NCNCA Masters 35+ Road Race State Championships

Posted by on 5/17/2017

By and large, a slow weekend of racing for the team.  It was time to rest up and refuel the jets for the next effort. 

However, Josh Carling wanted to put another state championship title under his belt so he headed off to Monterey for the  Masters 35+ State Championship. 

NCNCA Masters 35+ Road Race State Championships
Distance: 55.9 miles
Circuit course: 13 laps, 4.3 miles per lap
Rider:  Joshua Carling

State Championship races are always interesting.  You never know who will show up. 

This year, the race was located in Monterey.  This is a bit of a drive for most racers so typically only local racers or racers looking to win the race (or support a teammate) make the trek.

I was the only member of the Williams team making the 3.5 hour drive.   Most of the Williams riders are too young to race as a masters riders.   I guess that makes me long in the tooth LOL! 

The race:   Small field, very tactical.  Each lap was 4.3 miles long with rolling hills, a long tail wind section and a brutal head wind section.   We had to complete 13 laps.   

Some riders were solo (racing by themselves) and some had one or two team mates. Then there was me, a man flying solo and marked from the gun.   Due to the lack of a big teams to control the race, I assumed the race would be…..well….a crap shoot.   What I mean by that is when you have a bunch a solo riders and no real teams to control the race, attacks will constantly happen.  Why?  Because there are no large teams to cover attacks.   If an attack sticks, odds are there will be no organized chase.

Sure enough, several riders attacked from the gun.   Two very strong Olympic Club riders, Chris Coble and Will Riffelmacher, had a solid game plan of going “all in” on a massive attack and forcing me to chase them down.  I knew I couldn't cover every move so I decided to mark Coble and hope that others would chase if his team mate got up the road.  Will Riffelmacher did attack the field and got clear with a Mikes Bikes rider, who turned out to be very strong.  I was forced to chase.  Thankfully, a couple riders helped with the chase for a few laps but we were unable to bring back the break of two.   We were losing time to the break which reached over a minute gap to the dwindling field.  As the laps ticked down, the attacks started again but no rider could cross the gap to the leaders.   With only a few laps to go, the break of two still had a minute on a dwindling field of four riders including me.  

Chis Coble attacked from our group with 1.5 laps to go and quickly got a gap.  Chris was riding smart.  He had Will in the front break of two and did not have to help us chase down the front break the entire race.  Chris was fresh and ready to pounce.   As Chris rode away from our group, I knew I was racing for 4th.   I was cooked from chasing the entire race but was able to find enough strength to sprint for 4th.  

This was not the result I was looking for but that’s racing.  I was happy with my effort and I know a hard day on the bike will only improve my fitness. 

Until next time, Josh Carling. 

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