In the photo: Adam Naguib
Written by Adam.
Lining up with a strong group of 5, we toed the start line at Dunnigan Hills Road Race with options. We knew that if there was an early move, we’d try to get in it. We also knew that we had the strength to re-shuffle things if we weren’t in the breakaway by putting members of our group on the front to bring back groups that we didn’t want to escape. It was good to race with some options.
The first attacks went but without a large group coalescing off the front things were all-together after the first hour. At this point, with some rolling terrain, we were able to work the situation to our advantage, getting me up the road with two others. Our small group of three worked well together for 20 miles or so, with a gap of between 45-90 seconds being reported by the moto referee. A race splitting move in the field after about 45 miles brought a split from the group up to our lead trio and with the passing of a few more miles a lead split of ~20 of the original starters had established itself. Travis Keeney and myself duly represented up front, we began to work a strategy to put us in the best position to get a result.
After some brief communication, sensing that the chasing, attacks, splits and distance had sucked some life from what remained of the front group, Travis and I rolled the dice and attacked simultaneously. This move, unusual in it consisting of two riders in the same team, was given a small amount of room which we tried to work with. Doing our best to consolidate we worked together but were unable to squeeze out more than 20 seconds advantage and were thus duly captured after a 5 mile foray out front.
At this point it was clear that the peloton was running out of juice. Fatigue notwithstanding, I made a final attempt to get out front, knowing that although I was feeling the full effects of the preceding 65 miles, that others too were beginning to tire. I got away solo; 25 miles remained. My predicament improved immeasurably when another solo rider bridged up, and after about 10 miles, two additional riders joined us. With about 8 miles to go, our group of four had established a comfortable 2 minute gap on the field. The attacks then followed. I’d been riding at the limit for some distance and as the inevitable surges came, I was distanced and one of our four dropped completely. Focusing on the challenge at hand, I set a sustainable tempo in pursuit of the leading duo. Although unable to remake contact, the work had been done and I crossed the line shortly after the winner, taking third place.
A good team effort rewarded with a podium place in a well established NorCal classic. As the season draws to a close and we start looking forward to racing in 2018, the TMB Development squad racing in the P/1/2 category is going from strength to strength.