• Race Report: Sea Otter Classic M45+ 4 Criterium

    Short version:

    Breakfast: Cereal Medley with berries, OJ, coffee
    Pre-Race: ½ Clif bar, SIS isotonic gel
    Race: 3rd place out of 23 in M45+ Cat 4 criterium
    Post-Race: GU chocolate recovery drink, Clif Sierra Trail Mix bar
    Lunch: Cheese Emoladas, rice, beans, chips, guacamole at La Tortuga

    Long Version:

    Breakfast: 4-cereal medley with yogurt, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, apple chunks. 1 cup caffeinated coffee, OJ, one cup decaf on the drive to fool myself into staying awake.

    Course: The Sea Otter criterium course is a hot dog with two stubbed toes (see Strava http://www.strava.com/activities/128948539 ) On the south end there are several very tight turns on a descent and that section is mostly taken single file. There is a rise in the middle in both directions. On the north end there is a 90 degree right, a tight right hairpin, then a > 90 degree left turn into the finishing straight. The finish is partway up the rise after coming out of the northern set of turns.

    Race: Like last year there was one guy kept going off the front at various points, apparently just for kicks because he always sat up and got caught. There were no concerted attacks and I generally went after miscellaneous forays off the front just to have something to do. Nobody seemed to want to push it through the downhill turns so I generally got myself to the front at the top so I could bomb down it and get folks to chase on the way out.

    The race basically comes down to the order you go into the final 3 turns so on the final time up the rise on the back stretch I was ready to take a flyer. Luckily somebody else did it for me and I was able to ride their wheel all the way to the first of the final turns on the north end. At that point nobody was going to come around until we came out of the final turn.

    When we hit the straight the guy died and I started sprinting. Two guys caught and passed me and I came in third by a bike length or so. I think I was so shocked to be (briefly) in the lead in the final sprint that I didn’t really got my sprint cranked up.

    Post-race: GU chocolate recovery drink, for real podiums up on a stage with music, announcer, kisses from podium girl, cool medals, and a case of Clif bars as my prize. Ate one of the clif bars.

    Lunch: Mundo’s cafe next to my hotel was closed by the time I got back so I went to the Seaside standby La Tortuga ( of the ghost written Hurache lunch race report fame). There I had the Emoladas which are basically cheese enchiladas drenched in mole sauce along with rice, beans, chips and guacamole. Yum.

    - Ken Cluff