images: Alex Chiu
San Rafael Sunset Criterium is arguably the biggest crit on the Nor-Cal calendar. It features an awesome downtown twilight setting with a decent sized hill and a crowd to cheer you on. Add to that the fact that the race was sponsored by Mike’s Bikes and Toyota and you know the event is quality. We came ready to throw down with Roman, Cam & Cam, Andy, Travis, Craig, and Garrett.
The race started off at a pretty quick pace with plenty of aggressive moves trying their hand at break-away glory. Unfortunately, a bad crash at 30 minutes into the 75 minute race forced a race stoppage. After the intermission, Tobin Ortenblad (Donkey Label) and Sean Bennett (An Post Chain-Reaction) formed a two-man break. We were happy to let Cylance-Cannondale take up work on the front and keep the distance within check.
Coming into the last few laps Cylance-Cannondale started to pick up the pace to real in the break and set up a sprint for star sprinters Cory and Justin Williams. Meanwhile, Roman was keeping Garrett and Travis near the front and out of danger. Entering the final lap Roman moved his way closer and closer to the front and dropped off Garrett at the top of the hill around 7th wheel on the backside of the course. At this point we were really flying. Garrett was able to pick off a few spots to enter the last two downhill corners in 4th wheel and hold position for 4th place at the line. Unfortunately, Travis had lost contact with the leadout in the heat of a near crash on the back side of the course and rolled in for 11th.
A huge thank you to Toyota and Mike’s Bikes for sponsoring and organizing this premier event.