Max McFadden - Granite Bay

Max McFadden - Oakland Composite, Varsity

Max McFadden - Oakland Composite, Varsity

The week leading up to the race was pretty rough in school, so I was consistently behind on sleep, and it ended up being one of the bigger training weeks this season, which wasn't good for my legs this weekend, but good for long term. I drove up with mom the day before, did a couple pre-ride laps with Emmet and Caleb which was fun, and went to dinner. After dinner, we tossed around the disc for a while, before going back to the hotel, going for a quick swim, then tossing the disc for a good while longer in the parking lot. This was a lot of fun and will make a good memory with the boys. I got to bed a bit later than a usual race-night, a bit before 11:30. After a decent amount of sleep, I awoke at 7:30, and went to the course with mom. For breakfast I had a huge bowl of oatmeal with a pinch of brown sugar and a couple handfuls of almonds. I drank a bunch of water and heckled a bit with the guys. at 11:15, I started warming up. After a good warm-up we eventually rolled over to the start and got called up. I knew going into the race that Noah wasn't going to be racing, which gave me a better chance at winning, but I knew it wouldn't be a gimme.

Me and Birdo had front row call-ups, so we coco started the race we got the hole shot. I went out in front, which was my plan, and drilled a moderately hard pace through the flat open section. Going into the singletrack I didn't let up too much, but I wanted to keep the first lap civil, in hopes of getting Emmet or Caleb to ride up front with me and Birdo. Birdo did a great job of blocking anybody who wanted to pass me, and I stayed ahead for the rest of the first lap. Going into the second lap, I was planning on eating on that flat section, but Nate Davis went to the front and pushed the pace so I had to sit in his draft and pedal kinda hard. Then disaster struck. Right as Nate Davis cranked the pace up, I dropped a chain after misjudging one of those little river rut things and I cased on the backside of one. I coasted for a second, stopped, took a few seconds to get my chain back on, and started to try to close the gap. Luckily, Big Emmet was right there when I got back on my bike, and he offered to help close the 15-20 second gap that got opened on me. So Emmet pulled me past a few riders, including Caleb and Matt saldana, and I gave him a pat on the back and a thanks before pulling around him when we got to the singletrack. I had to burn a pretty big match here to catch the lead group, who had picked up the pace significantly, but after a couple minutes I got back onto the end of the group of 4 riders: Nate, Rylan, Birdo, and Matt garrison. I decided to go up to the front of the group because I prefer leading on the singletrack part of this course, and we did a decently hard pace for the rest of the lap. Except when we got to the flat drag section heading towards the finish chute, I decided I wouldn't pull here, and nobody was coming atound me for some reason, so we just randomly rode super easy for a minute in there, until Nathan reluctantly drifted to the front of the group, and after I gave him a "it's time to take a pull buddy" in my best emasculating tone, he pulled! I got to eat 1 gu about halfway through the 2nd lap, so I was a bit behind on eating, but I almost finished my bottle, and took a new one at the start of lap 3. Like the lap before, Nate Davis did a weird attack-pull thing on the flat section, and I took over the lead after a bit of singletrack. This lap was pretty quick, and I put in a solid attack at the technical climb section, but Rylan and Nate caught back on after a minute, so we just went along at a good hard pace for the rest of the lap, and I ate a gu at the paved road section. On the last lap, I hung back on Nathan's wheel for a while, and made a pass after just a bit of singletrack. Before I passed Nathan, he was already riding really hard, and I did the same. I was surprised that Rylan was still on the group, but I guess he has some good but inconsistent power. After the Techy climb I was attacking the best that I could, but my legs weren't doing too great of a job, which was fine because I just kept riding hard. On the flat section towards the finish area, I sprinted and just rode hard, trying not to let Nate or Rylan pass me. Then, Rylan tried to sprint around me but it was at a really sketchy part, and he clipped my bars and went down. I feel really bad about this but I don't think it was my fault, and neither did Nate who had a better view of the crash. Luckily I was able to stay up and stay in front going into the backstraight. I sprinted here so that Nathan couldn't pass me, took the sandy corner cautiously, and then had kind of a shitty sprint to the line which I narrowly won with a bike throw. Pretty stoked that I got a win this season, and this was my first ever win in the Norcal League which is pretty sweet.

What I did well: pushed hard, result
What I could improve: Preparing my legs for races (recovering harder), keeping on time with my eating, maybe spend a little less time on the front of a flat race like granite bay.

Max McFadden, Varsity Boys, Oakland Composite, 1 / 22