So, I'm sitting at home on Friday, all bummed and jonesing for a bike race, trying to figure out what to do. I really don't want to drive 400 miles round trip by myself and spend 2 nights alone in cheap motels in the central valley, and racing without teammates is always way less fun. I consider doing the KOM down in San Jose, but the format is some odd kind of mass start individual time trial with a bunch of corporate CEO types all over the road and there's no masters division, and the only award for the P/1/2 is a trophy for the winner, and the entry fee is $52. Still, I do love hill climbs, so I'm considering it.
The other option was the San Jose Classic Criterium built by Webcor. Since there's no 2nd race discount and I don't have a spare $104 dollars right now I had to choose between the 35+ at 8:40 and the P/1/2 at 2:45. Hutch and Dan are doing the 35+, so I decide to do that one.
The course is a little too flat for my liking, but it does have lots of turns, including a nice hairpin, and no real long straightaways for packs to build up high speeds, so it looks good for a breakaway.
Our race starts with 3 guys from Form Fitness blasting off from the gun, so fast I didn't even notice them go off the front. One of them immediately flats on the first lap, but the other 2 get a nice gap, even though the guy in 2nd is too far behind his teammate to gain any draft benefit and he can't seem to close it. I decide to chase them down since, well, that's what I always do and no one else is doing it. So I take off and go right by guy #2, but it takes me most of a lap to get onto the leader's (Dennis Hopp) wheel. After a short recovery I come around and take a pull and the 2 of us get into a nice rhythm of trading pulls every 1/3 of a lap, so we each get the same head wind sections every other lap. Over several laps we build a nice little lead and because of the hairpin can keep a good eye on the field that is now about 20 seconds back.
Then I see Hutch bridging up with another guy, so I start pulling a little less hard until about 2 laps later Hutch drops the other guy and I let Hopp know that I'm can't pull until he catches us. Once Hutch joins us, I go to the front and put on the gas to build our lead back a bit and discourage the 2 guys trying to bridge (Wire was 1 of them I think), then the 3 of us work it and as our lead continues to grow Hutch whispers to me to wait for him to attack first.
Just after the hairpin with under 6 laps to go Hutch attacks after Hopp's pull, but Hopp is able to cover it with me on his wheel. As soon as Hutch sits up I swing to the other side of the road and go, get a gap and TT in the last 5 laps for the win! Hutch (thanks!) came in 3rd and Dan who had been jumping on any bridge attempts ended up 3rd in the 45+
Since I don't get to win too many crits, I'm very glad I decided to do this instead of Cantua!
I even won enough cash to pay the entry for the P/1/2 race, so I decide to enter it since it looks like the dry conditions are going to last and no interval workout is as good as chasing down a bunch of berries. Having so much time in between events I'm also able to enjoy watching all the women's races.
The P/1/2 race was....harder. It's not quite so easy to get away in that race. I did get off the front once for a lap early on and even won a prime.
5 pounds of Ironman Coffee! I hope it's good because I'm going to be drinking it for a while.
But, most of the race I was near the back, just moving up near the front a few times for fun. The winning break of Stewart, England, Hernando and Moore got away with around 10 laps to go. After that there was no way I was getting off the front again and I don't participate in pack sprints, so I just faded to the back and finished. I think we had delValle in the money though and maybe Hutch too.
I'd still like to do Pine Flat tomorrow, I just don't want to drive down there and back.
I think the 2 races today will hold me over until Snelling.