Coming into Cat's hill, there's always a special feeling that I get as I drive to the race. It is one of those races that are out of the ordinary and there is only one like it, right here in Los Gatos, California. As the title sponsor of the race, it was very important to us that we represent and try our absolute best to win this race. Coming into start line, our plan was to set up a lead-out for me and/or have me bridge up to a winning breakaway where I again was to sprint to win.
The race started out very fast with guys like Ben Jaques-Maynes fine-tuning before the Tour of California next weekend. Multiple moves went off the front and I tried to get across to a couple but nothing stuck for much longer than a couple laps. With about ten laps to go, Justin Rossi (Marc-Pro Strava) counter-attacked his teammate and there was no reaction from the field. He quickly got a twenty second advantage and TMB was forced to do what we didn't necessarily want to do: have to bring back a late-race MPS rider.
Roman's team captain instincts kicked in and he organized the chase with Rainier, Craig, Travis, Walton, and Colin. We eventually caught Justin just under one lap to go and it came down to a field sprint. Going up and over The Hill (23%!!), Roman punched it to string out the pack. Going down the hill, he put in one last dig all the way to the last corner. I hesitated...to take the inside line of Roman or take the outside of line of Roman? To win this race you must carry as much momentum as possible from the downhill into the finishing straight. As I was hesitated, BJM came around me and won by a bike length. I took 2nd place. It was a hard fought win for him, since he was off the front for much of the race. I think he's ready for the TOC.
I would like to thank my teammates for their superior efforts and for giving me a chance at the finish! I would also like to thank all of our sponsors for everything that you do to support us in big races such as the Mike's Bike's Cat's Hill Classic! I would also like to thank Garrett Lau for the included photographs.