Week 5 of 5 of the Early Bird Criterium Training Race Series went well for the sport of cycling, for Nor Cal and for our team. Temps climbed into the 70's today so the racers held off their Super Bowl plans and made their way to Fremont for the flat and fast crits. During the 5 weeks the promoters and the beginner and advanced skills clinics brought in about 350 racers per week, a new 21 year record for attendance!
Ironically for today's "advanced skills clinic" we talked about, demonstrated and then let the riders practice lead outs. Little did we know that we would be practicing this as a team later in the day!
It's against team tradition to write about your own victory, but today's 75 minute race with 100+ starters has no prizes whatsoever so not all riders even care about the finish. We did. That's because in last weeks race a trio of riders escaped and we were forced to chase for a long time, not catching the group and learning some big lessons. Today we had juniors James Laberge, Marcus Smith, Peter Taylor, Joel Shaffer, Daniel Tisdell racing with Dylan Casey, Kevin Metcalfe and myself in the Pro/1/2/3 race. Alistair Eeckman, Chris Laberge and David Benkowski raced earlier in the morning with the 3/4 field with James, Marcus and Peter.
Into the last laps of the Pro/1/2/3 race and we had Dylan guiding us through this two lap leadout with Joel, Kevin and Dylan doing great work up front while I had Peter glued to my wheel for the sprint. Dean Laberge had flatted. Keith Miller and then Patrick Briggs (both Cal Giant Strawberry) and then Joel Robertson (Sierra Pacific) took over the lead out coming into turn two but when they swung off with 300 meters to go Dylan was still there to give me a sweet leadout for the win. Thank you teammates!