PREVIOUS RESULTS – 1991 was the first time I raced here as a collegiate rider for Chico State. It was raining back then and I remember many crashes happening across a metal plate in turn three. The plate is no longer there but all these years later I still had visions of winning this race.
COURSE DESCRIPTION – A four-corner, 0.4 mile criterium next to the Berkeley campus. Bancroft, College, Durant, Bowditch. A long rectangle with the long ends running up and downhill at about a 35 degree slope. Bad pavement and a pothole in turn three. Uphill finish.
GOALS/PLAN – Nothing ever goes according to plan – right? With such a small field our plan was to cover Patrick Briggs & Kevin Klein (Pinnacle) and launch an offensive at the 15 minute mark.
RACE SUMMARY – As always, I have to add that I love racing for this team (I can’t say it enough). It’s made racing again exciting and a real joy. Reading email reports (& texts) about individual efforts & team successes is contagious. We have so much depth and every member is willing to unselfishly step up and get the job done.
11:30. Funke, Cox and I rolled easily up into the hills behind the campus, stretched our legs and discussed strategy – a perfect warm-up.
12:05. Rolling off the line our small group moved slowly forward. Surprisingly, none of the other riders reacted as I took three or four quick pedal strokes and jumped ahead. Good practice – why not take a flyer now? Ryan (Metromint) gave me a sheepish look and that was all I needed. Around turn one and through turn two there was already a gap. I glanced back to see Klein glued to my wheel. I felt good and kept it going for the next three laps before pulling right to force Kevin to pull. He was reluctant but took his turn. By lap five we’d lapped the field – we were doing laps in well under a minute. Cox and Phil (Thirsty Bear) had already launched an attack of their own and soon after, also lapped the field.
Now all back together, the race was between the four of us and the pace started to slow. There was no reason for anyone else to work. We needed an aggressive move to further control this race. Cox’s timing was brilliant, he countered on the downhill forcing the other two to chase. I was able to tag along, rest and prepare for the next counter attack. The four of us cat-and-moused for some time and in the process lapped the field again.
Two-to-go. Communication was good. Funke was mixing into the group nicely and the three of us shuffled through the mix alternately getting short rests.
Bell lap (from the top of the hill) Scott led me out through the bottom end of the course and we whipped it right around to take 1st and 2nd place (pictured above). Perfect lead out.
We split up the $50 cash 3 ways and relaxed in the sun before Funke and Cox raced the P ½ a couple of hours later.