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In the photo: Sean Davis

Written by Sean: 

Maybe the toughest crit on the schedule, the Mikes Bikes Cat’s Hill Classic is one of those races you just want to survive.

From the gun, the race went out hard and saw an early break established by the first corner. Thankfully, the Mikes Bikes squad was well represented, and we were able to execute our pre-race strategy. The plan was to allow the early breaks to gain a manageable gap for the first half of the race and then move to the front of the pack at the halfway point and take control.

As the race progressed, Ingmar Jungnickel played a pivotal role in establishing our presence at the front of the race and slowly brining the break back in. Anyone who has competed in this race knows that maintaining position is incredibly difficult, given the 15 second wall one must climb every lap, often requiring 500w+ just to get over.

Given the difficulty of the course, patience, and a commitment to the plan was needed to achieve the results we knew we could produce.

With about 4 laps to go, we had brought the break back, and the focus then shifted to managing the counter attacks. Always positioning ourselves towards the front, we were able to hold the race together until the final lap, where I made a move to break the remaining field apart on the ‘climb’. Ingmar stayed right on my wheel and as we crested the climb, he shot to the front. Ingmar kept the pace hot until the final descent and right-hand corner.

As a local rider out of Los Gatos, I knew this course quite well, and had determined that the one who wins this race is the one who is willing to take the most risk on the final corner. With Ingmar’s excellent lead out, I was able to move into first place before the corner, take the turn at full speed and cross the line for the W.

It was a great feeling to be able to win on the team’s home course and on home roads. Special shout out to Ingmar (who placed 4th) and the rest of the guys who worked to put us in a position to win.