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Copperopolis road race, any tips/info...(10 posts)

Copperopolis road race, any tips/info...Roger2
Apr 10, 2002 12:47 PM
I checked out the description on the Velo Promo website, but I was wondering if anyone had a more detailed description of what the course is like, the climbs are like,pavement etc.

Thanks in advance.
bumpy and steepshirt
Apr 10, 2002 6:53 PM
The pavement sucks. The climbs suck.

That pretty much sums it up. If you have a non-aluminum bike, use it. If you have a 39/25 you'll be using it a lot. If I had a 26 or 27 I would have used it last year.

Make sure your brakes are in good repair. The descent is steep and hairy in a few places. And bumpy. Make sure you have extra water bottles. However, I remember crazed girlfriends giving random water bottles to random riders in the feedzone last year, so it probably doesn't matter too much.

The first climb is long; probably 2-3 miles. Then it flat and rolling for a long time, but windy. Then there's another medium length climb (about half a mile), then the killer descent. If you're not in the lead group at the top of the last climb on the last lap, you won't place. The descent is super fast and it's less than a mile to the finish line from the bottom of the hill.

I'm not doing it this year.

Have fun!!!

/shirt
Roubaix of CaliforniaRideLots
Apr 11, 2002 9:07 AM
The course is horrendous. I'd put on some 25 or 28 mm tires at about 110 psi. It will beat the crap out of you. Check all your bolts; if something is ever going to loosen, it will there.

Drafting on parts of the course almost becomes irrelevant, as it's so bumpy that all your energy is fighting rolling resistance, not so much the wind. This make the climbs harder, too.

I'd do a pretty decent warm up. You'll be pegged shortly after the start.

If you get dropped in the first 5-10 miles, look around for a group to reform. The winds can be pretty strong on the northern part of the loop on the return.
Boy, from both your descriptionsRoger2
Apr 11, 2002 11:24 AM
this is sounding like a real fun time. ;0)

Thanks for the info!
broken bottle cageslonefrontranger
Apr 11, 2002 3:10 PM
We sagged two guys at the Boulder Roubaix with broken bottle cages and one guy who had the top bolt come out of the rear cage - which then kept intermittently falling into his front mech and crank, wreaking havoc each time it did this.

I rode a 'cross bike with no cage bosses, so the answer was simple: Carry a Camelbak, and don't worry about the dork factor. Water bottles in a race like this typically become UFOs on the first bumpy stretch, leaving you without fluid replenishment and creating hazards to other riders. Plus on hairy technical stuff, of which the Boulder Roubaix is about 70%, you really shouldn't be taking your hands off the bars to drink.

My .02
I didn't see any Camelbacksshirt
Apr 12, 2002 8:36 AM
at Copperopolis, but I'd agree with LFR. Wear one if you've got it; you don't want to take your hands off the bars in a lot of long stretches. If you're doing a three-lap race, you'll probably drain one of the bigger Camelbacks.

A dork maybe, but a well-hydrated dork.
Camelbacks, shoulda, woulda, couldachar
Apr 13, 2002 6:31 PM
For the late morning start times, Camelbacks filled with ice would have been the way to go, it was hot for this fog bound rider. Glad I only had to do 2 laps, thinking about jumping into the lake we went around. It was bumpy, but I didn't think it was too bad.
So which race? How did you do? (nm)shirt
Apr 15, 2002 10:50 AM
here's a good Copperopolis race storyRideLots
Apr 15, 2002 3:59 PM
This is from Steve Grusis, and strong Cat 3/Masters 45+ rider who I train with a lot:

There I was... Copperopolis 2002. I was apprehensive about this race for
two reasons: 1) I had dialed back my form a bit after my peak at Sea Otter
to have some fun, do looong rides and start working on power again, and 2)
This was the strongest field I have seen at this race for the 45's. There
were about 28 of us (the 55's had their own race) which included many of the
cream of the NORcal crop: Mark Caldwell (team spine and previous 2 year
winner), Mike Erbe (Team Santa Cruz- I think), Dan Dole (BBC), John Sek
(Team San Jose), John "bartman" Bartmilleur (Alto Velo) plus a couple of
other fit looking racers whom I have not seem before. With a field and
course like this, the only thing I could look forward to was the 85 degree
heat and our 11:30 start. Winds would not be a factor today.

Off we went. Soon after we turned left onto the bumpy as hell (Caltrans
trainee road) two people took off right before the feed zone. An Alto Velo
teammate of the Bartman and another. Not being sure of my form and figuring
I was in a real strong pack, these guys would be caught. First time up the
climb, I made sure I was in the top 5. Even though I felt a bit stressed at
times, I was climbing well within myself. At the top, we had the customary
shredding of the non-climbers but we still had a group of about 15 of us
with, of course, the two in the break. There were a few teams in the pack:
Dan had another teammate from Berekely Bicycle Club, John Sek had two
teammtes from Team San Jose (I think one did not make it up the climb), and
of course the Bartman had an Alto Velo teammate in the break, so he was just
blocking - or actually riding the wave. The chase was half hearted. It was
as if I was in a Belgiun Classics video in which the primary chase group
looks at each other only doing enough work to get along. I decided at that
point to just wait. I would watch Mark C. and MIke Erbe, and when they
worked, I worked. Dole, who does his share of work plus another's was
helping with the pace. When I saw Caldwell and Erbe take a pull, so did I.
When I did, I got the speed up and the velocity of the chase increased for a
bit. But alas, it was not consistent. Before we got into the bad rollers,
I "knew" the break would stay away.

After the bad rollers, we can to the back end climb which leads into the
very bumpy section including the 40mph+ twisting descent. I was a close
third coming down it with the rest of the group back about 40 meters. I
logged that away. I may be able to use that on the last lap as I started
thinking about what I could do to get the remaining podium position. The
climb and descent dropped some individuals and we were down to about 12 in
our chase group. After the feed zone, we descend a bit, then started the
major 1 1/2 mile climb of our last lap. Erbe is leading us up in a fast
pace, with Caldwell on his wheel. I stick to Caldwell's wheel and Sek is on
mine. I have no idea what is going on after Sek except that we are all
spread out hanging on. At the bottom of the wall that sits in the middle of
this climb, Sek attacks. This was my only weak point. Sek leads the attack
with Erbe and Caldwell on his wheel. Another chases, and I am five lengths
in back of the chaser. I just make sure that I do not spaz and burn out. I
stick it in my 25, sit and spin at a high RPM. I get up to Sek's group just
after the wall eases to a steep climb. Still no idea what is going on
behind me, Erbe goes to the front as Sek drops back. I stay in 3rd position
as Caldwell occasionally goes to the front. Over the top, it is Sek, Erbe,
Caldwell and myself. As seems customary, we slow down and 4 others work
their way on. D
rest of the storyRideLots
Apr 15, 2002 4:01 PM
As seems customary, we slow down and 4 others work
their way on. Dole has been dropped. Sek, though, has his teammate. The
eight of us are the final chase selection. At this point, I am feeling very
strong and confident, and have a lot of power at my disposal. I made sure I
ride conservatively. We get a time check that the leaders are two minutes
up on us. Caldwell says "let's get'm". but, of course, we ride as we have
ridden before, and do not put up much of a chase. It was interesting to
note that Sek and his teammates rode like two individuals and not teammates.
On one attack, Sek pulled us up to his teammate.

I was now thinking on what I could do to beat these guys. I did not want to
end up in the uphill sprint with them. My chances for third in that
situation would be close to nil. I needed to get away before then. The
climb before the bumpy twisty descent would be the latest place I could do
it, but not recommended with these climbers. The end of the rollers before
the turn that led to the climb would be a much better idea. But still I was
uncertain. When we got to that point, the pace slowed. I still wasn't
sure. As I was about to jump, the group spread out in front of me cutting
off my lane. I decided to hang in. Going up the climb was again fast.
Toward the top, Sek attacked. Erbe got on his wheel, and I slowly closed
the bike length gap. As we were into the first part of the twisty descent,
I started to attack but nearly went over the bars when my chain came off of
the big ring due to the bumpy road. I again sat in. Now, all I can do is
wait for an opportunity - should it arise - in the up hill sprint. Maybe I
can catch everybody looking at each other, or looking at Sek. The last half
of the descent was brutally bumpy and fast. I was spinning out on my 12
chasing the three in front of me. At the bottom, the road became smooth and
we nervously regrouped. Just within a mile somebody attacked. I stayed in
the back as we caught him. As we go over the first hill, we pass the 1KM
sign. Down the other side and up the finishing climb we went with Sek
leading. As it curves to the left and flattens a bit (with about 100 meters
to go), Sek and the group slows just a bit. This was the opportunity I was
looking for. I shot to the inside and gave it everything I had as the road
went up again. As the road curved to the right where one can see the finish
line in the distance, Sek and the Caldwell passed me. Another couple of
seconds, Erbe and the Bartman, then a fifth passed me. I came in 2 bike
lengths later, 6th in the field sprint and 8th overall. This is my worst
placing in the last three years, but my strongest race. I was very, very
pleased. The Madera Stage race is next.