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2016-02-19 Folsom Winter Criterium 35+ 1/2/3 Race Report by John Novikoff

12711058_1730509090501214_8863241955795650804_oIt seems as if mother nature has a plan for good weather, and it revolves around bike racing.  Wow!  Another gorgeous day to rally the troops and play bike racer for a day.


After the breakaway-palooza at Cal Aggie, we decided to play things a bit more simple.  I had one responsibility all day….sit.  I did absolutely nothing while watching the antics unfold at the front.  Our guys were so attentive, not letting anything off.  We had a great group with Brian Brown, Matt Tufts, Steve Thomsen, Wilson Gorrell, Chris Morris and Michael Claudio covering all the moves, and instigating antics.  I was chilling with the motion of the peloton ocean waiting for fireworks.


With 4 to go, the peloton was together, and I had moved near the front awaiting the other guys.  I was sitting on the Peets Coffee Racing train as they were lined up 6 deep and sent a flyer.  Just as I started asking myself “where my boys at”…Bam!  We all aggregated towards the front and in a fluid motion….we are lined up.


  • A quick side note.  It sure is nice to race with professional non-professionals.  When we all put in the kind of time and effort into this passion/hobby of ours, it is nice to be with a group that gels, communicates, has experience and are tacticians.  All this was apparent on Saturday.


Okay, Back to it.  Before one to go, Michael Claudio puts us on the front, and he pushes his gas pedal down.  He strings the field out, and here we go through the start finish with all four of us, on the front, looking as pro as it gets.  I had goose bumps seeing it from my vantage point.  These are the moments we ride for.  Our train kept the pace high.  Once Michael was done, Matt was out of the saddle drilling it, then Brian kept the gas on.  As we approached the corner, I felt a lull, as Brian started to tire and I hesitated.  For some reason I thought we would get through the corner when I should have drilled it just before.  Even being positioned to the right, would have blocked the surge a bit.  My hesitation allowed the group from behind to move in from the right.  We went 5 wide through the final corner and I was pressed up against the curb for a couple seconds.  I opened up and went around a few guys and even though I was faster, making up ground, I rolled a crossed second.


I am proud of the guys and how they rode.  I will say I am disappointed with my hesitation, as I wanted to bring it home for the guys who did so much.


Great efforts gentlemen!


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