Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Cantua and Dinuba Race Reports

Made it up north to Cantua Creek on Saturday for the road race, and to Dinuba on Monday for the crit. I thought I'd give a short commentary in case anyone is interested for next year. There were a couple Chicken Ranchers at Cantua, and Hecky, but nobody I recognized at Dinuba.

Cantua was an out-and-back though farm country, 2 laps 26 miles each, with a course that was a lot like our Sunday group ride. The only real hill was a 1km rise to the finish pretty much identical to the climb up Bates from Rincon, so that came mid-race, and at the end. Otherwise it was flat or slightly rolling through farmland and the pack stayed together. That is, unless you made a suicidal, lone break-away, which I did on lap 2 for about the last 20 miles so Gene could sit in the pack, and also just for fun...they caught me at the 1k to go sign and I think Gene ended up winning the race (45+ cat 4/5) in the final hill sprint. Congrats, Gene. Hecky said the 2/3 race was just a pack, with a 2-man break that never got any ground and got swallowed up on the final hill sprint. The pro/1 race was dominated by the Yahoo team, who had 12 guys and just turned it into a team time trial when they got 5-6 guys off the front who walked away with it while the rest of the team blocked. (They did 3 laps for 78 miles). The course was pretty good pavement-wise, although if you're allergic to bees don't go there, because the cropland is dotted with hives brought in to pollinate the trees.

Dinuba was a classic downtown crit, although L-shaped so there was one left turn. Several harsh pavement joints in the turns and a big giant concrete rain-swale in the main straight made it a little nerve wracking. The Cat 5's had three big crashes on the final lap, but I did the 35+ Cat 4/5 race and there was only 1 crash, which I missed narrowly, and the usual last-lap weaving and thrashing around, but everyone stayed up. I tried the solo break-away technique with 3 to go but they were having none of it, so I got swarmed & swallowed up in the last lap. Fun race though, nice little town, no traffic problems, etc. Cheap hotels, too.

Both races were about a 4-hour drive from SB. Think about it for next year...especially at Cantua, if we could organize 4-5 Chickens for any one division, we could definitely dominate the Cat 4 or Masters, I think, especially with guys that are fast up Bates or Gube.

-- Paul

Paul's move at Cantua was amazing. He was pretty much on the attack for the second half of the race, most of it solo. I had a "free" ride to finish as the strong riders in the group had to burn matches to bring back Paul and his breakaway companion.

I was talking to a few of the riders after the race and one of the Webcor riders, a very tall German, said in his best German accent, "The Big Chicken (Paul), and the Little Chicken (me), worked very well together". I had a good laugh at being called the Little Chicken.

Well done Paul! I owe you one.


Saturday, February 13, 2010


Big Rob, better than ever!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Poor College Kids Race Report

Hey guys & gals -

Four Chickens in the B section of Cat 5, unfortunately nobody made the top-20, at least not according to the results. I got dropped from the main bunch on the final climb and chased to get back with Big Rob but didn't make it back on. Of course after working my guts out in the last few miles Rob sprinted by me at the line and towed some hanger-on with him, dammit. Somehow Bill McBride got dropped from the results although he finished in front of me - strange actually that Rob and I show as the first two Chickens, I could have sworn I saw the kit ahead as I sunk into a red haze on the final climb...

One wicked crash on the fast downhill on the way out - some rocks on the side of the road, somebody twitched at 40mph and one guy's front wheel got taken out, so he's sliding down the road just in front of me and the next guy runs into him, tumbles over and lands VERY heavily on his shoulder & back. He howled the worst sound I've heard from a human in a long time. He was STILL ON THE GROUND when we came back through an hour later, that's some seriously poor medical service if you ask me. Rumor at the finish was it was a compound fracture, too.

At the finish line, got to watch Susie Willets WIN the women's 3/4 race, looked like Jane in 2nd, and Dave Letteiri won the sprint from the main bunch to get 3rd in the Men's 3. Sorry, no photos, I didn't have a decent camera. Attached is an iphone shot of the men's 5B results, just for anyone's interest. Apparently the winner was a professional BMX racer, some grumbling about his placement in Cat 5...

Best regards,

-- Paul