The Reno Wheelmen
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Club Challenge #2 - Boca Road Race
Results 6/10/03
Race Reports!

*If you have a correction to these results, please email me. Thanks go out to Jeff Angermann, Paige Galeoto, and Corey Avery for helping out with scoring (and allowing me to throw on some spandex and race!). Thanks guys! The results are limited because of seriously fast and bunched pack sprints. My apologies...but, unavoidable. Thanks for coming out, 131 racers!!!

Club Challenge Standings

Category C KOM
1. Nate Sowle*
2. Kyle Smith*
3. Joseph Little*
4. Mark Lattin
5. Dana Ginsberg

Category B KOM
1. Scott Ferguson
2. Tom Regan
3. Eric Sacher
4. Peter Taylor
5. Tom Michaud
Category A KOM
1. Kyle Dixon
2. Michael Cupitt
3. Stosh Bankston
4. Jim Barkley
5. Brian Rouse

Category C Results

Category B Results

Category A Results

1.  Bob Bahlman Reno Wheelmen 1.  David Barrett Unattached 1.  Kyle Dixon Reno Wheelmen
2.  Rob Selby Unattached 2.  Scott Hall Reno Wheelmen 2.  Michael Cupitt GS Reno
3.  Richard Bulis Reno Wheelmen 3.  Jim Rogers Sierra Express 3.  Jim Barkley GS Reno
4.  Mark Lattin UNR 4.  Nick Blades Reno Wheelmen/Vanini! 4.  Jason Lilje ProCyclery
5.  Joe Marzocco Alta Alpina 5.  Kevin Willits Alta Alpina 5.  Michael Hernandez Reno Wheelmen
6.  Kyle Smith Reno Wheelmen 6.  Jason Walker Reno Wheelmen
7.  Bill Daley GS Reno
8.  Chris Mahanna GS Reno

Race Report:

Well, we’ve got a few accounts of the other categories from the Club Challenge #2 at Boca (just below)…so, I’ll pitch in with my report of the A’s.

Firstly, we send out a huge thanks to Corey Avery, Paige Galeoto, and Jeff Angermann for running the scoring. What a great group of people we’ve got around here! You guys are the best.

As we headed out of the staging area a group of 4 shot off the front. It was a good little group, motivated and working well together, but that first section is so damn tough to stay away from a fresh pack. So, the inevitable chase brought them back and it was gruppo compacto for the first climbs. There was a definite ‘nervous’ feeling in the A group for this edition of Boca. I’m excited to say that there is a very strong battle for the top of the twilight series standings going on in the divisions…good thing, cause there’s gonna be some serious cash rewards offered up for the top spots (in ALL categories). Everybody wanted to be near the front and yet everybody was trying to conserve as much energy as possible for the much anticipated fireworks to occur on the ‘Wall.’

Kyle Dixon and I (Michael Hernandez) planned on making the race hard - going for the win on the KOM and then trying to get a group we could control to the finish. As we approached the Wall, the pace was again nervous and I decided it would be better to keep it fast to negate any thoughts of a small group or individual jumping away from the pack to try for the prestigious KOM points. With Kyle on my wheel, we did a little imitation of this year's Giro d'Italia KOM lead-out ala Freddy Gonzalez and the Selle-Italia team. A hard pace through the bottom of the Wall and all was looking fine. The pack was already shattering and Kyle was comfortably settled in to 2nd position with me leading out (up!) the climb. And then...a strong attack by the Warehouse’s Gary Thompson.

Gary was definitely going for it, out of the saddle and using his usual monstrous gearing to pound away at the Wall. 10 meters would be all we’d allow him so that we would have enough time to reel him, it was pace making to bring Kyle up. I would hear from behind me, “I’ll get him,” and off would jump my mountain-goat teammate. Oh, damn it’s great having such a strong, smart teammate who can finish off the work you do for him! Truly, my most loved memories of bike racing are when I can play the role of ‘super-domestique,’ burying every ounce of pain and effort and soul in to a teammate's chances for success. It is only that much better when it’s a teammate you can respect as a rider and person…like Kyle!

Kyle would fly up the steepest section of the Wall and win the KOM by a comfortable margin. Riding extremely well for the other points were Mike Cupitt, Stosh Bankston, Jim Barkley, and Brian Rouse. Gary would pay for his aggressive jump and fall off the pace a bit. Soon after the climb a small group would form with 4 Warehouse riders, 2 of the ProCyclery riders, a couple of unattached riders, and Kyle and me. I decided this was a good group for us to work over, so drove the pace as best I could to keep our gap. A bit gassed from the Wall effort, no one in the group but Kyle, myself and Michael Cupitt were willing to really put the hammer down. No problem - I told Kyle to not work too hard and I would do the pulling. I’ve got to admit, it felt pretty dang good driving the group at 50kph+ across those rollers. On the way back from the dam, Kyle and I had a quick conversation on how to finish the race. Kyle was happy to let me have a go at the win (since he nabbed the KOM points), but I got the win last week at Sparks and knew that Kyle would be our man.

We got the other riders to take a few pulls and then I went to work with the body blows. A set-up attack over that steep little hill after the dam, then another little acceleration before the turn back on to Hirschdale…they were all reeling a bit by then. We descend down from the Wall and then it was time for the real solar-plexus punch, a hard attack on the first roller. I just put my head down and powered. I knew that they would chase hard, but I also knew that Kyle was ready to counter.  Two…three…four minutes of balls-to-the-walls chasing by the group to try and bridge up to me, and then Kyle threw the big haymaker.

“Zoom,” he’s past me like a rocket and I know that’s the winner. On their heels from the set-up work, now the group is on the canvas from Kyle's knock-out blow. But wait, up from the 8-count is the fighting Aussie, Michael Cupitt. He is chasing hard up the last significant hill of the race and he joins up with Kyle…what a superior effort. I really like this guy’s willingness to suffer. I do a little blocking with the group of 5 chasers and the break is gone. Kyle will put in a vicious acceleration in the last 300 meters and finish off a ridiculously fun day of racing with yet another victory for the Wheelmen!

Behind these two, our group would get caught by another small group so that we have about 11 riders contesting the final 3 podium spots.  With 500 meters to go, the Warehouse’s Jim Barkley throws in a marvelously timed attack. It reminded me of Tchmil attacking a few years ago in Milan-San Remo for the surprise win at that legendary classic. Jim's effort was great to see. I thought for an instant to bridge across to him, but the ProCyclery rider, Jason Lilje had been sitting on wheels for the entire race and I wasn’t about to pull this guy up to Jim to have him beat us both in the sprint…so, the gap opened up and Barkley would take a very brave 3rd place. Paul Gossi and Rich Lorson would pull like mad from 400-200 meters, keeping the speed just right for the springboard to the finish. Lilje would come around me fairly easily in the sprint with Jason Walker taking 6th ahead of Bill Daley.

What a race!


B - Reports:

Another B "-" report since once again, I was nowhere near the lead group.

Luckily, I was recovering from a cold, so I had a built in excuse before even starting. I wonder if that made me mentally wimp out before I should have?

I sprinted off the front from the word go, and was joined by another Wheelmen, Dave Somebody or other (sorry I can't remember your last name). We got a pretty decent gap (out of site of the main group for a while thanks to Tony P strategically dropping his chain somewhere in the group, but when we hit the second hill, Dave marched ahead and I basically cracked. (Thank you Phil Liggett)

Ever write a check with insufficient funds....yeah....that was me! was fun anyway. Nearly everyone passed me on the KOM hill, mustered up a little drive to hang with a few folks after that, held off the approaching C group (barely), did a little better on the side loop, cramped in both calves after the dam and pretty much limped home. (Are there any openings in the C's?) Oh well, good fun and no flats...what more could you ask for?

I would love to hear a report from the real B race.

BTW, I think Ross passed me too.

Mike Damon

And from Ross and Brandy:

Here is my Boca race report for Tuesday June 10th. Made it with the pack to the main climb. Got Dropped...hooked on with a chase dropped....hooked on with another chase dropped again....bridged up to Thomas Hill (after chasing him for two miles) out-sprinted at the line by the little bastard......Hopefully I will have a better report next time and somebody has a better perspective of what the real racing was like up front......Ross

Here's my Boca race report from the C's -- Rode with the main pack till the first hill... Got dropped... Stayed dropped until Ross came by...followed him for a short dropped. ....


And from Rich Paul:

You both are welcome to join me in the "old, fat, and slow" club.

Here's my race report:

Started at the back of the group and managed to get stuck back with Tony when
he stalled at the start. Didn't have enough motivation to try and weave
through the crowd to get to the front. The group kept accelerating and
decelerating constantly, which made it hard to get a comfortable rhythm or a
decent warm-up before the first hill. And of course the lack of warm-up would
show when we hit the first hill. The group accelerated away from me. I
managed to slowly ramp up my speed but neglected to push myself all the way
over the top so I lost contact with the main group. As we hit the wall my legs
were feeling a little better so I kept a steady pace going up and managed to
pick off a few stragglers. Going down the backside I picked off one or two
more people and pushed myself on the flats to try and make up more ground.
Unfortunately I left it too little and too late. The lead groups had more of a
gap than I could hope to cover so at the turn around I eased up a bit and
waited for the group that had formed behind me to catch up. As they got on my
wheel I picked up the pace again and managed to drag them back up the backside
of the wall and nearly up to the group just ahead. At that point I sat up and
decided to forgo the stampede loop and have a fairly easy jaunt back in to the
finish, no cramps, no blowing up, no getting pimped at the line by somebody
that I managed to catch on the way in, and as a matter of fact I was feeling
pretty good when I rolled across the finish line. Oh well, there's always the
flatlander stuff that my big ass seems to be provide an actual benefit for
instead of a liability.


And from the C's:

Well if anybody thinks the C's are a picnic ride, they should have lined up
with their napkins ready last night. They would have needed them to wipe the
sweat off their brows as this was one aggressive pack that wasn't about to
take it easy.  At the gun, Kyle Smith did his now predictable solo, but with
the AARP crowd firmly in control of the front, we kept him at about 10
seconds, rather than just bringing him back. There was the usual bit of
jousting at the first bump hill to the flats, and when we hit the first big
hill, I held tempo at the front as long as I could, only to have those pesky
juniors (Kyle Smith, Joey Little & Nate Sowle), Dana Ginsberg and a handful
of others out-climb me.  It took a painful digging effort to stay in contact
over the top and the huge field was shattered behind. I can't recall going up
the first big hill faster.

Over the top and the 'tween hill saw another huge
effort allowing no time to recover for the KOM.  Again, my "at the front
tempo" maneuver only lasted for a third of the hill as the Young'uns went
after those precious KOM points. As they passed, I counted down my standing.
When I saw there was not going to be anything left for me, I rode my tempo
and looked around for help.  Bill Nagel was nearby, looking strong.  A
second group coalesced at the top and I had to fight to get to the back so I
could recover. A lot of others apparently had the same idea.  But the front
group we were chasing was making no real effort to stay away and we all came
together at the turnaround.  The pace picked up considerably as we
approached the backside of KOM. A very hard effort down the hill in the big
gears, and we had a nice little group. The juniors, me and Bill Nagle, some
Alta Alpina boys and a very suspicious "old fart" character I had marked
from the beginning.  You just can't hide the suplesse pedaling style that
comes with a few decades of cycling. This guy could climb & knew how to ride
in the pack. Verrrrrry Dangerous!

Reaching the return big hill, again I went to the front, setting the
absolutely fastest tempo I could go without blowing up.  I surprised even
myself, still leading at the top. Looking back at all the contorted faces
strung out behind, I sat up when I realized no one had the legs to try to go
for it. So the group reassembled and settled into a single file across the
flat and through the canyon. Back out on the flats, Bill launched some
admirable solo attacks, but into the quarter headwind, he would merely cause
the group to jump to his wheel and settle back down.  I picked the mystery
old fart as my best chance for a lead out in the finale. A big early jump at
the last little rise caused more than one rider to blow.  It was down to
three of us at 400 meters. 

The mystery old fart suddenly was out of the saddle and down the road. I knew it! Old fart was none other than Bob Bahlman, a top rider locally many years ago. ( and people give ME trouble
about being down in the C's). I hesitated to see if the other guy, Rob Selby
would go after him first, but in those hyper seconds of time, I realized I
would have to do the job, even if it meant offering him my wheel. Bahlman
still leading at 100 meters to the line, Rob came by me. Seeing nobody else
contesting, I foolishly let up instead of keeping the gas pedal down.  Rob
eased as well, and who knows, maybe had I kept it up, I could have retaken
2nd.  But to have been beaten by a guy of the caliber of Balhman and in a
race with such a huge C field, I was quite satisfied with my 3rd place.
I'll take a hard won third over a piece of cake first any day!  Thanks,
AGAIN, to the officials and worker-bees, without you, such a huge turnout
would have been total chaos.

Ricardo Bulisimo

And another B Report (look at all these reports!)

Dare I say it? OK, I will.....

(But first let me give a little background. This is my second year of road racing and last year I got handily dropped from the lead group every time at Boca.)

THIS RACE WAS EASIER THAN THE SPARKS CRIT COURSE. Time was about the same... 55 minutes. At Sparks I've never thought about being able to hold a conversation; last night at Boca there were several places where I could. Sparks kills me with the heat; last night I consciously observed how good the cool air and the shade felt.

Anyhow, the details:

Stayed with the main field in the "B" group till the Wall, where I knew I would be dropped. And I was. And it was demoralizing how people wouldn't just pass me, they would pass me like I was on a tricycle. Not just passing but FLYING by me. Zheeesh, and I've been doing hill work this year too....

After lugging my thoroughly deflated ego over the top of the Wall, I started working with an Alta Alpina guy (OK, sucking his wheel, but who's counting). During my pull, a strong mutha on a blue Specialized in UNR gear went by. My kind of wheel... strong guy who could pull on the flats and the power climbs. As we got to the turnaround the lead group was only 30 or so seconds ahead (and oh what painful seconds those can be). I played sleigh driver to our group (we'd picked up a few stragglers along the way), yelling at people to work together and bridge the gap. We could see the lead group, but it was just a little to far to try to solo, and I had confidence that our group could get back up there. As we turned off of Hirschdale on the dam road we were pulling close. A big hit of power on the flat part of the dam and the gap was bridged. We were in the main group again!

(Side note: this was the victory of the night for me... just to say I wasn't dropped and finished with the group. Especially after the ridiculously hard effort that I put in at Peavine on Saturday).

So from here on out I managed to keep up. In fact there were times when we were just casually loafing along and at a talking pace. I was really surprised that those skinny climber dudes who had so thoroughly blown me to bits on the Wall did not make any big attacks on the returning climbs...but they didn't. So there we were in the canyon, and I was STILL with the lead group... wow! A different Alta Alpina guy attacked a couple of times on the flats and I jumped on his wheel both times. But we couldn't get away, and I would come to regret the efforts. As we got towards the end a couple of more futile breaks went, and then at the last corner the real breaks went. Turns out I had burned up a few too many matches covering the breaks on the flats and was too pooped to hang for the final field sprint. Probably finished 15th(?).

Nonetheless, a VERY nice 15th. Given my history with this race last year and my leg destroying effort at the Peavine Challenge, just staying with the lead group was a huge victory for me. Looking forward to doing this one again where I can try to race a little smarter at the end.

Shawn Pearson

Send your race report to Michael