Master’s 35+ 4’s (4 Laps)
Teammates: None, Friends/Allies on other teams YES! So important to make friends out there!
Field Size: 64
Weather: 69 degrees avg. Sunny. Wind not really a factor.
Start Time: 12:40 pm
Total Time: 2hr 17min
Power: 143 Watts Avg, 202 Watts NP
Average Speed: 22.3 MPH, Top Speed 32.8 MPH
Average HR: 170 Max HR: 192
Elevation Ascent: 1654 Ft.
Snelling RR is a classic one for the Northern California and Nevada Cycling District. If you have never experienced the thrill of it then you are missing out. Its also a great race to gauge where you are at in training. For me this is really early in my season to expect high results. If it so happens that I get some great results, well then I am stoked! Its about a 2 hour drive for me to get out to Snelling, CA. Well worth the drive however. This is a great course, and lots of racers show up. Over 900 racers were there. Its been my opening season road race for the past 3 years. Weather was perfect, sunny, and wind not a factor during my race. I raced my Specialized Tarmac and Zipp 404 Tubulars. I let a little air out of them than normal for the bumpy sections. The roads definitely have some rough areas. You better be prepared mechanically and physically of this race. Everyone surges into the 90 degree corners to be there first, and no one slows down for the bumpy roads. No one slows down for anything at Snelling RR! I wish I could have recorded the sounds of carbon bikes flying over the cobble like roads on Figmond Ave and Fields Rd. There was a feed zone powered by Paul Morel of SJBC Race Team but I opted to just carry 2 Hammer Nutrition bottles. The feed zone with my group is packed, fast, and provides a great opportunity to move up in the group before you come up to the 90 degree right turn.
My goals were to stay with the lead pack and finish in the pack. I didnt want to get boxed in before any turn. Stay up front as much as I could. I would rather work hard at being in the front than struggling at playing yoyo in the back. This way I could set the groups speed into the turns. I wanted to get a good trainer ride warm up, and line up to be in the front for the neutral roll out to the race course.
I got a 30 minute warm up in, talked with teammates, and lined up 15 min early. It felt great not rushing to the start line, and having time there to talk a bit. Calms the nerves too. Race started off with a neutral roll out to the course. I was sitting 4-5 rows back and in great position. Following my buddy Tim Vickroy. Once the race started everyone accelerated and we were all over the road. Felt like there was no organization. I stayed protected and never got boxed inside. I moved up front and to the left each lap when we got to the feed zone. I didnt need a feed and there are 2 important turns that come up after. Sandy roads and you really want to be the first few riders into these corners. I am sure I will mention this a bunch of times in this report. I started racing Snelling in 2012 and I have never been able to finish with the lead group. Its way to early in the season for me, and Snelling is a rolling powerful course. I enjoy the mountains. You have to be the first into the 90 degree sandy turns, or else you’ll chase down the front group each time. Id always get pushed around the group and end up mid to last in the pack for all the turns because I couldt get enough power to surge into the turns like everyone does unless you are sitting top 5. Plus the roads are pretty much horrible, and really bumpy. Some might says its not that bad….but my body can feel it today from the shaking around. You have to also survive with no mechanicals and dodge items falling off everyones bikes while going 30 mph! The 1st lap and 4th lap were the fastest. 2nd and 3rd we slowed by seconds only. The pace each lap was well over a minute faster than last year. Lot’s of PR’s for me.
I made sure this year I wouldn’t make any of these mistakes! I was top 5 in every turn. That cost some energy but not as much as sitting in the back playing yoyo the whole race. It was easier to stay protected from the wind by dropping back a few spots and then popping back out before the turns. Most of these guys in the top 20 were great flat road power guys. By the time we hit the last straight away Victory Velo and Audi were smashing it up front for their guys. I had no more left in me as I tried to accelerate after we turned right for the finish after 1K to go. Finished 45/64.
This is actually my first road race that I never got passed up by the moto ref either. I am feeling great for this time of year. I changed the training up for 2014 its showing and paying off. Maybe next year I will be closer to getting top 10 in a race like this that doesn’t suite me at all. I accomplished what I set out to do. No mechanicals, plenty of fluid, and training felt right where I want to be right now. I pushed myself a lot harder and farther than I did last year at Snelling. This is the beginning of the road racing season. I got back to the car, stretched, and made sure to have some ice cold Hammer Nutrition Recoverite!
Tonight I’ll finish off the recovery with some Hammer Nutrition Chocolate Whey Protein before bed! Have any questions on Hammer Products? Just ask me. I am proud have been using their products for over 4 years now, and proud to be an Athlete for Hammer Nutrition in 2014. There is a 15% code on my blog.
Looking forward to the #SJBCRaceTeam Camp in Solvang next month!
Thanks for reading!
Thank to SJBC Racing!
Thanks to Hammer Nutrition!
Thanks to Summit Bicycles!
Thanks to Paul Morel for being in the feed zone for SJBC Race Team!