With Mark Rotondi, Noutai Ronaldis, Trevor Edmonds, Trevor Niblock, and Travis Keeney all lining up for a combined Elite 3/4 field, Team Mike’s Bikes p/b Equator Coffees was looking strong for this year’s Turlock Lake Road Race. Due to some racers falling ill and others recovering from illness, the plan was not clearly defined for this race, but aggressive attacks began early on in the field of nearly 50 racers…
Turlock Lake Road Race is a ~68 mile race that consists of three laps around Turlock Lake. The Terrain is rolling with nearly 3,500ft of climbing and wind that would play into the strategy. Road conditions are fairly good when compared to some of the races that take place early in the season. There were 5-10 attacks within the first 10 miles which included three solo efforts from Travis before one finally worked and the peloton didn’t chase. Over the next 10 miles, three other strong riders who managed to break away joined Travis and the group of four quickly ran down two racers who had broken away a few miles earlier.
As the group of six separate teams in the breakaway worked cohesively over the next 30 miles, mayhem began for the rest of Team Mike’s Bikes. Mark was involved in an incident that took out his spokes, Roni got another flat tire, and Trevor Niblock’s crank separated. As TMB was falling apart in the peloton, the break group was also beginning to lose riders due to the difficult pace and intense headwinds.
The gap was slowly coming down from the nearly 1:30 gap early on in lap two, to now just around 45s with 15 miles to go. As the peloton began to come into clear view again, just three riders remaining in the break, and 10 miles left, Travis made the conscious decision to do the majority of the work at the front with help from a Squadra rider. The two riders did just enough through the final stretch of headwinds and rolling hills to hold the gap and secure a podium position.
With reserves nearly depleted, the group agreed to work together until the final sprint as the three flew through the final 5 miles of flat tailwinds. At the finish, it was the rider who sat in over the rollers/headwinds who took the sprint win, but Travis was able to take home his third top three road race finish of 2015 and keep the podiums going for TMB.
In the end, it was Travis in 3rd along with a strong showing from the only remaining teammate in the race and a recent upgrade from E5, Trevor Edmonds earning a solid 9th place finish.