Team Mikes Bikes P/B Equator Coffees sent 6 racers to the Berkeley Hills Road Race to go up against some of the of the best riders from MarcPro Strava, VuMedi, Threshold Sports, and other NorCal teams.  The race consisted of 90 miles spread over 5 laps, each one ending with 3 challenging climbs lovingly named, “The 3 Bears.”  This was one of the hilliest races on the NorCal calendar and would call for a healthy portion of Osmo Active Nutrition and Probar Meal and Fuel Bars to keep us going the entire 4 hours.  In addition to these supplements, some of our riders were using Zipp 202s to go uphill a little easier.

Nate Freed (Marc Pro Strava) brought up the pace by immediately attacking on the first lap.  Adam Switters followed establishing an early move.  Chris HD (MarcPro) and Keith Wong (VuMedi) followed.  With Adam up the road, Roman and I were keeping a close eye on Justin Rossi and Max Jenkins (MarcPro) for a bridge attempt.  It came on lap 2 when Rossi motored up the first climb, Mama Bear, at a pace that left behind all besides Roger Arnell (Threshold Sports) Andrew Biscardi (VuMedi) and myself.  

Knowing that I had Reese, Marcus, Roman and Walton to match any bridge attempts and control the field, I kept the pace high to make Max Jenkins hurt with what I expected was an inevitable bridge by him with a teammate of mine on his wheel. However, unbeknownst to me, Max was being heavily marked back in the main field. 

As we approached The Bears for the 3rd time, we caught the leaders and rotated smoothly in the new break of 9, now with Team Mikes Bikes P/B Equator Coffees, Marc Pro Strava and VuMedi equally represented.  We had a brief moment to sip Osmo and get a few bites of ProBar Fuel before it was up The Bears for the 4th time.  Adam and I were looking for Justin or Chris HD to attack - and it came on Papa Bear, the final climb, with Chris going first and Jossi countering.  Roger Arnell, Keith Wong and I followed the 2 Marc Pro riders over the top before Chris attacked again up the final rise before San Pablo Damn Road.  

Again, I went with him, my SRAM Red 22 derailleur never missing a shift and we separated ourselves from the other 3.  At this point we were both all in.  I was thankful to have my Specialized Evade helmet and Venge frame paired with Firecrest 404’s to keep me smooth through the wind as we rotated evenly around the first 10 miles of the course in our 2 man break.  I was looking forward to striking on the climb, but Justin Rossi did a super-human solo bridge catching Chris and I with 5 miles of flats to go before we arrived at the Bears. This was not good.

Implementing perfect race tactics, Justin and Chris attacked and countered until Chris got away forcing me to ride with Justin on my wheel up and over the first climb, Mama Bear.  Justin attacked me over the top, getting a gap and eventually riding to 2nd place after Chris HD.  I maintained 3rd position.

Back in the field Walton, Reese, Marcus, and Roman remained vigilant to keep our breakaway secure. After many attacks, Max Jenkins got away Roman, and Roman finished strong at 7th, followed directly by Adam, and Walton just behind in 15th place.  Marcus and Reese took 26th and 28th respectively.  

Thanks again to our sponsors for making possible another successful Berkeley Hills Road Race for Team Mikes Bikes P/B Equator Coffees.  

-Craig