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Piers “yet again” steps up on the podium at Wente Vineyards Classic 35+

Dr. Piers Barry aka”The Beast” – Photo: Tahra Makinson-Sanders
Dr. Piers Barry aka”The Beast” – Photo: Tahra Makinson-Sanders


Bears: HUGE group of 7: Jason, Scot, Joel, Moritz, Jacob, Phil, Piers

Results: 3rd, 4th, 11th, 15th, 18th.
Conditions: Gusty winds, balmy temps.
So great to be able to roll into a race with a big team of hard hitting Bears who are always going Faster Forward.  I really like the final climb on this race and was ready to sit in and wait until the final right hand turn to try to get free and make a break for the top.
The competition has been out in force.  Chris Evans and Stefano Profumo were there with a teammate.  Specialized showed up with 5 sterling riders: Cottell, Dapice, Buckley, Passmore and Roemer.
Peter Vaughan was there and is always strong on this kind of course.
Mike’s Bikes had a full squad of 7 guys as always but clearly this isn’t there kind of course and they would be working for Luiggi Zuniga all day.
Ben Albracht and Norman Zellers were there solo.
Nice slow start right on time with an easy cruise for the first few miles.  Then the pace started to quicken after the first climb.  There was some very questionable bike handling but a couple of very strong but not so skilled riders out there.
We had a really nice pace going with the group stretching and bunching and many break attempts.  Phil took a nice flyer for quite a while up the road early on with with the wind and a big group it didn’t get far. The group dwindled down steadily as riders were shed on the climbs and couldn’t get back in the wind.
The big break formed on Patterson Pass on the second lap with Roemer, Buckley, from Specialized, Albracht, Profumo, Moritz and Vaughn.  This was a group with serious firepower and everyone but Mike’s Bikes represented.  Jason and I sat near the front.  Looked good with Moritz in there.  When they ramped up to 300 yards we saw Moritz falling back out of the group rapidly the second climb out of Cross road as the speed ramped up.  I jumped from the chase group and bridged up to keep us from having to chase.  Away we went with even pulls through the six of us.  Mikes Bikes burned each and every single rider except Luiggi in the effort to get back to the break on the climb up Carrol Road.  They delivered Luiggi it but lost the rest of their entire team who were immediately out the back after that effort.
Lots more attempts and surges went.  At a lap and half to go Chris Evans slipped off the front for a long solo flyer leaving Profumo in a great position to sit in.
Passmore was taken out of the race on Flynn road when his front wheel was taken out by a bump with Profumo’s back wheel.  This also pushed Scot off the road into a ditch (no crash), and then he was unable to close the gap back onto the group.
A few miles later Jason and I made a big effort to get away together and chase down Evans as no one would work and too many were sitting on.
Jason did an amazing job chasing down Evans all the way to the final right turn from Altamont onto Carrol road and as planned I hit out as hard as I could.  Jason could almost close the door but Cottell jump on with Peter Vaughn on his wheel.  I had a good gap and kept going, losing a little steam between 300 and 200 yards to go. I had 10 yards with 200 to go, but Vaughn took a free ride in Cottell’s draft and jumped for the win. Cottell nipped past me on the line for 2nd.  Jason was right behind me for 4th.  Fun times.  Hard racing.  I just needed a touch more speed and stamina to hold on, but I burned every match I had–nothing left in the tank this time.  Happy to race with great teammates on a nice course that’s close to home.  I’ll be back for Wente again for sure.
Big congrats to our 45 and 55 teams as well as the ladies (who crushed it as always)!
Great team effort sees Piers finish 3rd at Wente Vinyards Classic.
Great team effort sees Piers finish 3rd at Wente Vinyards Classic.

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