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9-8-2013 Willow Hills Circuit Race (Folsom Cyclebration) Criterium 45+ 4

Body Concepts Bicycle Race Team – Race Report by John Kretschmann: Sunday, September 8, 2013 Willow Hills Circuit Race (Folsom Cyclebration) Criterium 45+ 4:

Teammates Representing Body Concepts: DJ Singh, John Kretschmann, Matt Conidaris, Pete Gemmell, Ron Faulk.

Field: Total of 35 registered riders.
Course: Course consisted of 7 laps, for a total of 16.8 miles. 2.4mi/lap, 16.8 total miles (7 total laps). 334′ total climbing (48’/lap). Fun course with a couple of small hills and a round-a-bout. Long sprint finish (~300m from the final corner). Closed course, good-to-excellent pavement..
Conditions: Perfect. Mid-70s, sunny, clear, light breeze.

Plan: Not much of a team strategy. Personally, was hoping to get a better placing than yesterday (14th) and was really focused on the strategy which I had planned to follow yesterday – sit-in, don’t waste energy unnecessarily, and follow the Goss/Fales train on the last lap.

Race: I rode to the race from home. Only took about 10 minutes. Used the same number as yesterday so I was already pinned and ready to go. Took one lap around the course to warm-up with just a couple of short jumps to test the legs and get the heart rate up. Pace was relatively slow at the start but picked up after the first lap. There were a couple of short-lived flyers in the first half the race that didn’t stick. I did a good job of keeping an eye but not chasing. There was one prime lap at the 1/2 way point for omnium points. Goss went hard for it and got the points, which set-up an ideal situation for an attack. I thought about it but didn’t say anything as I passed by Ron. Just then a Victory Velo rider (Robin) attacked with a couple other guys. A perfect move. Having worked too hard yesterday chasing dumb breaks, I was gun-shy and let ’em go. They opened up a sizable gap and were going pretty good. Ron did some chasing but I told him to cool his jets and let the Bikes Plus guys chase as they were the omnium leaders. However, the BP guys were content to let them go. It looked like the break was going to succeed and we’d be racing for 4th. There was some confusion on the last lap as they didn’t ring the bell with one to go. I had been counting laps and was pretty sure we were on the last lap but Ron came by me and said we had one to go. So, I maintained position in the top-10 and kept and eye on the BP guys. The pace picked up as we headed toward the bridge and the pack was charging hard into the final corner. I was about 8th wheel through the last corner just as we passed the 3 guys that were in the break. I was only going about 90% effort and didn’t realize it was the final sprint until about 100m. I cranked it up and passed a couple guys, finishing in 6th place. Dean Klotz won, Goss was 2nd. I was set-up pretty good and probably could have podiumed had I realized it really was the final lap.

Conclusion / Lessons Learned: — Stuck to the plan and didn’t take the bait and chase early breaks.
— Had very good pack position just about the entire race and rode very heads-up.
— Did an excellent job of anticipating the potential attack following the prime sprint. However, I didn’t act and this was a break that was very close to succeeding. I knew ahead of time that this course, with the rollers, meant that a successful break was possible. In fact, last year the race was won by a solo breakaway. Not sure I would have been able to hang with the break but it was a good, solid move and I was positioned such that I could have gone with it.

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