The year’s Giro Di San Francisco was the Northern California and Nevada (NCNCA) district Elite and Under 23 Criterium Championship and a race that Team Mike’s Bikes has been targeting since January. After finishing 3rd in 2012, I was determined to come back stronger and try to take home the title this year. With the Bay Bridge closed for construction there were major traffic delays across the region in the days prior to the race, so I decided to take the ferry in from Vallejo, rather than drive. This allowed me to relax and get in with plenty of time a warm up and have a pre-race tean meeting. The goal for the race was obvious: we wanted to win. We preferably wanted a field sprint, but if the right breakaway went up the road, that would work, too.
The race started fast and at times dangerous, as everyone knows the stakes are high and has a lot of energy. I stayed safe in the pack knowing that it is a long criterium (40 miles) and with confidence in the impressive stopping power of my SRAM Red break calipers. A few breakaways were established throughout the race, but riders would attack and bridge up with the field slowly reeling them in. About halfway through, I was able to bridge up to a breakaway that included: Dana, Roman, Shawn and Brandon with a decent gap, but we decided to not push the pace as we felt it was better off for it to reshuffle and save our matches for the end. After an unusual restart of the race at five laps to go,the pack shuffled a couple of our teammates back to mid-pack and we were left with Roman and Brandon trading off pulls and Dana and I following behind and Ranier sweeping my wheel at two laps to go. Roman and Brandon rode their hearts out for me and kept the speed up high so that no one could come over the top of us and attack us. As we came into the final two corners, Dana took over the responsibilities and started the lead out for me. I was able to come around him and sprinted to victory with Dana able to hold onto 2nd!
rounded out the podium and top 5 for the race. In the event that I was also the winner, that meant that I earned the Elite and the under 23 district titles but with Dana finishing 2nd and him giving me an awesome lead out I decided to give him the Elite title and I took the under 23 title for the rest of this season and next season! On top of earning these two championships, teammate Adam Switters won the California Cup which consists of 10 brutal races put on by Velo Promo in which he earned the most points! Brandon also held onto a top 5 placing also!
It was an amazing race, with an amazing back drop and with amazing teammates and teamwork that created this magical day for the team. I can't thank enough to all of the sponsors and teammates and everyone who have helped support this team this season and we are looking forward to bigger and greater heights next year! Thank you again!