October 22, 2008

BASP #1 Race Report - Bill Strachan

This was the first race of the year in the BASP series, my primary
goal for the year so I was motivated for a good race.  I was hopeful
that there would be less climbing than the last couple of years on
this course since I heard that we would be taking an extra lap on the
football field adjacent to the start finish area but I was
disappointed. There may have been less actual climbing than in years
past but we still made it all the way up to the top of the tree
covered hill and back. The climbing was mostly in one sustained
section that took something like a minute and a half to negotiate.
I was able to get a couple of laps on the course in the time between
the first and second heats for a warm up, I did not warm up on the
trainer as planned since I stopped to say hello to my kids, wife and
sister so instead of warming up on the trainer just rolled around on
the infield. I was nervous about trying to get a good start position
so I ended up standing by the course entrance for 5 minutes or so
getting cold anyway.
I got off the line well, getting my foot in the pedal on the first
stab, and made it into just about 5 place for the first time up the
steep run up. I had a clean bike pick up and a pretty good climb up
the hill. Right after the hill one guy crashed, got up and crashed
again right in front of me right but made it past him and through the
rough sections that followed. I lost a couple of places on the first
long climb but was trying to cool it and not dig too deep on this
first lap. Good plan because I was able to give away only a second or
two but get it all back on the rolling, downhill and flat sections
that followed. Felt good and strong in the flat, loose and sandy
section, and was able to pass a guy or two there on the first couple
of laps.
After the first lap and a half or so it was pretty clear how the race
would sort out. There was one guy who was smoking the field and a
group of four guys close together chasing. I was leading another small
group of guys behind who could not quite close the gap. I would
occasionally lose a place to one of two guys but then gain it back,
usually on the approach to the football field or on the football
field. For the first half of the race, the second group was close,
only 10 seconds or so but we gradually lost sight of them. With just
under one lap to go, one of the guys I was trading place with put in a
hard effort just after the run up and gapped me pretty good. I lost a
little more time on the climb, made up a little on the football field
and held off the guys behind for a good result, 7th place. I managed
to have a clean race, no crashes, no dropped chains and clean over the
barriers every time.
Next one in two weeks for me at Candlestick.
Thanks for reading.

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