What a hard day of travel to the “not so” Historic Folsom Crit. Interesting course layout that did not do much raise much interest for me to attend, but having it be a 5 minute bike ride from my front door and promoted by a close local organization I needed to represent. A Hot Dog shaped course was something new to me with a round-a-bout on one end and a hard 180 on the other, only coming out of it was a sharp quick pitch uphill, interesting. Well this hot dog of a course turned out to be more of a Hot Link sausage. Felt pretty good and a put a smile on my face for awhile but it really hurt later!
The Now Folsom Historic/Nevada City Crits
With this race taking place in tandem with the historic Nevada City Crit and part of an omnium with that race the dynamics proved interesting with this looking like a sprinters race and the latter being more of a “hulk hogan” sort of a race. BrotheRRR!!! Lining up Marc Pro – Strava was a little out numbered. Deciding to maybe not be the aggressors of the race we would follow moves, well…most of us. The Plucky little Mickey that is Mr. Hermann decided to take it upon himself to just attack the whole race including himself for the first 20 minutes or so keeping it hard for everyone. Eventually and as it usually does a break of about 5 formed and got up the road, well represented most of the players. They stayed out for a few laps holding a nice gap over the chasing field when I found myself covering a move and riding the bridging train up to the break.
Good and bad…Now i’m up the road. Now i’m out numbered. 4 Mike’s, 3 Cal Giant, 3 Bear Development with myself and Nano Christensen being the lone soldiers on other teams. Nano having been in the break since the beginning was feeling human and getting tired so no alliances were going to be profitable with him asI found I was on my own in this battle getting attacked 2-3 riders at a time and covering moves for 10 minutes or so until a group of two eventually slipped away…then another group of two. Feeling officially blown out of my mind I stubbornly sat on the front of the remainder of the break and towed all the knuckleheads around the course for 4 laps and watched them ride away from me in the last 100 meters. What a massive disappointment! But hey…that’s bike racing. Just call me Dr. John, I was in the right place, it was just the wrong time.
Nevada City Classic! Boy what a Classic it is. The race I have been looking forward to all year and targeted as my A-list race. Without question my most anticipated race. Preparing properly for it and although the results from the previous day did not represent well, my form was not lacking. The race got started in typical fashion with what I am led to believe is a typical parade lap? Not sure if that actually happens anymore, the gloves were on and fighting began from the moment we rolled. Fortunately having more troops from MPS representing at this race offered a bit more of a cushion allowing me to ride as conservative as possible. Holding my position wisely, after about 20-30 minutes I started to question myself and my form feeling like I just may get dropped! Just about at that point i looked around to take inventory and saw that the splits had happened and I was cruising now in the lead group, whittled down to less than 20! Ok!…I made it, sit tight…Not using too much energy I settled into a groove and felt better and better as I found some rhythm and calmed the early race nerves. Justin “lung bags” Rossi decided he didn’t care for much company and just rode at the front basically all day. With the exception of one moment where ironically he found himself in the hay bails behind a crash. He was probably just hungry and grabbed a quick flake of hay for the road as the thoroughbred that is Rossi chased back into the lead group because we weren’t going hard enough for him at the time. Around about that time Chris HD was putting on an impressive display of explosiveness off the front of the race attacking and covering with ease and making it look easy. Possibly a month early, that fireworks show would have been great for a 4th of July celebration. Turns out it wasn’t quite a fireworks show but more a long range missile assault. HD got up the road with a Cal Giant and a Mike’s and the trio road away as i watched my hopes of this race roll away with it. With the pace still hot we got some feedback course side with 2 laps or so to go that MPS was struggling in the group? Uh-Oh…sitting about 3rd wheel at the time I made eyes with Captain Rossi and gestured for him to get on the front, be a big dumb animal and bring these guys back. Well…I then watched him roll away with one other Mike’s with a hard attack! Not exactly what I had in mind but hey! I guess i’ll just make it happen for myself for 6th. I locked myself onto Mini Laberge’s wheel who was miraculously still in the race and proving that he is much more than a lead out sprinter. Fighting for position into the final stretch I jumped him and the train and took it to the line to round out MPS’s 3,4,6th for the day. Bittersweet end to a hard weekend of banging my head into a wall. Maybe i’ll have a shot at it as a Master in 10 years!