AUTHOR Jacob Berkman
TEAMMATES Appel, Oli
COURSE DESCRIPTION "7-8% up Guadalupe Canyon, right turn into San Bruno Mtn County Park, back under Guadalupe Canyon to Radio Road with narrow switchbacks and grades to 10%. Total distance is 3.5 miles."
WEATHER Beautiful sunny morning, chilly. Bit of a headwind in the top half.
GOALS 1. Win. 2. Sweep the podium. 3. Get a PR for the course.
PLAN Mostly sit in the first half, and try to finish strong on radio road where it gets a bit steeper. Try to stay on Appel's wheel.
RACE SUMMARY Going in I figured the main competition was (friend) Greg McQuaid (Thirsty Bear), but he has a cold and was DNS. I didn't think the ex-Taleos (Scotts Cox & Bromstead) would really pose a challenge. For some reason they were merging start fields this year, and started us with the 25-strong 35+ 4/5 field. They were supposed to line up behind the 1/2/3s, but one of them was in the front, wearing full tights, cap, long sleeve jersey, booties, ski gloves, and sporting a saddle bag (with light attached) and a bottle half out of his cage already. Maybe he had fenders. I lined up sort of behind him, next to Appel (who looked strange in all black!), prepared to get around that guy as quickly as possible.
They start us off and Appel seems to have a little trouble clipping in so I go around him so as not to get caught behind any riff-raff. Some goof attacks off the left but he's a 4/5 so I don't react. It's 3-wide: John Roberts (Dolce Vita) to my left, and I guess Scott Bromstead (Barclay's Racing) on my right. It's a long way to the finish so I was just riding sorta sub-threshold, and everyone seemed fine with that.
We caught the guy and then someone else attacked, but no reaction from anyone to that either. He was caught before the turn into the park. I'm sure someone was dropped but I think pretty much the whole field was there.
Scott pulls in front so I sit on his wheel; going into the park he goes around the little shack on the left (technically over the centre line), and I sort of sheepishly take the inside corner, trying to avoid the puddle. The road kicks up and I put in a bit of a dig but out of the "forest" there seemed to be 4-5 guys on my wheel. I didn't know who they were, but it didn't look like Appel was right on my wheel.
I tried to keep the pace high and the field was finally separating, with Scott on my wheel and I could finally see Appel coming up behind us. I didn't want to pull this guy to the top by myself, so I eased up a bit hoping Appel would catch back on. Before he did, Scott made an attack which I followed briefly but he really turned it on and I didn't stay with him. I know that extra adrenaline rush you get from thinking you're going to win and I sure didn't get it.
TAKEAWAYS * I think, as a team, it was our race to lose and we lost it (or I did). * During the race, I should've communicated more and found Appel so he could set the pace for the upper half, letting me attack instead of getting attacked. * Before the race, if we'd thought Scott was stronger, we probably should've had Appel attack earlier and let him do the chasing. We were the team with cards to play, but I don't think we played our hand very well. * It's early. I didn't really target this race & haven't been doing much intensity. Yet. * It was still fun and we got some Clif bars. Looking forward to improving on the team riding aspect. * No podium, medals, or girl scout cookies this year?
NUMBERS Distance: 5.9km Elevation Gain: 362m Avg Grade: 5.9% Time: 16:40 VAM: 1273 Power: ~297W Avg HR: 168bpm Max HR: 181bpm