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

Noah Hayes - 2018 Fontana City ProXCT HC - UCI Junior Series

The Friday morning before the race I woke up and got a mediocre hotel breakfast and went over to the course to pre-ride.  I did one lap at a moderate pace to see how my legs were feeling then did a nice slow lap after that in the heat.  The course was pretty long at about five miles with a solid amount of climbing. 

It started off with some loose fire roads that lead into a short climb with two main lines.  After this there was a short descent followed by a long, exposed paved climb that lead up to single track that rolled for a short period before pointing up again.  The single track climb was super rocky and loose so maintaining traction was bit tough.  After that climb we finally got to the first descent of the race.  This was composed of a few tight sections and some steep rock rolls.  After this we hit another steep single track climb that popped out on another pavement section before jumping into some flowy single track.  This was followed by a steep kick up to the final proper descent of the course.  There was a flat fire road.  Then there was one final loose rocky climb then we dropped to the start finish area.

The morning of the race I dragged myself out of bed at 4:40am, got in my moms car, and drove to Starbucks for a breakfast sandwich and a cup of coffee.  After devouring my food I drove back to the hotel to prep my bike and bottles for the race.  I left for the course at 6:10am and put my bike on the trainer immediately after getting there.  I had around twenty minutes to chill before getting all kitted up for warmup.  I was sweating a lot on the trainer (felt like more than during the race) so I drank two bottles of water with some electrolyte mix during that one hour period.

After warmup I quickly got my bike of the trainer and got to staging where I was called up in the third row.  Given my low number of UCI points prior to this race I was a bit surprised I was that far up, but I wasn’t complaining.  They gave us a one minute, thirty seconds, and fifteen second warnings and then we were off for our three laps.

I had an alright start and didn’t lose any spots.  The group was charging on the fire roads leading to the first climb and it was fairly chaotic, staying that way up the pavement climb. Once we reached the single track I made more passes wherever I could until I got caught behind a slower rider.  I was stuck behind him for the remainder of the climb and watched the main group ride away.  I eventually was able to get around him when the trail opened up a little bit and started pushing the pace to get on to the next group ahead of me.  I caught on to it and sat on the back of it until sprinting to take the front for the descent.  I was passed by my teammate Ethan Moyer on the final fire road climb of the lap and he lead us through the start finish.

At the feed zone the order in the group was still the same and unfortunately my teammate ended up taking my feed unintentionally, meaning I had no water during the entire second lap.  This meant I couldn’t make any attacks on the climbs in order to prevent a bonk on the final lap.  I just held on to the group I was with and hoped nobody put in any big efforts and luckily I was able to follow everything fairly easily.

Coming around for the next lap I was able to get a bottle at the feed and pounded a gel but I started to feel the effects of not drinking for 25 minutes.  I could tell I was starting to fade when the group I was with dropped me on the first climb of the lap and my NorCal League competition Max McFadden and Nathan Davis caught up to me.  This gave me the motivation I needed to start pushing again.  I gradually pulled back towards the group that dropped me and sprinted my way up the final fire road climb within five feet of them.  Unfortunately, a lapped rider was occupying the space in those five feet and I was not able to get around her before the single track.  I watched the group I almost caught ride off while I struggled to get around the rider.  I looked back and still had a gap on Max and Nathan and continued to power up the last climb and down to the finish.  After the race I was randomly selected for doping control and had to spend two hours taking two samples, due to the first one being diluted somehow, instead of spinning out.  I ended up coming in 19th overall and was the 9th American. 

The next day was the Short Track.  I woke up at around 8:00am and went down for some hotel breakfast at 9:00.  After this I did a quick spin to loosen up my legs and headed over to the course.  Right when I got there I got in my kit and went to ride the course.  It was the same start as the XC and almost all fire road with one climb. 

I did two laps without incident and was feeling pretty good as I warmed up.  I went out for a third lap and about half way through my dropper suddenly went down without me pressing the lever.  When I stood out up it stayed down and the lever wasn’t doing anything.  I immediately rode over to the pit and told the mechanic, Julien, about what happened.  He replaced my post with a rigid one for the race and told me that the dropper post was toast.  I then hurried over the the short track and staged without any warmup.  They only called up the first row and the rest was a free for all with no organization.  I think there were around 12 people in my row and we were all overlapping bars.

They counted down and we were off.  I was able to get a pretty good start and was sitting in the lead group going into lap two.  Going into the third corner on the course someone right in front of me crashed and the field split.  I spent the rest of the race chasing as hard as I could but was never able to reconnect with that group.  I ended up coming in 12th place and was the 7th American.

There was some bad luck that definitely affected my race but given what happened I’m stoked on how I did.  I definitely learned that no matter what happens in a race you have to keep going.  When I missed my feed I thought my race would be completely over but by staying positive and riding smart I was able to salvage my race. I also learned to bring a spare for everything that could break on my bike because being caught out like I was really sucked.  Can’t wait to use what I learned this weekend at Bonelli next weekend!

Noah Hayes, Skyline High School

Desmond Griffith - Granite Bay

Desmond Griffith - Oakland Tech, Junior Varsity

Desmond Griffith - Oakland Tech, Junior Varsity

I.  Day Before: After carpooling up to the venue with Emmet and company, I got in a 1-lap preride, which I would have wanted to do 2 of, but I kinda got separated from the group. I took a quick plunge in the lake and went to the hotel to get ready for dinner. I ate at Buca with OC Fed., and went in BOTH the pool and hot tub with the boys, upon arriving back at the hotel. I went back to my room, brushed my teeth, and slowly drifted off to sleep.

II.  The Morning of: I woke up to my alarm around 7:30, and got my 1st breakfast (eggs and roasted potatoes) at the hotel. I got to the course, drank plenty of water, saw the girls' starts, and ate my 2nd breakfast; peanut butter oatmeal, 1 hardboiled egg, and 2 bananas. I kept hydrating, and eventually changed into my kit. I got my race gear together early, which felt good. Right before it was time to hop on the trainer, I had a bit of lower back pains, and Tom led me through some quick lunging and child's pose stretches. I did my trainer warm up and made my way down to staging. Coco re-iterated what he had mentioned to all other groups at the start line, to "be cool" with one another out there. I thought of Pulp Fiction at the moment, hoping that all of us would be like Fonzies out there, and "What's Fonzie like?"

III.  The Race: 5...4...3...2...1... GO!! We were off! I had a decent start, and got right behind Conor going into the singletrack. I had trouble holding his and Nathan's pace, but I kept racing my own race. Branden from Clayton Valley Charter slid past before the 1st rocky climb. I passed some D1 Berkeley High and Monte Vista here and on the stretches along the shore. I had to dismount along some of the techy bits, namely the uphill rock garden, but was able to quickly get back going after. I drank along some of the flat sections. I began my 2nd lap, and passed a D1 rider right before the singletrack. Going along the shore of the lake, I ate my gel and washed it down with a drink from by bottle. Right before the last climb, my pedal struck a rock pretty hard, but it cushioned my foot. Entering lap 3, I proceeded to grab the bottle that Devin was handing me, but I didn't have a firm grip on it. Luckily, Bobbi had a spare, which I took. I passed some D1 along the 1st singletrack sections, and a Fresno Composite about midway through. He made a pass, but I passed back on one of the punchy singletrack climbs. Coming off the singletrack descent, I put the power down and saw Luke running alongside me as I sprinted for the line.

IV.  Recap: This is not my fastest course, but I put down a solid effort and finished in 13th. For those who fell during the race, I hope you're doing alright.

Desmond Griffith, Junior Varsity Boys, Oakland Tech 13 / 40

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

Desmond Griffith - Fort Ord East Garrison

I.  Race-Day Morning: The alarm blast woke me at 6:30 in the am, and I was like, "I'm gonna set it to 6:35", and so I did. I then got ready and we were off to the races! I had some bites of an Arizmendi scone, to get some initial fuel in. I'd hoped to pre-ride Friday, but that didn't happen, due to my poor communication! Anyways, I went on the pre-ride /w/ coach Johnny, and he suggested that on every climb, I should make an attack during the race. I finished the pre-ride, drank a few cups of water, ate 2 granola bars, and watched the girls' starts. Returning, I ate a big bowl of oatmeal with peanut butter in it, a pear, and 2 hard-boiled eggs. I drank a few more cups of water, made sure my bike was ready to go, and changed into my race kit. I had some of those mini energy bars which I believe are fairly healthy; grains, Omega-3 and not too sweet, and got me feedzone bottles all sorted out. Tom helped me get my bike on the trainer, and during my warm-up, the rain began! It got pretty chilly, and Devin insisted that I wear a hoodie until all racers were lined up. I was worried that there would be a bottleneck at this start, especially during the heavy rain. I had a 12th place call-up, and the adrenaline was flowing through me when my name was called!

II. The Race: Coco told us that he wouldn't leave us hanging, and then he counted us off. My start was decent, and I passed a couple riders on the singletrack. It was muddy from the start, and figuratively speaking, my brakes and cogs/cassettes were pissed off at me! I sympathized with my bike, and it was a struggle to race in such conditions. When Connor dismounted, I encouraged him as I passed by. I passed a pack of riders on one of the little climbs, and was cautious on the slippy corners, despite Morgan and Devin telling me to let go of the brakes on some of those turns (I didn't want to slide out, and at times felt like I was close to doing so.) I got passed by 2 riders, including Connor. I followed them up the gravel hill, passing 1 or 2 Berkeley High riders towards the top. I got passed on the descent, and passed a D1 on the flat section. I passed again on the climb where most of the spectators were, and proceeded to lap 2. I passed an El Cerrito rider after the 1st descent, and another on the flats. About halfway through this lap, the rain had let up, but I was already demoralized, as my bike didn't sound too good, and some mud/sand got in my eyes. However, I knew that if I forfeited, I would regret it after, and so I kept going, and thought, "Wow, It's gonna be great when I'm done!" Nils passed on the fire road descent, and I stuck with him for a bit. He got ahead going into the final lap. At this point, I grabbed a bottle at the feedzone and ate my gel on the flat section before the flowy descent, some of which ended up on the handlebars of my bike! I passed a couple of riders, and Julien caught me. We rode together for a bit, both of us passing Nils. Julien passed before the gravel hill, and I passed him on the hill. I put some power down through the home stretch, including the final, punchy climbs. I snaked around the twisty section, looped around the finish area, and sprinted for the line, my bike and body dirty as hell!

III. Recap: Although a good portion of the race was not too enjoyable, I pushed on and got a 12th place finish in JV D2! This is not my strongest course, but I felt like I gave it my all. Despite the fact that there was very little climbing, there were hardly any places to recover. What went well: I pushed hard, kept going when I felt like stopping, was fairly consistent, and finished in the top 15! What I need to work on: Had I drank a little more fluid during the race, my legs probably would have felt a little better. At times they were sort of on the verge of cramping up, but I acknowledge that it is harder to drink at Ft. Ord since the course is so fast. Overall, I'm proud of both my result, and the team's results as a whole!

- Desmond Griffith, junior varsity boys, Oakland Technical High School, 17 / 52

Desmond Griffith - Oakland Tech, Junior Varsity

Desmond Griffith - Oakland Tech, Junior Varsity

Noah Hayes - Fort Ord East Garrison

Noah Hayes, Skyline High, Varsity

Noah Hayes, Skyline High, Varsity

The day before the race I didn’t go to school and slept in.  I drove down to the course around 2:00, arriving around 5:00.  I did one lap of the course and concluded that the course was boring, that my legs felt like garbage, and that the race the next day would end in a sprint.  I then went to the hotel, cleaned myself up, and went to dinner at Gusto, an Italian restaurant near my hotel, with my mom where I had spaghetti and meatballs with copious amounts of bread.  After dinner I went back to the hotel and cleaned my bike up.  After being on the phone for about an hour I got to sleep at around 10:00, leaving enough time for 9 hours of sleep.

The morning of my race I rolled out of bed around 7:30 when my alarm started blasting at me.  I checked the weather and was excited to see that there was still no rain on the forecast for the day.  Shortly after waking up I loaded up the car and left the hotel.  My mom and I stopped at Starbucks for my first breakfast of the day which was a cheddar, sausage, and egg sandwich.  We then drove to the course and unloaded some stuff into the pit with just enough time to spare to go watch the girls start.  There was a lot of carnage during their starts which was sad to see but luckily it seemed like everyone was able to continue on with their races.  After their starts I ate my second breakfast which consisted of a bowl of oatmeal with some peanut butter in it along with two hard boiled eggs.  I didn’t get to do much heckling but I kept an eye on the races from the Oakland Composite pit zone.

Around 11:00 I got into kit and prepared my bottles - one scoop of GU Grape Roctane Powder in each bottle except the one for my warmup and lap one.  In my warmup bottle I put a GU Orange Electrolyte Fizzy Tablet.  I drank this entire bottle during my one hour warmup.  In addition to this I took two GU Electrolyte Capsules 25 minutes before my start.  Early on in my warmup I felt a few raindrops and decided to move under the team tent but I still didn’t think much of it.  About five minutes later I knew that this was the right decision because the sky opened up and started dumping rain on us.  There was a mad dash of people flooding into the team tent to get out of the rain which halted my warmup for a few minutes.  Luckily I was still able to get all of my efforts in.  Now it was time to take my bike off the trainer and get to the start.  I saw it was five minutes to start so I figured I had time to go to the bathroom.  Turns out I was cutting it close because by the time I got to staging it was about one minute to start.  I pounded a GU Roctane Gel and handed my jacket to Johny.  I stood there freezing cold for about 30 seconds in the pouring rain until…

FIVE, FOUR, THREE, TWO, ONE!  We were off.  I was on my way to another whole shot but yelled at Max to take it.  He pulled for the first half of the lap and put down a solid pace.  We were all yelling out about how we were cold and how our bikes were already not working due to the wet sand and mud that was accumulating on them.  On the fire road climb of the first lap I locked my bike out and put some power down to get around Max.  I succeeded but when I went to unlock my bike for the descent that followed it wouldn’t work.  This meant that my fork would  be fully rigid for the remainder of the race. I then sat on the front of the race for the rest of the first lap.  When we came through the feed zone at the beginning of my second lap I took a bottle and Max pulled through to the front.  It was during this lap that it stopped raining and the sun came out.  This meant that the course was rapidly changing as it dried out.  Throughout the race it went from sloppy mud to hero dirt so every lap it was basically a new course.  On the same fire road climb as the first lap I passed Max so I could pull for the remainder of the lap.  I did this and put in an attack on the last steep climb before the end of the lap trying to put everyone further into the pain cave.  On the third lap I didn’t take a bottle at the feed zone and the pace slowed a bit.  We were all gearing up for the explosion we knew would come on the last lap.  Going through the feed zone for our final lap the group had whittled down to only four riders.  I went to the front and started digging deep to put the power down.  I knew I was wasting energy sitting on the front but didn’t want to give anyone the chance to break away.  When we got to a wider section of trail Max pulled by me to take the front.  This made me a bit nervous but I was happy to get out of the wind.  Shortly after this he went into the bushes going around a tight corner so I was back on the front going into some more single track followed by a fire road descent.  On that descent max pulled ahead of me again just before the single track and lead the group of four until we got to another fire road.  I accelerated around him and charged into the next section of trail as fast as I could.  I stayed on the front into the final climb of the race and emptied the tank on it.  When I looked back to see what damage I had caused to the group I was shocked to see that max was only a couple bike lengths back from me.  He caught me on the tight switchbacks that followed.  I sprinted through the last opening on the course and into the single track, knowing there were only a few more corners to go.  When I entered the short finish straight on the front I knew I had the win.  I crossed the line for the win and fist pumped the air.  

There were so many things that went well in this race but still many things I can work on.  Can’t wait for the next one!

What went well: First race ever without any cramping!!

What to work on for next time: Bike maintenance  

Noah Hayes, Varsity Boys, Skyline High School, 1 / 25

Lily O'Hare - Fort Ord East Garrison

Lily O’Hare - Bishop O’Dowd, Freshman

Lily O’Hare - Bishop O’Dowd, Freshman

I left school on Friday at 2 and arrived with my dad and my big brother just before five. I headed out for a lap with my dad and although we didn’t do any efforts or anything like that, the pace was quite fast. I knew it would be even faster the next day and I would really have to carry my speed through those corners and climbs. I preferred this course to the other Fort Ord one because there was more singletrack but also more passing spots, but in my mind they both paled in comparison to Laguna Seca. After getting set up at the hotel, we went to team dinner at Louie Linguini’s where I ate half a pizza. We then went back to the hotel and I was ready for bed, but First Blood was on tv and that got priority. I fell asleep close to 11 and had a tough 6:30 wake up. We packed up and made it to the pit sometime after 7, and I took some time to relax and eat my oats. Not long after, we all hopped on trainers for our warm up. My legs were feeling normal and I was feeling a normal amount of stress. I stood at the start for a good while until I was called up. Unfortunately, the other girls’ starts were brutal and watching them did nothing to calm my nerves. After lining up with the girls and discussing our nervousness, I had an ok start. I did not clip in my left foot and somehow in the following stretch I unclipped my right foot. I was able to make it work and shift into a proper gear even with my feet just balancing, and got myself into third place by the top of the hill. The girl from Monterey (Lux) had a great start and was maybe fifteen feet ahead of the girl from Berkeley (Lizzie) who was not far in front of me, and I was not far in front of the Kirby girl (Sonya). One of my goals from last race was to stick with the top to girls, and I was doing my best. Maybe a quarter mile into the race Lizzie had a little trouble shifting or something and slowed down to get it under control. I made a fatal mistake in not passing her then, and let me tell you she put down some serious power after this. I didn’t quite stick on her wheel, but she was in my sights. As we started to catch up to more sophomore and JV girls, the gaps were strengthened between both Lizzie and me and me and Sonya. Although I know it’s good to ride with other people, it is much more enjoyable to be able to ride alone sometimes and I was feeling good. I tried to keep up my speed through the end of the first lap, especially on the descents because I knew that could power me through the flats. I had downed two blocks by the feed zone, but not a whole lot of water. I made a goal to drink the rest of my one bottle by the end of the race, but unfortunately failed to meet it.  When I came around on my second lap feeling good, I was glad to get some encouragement from the hecklers and ready to make a stronger gap. I felt like I had decent speed during this lap, although I now see that my time was significantly slower. This lap was pretty uneventful, I was just trying to not get caught by whoever was behind me. I finished strong feeling pretty good. Looking back on the times, the first two girls finished in a sprint and had a solid three minutes on me, whereas the fourth place girl was only thirty seconds behind me. Next race I want to have a fast first lap and keep the same time on the second lap. To do this I want to work on fitness, including sprints, and hydration/nutrition during the race. What went well in this race was my passes and my start (but I still want to work on those too). 

Thanks for reading my very late race report.

Lily OHare, Freshman Girls, Bishop O'Dowd High School, 3 / 14

Desmond Griffith - Leguna Seca

Desmond Griffith - Oakland Tech, Junior Varsity

Desmond Griffith - Oakland Tech, Junior Varsity

I.  The Day Before: I got out of school early to pre-ride the course. My legs and lungs felt pretty good despite the fact that I didn't eat and drink a whole lot before riding. I took it fairly easy during my 2-lap pre-ride. Later, I had dinner at Louie, and tossed the disc /w/ the boyz. The disc hit a car and set off the alarm when we were tossing it in the Sandcastle Inn parking lot (Oops)! I got to bed sometime before 11 pm, in order to get some solid rest. 

II.  The Morning Of: I woke at 7:15 am, and we arrived at the course around 8:30 am, to watch the girls' starts and sing the national anthem! I ate a slice of whole grain bread with peanut butter whilst doing so. Arriving back at the pit, I consumed 2 hard-boiled eggs, and anxiously waited for the oatmeal to be ready. I loaded up on peanut-butter infused oatmeal (my trademark creation!) and had 2 bananas on the side. I made sure to hydrate and get my stuff and body race-ready, eating 2 light snacks 1.5-2 hrs before go-time. I did my trainer warm-up, got my race-plate on, and nervously pedaled up to staging. I was 1 position short of a call-up, and when we lined up, Tom was like, "Desmond, this is your course!" 

III.  5...4...3...2...1...Go!! We were off, and knowing that the gravelly part right before the fire road climb has taken out some racers at the start, I was extra cautious, and felt like I did not have the best start. At this point, I was likely in the middle of the pack or so. I used the steep road climb to pass some riders, catching and sliding past Finn towards the top. I proceeded down the very fun and flowy descent, not far behind Nathan and Conner. I made a pass or 2 on the short little climb in the open singletrack area, and felt like I had decent form as I winded down into couch canyon. During the climb out I caught Nathan and Conner, and the 3 of us rode as a pack for a bit, passing some D1'ers on the way. I lead up hurl hill, and we stayed together through most of the 2nd lap. I took a bottle at the feed, and stuck with Branden, from Clayton Valley Charter, for a bit. Coming into lap 3, I made a pass on the road climb, and made sure to go as fast as I comfortably could on the downhills. I passed some D2 and D1 riders on the 1st pitch of the climb and on hurl hill. Even though I had already taken a bottle at the feed, my dad almost forced me to take another, but I didn't feel like I needed it. Understandably, it was tough going into the 4th lap, but I felt like I stayed strong. Noah passed me on the 1st pitch outta couch canyon. I passed some D1 and one or two D2 at this point. I proceeded to eat my gel, but noticed that it bounced out and was hopelessly lying around somewhere on the trail, prone to being run over by some riders! Even so, I felt like I laid down a solid gap between some riders in my wave! I passed a JV Lightfighter, who I found out was Tristan (I remember some names of riders from prior races.) I made a pass on hurl hill, and did a hard effort on the gradual feedzone climb after. I went hard through the home stretch, but did not hold my line, and so Tristan got me in the final sprint. 

IV.  Recap: I felt strong on this course, and my lap times were very consistent! (Lap 1: 21:01, Lap 2: 19:51, Lap 3: 19:53, Lap 4: 19:51) This was also my first Norcal League top 10 finish (9th, JV D2), and I'm pretty sure that I will regain a call-up for next race! Very proud of the team(s), y'all killed it yesterday! Shalom!

Desmond Griffith, junior varsity boys, Oakland Tech 9 / 46

Lucas Binder - Leguna Seca

Lucas Binder - Oakland Composite, Freshman

Lucas Binder - Oakland Composite, Freshman

On Friday, I left school at around 1:00 to get to the preride. I arrived at the course at around 3:00 ready to go. I hopped on my bike, and went out on the first preride feeling pretty good about the uphills but concerned about the downhills. After preriding the course, I went back to the hotel, relaxed for a bit, then went to Louie’s for dinner. After dinner, I went home and went to sleep.

I woke up in the morning at around 8:00 ready to go. I packed up my stuff, hopped in the car and drove to the race course. When I got to the race course, I got some oatmeal before I was notified that Oakland composite could do the national anthem. I was interested so I ended up dragging Max Pryor up to the starting line to tell Coco that Oakland composite was going to do the national anthem and that they should come up. After a little bit of waiting, everybody came and we sung the national anthem. I watched all of the girls race starts and returned to the pit to warm up. I put my bike on the trainer and spun up, following coach tom’s instructions for warm ups and by the end of it I felt pretty good. About 15 minutes after the end of warm-up I went to the start and lined up in the call-ups section with Arlo. I had 7th call-up which was pretty cool and I was excited when I lined up on the starting line, ready to go. 5. 4. 3. 2. 1. GO! I was off, I felt pretty good as I raced up the hill, by the time we were at the top, I was feeling good and was in 5th place. When we went around the corner and went down the hill, I lost a couple places because I’m not that good at descending. Once we got back on to the dirt, I started passing people and moving my way up. Just as I was going down a downhill in the middle of the lap, I realized somebody had crashed on a downhill turn and was standing on the edge of the small single track. I went close to the hill to try not to hit them, but I ended up clipping the side of the hill, rolling off my bike and hitting my left elbow on the ground. I quickly hopped on my bike and continued on, but it was really hard to put weight on my elbow because it really hurt when I did. Luckily, we started on the uphill where I went really fast and started passing some D1 Kids. I finished my first lap in 9th place pretty tired after hurl hill and the sprint afterwards and I ended up losing a place to somebody. After that, I was back on the downhills and had trouble descending because of my arm and gave up a couple of places. Eventually, Arlo (who was on my tail most of the race) passed me and began to pull ahead by a lot. I continued having trouble descending, and by the time the downhills were over, I was probably 150 yards away from him. When I got to the hills, I broke into a sprint and started making up a lot of ground. I passed around 8 people and ended up catching up to and passing Arlo right before the beginning of hurl hill. I sprinted up hurl hill and continued on slightly tired but very much motivated. Once I got to the bottom of the hill leading up to the feed zone, I started my sprint. I quickly sped up and started closing in on the rider in front of me. As I got onto the final downhill before the flat near the finish, I realized that it was hard to breathe because I was working so hard, despite that I continued. I pushed on and passed the rider in front of me and crossed the finish line. I continued on to the stop area and layed down my bike and collapsed. I ended up getting 10th place despite my setbacks, which was pretty awesome. My arm really hurt and I ended up having to go to the medical tent to get a sling for it. After that, I went back to the tent and hung out with my friends. At around 2:00 I decided that I wanted to go home, so I could get my arm checked out. Sadly, the story doesn’t end here and after a long wait in the emergency room, I was told that I had fractured my elbow. I’m pretty bummed about that and I’m going to probably not going to be able to ride the next 1-2 races which sucks. Luckily, I had a good race, and I have a trainer at home so I can get stronger and faster for the next race I can race in. I’m trying to stay optimistic about the situation and hope to get better as soon as possible so I can resume riding with the rest of the team.

What went well:

I felt strong on the uphills and flats and I felt that I could really power through anything, especially the sprint at the end.

What I want to work on:

I need to work on descending and passing because I struggled with both of those and those two things led to me losing places and eventually crashing. I think I could also learn how to drink more during the race because that was kind of hard for me. I think being more intensive on bike skills for me could really help me, possibly even more than straight up working out at this point.

Lucas Binder, freshman boys, Oakland Composite 10 / 40

Dan McFadden - Leguna Seca

Dan McFadden - Oakland Composite, Varsity

Dan McFadden - Oakland Composite, Varsity

Wrace Wreport: I had a fun race. Had a great time watching batman with my boys the night before. Woke up in the morning. WEnt down to heckle but these course people kept just freaking out. 

Race: They started early and I didnt really feel the like pre race nerves. I didnt feel like i was racing. They said 3, 2, 1, go really quick and we were starting. My legs were not ready for that start and i got dropped kinda hard. I was off the back with some berkeley chillers at the start, but i figured i had to pass some dudes if i wanted to rally the descent so i hustled on the downhill and the uphill right before the dh to make a few passes. I was still a bit off the lead pack but we were heading into the downhill and i made up some solid time there. By the end of that i was baasssically  at the back of the lead group but up that climb i was really hurtin. My legs just could not dish out the power to get up that hill rapidly. I fell back a bit but made up some more time on the group ahead of me on that next descent. By lap 2 i was with this cowboy mostly. He was very nice, name started with a C. It was fun he would lag a bit on the descents but get me on the climbs.

On about the fourht lap i started feeling pretty good. I was tired but i was still powering along, having fun, so i kept the pace and the guy dropped off. I passed a few guys on the way including a few that had passed me in like lap 1

on the end of lap 4 i caught this cowboy who broke away from me like lap 2 there was a heated climb up hurl hill which i let him win so i could get him on the fire road after and i ended up dropping him a little bit. He stayed back behind me a ways for the rest of the race. The end I hammered and was glad to be done. But i had a god time. Back hurt a lot all the way through but the descents on that course rip and its not all flat and boring.

Daniel McFadden, Varsity Boys, Oakland Composite 15 / 26