Body Concepts Bicycle Race Team – Race Report: by John Kretschmann
Race: The 2nd race of the Sacramento Cyclocross series was this past weekend in Grass Valley at Condon Park.
Category/Field Size: Men 45+ B – Field Size 24
Course Description: This is a great venue up at elevation in the pines with lots of shade, a lake, etc. Very challenging course that goes up, up, and up to the top of a ridge then down, down, down back to the start. There is probably more climbing in this race than in all the other races in the series combined. It’s also fairly technical, especially when it’s the last race of the day when the course is really chewed up. There are several tight corners with soft, loamy dirt and then there’s the u-turn hill. It’s short, steep, and by 2pm it consisted of about 6″ of soft dirt with nothing firm to get traction on. The only way it was rideable was with a clear run at the hill carrying lots of momentum and a perfect line.
Race: I rode the 45+ Bs with 23 other riders. As usual, it was a very fast start with everyone sprinting up the initial hill to the first corner. I started on the front line but didn’t get clipped in right away and went into the corner about 10th.
I did a good job of moving through the field including the 35+ group that started only 15 secs in front of us. I was climbing well but my legs didn’t feel great. Just about every lap I hit the u-turn hill with a crowd and never got a clean run at it so ended-up running it. I was tentative through the technical stuff but rode through it clean the entire race.
As planned, I didn’t kill myself on the first lap and was riding 6th after the first 2 laps. My lap times were very consistent, in fact, my second-to-last lap was my fastest.
Results: I was battling it out with Steve Hoe (Team Revs) for 3rd place (1st & 2nd place were long gone) and went by him on the u-turn hill on lap 5. I was better than Steve on the climb and opened up a decent gap on the last lap but Steve is better on the technical stuff and closed it down. We hit the final set of barriers side-by-side. Steve got clipped in a hair faster than I and nipped me at the line by a couple of seconds to take 3rd.
Conclusion: All in all, it was a good race for me. I was pretty much at my limit the whole race but I’m a little disappointed I wasn’t able to hold off Steve for the podium finish. I saw Al at the race. Unfortunately he double flatted (not the only guy to do that). Sean had himself another fantastic race taking the win 15 secs ahead of 2nd place.
The next race is on 10/21 at the Old Sugar Mill in Clarksburg. I’ve never raced there before but it sounds flat which will be distinctly different from the last 2 races. November 3/4 we race in Folsom both days. They’re both great courses so I encourage you guys to come check it out and cheer on your teammates – 2pm start time for the Bs. I think Ron will be racing in addition to Sean and myself.