Greg and I made the annual trip down to Phoenix, Az for this early season stage race. The race attracts most halfway decent time trialists this side of the rocky mountains in search of upgrade points, making the category 2 race very competitive. The race is essentially decided after the time trial stage because the road stages are non selective making it almost impossible to gain back time. Basically upgrade points available for riding the TT bike in a straight line.
This year the time trial was fast! I finished tied for 15th with a time of 31:16, that was 54 seconds behind the winner. In the past that time would've been good enough for a top 10. I improved by almost a 1 minute from last season, I can't ask for much more than that. Greg also put in a solid time and it helped that he made his start time this year.
The road race was a 90 mile criterium. Nobody wanted anything to get away, the racing was negative and resulted in a bunch sprint. Greg did a great job of keeping me out of the wind and he was great wheel to follow when the argy bargy of the sprint was going down. He kept me safe knowing that I don't like being anywhere near the sprint
The criterium was fast and the course was wide open. Greg raced aggressively at the front, covering attacks and getting into breakaways. He was in one move that lasted for three laps which looked promising but it came back because it was a cat 2 race. Nothing was getting away! Greg finished 20th in the sprint and I finished tied for 15th on GC.
It felt good racing in the warm weather and I'm glad that Greg remembered the sun screen.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
The last weekend in January marked the first weekend of racing for DBC Elite. Russ, Greg, Keith, and I did the Folsom crit on Saturday. This is a D-Shaped course where the corners aren't even really corners. This course is used several times during the season; it must be really cheap to run, because it certainly isn't super-fun to race (although Zack will tell you differently). The race is almost always a sketchy sprint finish, which it was Saturday. I don't think there's much more to say about that race, except that I can't wait to do it a few more times this year.
The Cal Aggie crit on Sunday usually proves to be a bit more interesting. The same crew was there for the race, plus some 3's in the field. The race was basically a flurry of small moves, none of which seemed to be able to stay away for more than a lap or two. We had guys in most of the moves, but they just weren't meant to be. However, the attack-happy yet chase-motivated field combined with the technical backside of the course kept the field strung out and safe for most of the race. In the end, it was a sprint finish. Greg put in a great dig on the front in the final laps to keep the pace up. After some bumping and a couple taps of the brakes (fail on my part), I sprinted into 7th. Keith was a few back at 15th, and Russ and Greg were in the field.
Russ and Greg are down in Phoenix now for the Valley of the Sun stage race. I'm looking forward to hearing how it goes.