• Duel Dueling at Fernley

    by  • June 21, 2014 • norcal scene, race coverage

    21 June 2014

    Both the Women’s P/1/2 and Men’s P/1/2 races had similar two-racer breakaway stories today, at the Fernley Circuit Race. The second day of The Little City Stage Race saw racing at the Fernley Speedway in Nevada. Temperatures were well into the eighties and the winds were something chronic – very gusty and variable.

    Alison Tetrick (Twenty16) set a fast pace early and quickly broke away with three other racers for the Women’s race. This eventually boiled down to Tetrick and Erica Greif (Velo Sports) until the Twenty16 racer showed her strength shortly into the final lap. Tetrick held a good lead for the remainder of the race to easily cross the line for the win. To Greif’s credit, however, it was plain to see her not giving up as she chased hard to catch Tetrick on the penultimate straightaway. Likewise, Tina Hughes and Diane Moug showed resilience as they were charging hard on that final lap only to miss out on battling for second by 100 meters.

    Tetrick Holds Off a Battling Greif

    Tetrick Holds Off a Battling Greif

    Likewise, the Men’s P/1/2 race was very animated from the start until Justin Rossi (Marc Pro-Strava) and Yannick Eckmann (Cal Giant) got away on an early break. The two worked hard and, despite the field showing too little organization, maintained a lead of around 30 seconds. A late attack came from Jacob Albrecht (Whole Athlete Specialized), who was quickly joined by Tobin Ortenblad (Cal Giant), but the gap never dropped below 20 seconds. Eckmann put in a move a couple hundred meters from the finish line but it was Rossi taking the sprint win and extracting a modicum of revenge from his poor sprint in the previous day’s race.

    Rossi and Eckmann Break Early

    Rossi and Eckmann Break Early

    Never Give Up
    As the Women racers turned into the first corner, Tetrick led the field up the first climb and was cleary set on controlling a fast pace. As the early portion of the race drew out, the number of racers up front bagan to dwindle. Racers were dropping off the lead group quickly in ones and twos. The first serious break came from four racers: Tetrick, Grief, Moug, and Hughes. Soon it was just Tetrick and Greif out front with Moug and Hughes chasing. The gap hovered around 21 to 30 seconds.

    “All these girls are always really tough out here and they want to win just as much as I do,” remarked Tetrick. “So it’s always fun to race and I think with [Greif] yesterday she learned a few things. Each race you do you learn things and I think she got a little tougher after racing yesterday. She was a little smarter today and I was excited to see improvements like that and girls getting better at racing their bikes. Well done to her [Greif]. Diane [Moug] is racing really strong too. There are just a lot of girls out here fighting and working hard.”

    “I was being a little more patient today,” continued Tetrick, “and looking for a little different style of racing. I am looking for different skills that can help my overall performance. I am becoming much better all around as I have some big target races later this year. My climbing is going well and so is my overall bike riding. So I am excited to be out here racing.

    “Yesterday I was thinking it was like the plague with the locusts (grass hoppers). I was looking for blood in my water bottle. Today there were wild horses on the course, some dust devils, and warm high desert winds. I don’t think it gets more exciting than that.”

    The next set of places went to racers showing never-give-up racing. Greif came home in second, Hughes eventually took third place ahead of Moug. Aliya Traficante finished in fifth.

    The Diamond Valley Time Trial is next for these racers with start times in order of bib numbers. Erica Greif is off second at 11:41am whilst Diane Moug starts a minute later. Tetrick is fifth on the list followed by Traficante as the top contenders for the omnium.

    “I Got it Now”
    The Men’s P/1/2 race also got off to a quick start with first a three-racer break and then Yannick Eckmann and Justin Rossi battling for the spoils. “It happened in the first lap into the headwind,” described Rossi. “it was aggressive and I was coming up and attacking at the top around that bend. It was me, and Yannick, and Josh Rennie (Velo Reno) and we worked for that first lap and established a gap. It was good because Yannick placed third yesterday and I placed second so I think both the big teams are represented.”

    After losing Rennie, Eckmann and Rossi set about consolidating their lead. At times the field look to assemble a chase but other times saw wide berths in and out of corners. The late attack from Jacob Albrecht and Tobin Ortenblad, Eckamnn’s teammate, looked solid and put a potential wrinkle for both Eckmann and Rossi’s goal to win the race. “I kept looking,” continued Rossi. “I wasn’t sure if Yannick was going to sit up and stop working. So, I took a couple digs into the headwind to let him know we were in this together and he kept working. I think we were playing a little cat and mouse before the last lap. That bridge was coming and I was definitely nervous because I didn’t have any teammates in that group. I am comfortable with one-on-one but with one-on-two, especially with Tobin, I wanted to keep our gap and establish the win just between the two of us.”

    “I knew yesterday was a headwind sprint but I botched it. I came out way too soon. I made a mistake yesterday. Today, I attacked [Yannick] a couple times pretty hard on the top side of the course. He had to chase back on but he wasn’t going to pull through on the last lap. He sat on my wheel and we coasted all the way around. Then I gave a little dig just to bait him and he countered me. That was his move and I caught him a good 200 meters before the line. I said ‘I got it now.’ Eckmann put in a good dig and I had to work a little bit to get him back but I knew I had plenty of time to do this. I am really happy to win a race.”

    Behind Rossi and Eckmann, the field broke apart with a few racers launching attacks. Torey Phillipp (Cal Giant) stole down the penultimate straightway to catch the chasing Ortenblad and Albrecht. The result was third for Ortenblad and fourth for Phillip. Albrecht settled for fifth place.

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    "Quod nomen mihi est?" Cranking the glass to capture photographs at bicycle races.