Central Coast Classic 3/18/12
After four days of waiting, the race results – with the first mention of team results – finally came in on the Thursday after the race. The Bike Dawgs took 5th place, with 3721 points, behind Salinas, Redwood, Drake, and the Trojans. This puts us in 4th place overall. This is exactly where we were last season. The big difference is that last season we were 4th place and 754 points behind 1st. Now we’re 4th place and only 148 points behind 1st. So anything can happen at this point.
It was a challenging race, from the 40 degree temperatures and the wind-driven hail at the girl’s start to the ever-deepening mud pits on the south side of the course that the boys got the worst of. By mid-day all of nearby Mount Toro was dusted with snow. As I said last time, you are not regular people. Regular people don’t even go outside in that kind of weather.
While several of our racers didn’t have their best races, there were still some standout performances. Emily Lane turned in a great race. She was sick, and feeling miserable at staging, and decided just to go really hard – so if she had to DNF she’d know she went down swinging. I guess she forgot to stop going really hard, because she moved up an incredible 7 places to finish 11th in the very competitive varsity girls category. Annie, who also didn’t have the brightest outlook at the start, came to life on lap 4 and managed to move up a spot to 13th. Emily Laskin had an 8th place finish in the JV girls category, up from 11th place last race, and is a shining example of how race visualization and a positive mental outlook can pay off.
For standout boys, Evan leapt up 18 places to finish 10th in the crowded sophomore D1 category, shedding some light on the key to doing well on this course with his excellent handling skills and ability to pump speed through the corners. Walker jumped to a 17th place finish from 31st at Granite Bay. Linot edged up 8 places in a race-long clash with two other riders. Stacey had one of his best races, making effective use of the double track to pass other riders, and moving up 9 spots to take a hard-earned 24th place in the 70-rider JV category. Ulysses focused on pacing himself and came in 7 places ahead of his last race, crossing the finish line with one of the biggest smiles I’ve seen in awhile.
We also had some consistency. Bella (8th – varsity) and Nicole (4th – JV) had strong races, coming in very nearly exactly where they came in at Granite Bay. Both Bella and Nicole were passed mid-race by hometown Salinas riders, and managed to fight back and re-gain those positions by the end of the race. Alec Bell matched his Granite Bay placement with a big sprint on his final lap, making some key passes then holding off a Redwood rider to grab 18th place in freshmen boys.
A few riders had tough first laps, but stepped up their efforts to finish strong. Lauren survived an early crash, which took her from a few seconds out of 1st back to 3rd, and had to battle through with twisted handlebars and spotty shifting to maintain that position. Jenna did some nifty passing to grab 11th place in freshmen girls. Seth (8th – soph boys) and Sam (10th – frosh boys) lost ground in the start but buckled down early and held position and made some gains for strong finishes. Seth gives some credit for his lap 2 surge, where he methodically picked off 4 riders, in part to Dave Curtis’ trailside cheerleading. Keep it up Dave. In varsity boys, Jonny went out strong, pulling off an epic 8-rider pass on the long uphill, but had some tough luck on his 4th lap (of 5) and got 31st. Noah Kravetz, who seems to prefer ice and snow over sticky mud, came in 21st for freshmen boys.
And anyone who thinks they had a really bad day owes an apology to Julia, who had a scary crash in her first lap that took her bike, and therefore her, out of the race for good. Luckily she was not badly hurt, and is determined to come back strong in the next race.
Our scorers for the day were Nicole, Bella, Lauren, Emily Lane, Emily Laskin, Annie, Seth and Evan/Sam (who had the same score). Nicole and Lauren got on the podium, with Lauren taking possession of the leader’s jersey for sophomore girls. Our scorer average was 454.6, down from 477.6 last race. But our team average went up, from 390.6 to 397.9, which is a good sign for the future.
Some more stats:
Most enthusiastic finish: Ulysses Lopez
Most improved girl: Emily Lane (18 places)
Most improved boy: Evan Prahm (7 places)
Fastest lap by a girl: Isabella Breen (0:23:40)
Most opponents defeated, girl: Nicole McGovern (22)
Most opponents defeated, boy: Seth Francis (60)
Largest percentage of field defeated, girl: Lauren Schulman (88.2%)
Largest percentage of field defeated, boy: Seth Francis (89.6%)
Most consistent lap times, girl: Emily Laskin (5 seconds apart)
Most consistent lap times, boy: Evan Prahm (7 seconds apart)
Most riders passed between laps, girl: Emily Lane (3)
Most riders passed between laps, boy: Evan Prahm (6)
Biggest time gain between laps, girl: Emily Lane (3rd lap 44 seconds faster than 2nd)
Biggest time gain between laps, boy: Linot Vierke (3rd lap 52 seconds faster than 2nd)
Photos courtesy Ian Billings/El Cerrito