Fontana Race Report - Tyler Sargent

This past weekend was a blast. The first ProXCT race at Fontana and my first year ever competing. Now that I have had a taste I can't wait to compete in more USAC races.

The weekend started on Friday with the drive down from NorCal. We got to the venue around 2 and did a team preride of the course. On my first lap, I was slightly concerned about the technical descending, but by the second lap, I felt confident. 

On Saturday, we watched the pro races in the morning before trying to rest for the race on Sunday.

The day of the race came and my alarm clock went off at 5 AM. I woke up and sleepily ate breakfast to be prepared for the 8 o'clock start. Making my way to the course, I was both excited and nervous about what I would experience that day. 

After my warm up, it was time to line up at the start. My race contained about 35 other fast Cat 1 racers, and we all had the same goal: be number one. The gun went off and the race began in a hurry. Everyone tried to pin it for the hole shot.

The first bit of the course was a sort of fire road with some technical bits. With the morning sun glaring in my eyes and the dust storm from dozens of eager racers obscuring my vision, I managed to crash into a rut within the first mile. This set me back almost to the back of the race and I quickly tried to recover and get back in contention. The adrenaline and nerves of wanting to finish well unfortunately got to me and I made a few more mistakes before being able to get into a steady zone. 

My first lap was somewhat of a struggle after I recovered from crashing because I was trying to pass on both technical climbs and descents alike. Nevertheless, I made it through and decided to make up time and pass as many people as I could before my three laps were over. 

Lap two was marginally better than lap one, but I made up most of my time on lap three. I knew I was out of contention for winning or even podiuming at that point, but I could see people ahead of me and made it my goal to catch whoever was the next person ahead of me. By the end of my third lap, I had caught almost 15 people in total.

Although my race didn't go as planned, I'm pleased overall with the end result. I learned some valuable information about who I am as a racer, and what to expect in future races on a larger scale. Now I have Sea Otter to look forward to as well as the continuing high school series!