This was a new BHRR course, have you raced it or ridden the loop before?
I was particularly excited for this edition of Berkeley Hills. While it was not the classic course, it was a return to Crockett and the site of my first race win as a cyclist, when I won the Cal Cycling Collegiate Men’s C race in 2014. That race was only 3 laps, so 8 laps in the P/1/2 would be a very different challenge! These roads also have significance for me in that one of my first long rides as a cyclist (and my first experience bonking) came from riding out to the Crockett loop from Berkeley in the pouring rain.
What were the defining features?
The McEwen climb is a true beast, with a brutal 12% grade for the first half. 8 times up the climb was a true test of strength. The wind was also brutal on most of the course, so it was important to stay focused and not get caught out.
What was the plan going into the race?
With Roman, Craig, and Andrew on the start line with me, we knew we had the best depth of any team in the race. We planned to follow moves, have representation if an early breakaway formed, and to have our other guys make it across as the field whittled down midway through the race. Numbers in the final was our intention.
What was the key moment of the race?
Most of the drama came in lap 1. Roman unfortunately was caught up behind a crash onthe one techincal turn of the course and crashed out before the first time up McEwen. Zeke Mostov of Aevolo Cycling hit the front hard on the climb, and the field immediately broke apart, with only 8 of us left after one full lap. Andrew and I were patient and put the hurt on the rest of the guys by trading attacks in the last few laps. With about half a lap to go, and Andrew and I in the front group of 4, I attacked hard a few miles before McEwen and motored home to victory!
Where does this win rank in your career?
After two second place finishes at Pescadero and Tour de Nez, it certainly feels good to be on the top step. Closing it out after the unfortunate circumstances of Roman’s crash makes it all the more special. And the sweetest icing on this victory cake was watching Andrew overpower Cole and Zeke in the sprint to take second! Racing on this team and the work all the guys put in makes these successes feel so much bigger.
Which sponsor's product stood out during this race?
Our new Smith Optics Arena Max sunglasses were perfect for the sunny day. The new colors are fresh!
Did you wear a romper on the podium?
Our Capo skinsuits aren’t so dissimilar from the conventional romper. They are one piece, have plenty of pockets, and allow for some serious mobility. However, if Capo was to make some custom overalls for the team, I would likely wear those on the podium!