EVENT: Chico Stage Race: Criterium
 
CATEGORY: Men P/1/2 
 
DATE: Sunday, March 23, 2014
 
AUTHOR: Dana Williams
 
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Flat 6-turn L-shaped. Wide open with very good pavement. Tail wind on start/finish and head wind between turn two and three.
 
WEATHER: Warm (high 70's) and sunny with little wind
 
TEAMMATES: Adam Switters, Walton Brush, Roman Kilun, Chris Riekert, Craig Fellers, Colin Daw, James Laberge
 
GOALS: Win the race. Help James win the Green Points Jersey.
 
RACE SUMMARY: Just as the call-ups were done, Race Directors Mike Painter (who did a fantastic job putting on the Chico Stage Race) addressed the riders and extended his gratitude to the racers and his #1 helper and girlfriend. Then without notice, he got down on one knee and proposed to her. What a guy. And she said yes!! When the cheers from the riders subsided, the gun went and we were off for 75 minutes of crit racing. 

Just like any criterium, the attacks started without much delay. As a team we did a good job of making sure we had at least one rider represented in any break. Optum didn't look to be trying to get anything established so I soon had a feeling they were going to wait to the end to bring back any breaks and leadout their sprinter and green jersey holder, Mike Friedman. 

As I recall, at around 25 minutes or racing left, teammate Adam Switters got in a three man break with Jonathan Teeter of Marc Pro - Strava and a rider from Team H&R Block. They started stretching out their gap and got it up to around 20 seconds. But with around 8 laps to go it started to come back as other teams went to the front to kick up the pace. With three laps to go everything was back together and a field sprint was eminent.

TMB p/b Equator is going for a field sprint

With two laps to go, Walton went to the front followed by Adam, Roman, myself and James. He did a strong pull for 3/4 of the lap and pulled off between turn 5 & 6. Adam took over and got us all the way down the start/finish. One Optum rider had got between Roman and I and James yelled 'on the right'. I moved right and closed the door on another Optum rider just before I swung into turn 1. This opened a small door to my left, of which a Marc Pro -Strava rider saw the opportunity and took it. Roman accelerated hard between turn 2 and 3 with the MarcPro rider hanging on and not wanting Roman to get too far away. I decided to stay here and then begin my leadout for James as I exited turn 5. Half way between turn 5 and 6 as I was sprinting, Mike Friedman came by on my left with James on his wheel. They sprinted for the line, with MIke staying ahead of James, and I holding onto third. This allowed Friedman to hold onto the yellow jersey and James finished second. 

Dana and James on the podium

ESULTS: 
2nd: James

3rd: Me

16th: Colin Daw
23rd: Roman Kilun
27th: Chris Riekert

40th: Adam Switters

63rd: Craig Fellers

79th: Walton Brush

TAKEAWAYS

- Always control the inside line, especially when racing against pro teams and experienced sprinters like Mike Friedman. I should have moved left (to the inside) as I exited turn 5 on the last lap and not allowed Friedman to have that line. 

- The elite team is really gelling well together and starting to trust each other

- It's important our experienced riders continue to share race strategies and tactics with our less experienced riders. 

THANK YOUS

Thank you for following and supporting Team Mike's Bikes p/b Equator Coffee. I'd like to give a special shout out to our nutrition and hydration sponsors, ProBar and Osmo, especially after this taxing three day/four race stage race. We burn so much energy that's it's truly important we feed our bodies the right nutrition before, during and after each race to keep us going. Personally, I didn't do a great job of planning for breakfast before the 90 miles Paskenta road race, hence made due with what I had; two ProBar Meal bars, a ProBar Core bar, water and Osmo Pre-Load. This packed in 1030 calories; 128 gram of carbohydrates, 36 grams of protein and 46 gram of fat. During the race I had 3 ProBar Fuel bars, 4 ProBar Bolt Organic Energy Chews and 5 bottles of water with Osmo Active Hydration. I felt great right to the end of the race. Then right after the finish I had a 20 ounce bottle of water with a scoop of Osmo Acute Recovery followed by a meal...and then another meal, and more food.