Race Report: Prison Break at the Jailhouse Criterium


Earlier this week, it was announced that course of the new Jailhouse Race was changed from a Circuit Race to a Criterium due to an influx of new inmates at the detention center. Some riders were really looking forward to racing on a course with some climbing, while others were happy it would be flatter.

The riders I spoke to before the Pro 1, 2 race said the heat and the technical course were the biggest factors. There’s no doubt, this was a challenging course but it was also really fun if you had good bike handling skills. However, add the heat, no shade anywhere on the course and things became increasingly more challenging.

We started with 50+ riders that included a talented field with riders from  Bissell, Optum, Full Circle PB Pure Gear, Get Crackin’- MS Society, La Grange and other strong local teams.
The course was a triangle shaped with some narrow and tight turns. There was a slight rise on one side of the course and a slight decline on the other side.

The teams started to attack the first few laps in with a couple of groups gaining no more than 10 to 15 seconds at different times within the first 15 minutes of the race. Then a move with Chris Walker (Time Factory Team), Ricky Escuela (Full Circle PB Pure Gear) and Lucas Binder (SPY-Swamis) turned out to be the most promising move of the day as they dangled in front of a small chase that started with 12  riders but dwindled down to 7 as the heat and pace started to take its toll on some of the riders as they tried to catch the break. The three riders pushed hard and finally caught the remaining field which contained a couple of riders from Ricky’s team and one rider from Lucas’s team that were able to keep the pace high once they had rejoined the field.

The chase group of seven riders put in the effort to also catch the remaining field. The trio of riders gained valuable rest from sitting in the field for several laps. With ten minutes remaining, Ricky attacked with Ian Moir (Optum) and the two opened up a nice gap. This move prompted Chris and Lucas to try bridge across, but the gap got too large for either of them to close it down. However, they were still strong enough to hold off the field to round out the top 3 with Escuela taking the win.

The prize list paid out to the top 20 riders, but only 19 riders actually finished.  This can be attributed to the high attrition rate due to the heat, challenging course and fast riders which left many riders on the sidelines.

Thanks to Serious Cycling for putting on an exciting action packed race!

By Frank Sarate, SoCalCycling.com