Monday, June 25, 2012

Rosena Ranch 2 Circuit Race Report

With circuit and road races farther away from home and less common than crits, I was excited to do a circuit race. This course would be a 3.75 mile course with about 200 ft. of climbing per lap. My category 5 race would be 5 laps, starting at 7 am. It can be extremely windy out in Fontana/Devore area, but fortunately in part because it was early we had little to no wind.
I got to the race later than I had planned, and by the time I was signed in, bike ready and extra wheel set in the pit it was 5 minutes until staging. I barely had any warm up before the start.
At the staging I lined up in the middle of the front line. As we rolled out I was third in the pace line and sat in for a while. After the first lap I took several short pulls. The course was on Glenn Helen Parkway and went clockwise on the left side of the center median. There was a noticeable rise at the north end of the course that required a little more effort, but didn't do much to the group. But the rise about 1500 feet from the finish line was a different story. Probably only a 3% grade, it was still difficult at race pace.
On the third lap, after the second turn around I attempted a break away which I help briefly, about half a mile until I reached the rise before the finish. Then I stayed in the protection of the peloton for the rest of the race, taking a few pulls along the way.
The pace picked up a bit on the bell lap and 1,500 feet out from the finish line the sprint started. I had been top 4 wheels and I suddenly became 15th. I stayed seated and powered it out. About 75 feet out most of the guys that had sprinted ran out of gas. That energized me and I gave an all-out sprint, passing quite a few riders. I hammered all the way across the finish line, finished completely exhausted. I knew I was top 10. When the results were posted I was pleased to see I got 7th place.
There was a lot of talent out at Rosena Ranch today and it made for an excellent race. I was glad to participate and look forward to it again next year.

-Andrew Penksaw p/b Juice Plus+

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