In the photo: Sam Hill
Report written by Sam.
The Folsom criterium course is shaped similarly to an oval. With two turns and one sweeper, and 47 racers, it was set to be a fast race. Showing up to the start line with Robert Terra, it was noticeably windy, a tailwind on the finishing straightaway. Our goal was to get Robert the win, we were the smallest team there, so our goal was to sit in until the lap cards came out. So, with our game plan, nothing interesting happened for us. We just tried to stay protected, which we did. A few breakaways went off, but never got more than ten seconds in front of the field.
However, at eight to go, I followed a wheel that was trying to bridge to a group of five guys. He got me within three seconds of the breakaway, so I decided to make the field work a little bit and caught the breakaway.
At about five laps remaining, Robert was able to find me mid field and we sat top fifteen until the rest of the race. Robert was able to sit on my wheel as I tried to protect him, to hopefully lead him out to the line. There was a little scramble with two laps to go and Robert lost my wheel, but he was still nearby. At this point in the race, nothing happened until the bell was rung at one to go.
As we went by the start/finish, I was sitting about top ten, coming out of the turn Robert was able to be one of the wheels near me. There was a cross of wheels somewhere behind me, Robert as well as four or so other guys went down. Now, a Golden Wheelmen rider was drilling it on the front and led the race, single file, until the final turn, where he let off his teammate. I was sitting 3rd wheel and when I jumped, I held my lead to the line.
Overall, it was misfortunate to lose our plan in the last lap, due to something so easily prevented, a crossing of wheels. I can’t be anything more than ecstatic to get my first win of the year. Special thanks to Robert Terra, my parents and my coach, Adam Switters, lots of hard work went into this off season to help me be a better rider. Thanks to all of our sponsors for the support as well: Mike’s Bikes, Equator Coffees, Specialized Bikes, Violich Farms, Osmo Nutrition (key today!), Probar (the chews are amazing!), Smith Optics, Toyota, Bikesmart, and Capo for the best skinsuit out there.