What a great weekend for the FMBR team! The #FigFast crew raced in 3 different cities across California, collecting 5 wins, 8 podiums, 13 top fives & 19 top tens. The weekend was highlighted by a GC win at Chico Stage Race by Brandon Baker in 3/4s, a 3rd place in the GC by Julia Gieschen in the 3/4s, a 5th overall finish by David Priest in the 2s, a win by Dave Pankratz in the 35+ 3/4s at CCCX and a 2nd place by Jason Hannon in the 45+ open category in Monterey. Congrats to everyone who raced, let’s keep the momentum rolling! Vlees Huis is this Saturday in Bakersfield.
Mr. Baker was 3rd on the day and held onto the yellow by 4 seconds! David bridged to a break coming in 4th on the day and sits 4th in the GC only 51 seconds back in the 2s. In her first stage, Julia took 7th in the sprint for the line! Overall, a great morning for the #FigFast team at day 2 of the #ChicoStageRace2016! All other racers stayed up and avoided any mechanicals/disasters over the technical gravel to finish in contention for their respective GCs. It all comes down to tomorrow’s race against the clock.
Full results from today are here, stages 3 & 4 tomorrow – updates will come in the afternoon after final GCs are determined!
The rain stayed away and Fig Mtn Brew Racing came to play, in Northern California for day 1 of the Chico Stage Race. In the first race of the morning, Bbakes took his 6th win in 7 races this season & 5th in a row!
Baker took the win after being in several attempted breaks over the course of the hour long circuit at the Thunderhill Raceway, 40 miles west of Chico in Willows, CA.
Tomorrow, in the classic Paskenta Road Race with the challenging 4-mile gravel section each lap, Brandon will be sporting FMBR’s 1st ever yellow jersey!
David finished in the pack and Nate was 5 seconds off in the first GC in the 3/4s race. In the 2s, David, Jeffrey, Kirk & Jason finished in the pack and conserved energy for tomorrow’s 90 mile road race.
Julia’s stage 1 starts tomorrow at 8:35a with one lap of the Paskenta course.
Stay tuned for more results!
This weekend, FMBR team members are covering the state – we have racers going down south to San Diego, north to Chico and smack dab in the middle in Monterey. Stay tuned for results!
Julia & Jessica made the trek to Velo Promo race number four to tackle the 30th Annual Snelling Road Race on a completely closed course east of Modesto and north of Merced, adjacent to the Yosemite foothills.
They both raced strong in a solid sized 3s field with Julia taking 6th (scoring a couple upgrade points) in a close sprint and unfortunately, Jess got caught behind a late crash in the race finishing 16th – she came away unscathed though!
Chico Stage Race is up next for David/Jason/Jeffrey/Kirk in the 2s, Brandon/David/Nate in the 3/4s and Julia in the 3/4s!
Bobby and Jess are heading south to San Diego for Boulevard Road Race.
Our field was on the small size at 22, but just above the USAC threshold necessary to score some serious points with a good result. My main focus was on a competitor from the Ritte Team, David Baar, who 2 years ago in my 4s race rode away on the out and back section of Trimmer Springs and never came back, soloing to the win. I could not let him do that again.
As soon as the neutral ended, naturally, he slowly rolled off the front. We kept him sight for a bit, then another strong rider, Chris Beall bridged up to him and their gap started to grow. When I saw them pass the P/1/2 field I knew I needed to be in that group. Right after Cameron Bond from Bicycle.net rolled off the front after taking a big pull, I was in perfect position about 5 wheels back on the inside to launch and put in a 5-minute effort on a short climb to the turnaround to also pass the P/1/2 field and catch the two-man break. I knew having the P/1/2 field between us would provide some logistical issues for my field. The circumstances were perfect for the break to stick; we were all strong riders, with a total of 3 teammates in an an unorganized group chasing. For two hours we worked extremely well together. Getting gaps from the moto of 1 minute, then 1:45 and then we didn’t see him for a while which we knew meant the field was dropping farther back. I started thinking toward the finishing climb and began taking easier/shorter pulls in preparation.
Once we hit the final right hand turn and started climbing up Wildcat, David dropped off saying he didn’t have the legs. Chris and I worked together before the pitch kicked and he couldn’t hang. I knew I just had to go. I’ve never worked so hard on a bike in my life. Finally, the moto came up for the first time in nearly and hour and gave me a gap of 2 minutes to two chasers, 3 minutes to the peloton and then he said, “Obviously, you’ve dropped your two compatriots and they are in-between.”
At this point it was my race to loose and I again knew I had to leave it all out on the course. There was no way I was going to let myself give up and get caught. Pine Flat is a legendary race and the time was now to win it. I absolutely pinned the twisty downhill and hammered out of the saddle on a couple of kickers before the final finishing climb when Chris finally came back into view. I asked the moto for one more time split and he reported back 35 seconds with 1k to go. A lot of things went through my head, but the one that sticks with me the most is how well I played my cards – I was definitely the smartest racer on Sunday and that is the main reason why I won.
Big thanks to my teammates Bobby and Jason for their exceptional blocking preventing organization of the chasing group!
Photos by B. Bikes
The field wasn’t particularly large, but JL Velo was well represented with three riders. I knew that they would use their high numbers to try and control the race. They started setting the pace on the first lap and we were more than happy to sit in. As we circled the turn around the JL Velo ladies started launching attack after attack. After closing three of these down I became frustrated with the other women in the race and made the decision to not close the next attack down. Sure enough, JL Velo attacked again and I waited and did not respond for what felt like an eternity. Finally, one of the other racers responded to the attack and started to pull it back. When she was just about to make contact with the break I counter attacked. One of the JL Velo women covered my attack, however, it was just strong enough that we made separation from the main group. I was pretty glad that she covered because not only was she a solid rider, but I knew that her teammates would hold the group behind us back. She and I pounded our pedals over the rollers to create a sustainable gap. From there on out it was pull after pull between bee hives and almond trees for a few hours.
Photo by Brooks Bikes
As she and I worked together, I began to drift off and think about the finish. Would I be able to out sprint this girl? Should I attack early? Should I wait? As we neared the final rolling hills, it got real quiet between the two of us. We had put minutes into the field so that was not a concern. After a little cat and mouse she started sprinting and try as I did, I wasn’t able to come around her at the line.
Hands down the best part of the racing experience (well, second to drinking a Hoppy Poppy post race) was being able to watch my other FMBR teammates ride past as we circled each other on the course. There wasn’t a group on the road that wasn’t having to deal with the tact and power of FMBR, and that is a pretty motivational thing to get to see while you’re crushing yourself in a break.
Next weekend is looking pretty bright for me as I head up to race my bike at Snelling Road Race. My teammate, Jessica Baum, has upgraded to a 3 so we can race together! That’s right ladies of California, now there are two FMBR teammates in the P/1/2/3 fields…FigFast just got FigFaster!
Three FMBR team members achieved results over the long holiday weekend to warrant road category upgrades: Jessica Baum, Brandon Baker & Jeffrey Stern all moved up a level!
Stern Shreddin’ the field @ Dinuba
J-Baum/BBakes are both 3s with J-Stern upgrading to the 2s and now racing with the elite squad. This is BBakes second upgrade this season…and it’s only the middle of February.
Congratulations! More to come!
As it happened, by Captain David Priest…
A normally well attended early season road race drew a small, but strong Pro 1/2 field for 2016. Three laps on an out and back course with a rolling uphill finish. FMBR came with three racers and Centric Bike brought four. The rest of the field was made up of some talented solo riders I have raced against for a few years. Everyone knew Centric and us would try to put a rider in an early break and that is exactly what we did. My teammate John got himself into a three-rider breakaway with a Centric and solo rider. This forced the solo riders in the field to chase hard for the whole first lap and a half to control the dangerous breakaway. The solo riders worked really hard and brought the three-rider breakaway back at the bottom of the finishing climb, but in time for Kirk and I to blow the field apart by the turn around to start the last lap. The race was going to come down to 7 riders; 2 FMBR, 2 Centric, and 3 strong solo riders. After a series of half hearted attacks by us and the Centric racers we finally let one Centric and one solo rider go up the road, but kept them close. Kirk and I convinced the other two solo riders in our chase group to work with us and we chased hard on the return to this finish. The only problem was we had Centric’s strongest sprinter sitting in for the chase. Heading into the final 5k we caught the break just in time for Centric’s sprinter to attack and bridge to the solo rider up the road. After chasing so hard for the last lap I didn’t have the legs to cover the attack from the Centric and that left me battling for 3rd with one remaining solo rider. I started my sprint with 150 meters to go on the pretty stiff uphill finish and was able to take the last step on the podium with ease. I wanted to race for the win, but thanks to the sacrifice of my team John I was able to take third and score my first podium in a P/1/2 race…and I got my second the next day at Pine Flat!
Results are posted! The #FigFast FMBR team came out swinging and roped in a slew of results in the Central Valley this holiday weekend: 4 wins, 13 podiums, 15 top fives and 25 top tens.
BBakes swept the top step at all three races in the 4s.
Cantua Creek RR 4s Winner (while taking the finishing climb KOM)
The next day at Pine Flat Road Race, Stern bridged to a two-man breakaway at mile 10 in the 3s while passing the P/1/2 field. The trio stayed together for 40 more miles until the final Wildcat Climb, where he dropped his compatriots and soloed to the line, winning by 35 seconds over 2nd place and nearly 2 minutes over the splintered peloton.
Yesterday, BBakes took to the Dinuba Criterium looking for his last 3s upgrade points. He sat in for most of the first half of the race, then attacked on the left hand corner at the apex of the L shaped course…
…and proceeded to lap the entire field for his third win in as many days!
Congratulations to all of the FMBR team members who kitted up and represented us this weekend. Everyone crushed it! Other notable results include two 3rd place finishes by David Priest in the pro fields of Cantua/Pine Flat, a 2nd place finish by Julia Gieschen in the pro field at Cantua, two 2nd place finishes by Quentin Sims in 55+, a 2nd place finish by Jessica Baum in the 4s at Cantua & a 2nd place finish by Jason Hannon at Cantua in the 3s.
Favorite photo of the weekend goes to the Pine Flat Fig 55+ Sandwich created by Sims’ 2nd and Owen‘s 3rd. I predict a full Fig podium in the near future!
Upgrade news coming soon!