Darin's Racing Week

I must be racing a little too much as well as getting old because I can'tremember much about the race last weekend, except that the course was nice,wide and smooth, particularly the part that Rod Fernandez softened up in the2nd race with a little skin grease :-). But as I sit writing this, stillstewing about my flat with 1.5 laps to go (of 6) at Modesto, the Pleasant memories are starting to return. In the 4's, DBC was nicely represented (as always) with Rod, Lee Millon, Mark Fiori, Michelle Feikert, the Hockridge family (minus Ethan who I expect will join us soon) and me. The pace was fast but reasonable and I was hanging out in the mid-back section nicely until 5 laps to go. I was able to move up steadily after that and was feeling good to be on a Metromint guys' wheel (Paul Taylor, who dominated the final sprint in my chase group at Bariani) going into the 2nd to lastturn. Unfortunately his teammate, who was leading out, fizzled too quickly and he did likewise before the last turn. I was still in good shape, maybe top 5 out of the last turn when the serious sprint kicked in and while thefast-twitch boys moved up, I moved up more slowly and finished 12th,followed closely behind by my DBC brethren (I hope that term appropriately and in a PC manner covers our awesome DBC gals who represented and made us all proud! After a short 40 minute recovery while we got to see Jason and Joaquin mix it up in the 5's, the 35+4's was on with all the same DBC players except Michelle. I hung back for the 1st half to let my legs get additionalrecovery and therefore had a great view of Rod's valiant attempt to stay up after getting pinched and then his long fetal position slide towards the back.and me. I missed him, and Rod, as all DBC mates, follows the HTFU credo and jumped back into the race on the next lap. I found myself on hiswheel for a bit as the remaining laps ticked down and while lighteningrarely strikes twice, I thought better of it (no offense RF) and I moved up. I covered a potential one-man break near the beginning of the bell lap andled a fun accordion-like group as I attempted to extricate myself from being 1st or 2nd wheel still too long to go. I stayed in the top 3 on thebackstretch and after getting swarmed a bit on the straight section leadingto the final turn, I still found a nice available inside line and jumped upto 2nd or 3rd wheel into the last turn. It was a bit of an "agro" move butI made sure the other riders knew I was there and as such didn't jump in on anyone (at least nobody yelled or swore at me afterward, so I figured the move was ok). I was able to carry more speed into the turn than in the prior race (good lesson for future races) so the somewhat olderfast-twitchers couldn't inflict as much damage and I just cracked the top 10 with a 9th.
Cautionary note: if you carpool to a race, don't meet at and park anywherein the Pedrick Produce parking lot (there's a lot of no-parking signs butyou can't see them when it's 0-dark 100). Yes, my car was towed, and yes itwas expensive, and yes I'm boycotting Pedrick Produce for the foreseeable future!
I had a great time riding today with Fred F, Rhys R, Atac T and Chris B at Modesto today in the 45+3-4-5, at least until I flatted. I was a bit weary from 9 hours and 200+ miles of SAG work at the DDC yesterday but still felt good and lucky to be able to race with my awesome DBC mates. BTW, nice jobby Doug Rowland who finished the DDC in a pretty good time and when I saw him looked 10 lbs lighter and very glassy eyed! Anyway, we raced aggressively today and I recall receiving comments from other riders that it seemed like we had much larger numbers and "controlled" a good portion ofthe race. It was particularly fun when first Freddy and then Chris went off on their solo jaunts and the rest of us stayed at or close to the front and blocked or disrupted, in a nice way! Chris "Big/TT specialist" was off thefront for over 10 miles with a healthy gap and about 2 laps remaining and he may have had a chance to stick it if things didn't get screwed up withseveral neutral sessions as we were passed by the 3's.passed them back.andwere passed again. Anyway, it sounded like things got sketchy going intothe final turn and our guys were on the unfortunate line that got pushed out too wide and into the dirt. So no top 10's but still a good day! Congrats to Rod Fernandez on his 4th place finish and Michael Broz (9th) in the 354/5's, Chris Stastny (2nd!) and Keith Hillier (9th) in the Pro 1-2 race,Jonathan Teeter (2nd), David Carlson (4th) and Mike Gonzalez (10th) in theElite 4's and all the other DBC mates like who kicked a$$ out there! And to Michelle F for again racing against the dudes!

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