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The Paul Mach Blog - February 2010
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Living life on the edge... of the road
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February 2010

Saturday, February 27, 2010 - Race Reports
I consider Snelling to be NorCal's season opener, so naturally, I had to be there. For those that don't know, Snelling is a flat, flat road race that runs 6 laps and about 75 miles for the P/1/2.

The wife and I arrived early and it wasn't long before we started hearing rumors of enormous puddles/lakes/secret fishing holes on the course. Would this year take us to Crazy Town or just Levanger again? I couldn't wait to find out.

Well, it was Crazy Town. Attacks, crashes, and hecka hard racing all put me deep into the box for the the first few laps.

Thankfully, a group of about 15 finally got off the front. Bissell had Danny Holloway up there and since he was riding a replica of Ben J-M's Pinarello training bike I was confident in his ability to win. This allowed me to spend the next 3 laps just sitting around talking to people while Chris Jones and Will Routley hammered on the front.

With a half lap to go, I attacked over the Merco finish hill with someone yelling, "No, Paul" from the field. But with a gap of still over a minute, I figured it was fair game to start racing again.

A little chase group formed with Phil Mooney, Will, James Mattis and some other dude. I never thought we could catch the break but it was splittering so we started picking people up.

At that point I backed off 'cause I wanted to let Holloway do his thing up the road. He did and won. I managed to somehow win the chase group sprint for 7th. After suffering so bad for the first few laps, I was pretty happy with the result.

And for those of you that skipped because of rain, it turned out to be a wonderful day, my wife even said she "got some color."

Saturday, February 20, 2010 - Race Reports
The last few days at camp have been pretty standard. Yesterday we scouted the second half of Stage 2 in this years Tour of California and Thursday was picture day. It was long, but lead to this beautiful picture of Ben and Frank in their Merrell casual wear. Riding off into the sunset Today, however, was the big show, the Chileno Valley Grasshopper. Last year was fun, but this year was straight up Chuck Norris, tough as balls.

It's an 80 mile course with about 8000 feet of climbing. It starts in Occidental and heads right up Coleman Valley, down Highway 1, left on Marshall road and then loops back to finish up Joy road.

The winning break went at like mile 5 and was made up of me, Jared, Andrew, Wohlberg, Ben and Rob. Wohlberg was reliving the glory days and putting everyone in the cave but I still managed to pump him for the Bodega Bay and Marin County sprints.

We chopped off for the next 3 hours till we hit Joy. Some crazy stuff happened but we all just kind of rode into the bottom together. I got 3rd and Ben was 2nd and Andrew won.

So, one more day of camp, if it rains I can take the day easy, and to be totally honest, that's what I'm hoping for.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - General
I'm going to just come out and say it, I'm stoked to be at camp. Last year someone took time out of their day to inform me that, "It's not pro to be excited for camp." I'm sure that same someone also hates Christmas.

Why am I excited for camp? For one, lots of new chamois and other cool stuff. But mostly, it marks the start of the season. I can't be the only one that is tired of base training and ready to go out and race.

So what have we done so far? Well, Tuesday's "Make sure your bike is setup ride," turned into a Ben JM easy ride, ie. 3 hours full gas.

Today we checked out the Geysers. Director Wohlberg came with us so we slowed a bit on the climbs as an act of professional courtesy. Thus allowing plenty of time to check out how beautiful it is out there.

Sunday, February 14, 2010 - Tech
Today is that special day when you're supposed to show your shawdy you care. You know, flowers or a card, stuff you're too lazy to do any other day of the year.

So what do I have for you, my faithful blog readers? Well, a few small changes to the site that'll take your experience to the max. It's something I hope you'll appreciate not just today, but all year round.

First, all the pages are now loaded in a compressed format. Your browser will handle all the details, all you'll see is a faster loading page. I immediately noticed an improvement on my phone, so users rejoice.

Second, all the images are now hosted on a CDN. Basically, the images now get delivered from a server closer to you. People from other continents will see the biggest benefit. Don't say I never did anything for you Jono.

Okay, so you're still reading and you want to do something for me? Well, check out the Tour of California Stage 2 video featuring me and Cody Tapley. And if you really really want to do something for me, don't check out the Stage 3 video with BJM, he got a speaking part and I'm a bit upset about that.

Monday, February 8, 2010 - Race Reports
Riding off into the sunset Last weekend, while most of NorCal was at Cherry Pie, I headed up to Chico for the Paskenta Century. It was a hecka early morning but I figured the longer ride would be fun and it was also a chance to ride with my new Bissell teammate Ian Boswell. The event is a Super Bowl Sunday classic taken very, very seriously by the locals.

As for the raceride, the first part was dramatic but not climactic. Ian spent it getting a flat and chasing back on. I spent it learning that there wasn't any wind to break things up. Thus, forcing more creative racing.

This creative racing resulted in a 60 mile break that started with 5 riders but dwindled down to just me and Jesse for the last 25 miles.

So how did it happen that two, well-marked riders got off the front on an almost totally flat course? Well, I'm going to tell you, because it's my blog and I'm really proud of it.

First, Jesse lit up a wicked counter attack to get off the front. Perfect, because he wasn't coming back by himself so I just needed to find a way to get up there with just a few others.

It took a while, but the perfect situation finally formed; 2 small chase groups, just within reach. I attacked and bridged up to the first one. The peloton responded, as always, and caught us. As the tired guys were sitting up and blocking the fresh guys, I countered and bridged to the next group.

We worked well together for a few minutes till we caught Jesse, and that was the start of 2+ hours of hard riding. After what I'm sure was a 2 hour max power record I was pretty cracked, but Jesse just kept motoring on. So it was not surprising that Jesse won the sprint.

And that's how Jesse Moore took his second Paskenta victory in row.

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