Red Peloton Cycling Team

Sea Otter Classic 2021


Road Race Category 4 (10th Place)  

The sea otter road race starts with a descent into a park with closed roads where you complete laps and then finish with a climb back out. The race started pretty fast and broke apart at the end of the first lap into two groups. I made the selection on the main climb on the loop and continued to stay tucked in the group for the next two laps. On the fourth lap, I was poorly positioned at the bottom of the climb and a group of 5 attacked off the front. I tried to cross the gap, but was too far back to bridge once the road flattened out again. A small chase group formed and we began to rotate trying to catch the group up the road. About 5 minutes into our pace line a few riders decided to stop working and our pace quickly fell. The rest of the race was full of failed attacks and lack of group cohesion, allowing the group to stay off the front. By the time the last climb arrived my legs were pretty tired, but I tried to stay with the group up towards the steep part of the finish. I managed to take tenth on the day, which felt pretty good despite feeling like my legs were not at their best.

Circuit Race Category 4 (4th Place)  

I felt confident going into the circuit race. The short and punchy climb with a smooth track and fast decent suited my style of riding. My initial plan was to be more reactive, and try to bring it down to a few riders for either a sprint finish or breakaway. For the first two laps I made sure to stay towards the front of the race to go make sure I could use my descending ability to conserve energy and stay out of trouble. As the laps went by a few riders tested themselves on the climb, but failed to get away. With two laps to go two riders attacked hard over the top of the climb (it turned out to be three), and got a sizable gap. I stayed calm and waited for the final lap, where another rider let me know that he was going to light it up. He went from the bottoms of the climb and I followed him sprinting into the corkscrew descent. We got a good gap and began chasing the “two riders” that we saw ahead if us. By the last corner I was right behind the other rider and got my sprint ready. I wasn’t able to catch the other two riders by the line but I managed to pull out a 4th place from a last lap breakaway.

Collegiate Category A (3rd Place)  

This race was the last of three days of racing for me. I was still feeling strong, despite riding hard in both the circuit and road race the days before. The race started on the circuit then weaved and looped within the dirt of the inside of the track then climbed back out to the larger loop in the surrounding hills. I raced this course a few years ago and remembered a “long” climb at the end; so in my pre-race plan I decided to keep this in mind. The race started fast and I managed to be the first one onto the dirt and second onto the large loop. I knew the racer infront of me was much better at small punchy efforts but struggled with long sustained efforts. I played the first part conservative and tried to remain calm despite 2 more riders passing me and the leader being quite a bit ahead. I made up time on the descents and was able to catch back on to the two riders in front of me. I did end up losing touch with them due to an issue with passing another rider from a different category and unfortunately it was right before a long flat section before the main last climb. The two to one advantage meant that they gained time on me on the flats, but I was determined to hit the last climb hard. When it started to pitch up I started clawing my way back to the two riders and the leader who was struggling to maintain good pace. The two eventually passed the leader, and I was just behind. Before the top of the climb I gave one more big surge and managed to create a safe gap for me to get to the line and take home 3rd place on the day.

Taj Krieger