images: Alex Chiu
We got to Pescadero and there was no fog. Are we in the wrong town? A line of port-a-potties assured us that this was indeed the right place, and with a luxuriously late 8:30 start time they were already getting warm inside. Not to be obsessive about pre-race rituals, but the lack of cell reception in Pescadero created an oddly fast bathroom line as the plastic boxes weren’t full of cyclist scrolling Instagram well after completing the task at hand. #TMBEquator. The extra time was of course completely negated by the extra slog through the reg line while people struggled to pull up their green/annoying USAC licenses with the same lack of reception.
At the start line, I really enjoyed that not one, but two H24 riders made the same Roman Kilun joke as they backed in to the front row last minute. The chief official gave us the usual talk about not being stupid and sent us rolling. Reese must not have read the race flier to see that this one is 103 miles long and attacked about half a mile in. He was followed by Torrey Philip (H24) and that old fast guy in the Airgas kit who is perpetually on the brink of crashing. They established a nice gap as the rest of us though about how hard it would be to ride over 100 miles in a break. Hell, it is hard to sit in for the entire race at Pescadero.
Going up the first set of hills on Stage Road, Tom Salvasen (SVCS) attacked. He seems to have an uncanny eye for getting in good moves, so I followed along with Sam Basetti (H24) and 3 others.
So, here is where I note that I am probably the worst person to write this report since we stayed off the front for rest of the race. I don’t really know what else happened except at some point we were rotating and Roman Kilun just slotted in as if he had always been there. I’m like, where the hell did you come from. He nonchalantly recites that he has just bridged an unfathomable gap solo as if this was a normal human activity. He proceeds to take a casual pull up Haskins dropping all but myself (thank god), Sam Bassetti and Tom.
The 3 up the road have disintegrated into one solo rider, Torrey who puts out a hell of an effort to stay away, but with Roman and Tom on the front we bring him back on the last time up Stage Road. Right as we collect Torrey at the crest Stage Road, Cam Bromstein shows up, again out of nowhere. Our team is just ridiculous. Honestly, I felt bad for the other people in the group, TMB is multiplying like nematode that got cut in half. I made sure to show my pity by announcing that it “Really sucks to be you right now” to the others present. Unfortunately, Cam cramped leaving it back up to Roman and I to contest the final climb.
Through the final feed, Sam attacked and I followed. I rode him all the way up the climb until Torrey started to close in (reminiscent of this scene in Terminator 2). At 700m to go, I took the front to up the pace, and at 500, Sam attacked. It was a good attack and a little sooner than I was expecting. I couldn’t close the gap and crossed the line second. Roman and Aria rounded out the top 10.
The S-work Evade and Venge VIAS made the 85 miles in the breakaway manageable and must have been huge for Cam and Roman bridging big gaps up to the lead group. Thanks to Capo for the great kits and Equator for getting our engines revved in the morning. Of course, without our Toyota Sienna, half of our team would never make it to the line. As Always, Alex Chiu was there to capture the moment. And a special thanks to Matt Adams and the Mike’s Bikes crew for the relentless support. After watching pro team after pro team fold, we realize how lucky we are to have the unwavering support from the best bike shop in America.