Pescadero Race Report: 6/19/10
Race report: Pescadero 55+, racing with 45 4/5
Report by Peter Taylor:
Cool day but dry. Paco and I are in the field. Morgan Stanley has 5 or so racers in the field including multi-time national champion, Mark Caldwell and his equally strong teammate, Steve Archer. 47 miles 1.7 laps for us. All I can think about on the first lap is how much I need to pee. Even tried on the bike to no avail. Maybe when I was 25. Eventually, managed to put that urge behind me and turn to racing. Things didn’t really heat up until 17 miles to go or so when Jamie Willin, riding without teammates, is joined by Steve Archer on a short climb and a fairly hairy descent. I wasn’t willing to endure a repeat of Mt Hamilton so I didn’t join them (should have). They open a 30 sec gap or so and I eventually recruit 3 or 4 riders willing to lead a chase effort. Mark C sits in the whole way. Steve A as is turns out is letting Jamie do the majority of the work who foolishly does so. I do most of the work to get us back (Paco admits he sand bagged instead of helping out) to within about 5-10 secs with the 1.6 mile climb to the finish. Mark jumps and several of us hang on. Jamie predictably implodes after 400 meters and soon it is down to 4 of us chasing Steve A who maintains a tantalizingly close advantage. Mac Carey leads the chase group, Mark on him, myself and a 45 4/5 rider in the paceline. I’m going about as hard as I can given my prior efforts. 150 meters from the finish Steve has a secure advantage, Mark sprints, I follow only to be cut off by the 45 4/5 rider I spite of my screams at him. I wouldn’t have taken Mark today anyway. A good 3rd was about what I expect given their team tactics. Maybe we need to recruit Jamie to our team.
Paco was a strong 10th keeping the leaders in sight until near the end.
Report by Paco:
Held near Half Moon Bay, this is one of those California ‘must do’ road races because of it’s beauty as well a course that races great: unless you hate climbing. Peter and I were there to wear the team colors in the 55+ field and to try and get Peter the win for a second year running. Morgan Staneley had the usual stacked team, plus some other teams came with power. We were racing 55 +, but also racing with the 45 + 4-5′s, so an unusual field mix with a total of seventy racing. Knowing we had to do Haskin’s Grade twice (Finishing on it the second time) I had a little bit of apprehension. My goal was to finish as high as I could, also being on the final ascent to the finish with the lead group (Unless a small break with Peter got away). As well, if I needed to lend a hand to Peter if I could. First time up this climb, Peter and about ten others had a slight 25 meter break over the top. I was leading a pack down hill so drifted to the about third spot figuring I never chase down my own team mate. Before the bottom we were back in and other riders from behind who were dropped kept showing up, until the field was back up to about 40 riders.
Lap two, the first climb out of Pescadero did not seem too hard but I noticed that we shed a lot of riders. Towards the top I saw two off the front and saw that Peter was not one of them. It looked like one was a Morgan guy. Oh Boy I thought, here it comes! On the decent, I was mid pack to the back and with enough riders showing their lack of race decending skills, I came off the decent with about six guys and had to motor hard for about a half mile to get back in the charging pack, which was now about 25 riders. I saw the two up the road. Peter and three/four other guys were working hard to bring us up to them. I made a call that we were reeling them in, so I decided to stay about mid pack to watch Mark Caldwell and his team mate who were together and talking. In case they did a total counter attack, I was prepared to go with them. In hindsight, I should have changed with Peter and worked chasing, and let Peter cover, but I did not. One of those calls you have to make during a race. I give myself a high grade for reading the situation, but a D for teamwork and stradegy execution. Going into the finishing 1.6 mile climb, my friend Paul, from Morgan S. and myself got chopped off by some others who were shutting it down. I buried myself to get on with Peter and the lead group, Paul missed out. With 1.5 Km to go, Peter and the first group were only about 30 meters up on me but then all heck broke loose and they were launching it. I tried one more huge pull and nearly blew so brought it in, with a few of us slugging it out for the next spots. I got 10th in the 55′s, and from the guys I came in with from the 45′s4-5, looks Like I hit 15 or 16 over all. Peter got third against two Morgan riders. Again I should have played the loyal team mate in the section before the finish climb to reel in the two, but after all these years, one can still arm chair quarterback all day long. Have to admit it was a fun day of racing!