Bike racing is hard……period. For the uninitiated, perhaps those who don’t ride bikes or spectators who think they can do better it seems like a not-so-hard endeavor. Those thoughts couldn’t be more misplaced or further from the truth. And if you didn’t think that before going into the race this weekend I’m sure its etched in your mind…..or on your backside if you took a tumble. Sunday was hard.
I want to personally congratulate everyone on the team who participated this weekend at Laguna Seca. The effort you put forth on what is arguably the toughest course of the year (maybe) was inspiring. Coupling the course profile with the unrelenting, sharp headwinds made things very challenging.
Observing from the feedzone is the best seat in the house. Timing laps, watching riders go by, seeing the composition of the race develop….and as every lap goes by seeing the blue and white blazes rolling on lap after lap after lap…they are great moments and fill your coach with a sense of pride. Oh…and a feedzone side note: some guy from a team who will not be named puking his guts out (looks like he’d drank a couple gallons too many before the race judging by the displacement)
I am remiss in not doing race recaps until this point during the season. As you know I don’t call out everyone for their efforts (we could be here for a while) but highlight just a few riders that I could see where lost in the deep depths of “the pain cave” and came through the other side just a little bit stronger.
In what is a very young racing career with Laguna Seca being only her third mass start Mae has pretty much gone from 0 to 60 in the blink of an eye. The Sophomore Girls started out blistering fast from the gate with a massive charge up the opening hill. Hanging steady and fending off a last minute charge from 10th place Mae hung onto 9th place. Placing 14th, 11th and 9th respectively in her races it seems as though she’s picked better lines in every race.
Wanting to “swim with the big fish” Dylan petitioned the league, with my full endorsement, for a successful upgrade to the varsity ranks. This weekend: 13th out of 37 starters, 33 finishers. Umm..yeah..I’d say the upgrade was appropriate. Trust me when I say the varsity D1 riders were absolutely shot out of a cannon at the start. They were charging up past the feedzone as fast as some go down.
After missing out on the top ten in his first outing and then wisely opting out of race #2 due to illness Captain Spence rolled into Laguna Seca locked and loaded. Just missing out on a podium by seconds Spence rolled into an incredible sixth place showing that he’s just getting warmed up for the season. Keeping his head about him during the race he strung together very impressive, steady lap times. Good going Spence!
Choosing to ride her best in the toughest venue season-to-date and having no mechanical issues aboard a 29’er test ride Anna finished her first race. Getting that first finish is always the toughest and shows there’s nothing but upside to the rest of her season. Way to go Anna!
I also want to thank the parents for their support over the weekend. I cannot stress enough what the support means to your kids, the coaching staff and the entire team. It seems as though more and more parents are showing up at every race. If there are parents who have not made it to a race yet I highly encourage you to attend and cheer your son/daughter and their team. Thanks to all the parents for this past weekend, in particular I’d like to thank the Kane’s for some great pics, the Pucket’s for assisting with camp setup and the use of their vehicle for transportation needs and the Streitman’s for the fine post-race cuisine.
Now…onto practice Wednesday. My time restriction for Wednesday practice has been lifted. Couple that with warmer, clear weather we’ll plan on a longish ride tomorrow. From now until the rest of the season we’ll use Wednesday’s to build intensity and threshold. Plan on riding all the way to the top of Tam…..no stops, no resting planned. We’ll regroup at the top. We’ll go over more detail at the start of the ride but make sure you’re hydrated and bring along a few gels or blocks.