Travis, Scott Cox from TMB Masters, and I took the long drive down to Visalia, fortunately we were inside the best team car in the country—a Toyota Sienna. Scott raced the masters race, and as he is known to do, jumped in to lend a hand to Travis and I in the P12 race.
With Visalia being so far south, our field was a So-Cal and Nor-Cal mix. However, with several other races, including Wente RR and Joe Martin SR, happening the same day, the only team with a full squad was Surf City Cycling, a So-Cal masters team. With no dominant team presence it was sure to be an unpredictable finish.
The first few laps were fast while everyone tried to improve their position on the tight 5-corner, 0.7 mile course. After the first 10 minutes, the speed settled down, but the attacks started to fly! Travis and I were hoping for a bunch sprint, but unfortunately a break got away around the 40 minute mark with Matt Chatlaong (Herbalife p/b MarcPro - Strava), two Incycle racers, and Mario Humberto (VuMedi). Matt Chatlaong would go on to win out of the break.
With 3 laps to go it was a race for 5th place, and I was third wheel with Jonathan Teeter (Herbalife p/b MarcPro - Strava) setting the pace up front. He took a big two lap pull so I had a free ride going into the last lap. At that point Travis and I were separated, so I was on my own. On the back straight, 150 meters before the second to last turn a Surf City racer came up on my left and I shifted into his draft unchallenged. My chances were good at this point not only because I was second wheel but also because I was ahead of an impending crash that would hold up Travis. It's a long 3 blocks to the finish line from there, but I was able to hold off a charging pack of tough sprinters—Willie Myers, James LaBerge, Rahsaan Bahati—to take 5th place and a few hundred bucks.