Race Report: Madera Criterium and Road Race

With the weekend off to a solid start in two time trials, there were two
more stages in the Madera stage race.

The criterium was nothing spectacular, just a garden variety four corner
course, albeit a super wide one with railroad tracks on the last leg. An
early break took off. Wohlberg won. I learned, once again, that pack
position is a natural filter for pack skills, and the further back I
get, the worse it gets. Really need to work on that...

The road race was brutal. There was a strong crosswind on the two
longest stretches of road, one of which had Paris-Roubaix quality
pavement (almost cobblestones, though not worse than Friday's TT!). I
felt great for the first two laps, though I spent too much time in the
drops (and put too much stress on my back). On the third lap, I had to
pee, but was unable to do so. This, along with being on the wrong side
of the wind on the "cobblestones" and riding in the hoods for comfort,
meant that I just expended a ton of energy. With Cal Giant driving the
pace on the front and guttering everyone else, I was cooked once the
rollers came up. This is unusual for me.

So, after three laps, I pulled myself. At least I had a chance to hand
my wheels to Jane. Those Dura Ace tubeless wheels work wonders on the
worst pavement - super comfy (relatively speaking) and no flat tires!

Thanks to Nils of the Bicycle Trip team, and all the Webcor guys, for
being good teammates through the weekend.

Not sure what races I'm doing this weekend, but I'm already looking
forward to San Dimas in two weeks...