The Grand Prix Long Beach race was held at the local Thursday night Hughes Park training ride this past weekend. The race was going to be decided by the strong headwinds and strong teamwork on the pancake flat course.
The weather was almost perfect for the sunny Long Beach course. The winds were picking up and since there is very little shelter and the fact that you can almost see the whole course it makes it hard for breaks to stay away. The Pro 1-3 race would have a little over 80 riders,as the riders and teams returned from their team road trips where they competed in events across the US. It seems like the racers are attracted to the dead flat courses with very little technical challenges.
As the race took off, it started out with a prime on the first lap to get the pace moving fast. The breaks were already starting to form within the first few laps in the race.
Four riders would come together after about four or five laps into the race. Josh Ruiz (Cylance / Cannondale), Michael Barker (Team Velocity), Tyler Locke (Centric Race Team) and Cameron Bond (Endo Concept Team). These four riders worked well together and hung out there for almost the whole race before being caught by a few riders with a few laps reaming. But Tyler Locke and Josh Ruiz still had something left in the tank to counter the move and rode in ahead of the field, which for some reason seemed allergic to the wind.
Tyler Locke was stuck doing the lead out heading into the sprint, which gave Josh Ruiz the upper hand coming into the sprint as Josh didn’t have to get out of the saddle to ride in ahead of Tyler. Both Josh and Tyler just came off from doing a few PRT races which gave them some additional fitness.
The field wound up for the sprint which was a sloppy mess, as the top sprinters came to the front. With the Tour going on, I think most of the riders wanted to be Mark Cavendish or Marcel Kittel for the day, however Justin “The Judge” Williams took the final podium spot for third.
Above Photo – Pro 1-3 Podium – 1st Josh Ruiz (Cylance / Cannondale), 2nd Tyler Locke (Centric Race Team), Justin Williams (Cylance / Cannondale), Rahsaan Bahati (Bahati Foundation), Charon Smith (Surf City Cyclery / Sterling BMW)
Photo by Gloria Delfin