Folsom Classic Criterium

After missing Pescadero Road Race due to a head cold, I was especially antsy to race the Sierra Historic Omnium, consisting of the brand new Folsom Classic Criterium and the historic Nevada City Criterium, two races I've never done. When we arrived in Folsom, it looked like a pretty solid field with representation from all the NorCal teams. The first piece of the course I saw was the start/finish line leading right into a 180 u-turn. "This is going to be awkward," I thought, and set about warming up for what I expected would be a pretty straightforward race with a bunch of 900W jumps out of the u-turn.

However, the race ended up being anything but straight-forward, because the attacks from the gun (including three by me in the first two laps) made a move of 4 stick about 10 minutes into the race. Reese, our uber-strong young gun was in the move so we sat back and watched it fly. Other teams were less content, and soon there were chases and groups shattering left and right. About 30 min in, I decided it was time to get into the breakaway before it was too late. I soloed my way to it, making it 4 TMB in a group of 11. However, it was hot and humid, and I thought I'd used all my matches just getting to where I was. Then I saw the lap cards show 8 laps to go—already?!

After a few laps of spirited break riding, there were only maybe 8 of us left and Switters was solo up the road. The group hesitated just enough to let him dangle for a lap, then cyclocross national champion Yannick Eckmann of Cal Giant went for the bridge with me in tow. Right when we caught Adam there were 3 laps to go and I thought it would be a good idea to counter. I went for it with the finish in mind, but just as soon as I got a few seconds up the road, I re-thought my smart idea.

I thought that if I could just hold out long enough for Yannick to drag Switters to me who could then counter and win, my work would be done for the day. Little did I know, everyone must have felt as beat-down as I did because I managed to pry open a solid little gap. With just over 2 to go, the group  caught Eckmann and Switters; instead, Bryan Duke (Bear Development powerhouse) and Torey Phillpp (Cal Giant) had taken up chase, with teammate James LaBerge happily in tow. I was hurting badly and barely holding my pace, thinking that I'd be lucky to hold onto a solo victory. I had to do a double-take the next time I looked back because LaBerge (our star sprinter) was FLYING across the gap on his own. With 1.5 to go, he was on me and almost rode right by. Thankfully, he realized the benefit of teamwork in this situation and gave me a little tow. I returned the favor for the next half lap and we came through the bell with a comfortable lead. We each took 1 more long pull and then crossed the line hand in hand, our size disparity (bikes size 49 and 58!) not reflective of the perfect teamwork between us. Pretty stoked to wrap up a tough race in a tougher field with TMB on the top 2 steps! LaBerge let me cross first, thinking me better suited to the omnium that includes the hilly Nevada City coming up a mere 24 hours later. I didn't let him down and raced to 5th place to secure first in the omnium!