ronaldmariano

Knights Ferry Road Race

(v.2 - I had written this race report late last night, and then somehow accidentally deleted it. womp, womp.)

For me, the first race of the season is always exciting and nerve-racking at the same time. You just want to get out there and get the first race in, test the legs, and see how your fitness (or lack thereof) stacks up against your fellow racers. My coach and I agreed Knights Ferry would be a good first race to do because it’s early in the season and it’s usually a smaller turnout. This would be my first Road Race in the P12 as last year I only did a handful of crits once I upgraded. I was stoked to have Kevin there as a teammate, and it would be only his 2nd race as a Cat2. N00bz. 

I felt pretty good coming into the race. Training had been on point for the most part, and I had been focusing a lot on maximizing recovery whenever possible. In hindsight, I think Kevin was pretty much on the same page as we chatted during the first part of the race. Throughout the race we both raced strong up at the front, which was the main goal of ours. Communication was something we wanted to work on as well. Granted it was easier to find each other in a field of 22 or 23 riders, but still, it was good practice.

(Photo: Ronald Mariano)

The “highlight” of the race was the 3 man break that got up the road and ran the gap up to about 3 mins or so. For a while there, the peloton gave up the chase, and we were riding recovery miles. We almost stopped a second time for a nature break… I think maybe at about 20km to go, the time gap started to come down slightly, and the chase began in earnest. I kinda felt bad for the 3 guys in the break as they had been working so hard to stay out in front, only to get caught within the last kilometer! I remember seeing them in our sights at the 2km marker. Later on at registration, the Fremont Bank rider who was driving the break said he got caught at 100 meters! Heartbreak… Matt and Scotty from Fusion took some nice pulls at the end to reel that break in. Nice racing with you dudes!

Right before that 2km marker to the finish, Kevin and I decided we would both just try and go for the finish since neither of us knew how much we had left. Doing what he does, he attacked at 1km to go, and I just followed all the surges as much as I could. I managed to hang on for 10th and Kevin finished in 16th. That uphill finish was a lot tougher and longer than last year’s where it finished coming from the otherside of the hill. Overall I was pleased with our representation at the front of the race, and Kevin and I had lots of fun racing. A word about the e3 field: Jaffa and David worked their butts off and Naveen was able to win the field sprint for 3rd. Good job guys.

Some things of note:

-This was the first race where I tried out racing with no drink mix, and strictly water + eating raw bars. I was a little hesitant at first because it was a longer race (86 miles), but I tried it anyway. Great success I would say… this time at least. No cramping or gut rot.  

-The jersey/ goretex windproof baselayer combo was on point. I didn’t have to deal with a windvest, and I didn’t overheat nor did I get too cold.

-Racing my Focus Izalco for the first time was awesome. I had already logged a bunch of miles on it, but racing it was going to be a different story. It was super solid and stable throughout the race and over the rough roads, and stiff as a board during hard accelerations. Oh, and it happens to match our kits too!

-An apology to the SJBC kid who’s feed I messed up. I tried to go for a bottle that wasn’t mine, and ended up knocking it out of his dad’s hand. My bad.

-What better way to start recovery than to munch on some ARO Pistachios!

A big thanks to our sponsors for helping us get going this season: GigaOM, ARO Pistachios, Fresh Air Bicycles, Dan Tian Wellness, Whole Athlete, Focus Bikes, Lazer Helmets, Baia Pasta, De La Paz Coffee, Elemental Herbs.

See you at Snelling.

-Joe