From Coach Peg-Arm Paul
Howdy! Now that the dust has settled, turns out we actually placed 3rd in Race 2 and are still 1st overall, barely! Way to go Pirates! ~ Coach Paul
From Coach Dan
Howdy all, while the NorCal team point totals did not equal that of our first race, here are some stats that will please the Pirates:
- 23 of 36 racers at Race #2 had their personal best performances of the season — fabulous!
- The average score per rider at Race #1 was 363.92. At Race #2 it was 370.97 — outstanding! A 7-point increase average is great progress!
- ALL the frosh girls, frosh boys, and soph girls who did Race #1 improved their performance in Race #2 – amazing!
- Best overall improvement over Race #1 goes to Sterling Guy with 24 places (35th to 11th) — Superhuman!
- Congrats to Oliver Morgen! His 10th and 452 points put him on the list of NorCal Team point scorers!!! – Way to go, Oliver!
Think about your own highlights…we’d love to hear from you! Roll Pirates! ~ Coach Dan
From Coach Jeff:
It was a rough weekend with the weather, but a successful weekend on the course for the Drake Mountain Bike Team. Each race the points from the top eight riders from each team are added together to determine the team results for the day. At our second race of the season, held in Monterey, the team, just like true Pirates, weathered the major rain storms, painful hail, and biting wind to add another successful day to their season. Thanks to the top riders of Lucas Newcomb, Miles Lim, Mackenzie Stanley, Libby Caldwell, Leah Lind-White, Oliver Morgen, Carson Benjamin, and Allie Jo Stanley, the team would once again move closer to a 4th state championship for 2012. Great job Pirates! And thanks to the parents and coaches, who, as Sam McLaughlin put it, built a “fortress in the pits,” for the team to stay dry and warm. Roll Pirates!
From team Captain Sam McLaughlin:
Coming off a disappointing season opener at Granite Bay, I had my mind set on improving my result. On race day, I felt good. I was expecting a fast start and did my best to stay in position as we shot up the first short climb. But bad luck struck again – another rider’s rear wheel got lodged up against my front wheel as we crammed into the bottleneck at the top of the climb. With riders all around and no way to move aside, my wheel locked up and I fell to the side of the trail.
I bounced back up and got on my bike, but I was at the very back of the pack as we entered the double-track. I was worried that I had blown my chances, but I looked ahead and saw that the main pack wasn’t far ahead. I stayed calm and focused on moving back up toward the main group.
From then on, I kept passing riders. I gradually worked my way up, gaining a few spots each lap. I was climbing well, so I attacked on every climb, dropping a lot of pursuers that way. Even on the fourth lap, I was making passes.
Near the end of the fourth lap, I looked back and saw a big group of about six racers behind me. I realized that most of the people I’d passed over the previous laps were riding together, so I rode the final lap like a time trial to avoid getting caught. By the end of the fifth lap, I couldn’t see the group behind me anymore, and I knew I was essentially safe. I finished 21st, in a field which was larger than the last race, and I’m happy with that improvement.
I’ve got to give a big thanks to the parents and coaches who set up and maintained the enormous canopy fortress in the pit zone. Drake had the best pits in the league by far! Also, thanks to all the people who offered advice and solutions to my back problem after the last race, especially Joe Breeze and Coach Patty. That help has been invaluable. Finally, congratulations to all my teammates – I saw a lot of riders who improved from the last race. If we keep that momentum going, we’ll be untouchable in May.
From Mackinzie Stanley:
NorCal race #2: Granite Bay
I was looking forward to this race after preriding and remembering how smooth and swooping the course was. The few huge puddles of mud and rainwater were a drag but otherwise the course was in great condition.
Warming up before the race, my legs were not opening up like they usually do and my breathing was heavier than normal. These facts plus the weather which was really cold and that had severe mood swings, changing from hail to windy and part clouds, was not making me feel great about the coming race. Nevertheless, I approached the start line determined to make the best of it and I had a great umbrella holder that made me look like a pro and kept the rain off ( thanks mom!)
The race started and I jumped off the start line, trying to improve my start from previous races. Unfortunately my legs set up a protest and no matter how much I yelled at them to go they just didn’t have the energy. It felt like i was being pulled backwards. This was a bad sign for the start of the race and although I managed to maneuver myself into 5th place by the double track, my legs felt dead and my lungs weren’t feeling too hot either. I was afraid of finishing the race if my legs did not improve. I had never felt this awful at the start of a race before and I was wondering what was going on. Kate, Shayna, and Josie soon made a small gap and although part of my mind thought I was crazy, I made a pass on the girl in front of me up one of the climbs and then proceeded to work on just surviving the lap.
By the end of the first lap the girl came up beside me right before the feed zone. My legs were feeling slightly better and my competitive side was triggered so I put in another hard effort, skipped the feed zone bc I had at least half a bottle left and was first into the single track. That lap I made sure to hammer each of the climbs and recover on the descents, making sure to be as smooth as possible. My legs had recovered some and my gap on the girl behind me widened.
The third lap was me just soloing and trying to pass all the younger girls I came across. By the fourth lap my legs were starting to feel fatigued, but since it was the last lap I tried to push it an extra amount on each climb and I finished feeling spent and not completely satisfied with the results but happy with my effort and the way I was able to drop the girl on my wheel early on this time.
Thanks so much everyone who helped put up our pit zone establishment. It was by far the envy of the rest of the teams and whoever brought that heater is a genius. It really helped. Overall the support was amazing, like usual, but especially impressive because of the weather. We’re so lucky to have such great support from the families.
I encourage any racer who hasn’t written a race report to try once. Nobody else knows what went on during your race and it’s hard to talk to everyone at the venue but we all love to hear the individual stories
Keep up the good work everyone.
From Ben Enbom
Norcal race #2, East Garrison
After a solid start to my mountain biking career finishing 17th in Sacramento, I was excited for this next race. I spent the whole week watching the weather, keeping my bike clean, and preparing myself to hopefully do even better.
When I arrived in Monterey I was a little bummed out that it was so cold and wet, but after the pre-ride and various biking around I was feeling good, and I felt well prepared. On Saturday night my family went out to a good dinner with most of the other families at our hotel and that just got me more excited for the race.
Sunday morning I arrived at the course at 7:30 and spent the whole morning watching the weather and seeing how other riders thought the course was. So far the whole morning had been rainy, but miraculously the moment I biked up to the staging the weather disappeared. I had a good warm up that morning and I was prepared to race. While in the staging I got held back and ended up in about 35th place, which was the first thing that went wrong that morning. I stayed warm up to the start of the race, and mentally prepared myself for a fourty-five minute sprint.
I charged up the first hill when the race started, and passed about five people in the first thirty seconds. I got held up at the top of the hill by a traffic jam, but used coach Paul’s advice and jumped off my bike and carried it around the crash, passing a few more people. Starting down the double track I was feeling good and tried to keep up a good pace. I kept on passing people throughout the first lap, and worked on staying steady, going quick up the hills but saving energy to keep going hard downhill. I figured that Griffin and Sterling would be in the top fifteen places, so I decided to try and catch them by the end of the fist lap. I kept up my pace and ran into them together right before the start/finish line.
On the second lap I stayed with them, seeing that they had a good pace for me and would keep me in a good position. But, as I got deeper into the lap I started to bonk, and struggled to keep at their pace. I think that this happened because of a combination of flavored water I wasn’t used to, and also me having to catch up 20 places to catch them on a 30 pound bike. I proceeded by chugging as much water as I could and having a gu pack, which although the water was gross it pulled me through the rest of the race. Our trio of Stearling, Griffin and I finished the race just as we started the second lap, although Stearling got twenty seconds ahead and an MC kid managed to get between him and Griffin. On the final straight I was in thirteenth but Griffin, being right behind me, managed to sprint ahead. We finished nearly neck and neck.
This race was very tough, with it being only eight and a half miles for freshman meaning that we had to sprint the whole thing, but it ended up being really fun. Thanks to the parents for creating the “fortress,” which we wouldn’t have survived without, and also to our mechanics and all the coaches. Hopefully next race I will be even faster, with my new bike and being called up to the front. We have a great team and it is great to be a part of it.