With nothing too big on the Northern California calendar that weekend, it was a perfect opportunity to make the drive down to LA for the Manhattan Beach Grand Prix. My fellow Sacramento buddy Kyle Thielen (Echelon-Storck Dev) and I carpooled down the day before. Fueled by continental breakfast waffles we were ready to go.
MBGP is the longest running race on the same course in the US. It is a long 1.3 mile course with two 180 degree turns and a short hill on either side of the course. I was lucky enough to get a callup, so I slotted next to the legend Rahsaan Bahati in the hopes of making it onto his sweet video recap.
I was the lone TMBEquator rider in the race, so I had to be attentive to everything that got up the road. Luckily, Cylance-Cannondale wasn’t too interested in a break with their sprinters Justin and Cory Williams in the race. The moment lap cards appeared, Cylance-Cannondale started to organize on the front. I did my best to stay near the front but out of the wind. As the laps started to come down, Cylance was quickly running out of riders. With a full lap to go Justin was down to only one teammate, who decided to attack and go for it solo. The headwind on the backside of the course quickly dismantled that effort.
Meanwhile in the group, it was chaos as there was nobody on the front really driving the pace. After cresting the hill on the backside of the course around 8th position, I didn’t want to risk getting swarmed before the final 180 degree turn. I took the front about 250m before the turn, trying to build just enough speed to discourage being overtaken. Justin Williams flew up the inside and had a large gap out of the turn. He is very fast. I managed to hold onto 4th place and a nice amount of cash to go along with it.