge and drags the whole pack with him. Awesome now I can go hide in the pack.
3rd lap. We hit the finish straight again and people are going nuts attacking like crazy. We are going mad fast in the tail wind. but as soon as we turn into the cross wind, we all slow down again. Legs feel a little crampy tired. Time to recover and eat/drink. We make ourselves through the farm roads again, and wait a min!? Arthur is OTF with 3 other guys. NICE. I ride up to Matt and ask to verify that Arthur is indeed up there. We make through the finishing straight, and we see a wreck before the finishing line on the left.
4th lap. OK time to get serious. On the back stretch, we get 2 guys OTF and they gone. Squadra SF guy and Reno Cycling dude. The big teams didnt seem to want to pull them back and it looks like everybody was getting ready to sprint for 3rd. Matt and I start getting in position and setting ourselves up for the cross wind section prior to the finishing drag. We move up and sit top 5-10 and are protected the whole way on the right. Arthur is sitting well behind Matt.
We make the last right hand turn and we pick up speed. The motor ref comes up and tells us to move to the left lane. Looks like there was a crash in another field about 1km to the finish. All of the sudden people start sprinting! Ohh people think its the finish, but we are too far out. Those guys blow up as we pass the ambulance on the right. we shift over to the right lane again and I'm fighting for position. Watching to my left to make sure there is no more surges. We hit the 300 meter marker. Davis guy in front of me is pulling hard! I'm in the red and im waiting to stand and start my sprint. About 150 meters I start my sprint I pass a few on my left but my legs are done.. i sit back down and try to sprint track style. i see 2 guys on my left creep up and and i stand again, but its too late. Rolled through 6th with Matt and Arthur behind me.
Field: E3/4 - 90 starters
Teammates: Andrew, Ben, Matt L.
So the game plan for today was to deliver Andrew for the win.
Right after the whistle blows, about 50 meters a JR does a solo crash face plant on the left side.. Yikes bad start! I Stay near the front through the first couple of laps, but it was hard to stay up there. Lots and lots of surges from left and right. But as soon as come through turn 3, everybody slows down in the front and the whole pack bunches up. This continues through out the race, even with prime laps. People are getting a little nervous.
Fast forward to 3 laps to go, Matt L moves to the front and drills it to string it out a bit to calm some nerves. After his massive pull, Matt pack slides and right when I pass him mid field, a big bang on my left! HUGE crash! I held my line and I barely pass by the wreckage. At this point the adrenaline is pumping and the will to pack sprint isn't to high.
With one lap to go, it's time to move up. I think Andrew is near the front, and hoping Ben was on my wheel. So after turn 1, I make my move and get on the front. One guy attacks right before turn 2 and i'm drilling it. I hit the headwind and I'm trying to get on the wheel of the guy OTF. HE IS RIGHT THERE! But I can't reach him. I swing off and tell people to come around. I get back with the group mid pack, and go through turn 3 and all the way through the finish.
Find out later that Andrew was in fact not near the front on the last lap. Bad call on my part.
Our Awesome sponsor Endless Cycles is holding a Bicycle Swap Meet on Sunday, March 17, 2013 from 8:30am to 3pm in their parking lot. It is free to all those interested in looking to buy! There will be over 30 registered Swapper/Sellers in attendance. Come on by and see if there might be something you can't live without that's at a price at which you can! There will even be a free BBQ from 11am to 1pm for all those who attend!
Elite 4 Team Results:
Matt Cox: 8th
Deniz Warraich: 10th
Here is Deniz Report.
When we rolled out, it started out civilized. But once we turned on to Bledsoe Rd, people were throwing hay makers to get a break going. The pace is HIGH! Like any E4 race, nothing sticks early in a race. Once we turn on to Turlock Rd, things start to settle a bit and we stay together through Cox Ferry Rd, and through to the finish line.
As soon as we start the 2nd lap, attacks start back up and people are trying really hard to get away. At one point there was 3 groups echelon'd along the road. But of course it gets caught again. There is a lot of fresh guys in the field. However once we get on Turlock 2 guys get away, and they get a pretty damn good gap on us. We turn on to Cox Ferry rd, and we are not making any ground on the breakaway! They are flying. We make it over the last roller, and i tell Matt to move up a bit. We gotta get ready for the finish.
We turn on to Keys Rd. Everyone is sizing everyone up. The Mike Bikes guys are getting their lead out train set up like their Pro/1/2 equivalents. Matt and I are still together on the right of the road. Still no sign of the breakaway. The pace is really high, Matt said noway of attacking at this point. Stu from Bear Development who's been riding in the front, is going backwards on the last rise before the finish. I stop pedaling, get around him and I make an effort to get back on Matt's wheel. I think we are sitting about top 10-15. We make it over the bump and I see the finish line. 300 Meters to go! "MATT GO!! GOOOOOO!!" Matt starts his sprint and we blow by a hand full of guys. I'm sprinting trying to stay on Matt's wheel. 200 Meters go and I'm in pain. I see a guy on my left creeping up. I take a last dig and that's it.
Rolled through 10th.
Not too much to add to Deniz report. The plan was to stay out of the wind and use last years winning tactic. Once the race started is was clear that the juniors were being led by their coach Stuart. It was also clear that hiding out in the back or anywhere else except near the front was a bad idea. The juniors made for some incredibly dicey moments. Too much lateral movement. They hold terrible lines. They stand in the drops in the middle of the field and swing their bikes around. I was not the only person in the field screaming at these guys. So yeah, the safest tactic was to watch the wind and stay super close to the front and out of trouble.
I ended up having to pull through once but for the most part I sucked wheel and coasted. All I wanted to do was make sure Deniz and I were in a position to get out of the field when the sprint came down. I tucked us in nice and cozy on the right hand side of the road coming into the final roller and once the timing was right and with a little vocal motivation from Deniz I hit the gas and hoped he was in tow for the sprint. Fun stuff! During the sprint I thought my sinuses were about to cave in......odd feeling really.