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Merco Hill Top Road Race - Race Report

posted Mar 4, 2013, 8:50 AM by Deniz Warraich

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. 

Matt's Report

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.