CCCX #3 Race Report - CAT 2 19-34
Written by Corey Luce
I wasn't sure I would be racing this weekend until last minute. I had an open weekend to do some more hard training prepping for the Fontana Nationals next weekend. But what better training is there other than by Racing! I woke up feeling descent even after some hard training blocks my coach(The Heater Heaton) has me on now and I just put in a solid 30+mile ride the day before. Getting to the site was a challenge due to another event blocking off roads and having to go another way taking longer than expected. Then the line for registrations was super long. By the time I got registered and ready, it was only about 10min until start. I quickly spun the legs out to get the best warmup possible. Knowing that the 1st lap may be my warmup anyways. Heading to the start line, I see my field (19-34 age group) had another large showing. We were in a start wave with a couple other groups including juniors and singlespeeders. As the CAT 1 guys take off, we were next. The hurt locker was about to commence!
We get our instructions from the director and 15 sec until start. BAM! We are off down the pavement start. Keeping calm, I just tucked in behind a couple guys before hitting the dirt. Trek/Bear Devo rider sprinted out front before the dirt. I hear my boy and fellow racer Dennis yell at me, you see him?! You watching him?!! I got 'em, I said. We made a quick turn right onto dirt, then another left. As we take the left to the dirt climb, the rider in front of me switched his line causing me and my front tire to wash out and down I go! I get up and my chain was jammed and off. As I worked on getting it working, I watched my entire start wave pass me. DEAD LAST! I hopped back on and looked down at my Garmin gps..it had frozen. No data, Heart Rate, distance, time..nothing. It was down to me and my training from there.
I threw down a pace and started climbing my way back through the ranks and making passes in any place I could. By mile 3 I could see our lead group and the leader. I made some more passes and caught the leader. Starting the 2nd lap I passed the leader at the top of the start climb. I look back and Sergio is on my wheel making the pass too! The 2nd and 3rd laps I kept looking back and Sergio was still there! He was like a magnet to my wheel! For those 2 laps, I kept pushing the pace just a little more and pushing the climbs just a little more to see if he would hang on and he did. I just kept it smooth and fast. Lap 4, the last lap, I knew I had to push it harder and get some distance. After the first climb he was still sticking to my wheel. As we navigated through traffic, he was still hanging on. Getting close to the end, we caught up to some CAT1 guys. I think there were like 7 of them in a line. As we hit an open section, I pinned it and jumped out in front of 5 of them. Hitting the climb and hammered up and passed another. Then at the top, I passed another! Before dropping back into the descent, I glanced back and saw that Serg didn't get around some of them and I had some traffic between us. I kept hammering up the last climb and across the finish with the VICTORY! Also pulling the fastest CAT 2 time of the day!
After being in last place after the start mishap, it was difficult to imagine brining home the win. Thanks to God, Platinum Performance, Sho-Air, Oakley, ESI grips, SRAM and HC3 Coaching for the the WIN, and of course Keith DeFiebre for putting on these great events here in Monterey!