Cat 3 race
Written by Platinum rider Tucker Eurman
It was a pretty small field this weekend, reaching just above 30 riders it looked like. I was joined by John E, Tom A (Finally cat 3!), and Steve W. Our biggest competition was Ryan G (now racing for Helen's) and the MetalMountain group of riders. Our plan was to "test the waters" and have Tom do some early attacks to see if he could get a group going. If it was all together at the end, John was planning a last second attack on the backside of the course just before the final turn, with the hopes to either not be chased, or have me tack on to anyone willing to go after him, theoretically putting me in a great position in the sprint. I was planning on sitting in and saving as much energy as possible. After a few laps, John got gapped off the front, and no one seemed eager to take chase. When we caught him, Tom attacked, and no one went with him. He spent a lap or two off the front alone until a few riders bridged up to him, getting a 10 second gap. I was behind Paul Thorsen when he decided he wanted to get in that group. He attacked just before the first corner and I went with him. I looked back and saw no one came with us, so I pulled around and bridged up to the front group, leaving Paul behind. The small breakaway looked as if it was slowing, so I quickly went past them in hopes that they would stay on my wheel and get a larger gap. They didn't. I spent one lap alone off the front and decided I didn't want to expend the energy trying to stay off alone. I soft-pedaled until a group of riders caught me. I got in the rotation and started working, not knowing if we had a gap or not. Now about 20 min into the 55 min race, I was able to look and see what was going on. We had a 30 second gap on the field and were just about out of sight. I was joined by 9 other riders (Mondo, Ryan G, a Metal MTN rider, Christian (LA rider with large gauge earrings), two riders from Surf City, a rider from Santa Monica, myself, and two others I can't remember). Mondo cramped up and dropped back, which left 9 of us total. It was difficult to motivate everyone to help in the pace line, but we eventually got a good rotation going. Our gap grew from 30 to 40 to 45 seconds. The platinum boys in the pack worked to control attacks and keep the peloton slow. With 10 laps to go, the peloton was in sight OF US. We kept creeping closer to the main group, and were within reach of catching them. A few riders in the break said "don't catch the peloton, hold it here" ("Here" being about 30 meters behind them). I thought it was a rule issue about catching the main group, but I learned later that I should have worked to catch them because my teammates could have helped in a leadout. Anyway, we stayed right behind the peloton and came into the last lap. It was cat and mouse, waiting to see who would go. I was 5th wheel coming into the last corner. I tried to play the sprint safe and wait, but waited just too long. I did my best to get to the front but couldn't catch the lead rider. I caught the rider sprinting for 3rd right at the line, and he came out ahead by the width of a tire.
I'm really happy with how the race went, and more than happy with a 4th place finish.