Monday, March 2, 2009

Bonelli US-Cup: Race Report

So I bailed out of Vision Quest a few weeks ago. The "race" didn't fit into my training, wasn't going to count for Xterra or USA Cycling points and I was having a hard time finding reasons why I should do it. When the US-Cup series schedule was finialized, I figured I could do 2-3 XC races for the price of the VQ and selling the spot was a load off my mind.
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I got my start racing XC in 2000 and it always feels like coming home when I do an XC race. Xterra is still #1 in my book, but XC is where I got bit by the racing bug and I'll always find room for it.
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Saturday, Holly and I headed up to Mom and Dad's for the night to lessen the drive from San Diego to San Dimas. My sentiments echo James', my jaw dropped when I saw how many people showed up for the race. Luckily, we were familiar with Bonelli and found a secluded, shaded parking lot practically to ourselves.
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Awesome day for a race, if a little hot.
After picking up my race packet, we returned to the car to find none other than Xterra Pro Melanie McQuaid parked next to us. She turned out to be super-cool and chatted up Holly for about 30 minutes. I swear, Xterra people are the coolest on the friggin' planet.
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The Whip all ready to go...Staying loose, in the shade and hydrated before my warm up.


I found all my racing buddies before the start: Allison, Jusin, James, Luke and Ryan. I finally got to meet Ryan's fiancee, Sara, though Holly still hasn't met Allison and Justin. Dammit!
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Random photo of me before the start...


Luke, James and I all headed out for a warm up about 30 minutes prior to the start, I spun easy on the pavement an then rode the initial climb to get a sweat going. I felt pretty good, but couldn't shake the dehydrated feeling I'd had since after my Saturday long run. Strange. I headed back to the starts and James passed me going the other way, saying the race had been delayed by 15 minutes...figures.
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Once the motorcycle stunt show had finished (that was random) they announced staging for the Pro race and I found myself wading through the throngs of Cat 1 racers trying to find my staging spot. Luckily, I found James in the crowd and got a pretty decent spot. Justin would find me seconds later "Dude where are we supposed to be?".
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I catch Luke's gaze as he's starting a minute in front of us. I point at him and jokingly threaten him: "I'm coming after you." Smiles all around; we're ready to go.
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Announcer: "Ten seconds!" and there's that familiar adrenaline surge I've had on every start line for the past 9 years.
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"GO!"

video

Felt good on lap one. Fast course, wide open and plenty of passing room. No techy spots and I'm drafting like it's a road triathlon (you know it's true!). I hit start/finish, grab my second bottle from Holly and hit "Lap" on my Garmin: 32! Sweet.
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Lap 2 and I can feel it getting hotter on the hills further away from the lake. The fatigue is creeping in, but I'm hanging on. More huge drafting packs at over 20 MPH on the pavement sections and I see Luke up ahead going backwards "Luke! Get on the train, man!" as we rocket by. I can tell he's beat because I get no response. Bummer.
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Finish lap 2: 35 and change. Not bad considering how much running and swimming I've been doing. Holly hands me Luke's bottle instead of mine and I stop "I need the clear one". Apologies from Holly and I head off.
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Twelve minutes into the last lap and I'm toast. No power, so I spin, spin, spin and keep the fluinds coming. I rallied a bit for the last 1/2 of the lap and limped it home in 1:48 for an unimpressive 16th out of 24.
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Cool number plates, though!
And a pretty cool T-shirt too.


Good stuff: Threw down 3 laps at a pace faster then I thought I could for this point in the season and way faster than the last time I raced at Bonelli. A solid training day.
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Bad stuff: not the competitive result I had hoped for.
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With as stacked as this race was, 680 racers and people came from AZ, NV, CO and UT, I'm pretty happy with how it all unfolded.
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I'm stoked to get the 2009 race season underway! Woot!
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E.

4 comments:

Luke said...

good stuff brotha!! i wanted to hop on the train but probably woulda blew my last gasket in the process! keep it up mang.

Pedal Circles said...

Good stuff! Hope to meet Holly next time out!

Are you doing Fontana?

jameson said...

the race was so fun dude... I can't wait to get out there and throwdown again... i just gotta get through CC this weekend.

Slater Fletcher said...

Good race dude...That heat was brutal and I was not even racing ;-)

I got some pics of you over
Here