Max McFadden - NICA State Championship

Max McFadden - Oakland Composite, Varsity

Max McFadden - Oakland Composite, Varsity

I tapered for over a week for this race, and really I had dropped the volume from my training by 2 weeks before the race, now just focusing on really short, high intensity intervals to get a little bit of extra top end and rest out the fatigue that had accumulated throughout the season. I was worried that this tapering would be all for nothing though, as I had prom the night before the race. I found out at sea otter this year that standing and walking around can really tire out your legs for the next day, but I had fun at prom and my legs ended up feeling just fine on race day. My goal for this race was to get onto the podium.

On Saturday morning, My brother, coach ray, and I drove up to the course to pre-ride. I was planning on doing at least 3 laps of pre-ride, but after 2 slow-ish laps, I was 1:40 into my ride and the course was the same as last year, but worse, so I really just didn't want to ride it anymore and I quit after 2 laps. We then went home, and started preparing for prom after eating at ~2. Prom was really fun, and I got home around 12:30, feeling hungry. We made some oatmeal loaded up with fruit and almonds, and then got to bed around 1. I was able to squeeze in almost 7 hours of sleep, and I started my morning with a big smoothie (banana, strawberries, blueberries, Protein powder, cocoa powder, dry oats, peanut butter, greek yogurt, kale, Maca powder, and almond milk). We left a bit before 9, picking up Caleb on our way to the venue. When we got there, I had a second breakfast which consisted of more oatmeal, with a tiny bit of syrup, and a bunch of almonds. I went up and heckled for a bit, but came back down to the pit at 11:30 to squeeze in a banana and a bagel with almond butter. I got kitted up, got my bottles ready, and started warming up at ~12:20. I did my normal warm-up (15 min easy, 2*(4 mins sub-threshold, 5 mins easy), 10-15 mins easy w/ 2-3 30 second spin-ups), and drank a bit less than 2 bottles w/ drink mix for warm-up, and ate a gu while lining up at the start. I got my race bottle at the start line from mom, and got a lucky first row call-up since the 5th place call-up wasn't there.

When we started, I missed my pedal the first time around, but I got in the 2nd time and was able to take the hole shot from Dylan without too much trouble. But this was just for the glory, so when we hit the dirt I let him and Noah come around to pull up the climb. I fell back a couple more places as people were still making aggressive passes early in the race, but I sat in 5th pretty comfortably all the way up the climb. When we started to come down from the climb, I somehow dropped a chain on one of the fast, flat-ish sections, and with everybody lined up early on in the race, this lost me ~12 places, pushing me back into 17th or so. I feared for a minute that this would kill my chances at a podium, but I saw that the leaders weren't really that far ahead of me. I made a couple passes, but got caught behind Julian LePelch who was in 14th at the time, and he wouldn't let me pass. I was calling out and starting to come around over and over, but he was riding aggressively and defending his position. This was frustrating, but I was pretty soon able to come around him and I made my way back up through the field. Coming through the first lap, I think I was in 6th, about 5 or 6 seconds off of Noah and Dylan. I caught back on to the front of the race early in the climb though, and was feeling really strong, seeing that the field was starting to break apart and spread out behind me. I saw Caleb 1 long switchback behind me, and he yelled "Max!" to which I replied "Caleb!". Near the top of the climb, I began feeling confident in my legs, and I took the lead and pulled the last bit of the climb and into the descent. I still felt really good, and was going pretty quick through the loose sorta berm section, but unfortunately I lost my rear wheel on an especially loose corner, and went down harder than I though I would. I got back up, and my bars were totally crooked, so I quickly twisted them approximately back to being straight, which ended up not being very straight at all, but I though whatever and hopped back on in 5th I think, and the lead group had 15-20 seconds on me I think. I chased hard, again fearing that this would cost me the result that I was capable of, and I sorta noticed that my thumb was hurting a bit, which I figured could sprained or broken, since anything less than that I don't think I would've felt during a race (turns out it's fractured). I caught back onto the front group before the end of the lap, and my legs were a bit fried going into the climb, but I hopped up into 2nd anyway on Noah's wheel, who luckily took it easy for the majority of the climb, which meant I had some time to recover. Towards the top of the climb Noah turned it up to a solid fast pace, and the group thinned out to 4 of us, Me, Noah, Dylan, and Luke Lamperti. Noah kept up a good pace on the descent as well, which meant that roadie phenom Luke Lamperti was hurtin and had to chase back onto us 3 after every little downhill section. My legs started to cramp a bit towards the end of the 3rd lap, which I was bummed about since I did my nutrition perfectly (good pre-race, 1 gu and 1/2 of a bottle per lap) and got worse on the 4th lap, but it still wasn't terrible. He had a bit of work to do as we rolled through for the 4th lap, but he got back onto our group near the bottom of the climb, and his someone yelled "C'MON LUKE DON'T LET THESE KIDS PLAY YOU", which Luke clearly didn't hear as he was subsequently dropped when Noah started pedalling hard a few seconds later. I was surprised and relieved that Luke dropped off quite hard, but Noah was pushing a really hard pace, and I was just barely able to hang on to him and Dylan until nearly the top of the climb. But once they got away from me, my legs were totally dead and I was cramping pretty bad, and I kinda accepted that I wasn't gonna be able to reel them back in, as they had a big gap on me shortly after I dropped off. However, I still pedalled hard when I could, but there was nobody behind me in sight which was a relief, although I probably could've done the last lap a little bit faster than it ended up being. But I came through with at least a minute between me and 4th, and 45 seconds back from Dylan. I was really happy about my result, and my legs felt stronger than they ever have. I'm really happy to end my Norcal Season with this result, and I'm looking forward to racing Wente and Downieville this summer! See you guys on the trails

Max McFadden, varsity boys, Oakland Composite 3 / 65