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The Paul Mach Blog - March 2009

Living life on the edge... of the road
Photo by Musa Zaid

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March 2009

Monday, March 23, 2009 - Race Reports
It's early Monday morning and I'm pissed off and thus can't sleep. Just got back from the San Dimas Stage Race and checked the official results to see that I did get time gapped in the crit. I was already pissed off about how I raced and to get time gapped makes it even worse.

So I was 16 seconds behind at the end of the crit and moved down to 14th in the GC. Basically I didn't man up a few time and got pushed to the back. Then it got fast and it was hard to do anything about it. On the last lap a gap opened and I was caught behind it. That, my friends, is why you don't ride at the back.

The road race the day before was also pretty hectic. I worked to maintain position the whole day as about 100 guys all wanted to be in the top 20. I got in a little move in the middle but it didn't last long. Towards the end I was getting good at positioning myself for the climb and finished with the lead group of about 40.

Well, that was San Dimas. It sucks to be stupid and lose time in a crit, but live and learn I guess.

Friday, March 20, 2009 - Race Reports
Just a quick update, I'm down south for the first day of the San Dimas Stage Race. Today was a Hill Climb Time Trial. Since I generally do well at those, I was looking forward to it.

Basically, it was pretty painful. Went out fast and it started hurting early. Finished at 13:10, about 10 seconds faster than last year. I was hoping for a little bit more, but improvement is always good.

Me and my teammate Morgan Schmitt ended up 7th and 8th. We were about 25 seconds behind the winner Ben Day and about 40 seconds behind what Wohlberg says he did this morning.

Anyway, the road race is tomorrow. With all the big teams here it should be hard. I'm looking forward to it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009 - General
Bissell, the vacuum company, is having a contest, here are the details:

Bissell's Healthy Home Vacuum cleans better and costs $200 less than the Hoover Platinum Cyclonic Vacuum!

To celebrate this fact, we are holding a contest for consumers to submit, in 200 words or less, a creative idea of what they would do with an extra $200. We will choose one winner of a Healthy Home Vacuum and a $200 VISA gift card every day through April 15, 2009!

Visit to submit your entries.

When I heard about this I wrote up an entry right away. Then I found out I was ineligible so now I'm just going to post it here. Please remember that everyone at Bissell Headquarters reads my blog so don't do anything stupid.

An extra $200? Sign me up for a weekend in Davis, CA to watch the West Coast Collegiate Cycling Championships, April 28-29. I hear the Crit on Sunday will be in downtown Davis on the same course as the 4th of July race. $200 is all I'll need to cover gas, hotel, In-N-Out Burger and a t-shirt.

Not only would I see great racing, but I'd get to see all the cool bikes those fast collegiate guys ride. Phil Mooney's Look 595 is cool, but have you seen that sweet thing Paul Mach is on? I can't imagine seeing a Pinarello Prince up close. I mean that was the bike that Ben Jacques-Maynes rode in the Tour of California this year. And Paul's bike is an exact copy. That guy is so cool.

UC Davis only destroys the rest of the conference like 3 or 4 times a year. Why wouldn't you use your $200 to see something like that?

That is all, I'll let my legs do the smack talking from now on.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009 - Race Reports
Total Domination Last Sunday I raced UCSC's Hill Climb Time Trial up Bonny Doon Road. I arrived at 6:30 am and it was still completely dark out. This might have been why I was lacking "the fire." A note to promoters; if you need flashlights to see the release forms, your race starts too early.

After registering under the cover of darkness I went across the street to get a cookie and a scone for breakfast. This didn't help wake me up and the warm up was slow and unmotivated. I hit the hill at 7:49:30 and felt pretty average. The start was moved back from last year so if you do the math I ended up about 15 seconds faster.

Numbers were good all around: MA 1235, MB 3578, MC 127, MD 34789, WA 79, WB 1. Solid top 10 domination all around. Awesome.

It was raining at the top and even though Judd drove up our warm clothes we still froze on the way down. This made us (the Men's As specifically) even less motivated for the mysterious street sprints to come later. This was the first time for them here on the west coast. They ended up being two up sprints for about 400 meters in a single elimination bracket.

As we sat in Phil's car watching people warm up on trainers in the rain we talked strategy. It basically boiled down to you go early or you go late. Or in my case, don't really go at all.

Officially, I took it easy after having already had two good races. In reality, I got lit up and lost the first match up. My average power for the 400 meter sprint was not much more than that of the 20 minute time trial. But I did get a little taste of what Zach must feel every week on the race ride.

As for results, I know Phil got second. I think the Men's Bs had 3 in the top 4, but that is all I know. Not a bad showing. Overall it was a very good weekend for UC Davis. It should get even better when Adam Switters decides to show up.

Saturday, March 14, 2009 - Race Reports
Today in Santa Cruz UC Davis went 1,2,3,8,11 in the Men's As, 1,4 in the Men's Bs and 1,2,3 in the Men's Cs. Pretty much a total smackdown. And those are the results I know of, I saw the women do well too, but I don't have any numbers.

The UC Santa Cruz road race course is the same as the University Road Race that Velopromo puts on in August. So 3 mile loops, half up, half down, we did 20.

The race played out a little different than in the years past. Usually they put the KOMs early so things would break up on their own. This year they were spread out to 16,12,8, and 4 so there was one hard lap and then 3 chill ones. People were also being cautious due to the big head wind on the hill.

Anyway, the UC Davis Men's As had 5 in the field, me, Phil, Will, Harmen, and Nils. Things started out pretty mellow. Will broke his chain on one of the first laps, somehow fixed it in a lap and a half and chased back on to be just a lap down. You'll find out why this sucked later.

With about 11 laps to go something needed to happen, so I countered an attack. That worked and then there was a group of 7 off the front with 4 Davis guys in it. Awesome, but the other guys didn't want to work. Not a problem, we sent Harmen off the front and then just sat on.

A few laps later a chase group caught us to make a group of about 12. We communicated together and decided to bring in the Pain Train with 6 to go. It came and only 4 got on, me, Phil, Will and Harmen. Yes, all Davis.

We rode the last laps hard to make sure we would stay away. Towards the end Phil asked what I would give him so he wouldn't sprint. What I gave him was his dignity by not dropping his ass right in front of everybody.

We ended up making an agreement and all 4 of us crossed the line together. The order was me, Phil, Harmen and Will. Since Will was a lap down he got relegated to 11th. Nils finished a solid 8th.

Some would argue that all the good riders were at Madera this weekend. I would argue that a 4 rider smack down doesn't just happen and this is just the beginning.

Saturday, March 7, 2009 - Race Reports
Before reading this post please familiarize yourself with the lyrics and tune of Will Smith's Getting Jiggy With It.

Today I drove out to Santa Rosa to meet up with some Bissell teammates for the Chileno Valley Grasshopper.

Over 300 people turned out for this thing. It started with a neutral roll out but it wasn't long before it was like

On your mark ready set lets go
Dance floor pro I know you know
I go psycho when my new joint hit
Just cant sit
Gotta get jiggy wit it

So when Katheryn Mattis attacked, I followed her wheel. Then I helped pull her up to the break with her husband in it. She said she'd give me a smile for my efforts, but since I'm married and smiles are nontransferable, I'll pass.

The break was a mixed bag and it was clear some of them needed to hear

What you wanna ball with the kid
Watch your step you might fall
Trying to do what I did
Mama-unh mama-unh

Anyway, about halfway in, after we'd gone over a few hills, a select lead group formed. We had Levi Leipheimer, Scott Nydam, Davide Frattini, Barry Wicks, his Kona teammates, and some world cup mountain bike guys, just to name drop a little bit.

But it wasn't long before Scott got bored and was like

Now honey honey come ride
Dkny all up in my eye
You gotta prada bag with alotta stuff in it
Give it to your friend lets spin

5 of us took the bait and that was the last real group. As we went over the final climb, guys started coming off. I didn't really know where the top was so I took a big pull in the middle. That is when Levi was like

You trying to flex on me
Don't be silly
(I'm) Getting jiggy wit it

I tried to catch him over the top and on the decent but that wasn't going to happen. Then there was a turn and I didn't know which way to go so I waited for the guy behind me. That sucked but I still ended up second to Levi.

It was pretty sweet riding (and hanging) with some of the biggest names in cycling. Levi however was not phased by some Bissell rider. His tweet after the ride had something to do with a U2 album he'd been having trouble downloading. Sad.

After hanging out at the finish for a little bit I rode back to Tim's with Jeremy Vennell. I needed to get back because the Wife was having some friends over to prefunk by getting predrunk. I was to drive them downtown so they too could get jiggy with it.

Thursday, March 5, 2009 - General
Paul Pfotenhauer of the UC Davis News Service did a little spotlight on all things UC Davis and professional cycling.

So if you have a little time and need a little laugh check out the Spotlight, or just watch the video.


That last line I said earned me some serious points.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009 - General
Alpha Males While I was racing the Merco stuff last weekend the UC Davis Team was in San Luis Obispo.

I was disappointed I couldn't be there but I knew the team would be in good hands after Phil sent out this short email:

Learn these lyrics by the next race.

The lyrics are clearly motivated by competitive cycling. For example, every champion of the peloton should be able to relate to this verse:

But I'm king of the club
And I'm wearin' the crown
Poppin' these bottles
Touchin' these models
Watchin' their asses go down down....

Anyway, on the phone Saturday night I got the numbers from the road race, 4,5,7,9. Not bad, but clearly there was too much spinin' right round and not enough throwin' down down.

I let Phil know that this was not acceptable. I told him to go to Suffer City and find the hurt locker at the bottom of the pain cave.

That's just what he did and Sunday's numbers for the crit were much better, 1,5,8,9. Nice work Phil, Will, Harmen and Nils.

The other categories did really well too, read all about it on the UCD Cycling Website.

Sunday, March 1, 2009 - Race Reports
The alarm went off early at 6am so we could get to Denny's for one of those famous Grand Slam Breakfasts. We were going to need to stuff down all 4 items for $5.99 because this race was going to be a 120 miles of flat rolling goodness. The Merco Credit Union Foothills Road Race.

The race was 5 laps and pretty flat except for some rollers about 5k from the finish line. The racing was heavy from the start with lots of guys anxious to get in a break.

The first one had about 20 guys in it and we had Ben and Sheldon. Rock Racing pulled that back. Then a small group with Andy was off the front. About 15 local guys got together and started rotating to bring it back.

As the break was getting close I latched onto a bridge attempt. A half lap later there was a new lead group of about 20 with 4 Bissell guys in it. As it was forming Evan Pickett asked if I was going to work. I responded, "I don't know, let me see how many people are here and how many are on my team." Last year I would have just gunned it full gas on the front but this year I had to think.

We, the Bissell guys, and Evan were the only ones working so we needed to break it up. Cody attacked on the first roller. I countered, got popped a little bit, chased back on, some other crazy stuff happened and I found myself in a group of six off the front with Colavita, BMC and others.

All the guys in the group were very good sprinters so I got orders over the radio to just sit on. This was good because I was cracked. The guys all yelled at me but once I pointed at my radio they understood.

There were some fireworks over the rollers the last time but Cal Giant stacked the front and brought us back with 3k to go. I slotted in behind the Bissell train to try and do some good. Andy sprinted for 3rd and I managed to hold my position somewhat to finish in the 20s.

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