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The Paul Mach Blog - Why are Flat Races so Hard?

Living life on the edge... of the road
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Why are Flat Races so Hard?
Sunday, March 1, 2009 - Race Reports
The alarm went off early at 6am so we could get to Denny's for one of those famous Grand Slam Breakfasts. We were going to need to stuff down all 4 items for $5.99 because this race was going to be a 120 miles of flat rolling goodness. The Merco Credit Union Foothills Road Race.

The race was 5 laps and pretty flat except for some rollers about 5k from the finish line. The racing was heavy from the start with lots of guys anxious to get in a break.

The first one had about 20 guys in it and we had Ben and Sheldon. Rock Racing pulled that back. Then a small group with Andy was off the front. About 15 local guys got together and started rotating to bring it back.

As the break was getting close I latched onto a bridge attempt. A half lap later there was a new lead group of about 20 with 4 Bissell guys in it. As it was forming Evan Pickett asked if I was going to work. I responded, "I don't know, let me see how many people are here and how many are on my team." Last year I would have just gunned it full gas on the front but this year I had to think.

We, the Bissell guys, and Evan were the only ones working so we needed to break it up. Cody attacked on the first roller. I countered, got popped a little bit, chased back on, some other crazy stuff happened and I found myself in a group of six off the front with Colavita, BMC and others.

All the guys in the group were very good sprinters so I got orders over the radio to just sit on. This was good because I was cracked. The guys all yelled at me but once I pointed at my radio they understood.

There were some fireworks over the rollers the last time but Cal Giant stacked the front and brought us back with 3k to go. I slotted in behind the Bissell train to try and do some good. Andy sprinted for 3rd and I managed to hold my position somewhat to finish in the 20s.

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