By Rod Rozman, Body Concepts Team

Race: Early Bird Patterson RR Date: 1/22/2011

Category/Field Size: 45+ Cat5, approx. 35 riders

Team Mates: Al, Felix, Rod

Weather/Course Description: Sunny, 45-55F, light easterly winds. Road was wet in a few spots. Reports of ice and cows in the road earlier in the day. We saw neither. Few rocks. Road in pretty good shape (few small potholes).

Race Plan: Attack at mile ~20 when the road pitches up to break up the pack to a small group of riders if possible, then work with whoever is remaining until the finish… and get 1, 2, 3 places. Well, that was the plan…

Race Results: The entire pack stayed mostly together from the start, with the Taleo and Folsom Revolutions riders staying at the front for most of the 1st 10-12 miles. Al and Felix took some pulls at the front between 12-15 miles into the race. Rod was comfortable being lazy/patient riding in the 1st 1/3 of the pack up until this point. When the road turned up at about mile 20, Al and Rod got on the front. The front pack broke up into a 3(?) riders, with Al and Rod going first together at the turnaround. From this point until mile ~30, Al and Rod worked together with 1 other rider… with a pack of 3 other riders bearing down on us from behind. At about mile 30, we had a pack of 6 riders. Three of them did not do any work at the front for the next 10 miles. There were a few encouraging words for them to help do some work. 1st mistake on our part: we should have forced them to the front by slowing down. Second mistake: from mile 38 to ~41, Al and Rod did too much of the work. When we passed the `final 1k’ sign, Al and I both knew the other 4 riders were ready to jump us… and they did. We did a nice lead-out for them…. mistake #3. Probably too much excitement as the finish was approaching. Rod got 5th, and Al got 6th. It was still a lot of fun.

Lessons:

1. We should have forced riders staying at the rear of the pack to the front by slowing down up front.

2. Being patient in the field until the right time works really well.

3. Be even more patient at the finish. Don’t give nice lead-outs to a competitor. Don’t let `finish line excitement’ cloud good judgment.

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