Places: Piers Barry 2nd, CJ Wolf 7th, Eric Lagier 15th
Finally the entire ThirstyBear Cycling Cat 4 team was set to race together for the 1st time (and CJ’s first race of the season). We were pretty excited about this race, especially as Eric’s brother Christian has won here before. We drove down together in CJ’s tiny Saab and planned out possibilities of places to attack in the feed zone, or at the final climb up Barloy. We wanted to wait until the final lap.
At the race we had perfect weather conditions and after a neutral start on the Laguna Seca Race way we got down to business on the first lap. No one seemed very interested in attacking or racing at the start. After completing the first lap with just a few probing attacks from other teams one rider managed to get away solo midway through the second lap. He dangled off the front, wasting a bit of energy and we were happy to let him. He was soon joined by another rider but it didn’t seem too threatening. We started to close the gap of 30 seconds or so, but a few riders refused to work and kept going near the front, slowing down and breaking up the chase. (No these were not actually breakaway riders’ teammates but they were doing a good job acting the part).
The same pattern continued. CJ and Eric and I represented Thirstybear doing the majority of the work with only a few other riders from the pack. Mid-way through the third lap we caught one of the riders just leaving a solo rider up front. The race motor cycle kept bringing back the gap time which went from 30 to 40 seconds to over a minute but few riders would help chase. At the top of every climb the pack slowed to almost a stand still. Finally on the final lap I went to front, led up the last big climb, pulled almost all the way to the feed zone with Eddie Silva from One Way Cycling. No one else would work and just sat in our slip stream. I attacked out of the feed zone and quickly opened up 30 seconds on the field. I kept trying to close the gap to the leader, and pulled up within sight of the lead car and rider. I managed to put 1:10 on the field and closed the 1:40 down to 49 seconds but ran out of road. The break away rider turned out to be Kenny Burt a pro mountain bike rider from Auburn who seriously deserved the win after being out front all day. A really great day of racing out there and can’t wait to do more races with the full Cat 4 squad triple threat.