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The Paul Mach Blog - March 2012

Living life on the edge... of the road
Photo by Pat Malach

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March 2012

Sunday, March 25, 2012 - Race Reports
Phil the Thrill Well, mission accomplished!! After a fews days of hard riding we finished it off. Phil Gaimon of Kenda/5-hour Energy won the GC at the Redlands Classic.

From my perspective it was a bunch of hard riding on the front. Friday you know about, but it didn't stop there.

Yesterday's crit was a crit. We rode the front from the start, a little too hard maybe. Then I got a flat about half way through and never made it to the front again. I pulled the plug with about 8 laps to go when some of the other teams took over the front. Got a bunch of courtesy claps before I was pulled.

Today's Sunset Loop road race was predictable till it started raining. The 8th and 9th of the 12 laps was where it got hard. I'd get dropped on the climb, claw back to front, do what I could only to get dropped again. That didn't last long.

I'm not really sure how the finish played out, you'll have to read that elsewhere. All I know is that Phil won and that makes me happy.

It's been a great week and riding with my team has been awesome. I'm thankful for the opportunity to ride for them. Looking forward to more results to come.

Friday, March 23, 2012 - Race Reports
The great thing about Redlands is that something crazy can and has happened in every stage. So today's 120 mile road stage was no walk in the park. But we did great, Phil Gaimon kept the yellow jersey and Andy JM moved up to 4th on GC. Nate got caught behind a crash before the finish and lost some time.

It was great being on the sharp edge of the race. Shawn, Roman and Jim for the first part, then I worked in later in the race. I wasn't really a superman, but contributed. Jim and Roman were the supermen.

Phil road well, he had a great day and after the race was excited to have called a pee break.

Slam that stem

However, on the car ride home Roman told us he disagreed. After a long discussion, it was conceded that it was Roman who called it before Phil because there was a big crash. Poor Phil, at least he has the yellow jersey to keep him warm.

On a side note, when I was in the laughing group some dude told me he had to "finish a quiz last night for class." I can't remember what we were talking about that lead him to say that, but I wanted to reply, "That's it, and you're still in the grupetto?"

Thursday, March 22, 2012 - Race Reports
Today, the Redlands prologue was my first official race with Kenda/5-hour Energy. I felt okay, I ended up 19th with one of those 5 seconds faster and I would have been 11th kind of rides. I blame those 5 seconds on the paper I'm writing.

Anyway, my teammates crushed it. Phil Gaimon won, Nate was 5th and Andy was 7th. That'll make for some interesting racing in tomorrow's 120 mile road race.

Got some great data in the Race Shape for this ride. Have data from Phil, Nate and Jesse Anthony, interesting stuff, check it out.

Monday, March 12, 2012 - Race Reports
Let's just say my race was over 1.5 hours in, but I had a 5-hour Energy at the start. That meant I spent the car ride home explaining every detail of the short race to my wife. She loves it when I do that.

Flatted on the rough section during the 3rd lap. Luckily my wife was parked before the finish, so I rolled over to her and started to pack it up. Then, all of a sudden, Mike Hernandez and Jonathan Eropkin, from the Masters 1/2/3 rolled up begging for a wheel. I thought they were off the back. I mean all Mike talks about on Facebook is getting crushed by his girlfriend on training rides, so....

Turns out they were off the front. I eventually gave them my front wheel and they ended up staying away. Good for them.

Other successes include Nate maintaining 2nd during the GC shakeup and Andy finished 6th.

Saturday, March 10, 2012 - Race Reports
So we're spending the weekend in Madera, CA. By "we," I mean me, the wife, and the dog. We would've came for the "Luxurious hotels, great dining, championship golf courses, family-family amenities," and the refreshing lack of Thai food. But, we're actually here for the Velopromo bike race.

From what I can gather, the Madera Stage Race has remained unchanged since the mid-90s. I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing.

Yesterday, Ben Hur TT, 6 miles rolling, 4 miles up. Used the TT bike. I don't have any aero wheels, but was happy to run the old wheels just to get power. That was a mistake, I think I'm better off just not knowing. Finished 9th. Nate won, Andy was 7th.

The GC showdown continued today with another TT. This time 10 miles of flat. This was my 3rd ride on the new bike. While I felt okay, it became clear I need to ride the thing more often. Nate was 5th and moved to 2nd on GC. Andy was 7th, again.

The afternoon crit was anticlimactic, as most crits are. I attacked a number of times, but promptly exploded the same number of times. There was a big lap counter/bell ringing mix up at the end and Andy finished 2nd.

Tomorrow's road race was very dramatic the last time I did it. Andy took a 5-hour Energy before the crit, but I think I'm going to drink one tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - General
Nate and Roman on the front While NorCal was under the weather last week, Kenda/5-Hour Energy Pro Cycling presented by Geargrinder was holding training camp in Tuscon.

It was the longest camp I've been a part of, I was gone 10 days. In the past, camps were mostly about getting stuff, taking pictures and getting out. This camp was longer and I appreciated the extra time to chat with my new teammates as well as doing some actual riding.

So what did we do for 10 days other than ride? Well, there's getting all the clothing, helmets, and shoes, and making sure they fit. Then there's tweaking and setting up our bikes to make sure they fit. Then there were meetings about what not to do on Twitter and Facebook, as well as meetings with sponsors. All of this takes a lot longer than you'd think with 15+ guys.

Even with the long days, I had a great time at camp. I learned a bunch of things about my new teammates. Like that Roman is trying to avoid eating mammal because it grosses him out.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Kenda/5-hour Energy team, it's been around in some form or other for the last 7 years. It's mainly been a crit team but has had some stage race success with Phil Gaimon and Bobby Sweeting over the last couple of years. This year they've expanded the stage race squad with myself, Nate English and Andy Jacques-Maynes.

As for NorCal, it's not just Roman anymore. With me, Nate, Andy and Jim Stemper added to the mix you may see one of us. If you do, say hi.

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March 2012

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