To be honest I was not looking forward to this crit. I stayed away from it last year because of all the sketchy riding the previous year (2013). This race had become a sketchy crit that everyone wanted to win.
Mike’s Bikes ended up saving this event which was almost cancelled. Mike’s stepped in the place of the previous promoter. They kept the great vibe going. This year the racing was very safe and I am so happy I raced it.
The field was quite big as they grouped the 45+ with the 35+ racers. I think we had a total of 60-70 racers. Mike’s had about 9 guys in the field and Chronus also had 6 guys. My plan was to just ride relaxed and wait for the finish. And if anything dangerous got up the road to try and bridge up to it.
The race was very fast from the gun. Mike’s did a great job attacking and keeping the pace high. Also on the front of the field were Craig Roemer, Chris Evans and Kevin Metcalf keeping things strung out. Dana Williams got off the front with about 30 min to go, but he was pulled back by Chris Evans and Craig Roemer, and the Chronus guys helped out a bit too. I settled in for the final sprint. With 4 to go I had Alan right in front of me keeping me out of the wind. We lost each other in the next two laps. With two to go I knew I had to be close to top 15 so I moved up a bit. With bell lap I was in good position. We sprinted up the little hill and I was slotted in behind Dana Williams and Mark Niiro. We came off the downhill with a good amount of speed and Dana ended up winning ahead of Mark (2nd place) and myself (3rd place).
I was quite happy with this race and how it played out. The group of riders were all very respectful of each other and no one rode sketchy. The atmosphere was so great. There were a ton of spectators out.
After not racing since the end of may due to work I was not sure how my race fitness would be. Well there’s only one way to find out…race.
I enter in the 45+ cat. We were combined with a few other fields to actually make a group. Of course in classic Velo Promo style they don’t tell us our start will be delayed 45mins until we line up for our race. Good news is I get to race w/ Anne since she is the only female there.
So we start out with about 20pp. The course is 65 miles total, 20 miles of flat, a small 5ish min hill, followed by a 15ish min hill. Turn around and come back. We figured all the sorting out would be done on the hills. Not totally the case. There were a few half hearted attacks that nver really got much room. Then about 15 miles in a strong group started to form off the front. I jumped across and made it there in time to sit in a little before the hills. (unfortunately Anne was on the bad side of the split but we did give a wave to each other while passing on the out and back)
We had about 12pp now, with the hammer team doing most of the work. When we hit the first short climb we widdled the group down to 8, then on the long hill Cale Reeder pushed the tempo and we were down to 6. Hunter Z from hammer being the last one to come off.
The other 5 were: Reeder and Dan Shore from hammer, John Hancock from the Sierra Nev team, Steve Archer from Morgan Stanley, and John Ornstil. (archer and Orstill were in the 55+ cat)
Well the hammer guys would not work b/ they were waiting for Hunter and it turns out Jonh O had some kind of pre-race parking lot deal with Hunter also, so he would not work. fortunately Archer had the most to gain on keeping away since he was in the 55+. Archer pulled us along for the next hour or so at 20mph. I attacked a few times but the hammer guys were on me quick. So I just waited, waited…and waited. At 1K were were all together and I got on Reeder’s wheel, Shore was leading him out but I jumped 1st to the left at about 200M and took advantage of a little crosswind coming from the right and got to the line with at least a bike length to spare.