Drake HS took 1st place Team D1 at Fort Ord this weekend! Here are the Race Reports.
Fort ord- NorCal #3 4/9/16
Don’t worry everyone! My race report is here. I know it has been awhile since the race has finished, but here goes: I didn’t pre ride on Friday, because we left after school (I guess I got the worst of both worlds), so the day of we got there early so I could ride the end. This wound up being very helpful, because I hadn’t realized it was such a big difference than last race. It was more of a mix between the first race of the season and races in years past. The race started and I didn’t start with the usual hole shot mentality that I race with. Instead, going up the first fire road climb I felt Kyle to my left and Kaveh to my right, all together. I made sure I lead into the first descent, but we didn’t push too hard. Thought the first mile, I lead a group of as much as 12 through the undulating beginning of the course, until we slowly whittled it down to 8. Those riders were logan, Kyle and I for Drake; Kaveh and James baker from Tam, a Redwood kid, the two Woodcreek guys who usually find themselves on the podium (justin and Jonah), along with a Nevada Union rider. I didn’t want to waste myself too early, as I usually do, so I kept the pace pretty easy. It was a conscious decision of mine to try to get logan and Kyle and I all onto the podium, so our positioning of me leading, then Logan and Kyle 3-4 was great. I realized that it was unlikely for the other four to actually want to contribute, and so I decided that if anyone would help, it would be Kaveh. Asking him to pull through at mile 3 or so, he declined, saying we were going “way to fast.” I was a bit shocked, but this could of course have been a mind game. This opened up perhaps the best tactical move though- my next option was to ask Logan pull through, and doing this he passed Kaveh as well. So, as soon as the inevitable splits started occurring, without doing an extra effort we had positioned our riders in the first two places. Logan went by and increased the pace. So much so that it took me about 10 or 20 seconds to get back to him. I saw a video on my dads phone later of Logan leading the pack, and things were splintering behind. James and the redwood guy seemed to be going backwards, and soon after just Kaveh and I remained behind the beast. I passed on the fire road climb on the second portion of the first lap, the same part were my winning move took place five weeks prior. With Logan softening the pack up perfectly, I thought this would be a great time to get some distance. I knew Logan was strong enough to hang, and with any luck off we would go. But, one problem remained: Kaveh. For the next mile, the elastic would not snap; Kaveh wouldn’t go away. As we got on to the lower part, and the long flat straights, I said to Logan, “let’s hit it brother,” and we hammered. I am pretty sure the reason Kaveh was dropped wasn’t the speed, but the fact that two teammates had outsmarted him. Although it was a four second gap with a lap to go, it was a unique one were if he didn’t close it down right away, Drake was looking at 1-2. And that is just what happened. Logan and I took the last lap hard, perhaps it was a bonus that the first few miles were not at maximum effort. I never knew that we had completely distanced him, but after a while I realized that it was looking more and more likely that Kaveh wasn’t coming back. It was nice having a teammate to ride with, the constant dialogue and checking in kept me sane. The last two races I was a nervous wreck on the last lap, constantly checking over my shoulder to see if Kaveh or Logan were coming. While this race was the same, at least I had someone for company. I knew Logan was looking great, and based on the pull he took in the first lap he was more than capable of laying on the hurt. So on the final fire road climb, I gave it all I had, hoping it would be enough to distance him. Unfortunately for me, it was not. He found my wheel once more, and it wasn’t until the new added on section for this race that I found a few bike lengths. It was a fast run in, and it helped having two drake sophomores on the home stretch with us :). As I came across the pit zone, I finally realized I had it, and nine seconds later another wave of joy went through me as Logan crossed the line, completing my hope- 1,2. That was probably my favorite race that I have done so far for this team, and seeing the Pirates kill it was awesome. With the multiple podiums we had, along with the team taking the ‘ship (no pun intended), it was a great outing for Drake. And, not to mention a top ten for river in our race, what a great ride! Again, sorry for the lateness of this report- I have failed to reach the allocated time given to me by many of 5PM race day,I hope you can forgive me!
So after my second race, I was pretty bummed with my finish because I had set the bar high for myself with a good finish in the first race. I really trained very hard after the second race, because I felt that I could do a lot better, and 6th place was not quite what I had in mind. Unfortunately, I came into race weekend very very sore (unable to walk out of bed) because I rode a bit too much. On the pre ride, I rode with Gabe and rode a little bit too fast, so when race morning came around, my legs felt like noodles. I had a good breakfast and tried to distract myself by talking to a bunch of people. When I headed over to staging, my legs suddenly (for no reason) stopped feeling sore, and I felt ready to race. In staging, the kid from Tam high school whispered in my ear, “See you at the finish line… when I beat you!” I just nodded and said ok, see you there. When they called us up, I was feeling pretty nervous and and before I knew it, we were going. We started the race at a pretty slow pace, and I was starting to question Otis’s decision of starting the race slowly. We had about 15 other kids on our tail. About 1 mile into the first lap, I passed Kaveh, and Otis and I left him a few seconds behind us. By just reading Otis’s race report, I guess he tried to leave me on the second lap :( but I was surprisingly able to stay with him. I ended up getting second this race. And I am very pleased with it. I am very stoked with how the team did this weekend! All the kids did really well, and looked very strong.
It was quite a disappointment to me when the Norcal league decided to change the race from Lagoon Valley, a technical, hilly course which would have favored Drake riders, to Fort Ord again. Still, I heard they would be making the course longer and with more elevation, so I kept an open mind.
On the pre-ride, I saw that the course did have a lot of new additions, including a few new hills at the end, which were helpful to know about before I raced. I felt great on the ride, knowing I did everything I could to prepare for this race.
After getting down to the course at around 8:45 due to a very late breakfast, I got to see all of the girls race, nervously anticipating my own. Finally, I arrive at the start line, so nervous I can barely talk to anyone, even my own teammates. Suddenly, I hear the loudspeaker count down until were off.
I sprint up the first hill, not letting anyone pass me and get in around fifteenth place. I follow the leaders for a little while, trying not to lose them as I did in the other two races. Suddenly, though, I can feel myself tiring out, knowing I can’t keep at this pace if I ever want to finish the race, so a Bruins kid and I ride along behind them, alone.
We are moving at a good pace, and pass a couple kids, although can’t find our way back to the leaders. Eventually, though, he quickens the pace and he is out of sight. I pass a couple of other kids, and before I know it I finish the first lap, hovering right around tenth place. I feel myself tiring out, but try to think only about the trail ahead.
About halfway into the second lap, I feel another burst of energy and use it to pass another kid and find the Bruins kid again. As we are finishing the last lap, on a double track section I can tell he is very tired so I attack. He is right on my tail the whole time, though, and as we cross another road to the finish he passes me. We are sprinting as fast as we can at this point, and just as we pass the corner to the finish, we catch a Redwood kid and the three of us finish it out; the Redwood kid first, then the Bruins kid, and finally me for my personal best, ninth place.
Great job to all of our riders for racing this weekend and especially to Uma, Elise, Ronan, Calvin, Otis, Logan, Dylan, and Dean for getting on the podium.