Sunday, February 1, 2009

The First Road Race of The Year!

Sorry gang, if I'm a little slow on the posting right now. My email has changed. Here are the latest race reports from Saturday's races.

Hello Everyone,

Well I thought I'd take a stab at the first race report. But by no means does that excuse the rest of you from telling your stories!

The Cat 3 race started about as friendly as any race I can remember. We were comfortably conversational all the way to the first turn-around about 17 miles in. It was kind of embarrassing 'cause the Cat 5 group that started 5 minutes behind us came flying by us like we were standing still.

Things picked up after the turn-around and as we hit the return climb towards the end of the first lap an attack went off the front. I decided to go with it 'cause Dave had warned me to "race aggressive! We have enough sprinters!". Oh, by the way Dave broke his chain on the first climb about 6 miles into the race and had to abandon, so we were without our "Patron". I ended up in a break of about 12 riders with one other Chicken Rancher, Tory "The Razor" Gillett. Meanwhile the big gun sprinters on our team like Blinger, Gabe, John "The Van-Man" Van Mannekes, and Aaron were content to sit back and save their legs and to wait and see if the field would bring us back.

Our breakaway group worked well together and basically pace-lined it for 50 miles and they never caught us. So it was left up to me to deliver the goods at the finish line. Unfortunately, when I wasn't looking someone strapped two logs to my legs and when I went to sprint it felt like I was wearing stilts! Needless to say my pathetic 25 mph "stilt- sprint" did not seal the deal and I ended up 4th. I think we would've had a better chance of a Rancher winning if the sprinter group had caught us. We had a lot of horse-power sittin' in back there. But we all raced well together, we had a good strategy and didn't make fools out of ourselves, the weather was outstanding, and nobody crashed! All in all a pretty successful day!

The only other riders I knew in the break were two Platinum boys. Chester Gillmore and Ron Tekada. The rest of the guys I'm sure were all doping......Well, OK I'm not 100% sure they were doping but it felt like they must be doping and it makes me feel better to imagine that they least the 3 guys who beat me.

I know we had at least a couple other Chicken Ranchers finish in the top two in a couple other races but I'll let them tell their own stories. Even if we didn't win we were by far the best looking Team out there on the road and in the end that's probably way more least for pictures. Speaking of which, I took exactly zero pictures, so if anyone has any pictures to share please send them to Greg. I think we also won the "Miss Congeniality" award for being the nicest guys at the race so that gives us some momentum going into tomorrow's Mothballs showdown.

Great job everyone!

See you tomorrow,


Hi there!

My race report isn't that interesting, but at least the women ranchers
put up a good result in the form of ultra-speedy-climber Susie Willett!
As most of you know, I spent over 24 of the last 40 hours on a train or
plane or sitting in an airport, not really the best way to get your legs
ready for a race! And since my circadian rhythm is telling me that it
is 9 hours later than it really is...let's just say it might not have
been an ideal day for a road race. But I did it anyway, and it was
actually pretty fun!

The W3/4 race was slow from the get-go. There was one rider making
things *interesting* in the form of pass the peloton over the centerline
and then attack. Then sit up, then repeat. This was how the whole race
went--I think my brakes got more workout than my legs for awhile there!
Anyway, things got a bit speedier on the way back, and sure enough, the
climbers went on that final long climb, which alas was too long for my
airplane-legs. I got gapped, and then the chase was on. I worked with
one other girl, and we tried and tried to catch back up. I thought we
were going to do it...but then lost a few precious seconds trying to get
the follow car to notice us so I could get by... I rounded the final
corner by the feedzone and realized I wasn't quite gonna make it.....I
gunned it and crossed the finish line in 14th, right behind Lauren
(UCSB) who had led out Jen (UCSB) for the win. So close.....

Susie, however, rocked the climb, and ended up 2nd!!!!! YAY!!!!!!!

Maybe tomorrow will be more my thing. I just need to convince my legs
that they can climb just a LITTLE better so I can use that sprinting
power for something more useful and exciting than 14th!

See you all tomorrow!!! And good job to everyone today! I saw so many
Ranchers out there--got tons of comments on how awesome the kit looks,
and I think we are off to a great start! I'm happy to be a part of this

Kimberly Turner (so jet lagged she is going to sleep now).

In the 1st cat 5 group we had Dan, Brian, Bill, Dave J, Matt Perry and myself. The 1st half of the lap was a pretty reserved pace, but we could have been a part of a bloopers video when we got to the turnaround. I think we were the 1st group to go through the turnaround area, so the UCSB course marshals (they must be cat 5 marshals) didn’t tell us to go right until some riders were already turning left. It was pretty comical as only about half of the field actually went around to the right and the others to the left, so we were all turning into each other, which was complete chaos.

The second half of the lap was faster with Matt and a few others mixing it up at the front. I road about 10th wheel waiting for the climb to come, so I could try and thin the field to a small group that could hopefully get to the finish. I rode the 1st half of the climb pretty hard and looked around and there was only one rider within a couple of bike lengths. I slowed up and offered some encouragement, hoping I’d have a few people to get organized with for the flats. As we got to the top, three of us came together and not too long after Dan & Matt bridged up with a few others, with another couple riders joining a few miles down the road. The last couple of k’s there were probably 10 of us as Dan and I sat on for a bit as two Fast Friday riders did all of the work. Going into the sprint, I was kicking myself for not attacking before we fanned out taking up every inch of road and I’m no Eric Zabel. As I sat up, Dan saw a gap and started moving like a freight train through it, but the riders on each side must have not liked his speed as they tried to make a sandwich out of him. Matt Perry the bike handling maestro moved effortlessly to the front and took 2nd!

Every person I saw in a Chicken Ranch jersey crossed the line with a smile, so it’s probably safe to say that we definitely had the most fun…!


A brief follow up on John's E mail from one of the Cat 5 guys who was gapped before the first turn. It was a scary but funny , watching you guys make that first turn with no direction from anyone of the race organizers and watching them run around and try to reset the cones before we got there. Thankfully no one got hurt.
But the highlight of my day even more than passing the cat 3s on the way out was the support I saw among the Chicken ranch team for all its members (including newbies like me). I did not see that kind of verbal encouragement coming to members of other groups If I didn't respond with more than a smile and nod it was only because I was gasping for air at the time but it felt great. Dave thanks for yelling to catch and stay with those Cat 4 guys at the top of the hill ,I did and stayed with them the rest of the way. (I was kind of discouraged at the time thinking that you had already finished 2 laps and ridden out to watch).
When I was considering becoming part of the team and a sponsor, Matt talked with me about the philosophy of being inclusive and supportive to all team members and it was sure evident today.
Good luck tomorrow for those racing and I will be out to root you on .

Bill M

After begging for a spot in the 5 A group to race with my fellow Chicken Ranchers I had to settle for 5 Bs. I think my grandma could have stayed with the 5 Bs for the first 17 miles until the turn around.

When we hit the climb the pack thinned out a bit. I suffered up it, but managed to cling onto the 3rd group and we quickly joined the 2nd group. I helped bridge us up to the first group and if someone would have moved the finish line 200m closer I would have won, but I had to settle for 6th I think. I think I was doing a little too much work in the last 5 km to have anything left for the sprint.

I talked with Big Rob, the only other Rancher in 5 Bs that I saw, about strategy before the race and he quickly said "Hey man, this is my first race," so I forgot about the strategy and just road.

If I had to do it again I would have liked to work with a few guys earlier on to thin the pack out before the big climb. I think we could have stayed away. This is all hypothetical of course, but maybe next time.

I had a lot of fun, and can't wait to regroup tomorrow.

Congrats to everyone.

Bob Wilcher
Killer B Fitness
126 Powers Ave, Santa Barbara, CA 93103

As Matt mentioned, he was able to get to the front at the base of the long climb and stay w/ the lead group, which ended up being the move of the day. I made what turned out to be the dumb move of the day and take a nature break a couple of miles before the base of the climb, which left me at the back of the group. I figured that Iʼd have enough time to work my way up towards the front before the start of the climb. Unfortunately, the group wasnʼt going very fast leading up to the climb, so we were 5 wide w/ no room to maneuver through the pack. I spent a lot of time and energy trying to work the edges of the yellow line and the right side of the road trying to move up. The next thing I know we were hitting the climb and Iʼm still ½ way back in the pack. By the time we get to the top, I see Matt and Toryʼs group of 13 off the front. They had a good gap, and we were left w/ about 10 riders trying to bridge.

Coming to the turnaround under the Start/Finish line for the start of the second lap, I could see we were within striking distance of the lead group. Shortly after, Tory backed off the lead group and joined our chase group. It was when we picked up Tory that I decided to put in some hard efforts to bridge the gap. My reasoning was that the lead group of 12 only contained 1 Rancher, Matt. Our group of 10 contained 4 Ranchers, thus weʼd have the numbers to help Matt if we bridged. A few La Grange guys helped w/ the chase since they didnʼt have anyone in the break. At one point we were close enough that the follow vehicle was backing off from the leaders and got ready to get behind the chase group. I was at the front and pulled off thinking someone would pull through and finish bridging. Unfortunately that wasnʼt the case and no one pulled though. I think that those of us that were doing the work were too gassed to finish the job. It was then that the front group gapped us even more and the chase group backed off. We cruised back and at the base of the final climb, Steve Smith from Platinum and Blinger picked up the pace. Over the top, the pace picked up and a rider from Bishops Peak took a hard pull, but no one followed his wheel. I jumped out of the saddle and got on his wheel. One quick look back and I could see the two of us had a gap. Another look back and I could see Toryʼs CR jersey at the front blocking . At this point it was 2 of us working together, we picked up another rider who tried to bridge the gap to the leaders earlier, making us 3 working together to the finish. Going into the finish I decided to try my legs for a long downhill sprint. I took off early, and got caught at the line. I ended up finishing in 14th place. I wish I would have made the lead group, but that being said, I was happy w/ my fitness and my result.

Sorry if it was a little long winded :-)


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