CBR is a four-corner 90 minute criterium running in a clockwise direction with a slight 2-3% riser from turn 3 to turn 4. It was a windy day on the course with perfect temperatures in the 70’s and some cloud coverage.
The game plan was to hang out for the first half of the race, assess the situation, and then have some fun with the guys. I started off the race tail-gunning as usual in this 50-55 person field. About 25-30 minutes in, I noticed a break of 8 or so riders had a pretty good gap and I saw one or two guys go for some bridge efforts. Knowing this could be the move that stuck, I moved towards the front earlier than planned. I worked the front once to show I was helping the chase so I could get let in again. I then attacked to try and bridge up, hoping a couple others would come with me. By the time a couple of the guys got on my wheel it had been a lap or two and I decided to sit up. But the field came up fast and that break was shut down within a couple laps.
I went after a prime lap since I happened to be towards the front when I heard the bell ring. I attacked pretty early in the lap to get a comfortable gap. It didn’t really initiate a breakaway which I was a little bummed about, so I sat up. I worked my way towards the back to sit in for a bit and recover from the effort. Eventually I heard there was a break away which turned out to be Kayle Leo Grande of Surf City with a 30-40 second gap. I saw Justin Williams of Cylance Incycle working the front chasing Kayle down with his (1) teammate’s help. I rode past my teammate Daniel Zitter and told him to stay comfortable while I work the front and bring it back together.
On the slight riser I came in front of Cylance and gave a steady pull for about half a lap before pulling off. Someone let me back in the top 10 realizing I was helping the cause. Another teammate of mine Kenyon came up and asked if we are chasing. I said yes, but that I wanted him to stay fresh. He did some work because well… it is Kenyon and he can’t help himself, ha ha. From then on I was doing ½ to ¾ lap pulls with Justin/Kenyon on my wheel until we brought the race back together.
I ended up going for another prime at some point, attacking from the beginning of the lap to get a nice gap and hold it to the line.
Towards the end of the race with 15-20 minutes or so to go, I told Zitter to stay with me and I’ll lead him out for the sprint since no break really seems to be sticking. I got on the front around 5 or so to go when the pace was easing up because everyone wanted to save their energy for the sprint. I did some work and was let back in the front. At 3 to go (which I didn’t know at the time), I was towards the front when the race eased up again and my instinct had me attack.
Zitter happened to be on the front and began soft pedaling. Within 20 seconds I had a very well established gap.
I rode pretty hard knowing it would be a 5-7 minute effort. I came across the last lap, thinking I had two to go. Then I heard that bell and got a huge second wind, knowing I had less than 2 minutes left. In terms of numbers, the last 3 laps went 28.5 mph at 404 watts, then 27.3 mph at 351 watts, finishing with a 28.8 mph 426 watt last lap. No PR by any means, but I was pretty tired trying to salute my first P/1/2 win.
It was a fun day on the bike racing for SDBC/Emerald Textiles p/b UC Cyclery. I won a couple prime laps for $40, helped chased down a break with a very well established gap, and was able to pull off the solo attack after not quite making it in Saturday’s tough loss (where I tried to get the solo win from 5-6 laps to go but got caught by 5 guys halfway through the last lap).
Thanks to my team (SDBC), my sponsors (Emerald Textiles, UC Cyclery, Pactimo), and my teammates for all that you do. Looking forward to represent at Tour of the Gila next week!
Photo by Frank Sarate / SoCalCycling.com