Racing in southern California...
Racing in southern California in my opinion is
like no other place with amateur racing. A majority of the field, the elite
pro-1-2 field average age has to be 35+. These riders are well into their off
the bike careers, have children, own businesses, etc. One thing I know for sure
is on the bike, this group (to some) could be very intimidating, argumentative,
physical and outright disrespectful often times.
However, as the heart rate winds down from the
upper 180's to a recovering 50-60bmp, its as if the crit becomes a love shack.
I can't say that about other parts of the country where I have raced. I've seen
2x4's swung at riders, bikes thrown, cars scratched and even a husband and wife
with a new born child walk into a bar, hours after the race just to pick a
fight over a crash that happened in the last turn of a big money crit in
Charlotte. (true story, the baby was like 3 months old)
Sunday morning I woke up early and rode 2.5 hrs
across Mulholland just to open the legs up for my second local race of the year
for me. The race got off to a slow start as the elite local team CashCall went straight
to the front and rode tempo. As a well-seasoned team would do, they allowed a
small break to float up the road to keep things in tact.
After 15-20 minutes of tempo and I just hanging
in the back, I thought to myself what better way to get some training in but to
train hard and not go in circles for an hr. So here I was attacking a team of
10 riding tempo at 28-30mph. I shook up the field with my first attack but was
soon brought back. I waited a few more laps and went again, and again, and
again. The final attack put a lot of pressure on the CashCall team with the
help from other aggressive riders such as Andrew from Socal Cycling Team. After
2-3 laps, I noticed the dominant team was down to 2-3 riders to control the
race. However it was all for none as the fire power from the field just wasn’t
enough to shake CashCall.
In the finally, I stayed towards the front still
with a little hesitation in my sprint do to lack of training, however I did
enough to follow the good wheels and come out the last corner 3rd. As the
sprint started to open up I had 2-3 guys in front of me and I knew going into
the sprint I had to be on the left side to take advantage of the cross wend
coming from the right. I hit out and as I'm approaching the finish I was hit
with a gradual push from eventual winner Justin Williams (CashCall) that forced
me to do one of three things.
A. slow down and loose
B. bump him to move
C. Go around the cones
and continue to sprint.
I went with C in a split second which was still
not enough to come around for the win. 15-minutes later I was disqualified for
crossing over the cones, which was expected because the cones are there for a
I still took something very positive out of the
race. With 8 hrs of training a week, my fitness is not so shabby and I feel
strong when attacking. I wont push the issue yet for speed work because that
will come with more racing and ill polish it off with some MP and track sessions.
Looking forward to racing again. It's me!