The infamous last corner- it’s a sharp one! Photo courtesy: Alanna Hughes
By Conrad Snover:
The Truckee downtown crit was SUPER fun. Andy, Rick and I formed a strategy to take turns covering the key breaks. I also suggested sacrificing ourselves with solo flyers off the front to get some sponsor air time, but we decided against it.
I was active at the front for the whole race, covering key moves and in each break for the first third of the race, but we got caught each time. The hometown crowd was great; it seemed like about every 10th person on the sidelines was yelling my name (I told them to look for the yellow shoes); afterwards Lisa said it seemed that way because it WAS that way. We also got a few mentions from announcer Dave Towle, what a fun experience!
As always happens, I slowly tired from covering, and when I drifted back to take a breather, Mike Sayers got away and would stay away for the win by 0:30, I’m not sure I could have stayed with him if I covered, he was winning pro races last year.
In Rick’s first 1/2/3 race, he hung strong for the first bit but wasn’t feeling it, slowly drifting back then dropping out. Note: the last time Rick did this, he won the next day – so look out! On the last lap, the pace heated up and things got crazy. Through turns that were single file on previous laps the group swelled to 4-5 wide, which in many cases was too much- Andy got pinched and knocked down but survived with some cool red strips across his back and bright red circles on his elbows, knees and hips. His bike didn’t fare so well – one fork blade sheared off completely, and the seat tube broke clean in one spot and was crushed in another. I’m slowly realizing why my friends on crit teams (e.g. Clif) all ride aluminum frames.
The last lap was crazy, and I wasn’t aggro enough to preserve the great position I held all race. I rounded the final corner in 10th and lost a spot or two by the line. By the time the 45+ and 35+ fields were sorted out, I got 9th. A little disappointing since upgrade points only go to 6th place, but the race was a blast.
Masters Race Sprint Finish. Photo courtesy: Alanna Hughes
I was sitting in the Truckee river soaking my legs and missed the pro women’s race, but heard that Katerina rode strong at or near the front until the last corner when a Tibco rider who had been sitting in the entire race swung out and stole the win; that’s road racing. Katerina finished 3rd and was a little frustrated at the field’s general lack of bike handling skills through the corners and after the race was heard saying “road cyclists brake WAY too much”.
Nate’s P/1/2 race was unbelievable. He didn’t get a good spot on the start line and paid the price. From the gun, the race was flat out single file. Every rider was biting their handlebar and sitting on the tip of their saddle, riding flat out with no breaks. Chad Gerlach was even more unbelievable, riding with his hands on the tops, barely breathing (I’m not even sure he ever opened his mouth), lapping the field and almost winning the field sprint. Bissel tried to reel him in and burned up at least 2 riders without any luck. Gaps started to open in the single file line, which couldn’t be closed, and riders started to get pulled. Nate closed gaps for 45 minutes before getting pulled. That effort earned him a mid-pack standing, which is VERY impressive. Imagine how he would have done if he had been near the front and not had to close gaps. Nate: “Looking at my power numbers last night, I hit 800+ watts 32 times in the race. Good sprint workout I guess!!??”
We all got mad props from the locals, it was great exposure for our team and our local sponsors: Cyclepaths, Wild Cherries, Start Haus and Oakley!
We’re looking forward to the next two days: tonight’s course is harder with a stair step power climb, and tomorrow’s race is even harder with a big climb on each lap. A few of us are thinking of racing NV City on Sunday, which is even harder… hmmm…..