Rosena Ranch Feb 25th, 2017 - Race Report
AUTHOR: EJ Wright - OC Armada Race Team
Here I am Monday the 27th reflecting on what seemed to be a whirlwind of a weekend; quite possibly a perilous weekend whereas the line between training and racing has begun to blur into obscurity.
On tap for the weekend was the aesthetically simple yet difficult Rosena Ranch Circuit Race. Simple in the sense, a straight forward two mile circuit with two 180 degree turns. Difficult, on opposing ends of the course and these "climbs" and constant 5+mph cross wind that typically puts everyone against the double yellow lines or in the gutter…. Hell it is bike Riding/ Racing; isn't that where we typically spend our time?
Perilous: Full of grave risk, Dangerous, risky.
Walking to registration, I am met with a visceral reminder and why I have chosen the word perilous. During the 30+ 3/4 race (OC Armada entered four misfits) there was an incident that took two of four Misfits to the ground while at speed- lined up for a sprint finish. Battered and bloody, Carlos Salazar and Carlos Glines were able to go home without a trip to the ER…. "Today was a Good Day," (Ice Cube).
A game of Chess while playing checkers is how I like to explain bike racing. From the edge of the curb it may seem confusing at times… "Why is that guy going so hard? Why is everyone looking around?" Typical questions one may ask while watching a bunch of men/ women and juniors pedaling our childhood toys and rocking some pretty flamboyant spandex.
The Chess match which would play out consisted of some of So Cal's best Kings and Knights: Karl Bordine and Phil Tinstman from Monster Media; Thurlow Rogers and 5 of his teammates from the Davis Phinney Foundation; Big Orange, S2C and myself and Gio Ortiz representing the OC Armada.
Anytime you have the likes of Phil and Karl on hand there are certain knowns: it will hurt, there will be drool, ice cream will be earned and the attacks will come fast and hard… hope you nailed your warm up. Today was no different. Less than half way into the first lap Karl cracks the throttle wide open and rides away from the group… Chess move #1, now it is time to play checkers… Everyone at this point begins looking at Phil and what he may or may not do. For the next 7 laps he plays a perfect game of checkers.. Covers the attacks, works just hard enough and sits 2nd or 3rd wheel forcing those on the front to work longer than they want (Yeah he is not going to chase down his own teammate).
Just as we are about to hit the half way point, Karl is now a couple seconds up the road and Phil launches his full gas attacks to leapfrog to his teammate (chess move #2)… Out of position I jump entering the corner and the top of the course and begin to mash the pedals with a sense of urgency... Heart rate pegged, on the verge of a Fukashima meltdown “they are so damn close”, I sit up or risk the "popping" for good. As a result of Phil's attack the rest of the group has now been broken across a 1/2 mile of the course. The next group to catch me is now going too fast to jump in; however, I noticed Gio has made the group and is riding the wave and is being carried to the wheels of the break. Relegated to the Peloton (if that is what you can consider 12 men) I begin to take stock that I am highly pissed about what happen… Plenty of self-talk took place during the next couple of laps as the gap to break stabilized and the constant attacking each other in the group subsided.
With 4 1/2 laps to go, composed mentally and physically ready to make the best of it, I found myself in position to roll off of the front entering the first turn around. With my mind set to just put in some work, I notice a shadow and a voice calling out to me to "just keep rolling, we have a gap! Give me a minute and I will work…" For the next 9 miles my compatriot in pain was Steve Kalsna. With the race winding down we found ourselves inching closer to the front pack as they begin "sizing each other up." BELL LAP BELL LAP BELL LAP! The announcer clamors, my compatriot exclaims "it is all yours, I am done" my only response was stick with me! Two is better than one!
Coming out of the final corner it is evident that the sizing up is well under way, at this point I know we will catch them too soon and with too much speed to slow and sit in for a moment. As we approached the pack that still contained my OC Armada teammate Gio, my only possible option was to go full gas with whatever I had left in the tank… My goal of the podium was extinguished at this point. With about 150m the audible hard shifting of men standing/stomping on their peals to begin their sprint is evident… Swarmed!
I take what is left in me to the line.
For the Day Gio ended up 6th and I ended up 9th.
As for the Checkmate move, well that took place about two laps to go when Karl Bordine and Ruben Meza broke away from the front group.
Thank you #G2Bike and Christian for keeping my #FeltF1 mistress dialed and working perfectly,
Thank you Gio Ortiz for joining me for a great day to race bike. Thank you Christopher Jennings and Dave Jordaan #CyberCyleCoach for your hard work to build my training program.
#G2Bike sponsored #OCArmadaRacing team. #raceday. #BestVipChauffeured #WorldwideMazda #Eibach #driventech #prescisonsports #precisionSportsTherapy - Dr. Travis Conley #FeltBicycles #GlukosEnergy #SmanieSaddles #BorgPerformanceTraining #JakrooCustomApparel #ara4law #WENDBike #MakeAWishOrangeCountyandtheInlandEmpire —