Topsport Stage Race: Circuit (Stage 1)

This weekend, Topsport is hosting a brand new stage race in Copperopolis, CA. I'm in the Pro-1-2 field, which means I'm once again racing for upgrade points against those who have already upgraded.

The circuit race start was at a chilly and early 8am, which meant a bleary eyed 4:30am departure from Menlo Park. Things wree delayed, so I only had time for a short warmup.

The course featured rolling hills, one turnaround, and a few corners through town. My goals were to gain some time bonuses, and place in the top 6 for upgrade points. Although I managed to win a 5-second time bonus, I finished a disappointing 13th out of 51 starters.

For the middle third of the race, a break of about six riders with good team representation took off. They launched the attack after the corners through town, and Metromint and Webcor worked hard to block. We eventually reeled them back, but I made some enemies in the process. After the race, Roman (pro rider, Health Net) explained that I need to learn chasing skills: no cutting in line, smooth even pulls, and fewer heroics. He's right - I'm lacking a number of skills that are expected in the Pro-1-2 field, on account of my fast upgrade (4 to 2 in 4 months). Hopefully more of my teammates will attend future races.

I raced with a brand-used (i.e. not new, but new to me) wired SRM on my SL3. It took a week and a half to sort out a broken sensor cable. I was forced to install it at the last minute. In extreme haste, I left out a critical spacer. I can still race, but the crank is loose, and has about 1-2 watts of drag. Perhaps I can blame any mediocre finish on the crank...