Berkeley Hills 2011 Race Report M123 35+

Our field got neutralized for this dude and everyone else. So it goes.

Conrad, Ramsey and I lined up to race this bad boy in somewhat cold and windy conditions.  Not to worry said the strong men from the hills (who are sick of being cold!).  I see, 10 Iron Data/Thirsty Bear riders led by Chris Phipps.  Hmmm.

Well, I had good legs, and proceeded to waste all kinds of energy in the first 2 laps with half-assed attacks and covering silly things.  Learning.  Unfortunately Ramsey got popped out the group.  Two got off the front, and I found myself doing a lot of the chasing.  Thank god Conrad threw himself into the fire with a solo bridge effort.  I sat in.  Lot of wind.  Conrad battled out there solo for 20 miles before we absorbed him . . . some where in this mix we got the other two and Phipps got off solo, later.

The race got frustrating, nobody worked, attacks were just covered, stiff headwind in face on climbs making them less selective I think.  We got neutralized and mixed in with other fields.  A surfer on a cruiser passed us I think with his longboard in the racks.

The final lap featured hard riding, finally, with Specialized saying screw it I’m gonna be late for lunch and need a flogging so heck with it.  Thank you.  Phipps won, or I guess maybe sat at the line and let his teammate win who was first up the finishing climb.  I followed an early finish line push by a stronger rider and popped in the last 50m with that dreaded feeling of dudes sailing by while I flailed up the hill.  9th place for me, 20th for Conrad, Ramsey DNF.  With smarter racing maybe we improve on those — not guaranteed but frustrating that ‘not smart’ racing leaves it in the ‘will never know’ camp. Next time, I’d like to know.

Conrad and I rode around and stayed warm while waiting for P12 to finish and saw our boys Keith Hillier pull 2nd and and Justin Rossi 6th and Jesse Miller-Smith also grabbing a top 10.  Those dudes continue to crush!  Old guys will learn, must learn, tactics and team racing.  I am first in line.  It was a great day for me to be in the break, make a break, needed more commitment to the moves.  Classic day of good legs and wasted energy adding up to no result.  Stoked to give it another go soon w/ more of the Masters boys.  As always a great time out w/ the crew – and special thanks to my Wife and Kids for letting me race on Mom’s day!

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