In the photo: Sam Hill
Coming off of a day at Cat’s Hill, my legs really were feeling good, as I got on the rollers for the Golden State Race Series Circuit Race, which was a 2.5 mile course. The field had about 40 people and it made for a great 50 minute race. I didn’t do a hard warm up, since I raced at Cat’s Hill the day before, and it started pretty mellow. I just stayed out of trouble mid-pack and dodged some sketchy moves by riders. After all, we weren’t going very fast, so it was predictable that it was sketchy for a little bit.
There was an attack of two riders that went off on Lap 2, this is where things got weird in the race, and from a spectator’s view, interesting. Nothing really changed for the rest of the race, just got pretty fast, thanks to Rio Strada keeping a tempo, and other riders trying to bridge to the break. Eventually, a rider bridged to the group of three, and some got worried. Rio kind of sat up and wanted others to do the work, but everyone just looked at each other. The gap between the break sat at 15 seconds for, what seemed like, a long time. With four to go, a Limitless rider and a Michael David rider, tried to bridge to the break. They got halfway, and it looked very promising, with no one trying to chase them. I attacked the field and reached the two chasing riders, however it was short lived when the field went full gas to get me. I remained to sit in until the finish.
The gap was slowly getting smaller to the group of three, when we were coming into the bell lap, we had caught them. I was quite worried about this group of three, but it looked like they blew towards the end. At this point I was sitting mid pack, and so many people are already trying to get up to the front, we had 2 miles to go to the finish, so I wasn’t scurrying to get up there. I sat top 15 until 1k to go and maneuvered up to the top 10. Coming into the final corner, which is about 600m to the line, I got around five riders in the turn. With me in fifth position, I was right where I wanted to be with 250m to go. It can be very sketchy and you can’t move up once you come out of the chicane. When I had jumped, a rider moved on the rider to the left of me, forcing me to move to the right and making me sit down. I stood again, but not with the same power, coming right to the front, leading the charge into the sketchy chicane. I stood, again, coming out of the chicane and was beaten by about a wheel on the line.
Looking back, I did the best I could of to not only avoid a crash in the sprint, but also get a solid podium finish. I snagged up some upgrade points and cash, making me satisfied with my weekend. I want to thank the team’s sponsors: Mike’s Bikes, Equator Coffees, Sram, Specialized, Violich Farms, Toyota, Osmo, Probar, Smith, Capo, and Bikesmart. Lastly, I want to thank my parents for taking me to the races this past weekend.