After delivering Mom a beautiful bouquet of roses and escorting her to a coffee shop this morning on my Venge Pro, she on a tandem with Dad, I was granted the opportunity to race the afternoon’s Red Kite Criterium V in Livermore. Also racing was Walton Brush and TMB Masters rider David Allen, racing his second event of the day. Also in strong representation were VuMedi p/b Hammer Nutrition and SquadraSF. The course was a flat and wide-open square with the finish about 250m from the last corner. It had been windy all day, so I was happy to have my Venge, S-Works Evade helmet, and Zipp 404 Firecrests to minimize unnecessary power loss. Walton and I knew it would be crucial to follow the right wheels and to avoid getting left out of any group where VuMedi and Squadra were well numbered. The goal was for Walton to win and receive more points toward his upgrade.

In the second lap of the race, David Grundman (Bicycles Plus/Sierra Nevada) put in an insane dig from the front of the peloton, completely splintering the field and opening a gap to a front ten-man group. This included David Allen, three VuMedi, two SquadraSF, David Grundman, David Mesa (Fresh Air/Focus), Chris Coble (Olympic Club), and me. I didn’t like that Walton wasn’t with us, so I sat at the back and sipped Osmo Active Hydration while David rotated through on my behalf. Once I realized the break would stay away, I began to do my share of the pacemaking. Our group eventually lapped the field with four laps to-go.

As soon as we made contact with the main field, Walton and I got together to discuss tactics. I was feeling good, and our plan was to execute the same strategy that worked well for us a few weeks ago. This time, however, we switched roles: Walton would lead it from the inside line about 100m from the final corner and I'd sprint from even further inside.

With one lap to go, Walton and I were ten spots back when Grundman began to move up; I told Walton to follow. Into the second to last corner, as Squadra was picking up the pace, Grundman was sitting about fifth wheel with Walton and I in tow. Then Grundman charged passed Squadra and VuMedi, with Walton and I in tow, about 300m before the final corner. I shouted to Walton to start his sprint, and Giuseppe Errico (SquadraSF) abandoned his train to sit just outside of me into the corner. I told Walton to stay wide to close the door on Errico, and I sprinted up the inside to the line. Errico placed 2nd, Grundman placed 3rd.

Although I’m disappointed that the race didn’t play out in Walton’s favor, I’m extremely grateful for his and David Allen’s help throughout the race. I am also grateful for David Grundman's generous effort in the breakaway and final, and happy he was satisfied with the omnium points he accumulated to pad his overall lead. I’m stoked to have another P/1/2 win under my belt, and even more stoked that my mom was there to see it! Happy Mother’s Day!