Saturday, June 22, 2013

Sea Otter circuit race

The sea otter classic is mostly an event for the mountain bike community, with a bunch of races and a huge bike expo all around the Laguna Seca track. For those of you not familiar with Laguna Seca, it is one of the best racetracks in America, if not the world. It winds its way thru the Monterrey hills and I went there last summer to watch the motoGP race with my dad.

In conjunction with the mountain bike events there are a few road racing events as well, with each field being represented by riders near and far, this event was no joke. My field had 64 riders and we were racing for 50 minutes on the Laguna seca track. This might sound easy but the track has over 200 feet of elevation gain per lap (2.2 miles). The first few laps were moderately paced as we were just feeling out the track and getting rid of the riders that weren't able to get over the climb. Each lap the field shrunk and there were about 30 left with 3 laps to go.

YouTube Video

At 3 to go a lone rider attacked on the climb and built up a 15 second lead. With 2 laps to go someone else attacked and bridged to form a 2 person breakaway. They didn't have a huge lead so I wasn't worried about them being to make it 2 more laps. At the beginning of the last lap we reeled in the break before the climb and with the field together it was full gas over the climb as everyone was fighting to be in the best position for the final mile to the finish line. Everyone was strung out as attacks were constant with people trying to get away but inside the last 500 meters everyone slowed just a tad as it was going to come down to a field sprint. I was in good position at the top of the climb (10th) but was shuffled back in the run in to the finish.

Looking back I should have attacked on that lull and taken the best that would come of it. Instead, I hesitated and waited for the sprint. The sprint started and I began trying to find a gap to move up as I still had a little left in the tank. I was eventually pinched and had to sit up and rolled thru in 24th place. I felt strong in the race but needed to be better positioned going into the finish and more decisive as I think a top 10 was there for the taking if I wouldn't have hesitated.
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