Riders: Jake Hensley, Scott Kingston, Steve McCaw, Kevin Tufts and myself.
I started the day with the intention of only doing the 35+123 race as I was racing Mt. Hamilton the next day, but I got there early and Kevin talked me into doing the 2/3 race as well. Our plan was to not do anything and use it as a warm up for the 35+ race.
Well, that escalated quickly! Kevin immediately jumps and starts the first break of the day. Jake rolls up next to me and asks if we need to pull the break back, but was happy to hear Kevin was up there. As soon as the break got caught a couple laps later, Kevin attacks again, and that’s when I knew he was done holding back.
I stayed rested, knowing I’m not a breakaway rider, wanting the race race to be about 30 minutes in before I started to work. I was at the very back, and I heard a crash happening and it was Evan from victory velo. I braked hard, stayed upright, but since I was stopped checked on Evan. He was ok but donated a lot of skin to the pavement. I took the free lap, Kevin checked to make sure I was ok and the race was on.
Evan seemed to be feeling fine as he jumped hard to bridge to 7 or so riders that got about 20 seconds to up the road. A group of 3 looked to bridge led by Eric Brickler from Data Driven Athlete. I jumped on but nobody wanted to work so I jumped and bridged up to Evan. He was smoked so I kept going but was hurting. Tyler Janke from DDA came around me hard and proceeded to rip my legs off for the next 2 laps.
I then decided to go back to the main field and rest for the next race. However the break was still up the road and I could see Kevin rotating in the front with 5 guys from DDA to pull the break back and I knew I had to give it my best shot so Kevin’s hard work would mean something for our team. With 3 to go I found Jake trying to find Kevin’s wheel and I jumped in front of him, told Kevin that Jake and I were there, let’s do this! I figured Jake has the best sprint so I liked our chances. Amain cycling had a 5 man leadout and Kevin had their sprinters wheel, but they were going way too slow. We got swarmed, Jake lost my wheel, and I bullied my way through the swarm to be about 8 guys back. I was yelling at Corey from Amain to get his train moving faster. He yelled Go! but they just didn’t have it. Chris Espy figured it out and jumped with about 500 to go, I looked back to make sure I wasn’t going to take anyone out, jumped and was able to pass everyone but Espy going into the final turn. My speedometer said I hit 38 mph right before the turn, and at that speed no one was able to catch me. I was coming up on Espy, but ran out of pavement.
2nd place! Not bad considering I wasn’t even planning on racing!!
Needless to say, I pulled out of the 35+ race with spent legs. Save it for tomorrow! Thanks for reading!