Berkeley Crit (E4/5)


In the photo: Travis Mceuen

Written by Travis.

For the past few weeks I have been focusing on Collegiate racing since this is my last season. This weekend was UC Berkeley and they had a tough weekend planned. Saturday I spent three hours in the wind farm with 2.5 miles of gravel per lap. With only 15 in my field it was a long and tough race. I woke up Sunday not feeling so hot and actually did not want to race. I decided to go to the campus to cheer for my teammates who would be racing. Once I arrived I was immediately ridiculed for not racing.

After sitting and watching a few categories race my legs started to wake up and saw that the 4/5 race would start at 12:30. I drove home and picked up my Mike’s kit with no expectations for the upcoming race. After I registered I ran into Danny and Zach who also raced the day before. As we exchanged war stories from the previous day’s road race it seemed as though none of us felt strong. I was planning on trying to just finish since last year I was a DNF after just 5 minutes into this race. Knowing that this was a very fast race with a very short course I explained to Danny how important it is to start at the front of the pack and make sure you clip in right away.

Coming up to the line I saw Henry from A-Bloc racing and knew to watch for him. He is very small and figured he would be flying up the hill. As soon as the race started Henry went straight to the front where he would sit for the whole race. With the back stretch of the race being a very fast downhill with virtually only one line to take, it would be hard to move up on that side. With each lap I did my best to move up on the hill. Around half way through the race I found myself around top ten wheels along with Danny. I would stay here up until about 3 to go. I knew I had to do whatever I could to not lose positioning and found myself working very hard on each climb. With two to go I moved up to about 5th wheel or so making sure to take the best line possible coming into the climb.

With the bell lap I gave a big push up the climb and wound about about 3/4th wheel going into the downhill. A sketchy kid pedal struck on the last corner and took out Henry and himself which left me sitting second wheel. I waited until I saw the La Grange kid open up for his sprint and followed staying on his wheel until the last second where I went right and passed him for the WIN. I felt bad for Henry since he had done so much work the entire race but unfortunately that’s racing...