Marc Pro - Strava

Cycling Team

TMB Headquarters
The dude who does our web page: "Chuck, I know you think your cute and all giving the tittle of your blog post creative names, but your fans (my mom - ed.) only want to see the name and date of the race.  Its a 'Google' thing"

Consider it done dude.

Ah decisions.  Where to start...

In a galaxy, far far away..(slowly que star wars theme here)..there was a facebook post from Rob Evans:

Rob Evans

As much as I love all the guys on Mikes Bikes, it's really lame they show up to races w/ 11 or 12 guys.

to which, Eric Riggs responded:
  • Eric Riggs Official TMB pb Inc response:
  • Rob Evans It's on Riggs!!! But in fact, it was never really was "on" because Rob was no where to be seen during the race. Ever calm and collected Team Mikes Bike's director intervened with:
  • Steve Pelaez We love you too Rob. Seriously though, I think it's great that other teams like Squadra, Clif, and Marc Pro are loading up the fields. I think everyone will agree that it races the level of racing for all. And it's more team oriented and fun. i.e. Cherry Pie was awesome b/c we had so many different teams there and it was fast, safer, and dynamic. Also, the more racers we bring, the more we are supporting the race organizers like Bob. That said, we are not stacking the field simply to do it. We stack the field because everyone on TMB is committed to the team's success and everyone makes the effort to all show up and kick Chuck's ass.
A few of the riders Mike

A few of the riders Mike's registered

  • Chuck Hutcheson This thread is going a horrible direction.Steve Pelaez, don't include Marc Pro in the list of teams with tons of guys! We only got 4, and I stubbed my toe + so its more like 3.5. Oh and we got Keith Hillier, so its more like 2.6.
  • Chuck Hutcheson I think it is fine. It basically boils down to this: If Mike's wins, it is hollow and expected. If anyone else wins it is awesome because they defeated Goliath.
As you can see, this race is HUGE.  Maybe not Tour de France huge, or Tour of California, or Redlands, or Merco, or San Rafael, or..Ok, its really not that huge, BUT, it is the first road race of the Nor Cal calendar,  and it attracted over 130 1,2, pro riders.  I honestly used it as motivation to train through (the not so bad compared to the East Coast) winter.  Perfect race for me - kind of flat, little itsy-bitsy kicker hills, and tons of wind.  Plus, watching the sprint unfold in front of me last year while I rolled in for fourth gave me extra motivation.  Chris Statsny is probably hella motivated because he has seen it twice now!

The weather was awesome.  No knee warmers, no arm warmer.  Tons of wind, even tumble weed blowing across the course.  Everyone was really friendly, talking and laughing.  Even the officials were joking around - except the one who dropped his motorcycle in front of the field before we started.

Neutral Roll out - photo Dale Tapley

Neutral Roll out - photo Dale Tapley

As we rolled out "neutrally," I rode next to Roman Kilun.  We chatted for a bit, then I realized I was sitting out in the wind and he wasn't.  EWWW..the tactics had begun.  I immediately gave him the stank eye and dropped back into the shelter of the field.

Once the official gave us the green, we speed up - but only for about a minute.  Then, everyone realizing it was a crazy headwind kind of sat up.  Some Sierra Nevada guy from Chico rolled off the front for the first attack of the day.  He was caught, and then Brandon Trafton from Full Circle went.  He was caught.  It went on like this for most of the first lap, but when we got to the rollers, I think the combination of hills and wind started cracking guys and the field split momentarily.  It didn't seem like we were going that hard, but I bet with such a huge field a bunch of guys just got caught out in the cross wind and then beat up a little by the hills.  I bet when it came back together we went from over 130 to about 50 or 60 riders.  Concerned, I told Jesse Miller-Smith-Johnson-Williams-Jones-Brown that if he had a chance to tell the rest of the guys to get up front before we came around again because next time the group may not come back together.

When I saw him about a half lap latter, he said he was not able to tell anyone because the field was shredding behind us.  Luckily all six of us (Marc Pro) had mad it.  I was just doing my best to stay up front, out of the wind, and not answer that little voice that constantly tells me "Chuck, attack, you can do it, I command you, Chuck attack."

The next time we went through the hilly section and the following crosswind section the field shattered and there was about twelve of us left.  Included were Freddy Rodriguez,  Chris Stastny (Hagens Berman), Joshua Carling (Team Bicycles Plus/Sierra Nevada), Roman, Eric Riggs, James LaBerge, Justin Rossi (Marc Pro – Strava), Nate Freed (Marc Pro – Strava), myself (Marc Pro – Strava) and some other pretty strong riders.

Break developing - photo Hammer-Nutrition-Charity-of-Choice

Break developing - photo Hammer-Nutrition-Charity-of-Choice

Everybody was rotating but Riggs, LaBerge and myself.  I felt like if Mikes was only going to have one guy working (Roman) and we had two guys working (Rossi and Freed), it was in our best interest to have someone fresh.  Then Riggs flatted out of the group, but instantly Logan Loader and Eric Wohlberg dragged Hollaway across.

With sprinters Josh Carling (last weeks winner of Coppertown), James LaBerge (winner of tons of NCNCA crits last year), Holloway (winner of US pro crit), Logan Loader (2 weeks ago winner of Cherry Pie and huge national races last year), and Freddie Rodriguez (winner of pretty much everything),  I felt my chances of a group sprint were pretty slim.  I decided to get away with two laps to go.

On the cross wind section after the hills I jumped.  What seemed forever, I drilled it.  I was estimating I had 5, maybe 10 bike lengths on the group, but when I turned my head, Freddy was right there - and so was everyone else.  I went no where.

I said to Freddy "I guess my attack was pretty weak."   He said "I guess it was OK, at least you tried." Actually, I can't remember what he said, but that is what I heard.  Right after that, Chris Statsny sort of rolled off the front and got a pretty big gap.    I took a few breaths and then jumped across to him.  As I was closing in I was yelling "STAZ" over and over so he could get on, but he only heard at the last second.  Immediately after that, Freddy and Wholberg joined on.  Freddy actually came by and was pressing down on the pedals like he could not feel any resistance.  We all gritted our teeth and held on, but eventually pulled through.

The break of 4 - photo Dale Tapley

The break of 4 - photo Dale Tapley

We all were pulling pretty hard and it was about 20 minutes of drilling it-cross-eyed-pain before we finally settled in.   The rest of the group was nowhere to be seen.  We communicated well, and everyone pulled hard.  It was difficult to tell if Statsny or Wholberg were feeling good, but obvious that Freddy was feeling awesome.  I needed to get away from him.

On the last lap I attacked on the hill.  Freddy was immediately on me, but I succeeded in dislodging Wholberg and Staz.  Statsny slowly clawed his way back up as Freddy and I tried to pull away. Statsny was not having it and caught back on.

And then there were three - Photo Steve Ellsworth

And then there were three - Photo Steve Ellsworth

With a mile to go, Freddy was on the front, but somehow he smoothly stuck Staz on the front going into the last turn.   This forced Statsny to lead us out.  I tried to jump early and catch them off guard, but only got about a bike length on Freddy.  He quickly covered that and was edging up by my side.  The whole time I was saying to my self "don't look at him, just pedal, he's won (name some huge event), but don't be intimidated." I think he was thinking, "don't look at me Chuck, you'll just make it weird."

Anyway, when we crossed the line, I was kinda sure I got it, so I raised my arm.  If I didn't get it I was going to use raising my arm, or thinking of raising my arm early as my excuse.

Sprint finish and the destruction of the Death Star

Sprint finish

other race reports:

More about author and team member CHUCK HUTCHESON. The baby named Chuck was born in Seattle on a dark, cloudy, and rainy day. Upon his arrival, the doctor held him up and a burst of light broke through the clouds and shown upon baby Chuck's head. Although the bright light of the sun caused baby Chuck to squint he smiled as he heard an infinite number of angels sing in unison.

Read all 25 Blog Posts by Chuck Hutcheson

Reader Comments (4)

Don't forget to also include the Country, Planet and Solar System of the race in the title.

Feb 25 2013

Nick Schaffner says...

Chuck...I love reading your race reports. So entertaining and your writing reminds me of The Barb's rants from many years back. We're celebrating his 80th this Saturday in Santa Rosa. Keep up the good work!

Feb 26 2013

Paul Chuck says...

YouTube movies are famous in entire globe, as it is the biggest video sharing web site, and I become too happy by watching YouTube video tutorials.

Feb 26 2013

Patti says...

You mentioned Eric. Anybody out there have any contact info for him?

Feb 27 2013

Richard says...

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