Copper Town Circuit Race- 1st Place 45+ 1,2,3

Darryl Copper Town finish 1st placeDarryl Smith

Copper Town Circuit Race
Category: 45 + 1,2,3
Riders: 30
Finished: 1st Place
90 min Circuit Race 6 Mile Laps
The goal was to get a good work out and look for opportunities. I did not have any teammates as most of the guys raced at Cantua Creek RR on Saturday. I had good memories of this race during a stage race last year where I was solo for 2 laps before being caught, so I knew the coarse was good for me.
The race had 6 Team Bicycles Plus/Sierra Nevada with the leader being Rodney Spradlin who came in 2nd at Cherry Pie. Folsom Bikes had 4 guys, Thirsty Bear had 4 racers including Ron Castia, Davis had three racers, Lang Wines Winery had three strong riders. The big sprinter was Gregg Betonte from Zip Cycling Team
The race started off fast with teams working to set the pace, with small attaches with team moving. I made three or four efforts to make sure if a break when I was there. We had a cross wind so it was key to get a good draft. I was able to find good spots to sit in. The course had a down hill U turn about 2 miles from the up hill finish line. Each lap I made sure I was top 5 going into the corner to protect from being gaped after the turn. The only lap I was not in position caused me to be off the back with a guy. I made him pull back as he let the gap open.
My coach “Marcus” had me work on power this winter and long efforts up hills the last 30 days without sprinting yet this early in the year. He has reduced my group rides and has forced me to ride solo watching my power.
With the knowledge of the course with the large teams and the U turn 2 miles from finish and the fact that my sprint is not there my strategy was to be the top three around the U turn on the last lap not do any work and keep surfing with the lead riders and place well. Ron Castia was very active working breaks and trying to get something going.
With 1 1/2 laps to go three guys road off the front, I did not react as a few teams did not have riders in the break. The break had a Thirsty Bear, Bicycle Plus and an unknown rider to me. I could see that Bicycle Plus was not working and that the strong team of Lang Wines were going to try to pull the break back, one local guy from Kovarus worked hard to pull the break back. With about 5 miles left, three guys jumped off the front a Thirsty Bear, Lang Wines. They were about 150 meter off with the three in front about 400 meters up the road. I jumped and bridged up to the chasers and took 10 second breather then attacked them and bridged up the the three leaders before the U turn. That  gave me a chance to recover. The small group of six or seven worked together with represented from all team but Folsom Bikes, “where was our old teammate Teddy” no show today,they needed him.
We all took turns pulling, I took my turns but did not use much energy and conserved. With 1k to go a Davis rider Bowlus took off with a massive pull. I sat on his wheel and a nice wheel it was. He slowed at 350 M and I pulled behind him and waited. The other guys yelled at the Thirsty Bear guys to work as they had two rides so they did. (thanks guys), as we came to the 200 meters the sprinters were going and I was sitting on Kieth DeFiebre wheel from  CyclesFanatic and the sprint was on. The road had a small hill then leveled out with a 100 m flat section. I clicked to my 53/12 and used the power my coach had me build over the winter and with my hand in the drops just when on the left I had real good speed and only had about 12 inches on the left to force my bike into. So being a club rider I shouted out on your left and like Moses and the red sea, Kieth move to the right and the lane was open. He could of closed it just as easy. I end up riding off the front but was so focus that I never looked and just kept pounding on the pedals.
The day was perfect, Sunday sleeping in with my wife, Church, call from my coach telling be to be aggressive not passive, Tim winning in the morning. Victory steak when I got home, and a party for Tim and I in the evening. Ground Hog Day.. again again.

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