2013 Berkeley Bicycle Club Criterium: Fast from the Gun

By Travis Lyons I like this crit. It’s a four-corner course, about 1km in length, with a few spots of bad pavement and a pretty high crown on the road surface, making the majority of the turns off camber. The back straight has a slight hill in it, and the 3rd and finishing straights are downhill with fast turns.

Originally, we had planned on having only three riders in the field- Eric Riggs, Dana Williams, and myself. A couple of our other teammates, Shawn Rosenthal and Roman Kilun, both who live in a close area of the course, rode over to watch the event. Roman decided to race at the last minute- so you’ll have to excuse his “got dressed in the dark” appearance with miss-matched kit.

At the line we had four of the twenty-six starters in the P/1/2 field. On the whistle, Roman put in a little dig to initiate the early breakaway. Another rider followed and Dana was behind him. The three of them got a small gap before turn two as they started up the hill on the back straight. Their advantage didn’t gain them any more than 8 seconds in the first lap. Going into the second lap, the peloton started to bring back their lead on the downhill section and the gap was closed almost completely. On the back straight of the second lap, Riggs counter attacked to pass the group with Roman and Dana. A rider who tried to follow Riggs unclipped at the front of the field, and swerved off to the right of the road, and the field sat up for a second. A Davis rider went to follow Eric with me in tow, as Dana, Roman and the third rider, Rob Scheffler of Fremont Bank, followed. The Davis rider was gone after that, and I have no idea what happened him after he brought me up to my teammates. About a half a lap later, we all looked back to see about a 10 second gap to the field. Roman, Dana, Eric, myself and Rob were in the break… How’d that happen? Fewer than four laps into the race, we had all four of our riders in the five-man break.

The next thirty minutes were pretty boring for me. I sat at the back at the back, pulling through every so often to try to put Rob on the front during the headwind/crosswind sections of the course. Our gap stayed pretty steady around 20~25 seconds to the main field. From what we heard after the race, a few 2- or 3-man attempts to bridge were made without success.

We lapped the field with about ten minutes, or 8 laps to go. Roman and Eric quickly got to- and off the front again. Dana and I were back in the group of lapped riders with Rob racing for 3rd place. Roman and Eric’s group stayed off to the finish, with Roman crossing the line first.

Going into the last lap, Dana was on the front with two riders between him and Rob with me riding behind Rob. A Giga OM-ARO rider attacked going into the last lap with a rider on his wheel, Rob followed them. He attacked on the back straight and hammered into the third corner. I sat on his wheel out of the last corner and started my sprint with less than 200m to the line. I waited too long and ran out of road, so Rob took third by about a half a wheel.