Thursday, July 19, 2012

Little City Stage Race

7-8 July-

Not going to Superweek opened up some other opportunities, one of which was this weekends Little City Stage Race.  It was the first year of the race so the turn out was pretty small.  They had put a lot of focus on the Masters and Juniors Categories though with some decent prize money, total through all the Categories was $11,000 and for the CAT3 field it was $1,000.  The race was going to be held in Woodfords, CA and Minden, NV.  Some of the Categories started out with the Time Trial while others started out with the Crit.  For my Category we started out with a 9am TT followed by a 1215 Crit.  I really was hoping the Crit would be first for us and then the TT, as then I wouldn't of been marked in the Crit from having a good TT.  The race was points based (Omnium) instead of time based like a normal Stage Race.

Stage 1- 9.5 mile TT Woodfords, CA

I had one of the last start times of 0937 which was fine with me.  It would put guys in front of me to try and chase down, which I like, gives me something to aim for and try and catch.  The TT course started out on a gradual down hill and then went up a small hill prior to turning around and returning.  The last 2 miles was brutal up a false flat that just seemed to take forever.  I went out and tried to take it a little bit easier on the way out and then hammer back the return trip.  I didn't feel all that great on the second half but still had a decent Time Trial.

Category: Elite 3-
Results: 2nd out of 37 (
Link to ride on Strava:
GC Placing: 2nd out of 37

Stage 2- 60min Criterium Minden, NV

Having a good TT and putting me in 2nd in the GC was going to make for a tough Crit.  I was going to have to be on defense for the whole 60mins and really keep my eye on the Yellow Jersey and the 3rd, 4th, 5th place guys.  To make things even tougher they announced at the start of the race that there would be 3 "hot laps" right off the bat with cash primes the first 3 laps.  Then there would be 2 points primes at random points throughout the race and then there would be 11 other merchandise primes.  This would make for a tough race.  I held back and didn't go after the cash primes and just sat in for the first few laps.  When the first points prime came I went for it and ended up 3rd across the line with the 3rd and 4th place guys in the GC taking 2nd and 1st in the prime respectively.  Half way through the race I started attacking and couldn't manage to get away.  I don't think it helped that the USAC Official let everyone in the field know that I had just come off winning the Davis Crit, not the kind of announcement you want prior to a race.  I couldn't manage to get away but was able to win a few primes, which included a bike pump (that was a good one since I don't have a pump at home while I am on leave) and then a bottle of win etched with the race name and date, which was cool.

Once I couldn't get away I just went back to the top 10 and managed to recover a bit to get ready for the final few laps.  With about 10mins to go the GC Leader started moving up quite fast and went pretty hot into the tightest corner on the course and pedal hoped and slid out taking himself and almost taking out a few other riders.  A few laps later I was sitting 3rd wheel and when we went through the chicane another guy pedal hoped and took the guy out right in front of me and I barely missed the crash.  At that point there was only 3 laps left so I made sure to keep my position up front.  With 1 lap to go I was still up towards the front and picked it up on the back stretch to keep things strung out.  Going into the final 2 corners which happened to be a chicane I was sitting 2nd wheel, just where I wanted to be.  With about 200m to go I started to come around the guy and sprinted for the line.  With about 100m to go another guy came around me who I found out was the 4th place GC guy and we ended up side by side at the line and I managed to get him by less than an inch.  Probably the best sprint of the year that I have been it, it was even closer than the sprint a few weeks back in Korea.

Category: Elite 3-
Results: 1st out of 37 (
Link to ride on Strava:
GC Placing: 1st out of 37

Stage 3- 66 Mile Road Race

With having a solid TT and winning the Crit I went into the road race with a pretty solid lead.  The problem was I had to defend the yellow and do that without a "team".  Fortunately a team from Reno came over after the crit and offered to help me out as much as they could during the race as none of them were in GC contention.  I was relieved to have some help but knew it would still be a hard day.  The race was on a 11 mile loop that was going to be a tough because we had to cover it 6 times and it had 2 small climbs and then a 2 mile false flat back to the start finish line.  The other half of the course was a gradual down hill.

The first lap stayed together and then the start of the 2nd lap is when some guys got away.  None of them were GC contenders so myself and the 2nd place guy just let them go and had each other marked.  I tried attacking a few times over the next 2 laps but couldn't get away.  After that I just sat in the group and then when we would get to the climb I would just make sure I was around the other top GC guys and make sure none of them got away.  On the last lap we saw a few guys up the road and they ended up coming back to the peloton which left 4 guys up the road.  There was no way we were going to catch them so one of the guys from the Reno based team that was going to help me came up to the front and I asked him to just sit up front a keep the pace high for the last 3 miles.  When we got to about 1K out I attacked and got a small gap, but the group pulled me back with about 700m to go.  I sat about 3rd wheel of the main group and just kept my eye on the 2nd place GC guy, he was just sitting back so at 400m I attacked again but couldn't make it stick and got out sprinted by a few guys including the 2nd place GC guy.  Luckily there was only 2 or 3 people between us which wasn't enough for him to take the GC from me.  Overall I was happy with how the road race played out, even though I didn't finish that high, with a 9th place finish.

Category: Elite 3-
Results: 9th out of 37 (
Link to ride on Strava:
Final GC Placing: 1st out of 37

Overall I was really happy with how the race went and I feel that I learned quite a bit over the 2 days and 3 races.  It was a great opportunity to get some upgrade points which was why I stacked the schedule so heavy over the past few weeks and this weekend should give me enough points to upgrade.  I will submit my upgrade after next weekend and hopefully be racing Cascade Cycling Classic as a CAT2!

A big Thanks to my Dad and step mom Brenda for coming all the way out to watch the Crit on Saturday.  We then went out to a nice steak dinner with Brenda's brother and I managed to play a little black jack, which always makes for a fun night.  Also a huge thanks to all of the support that I have been getting over the past few weeks while home.  It is always hard to just show up to the local rides and not know anyone, but over the last 12 months I have been around enough to get to know these guys and gals, and we truly have a great group of local riders here at "home"!

Also for anyone that is interested in doing a great stage race, check out  For a first year event they did a great job and put up some big money and great primes for the crit.  I am looking forward to hopefully being able to come back and race next year, hopefully they have a CAT2 field, as I am not in the masters category yet and that is all they have for 1/2's this year.

Here are some pics from the weekend:

Right before the start of the crit, right after I finished my can of FRS!
Coming out of the chicane and onto the front stretch

The sprint for the win in the crit, yeah it was that close

Picking up my primes after the Crit, bottle of wind and the pump!

Putting on Yellow after the Crit
 Up the final climb of the road race course, sitting back to the left in yellow
 Talking with Todd after the race, he was one of the guys that helped me out during the road race.

 The top 8 for the overall GC
Top 3 for the Overall GC

1 comment:

Dad and Brenda said...

It was sure a nice weekend. Great weather, beautiful mountains. You did a great job Brad. Glad you got a good visit with your cousins Dionna & Eric. Its been a long time! Love you and very proud of you!