Bariani Road Race Masters 45+ 123
56 miles, 4 laps
Field limit 75, 70 starters
Representing Folsom Bike/VW/Raley’s
Gus had laid out a strategy prior to the race that anticipated wind – unfortunately at the start of the race the wind was not cooperating. It wasn’t until about the 2nd lap that the wind started kicking up. This race had all the big teams show up with their big hitters and a large presence, so we knew it would be an aggressive and fast race with lots of attacks.
From the start the pace was high and the attacks began – our team was very active not letting anything go. It looked like we were well placed toward the front and ready for anything. Somewhere into the middle of the second lap I did not see Jeff Dillon, Ted Toribio, or Marty Cunningham. We later found out all 3 had flatted. Jeff Dillon was able to get a tube and get back on the course to finish the race. So that left Gus and me. As we rounded the finish heading into the 3rd lap the chatter started with the teams setting up for trying to split the group. The wind had now picked up a bit and was now starting to cooperate. So heading into about the halfway point the pace into the headwind starts picking up. I realize that I am too far back and I notice Gus is on the front drilling it and pushing the pace. I have one of those “o cr*p!” moments where you are just hanging on and decide I better go help Gus. I make it up to the front and I am moving into rotation when the attack happens. I see the group including 3 Hammer, 3 Coretech, R4R, Thirsty Bear and a few others, they are away and we are not represented. Gus was blocked in and I am on the other side of the group and I hear him yell at me “Chris if you can get there you need to be on that break” right as he said this a guy rocketed off the front, I was on him like a cheap suit. He took us most of the way and then he started to fade, I closed the gap and was on the line. We pushed the pace with solid rotation picking up about a minute on the group, then the games started. We had 4 solid sprinters in the group: Fairbanks, Saltzman, Albrecht and Aldeman, but some in the group wanted to conserve and started moderating the pace. I figured that Coretech did not have the right guy in the field – Heaton was trying to bridge. When he finally made it the pace went back up. Shortly after Hunter attacked the group. Everyone then looked at Coretech and thought “let’s see how bad they want it”. No one went after Hunter. I took a shot at bringing him back and had him close enough to bring him in, but no one wanted it bad enough, so I got back into rotation. Hunter took the win and the rest of us were racing for second. I ended up 9th in the group. Gus was a great teammate, chasing the attacks and keeping things in control so the break could stay away. Sorry for the mechanicals Jeff, Ted, Marty – you guys were mixing things up and the race would have changed with you guys in it for the distance. An epic day of racing.
Thanks for reading.