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Hans Gouwens leads the way to victory with Aaron Long taking 3rd at Berkeley Hills RR 45+123

Hands in the air! Victory. Hans also won the unofficial combativity award. 
Team mates: Max Thompson, Tom Lyons, Aaron Long, Holger Steinbach, Duane Coughlan
Field: close to 70 riders with lots of big hitters (at least 5 stars & bars, 3 rainbows)
Weather: perfect
Fueled by some left over Gila frustration, I was determined to race my bike hard, really hard. As a team, we all agreed to put the pressure on others from the gun to thin the large field as quickly as possible. Needless to say, I went 200 meters after the neutral section came to an end. Got away solo a few times, but the field never let me go too far. During one of my attempts Duane came across and the two of us made the chasers work. Shortly after that Holger went clear with Susco (MarcPro Strava) through the residential area, but got caught after a few miles.
Berkeley Hills Road Race 2013
Berkeley Hills Road Race 2013

The next move seemed to be the move that probably would have been the winning break with Passmore and Courtney (SJBC), Roemer (Specialized), Hunt (Giant Strawberry), Osborne (Fast Freddie) John Cavanaugh (PrimeTime), Blake Reed (Arts Cyclery), Cale Reeder (Hammer Nutrition), and myself. Nevertheless, Reeder did not use his wits but his watts instead and drilled it up Papa Bear which caused the break to break, leaving 6 to chase 4 and riding two important teams out of the break.

At the end of one lap we regrouped with about 20 guys and reeled in Reeder et al and I immediately countered. Aaron came across after a mile or so and gave me the breather I desperately needed. Dirk Himley (Hammer Nutrition) rode across solo and joined us just before the 90 degree right turn into the residential area. We hit the gas full throttle for a lap and a half and built a three minute lead as we approached the three Bears for the last time. Unfortunately we lost Aaron going up Mama Bear, but Dirk and I pressed on because we knew that field would put in a late charge. Dirk reminded me that he owed me a huge favor after I lead him out for the last 3 miles at Copperopolis so he could take the win there. When we approached the 100 meters to go I came around him and he didn’t put in a real deep dirk dig – what a good sport!

Dirk, Hans and Aaron toward the finish line. Kudos to Dirk for great sportsmanship. 
I was great to see Aaron hang on for 3rd with Reeder breathing down his neck. Holger was good for 9th, Max for 11th while Tom and Duane finished top 20 on a stacked field
Great team racing and superb results for all of us. Some of the other teams with 5 or 6 riders never saw the front of the race due to our aggressive approach. We came to race and we won!

Hans & Aaron celebrating their podium wins. – still waiting for the keys to the car…

The boys way to celebrate Mothers day!

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