Memorial Day Criterium

Memorial Day is a special day in many ways for many Americans.  I've been spending my Memorial days in previous years by racing my bike in Morgan Hill at an industrial park area. Others spend their day barbecuing or remembering all of our soldiers that fight for us today and for the past hundreds of years for our freedom and protection from the rest of the world. I want to give a quick shout out to any and all families and cyclists that has been in the military and on behalf of the entire nation of our great nation, we thank you for your service!!! Now back to the race. It's a fast course with lots of wind and it can be very hard if you aren't in position during the right time. The team's plan was to be aggressive and go for the primes and set up for a field sprint at the end to lead out Daniel and/or I. The race started out pretty fast as guys were flying off the front like no other but I knew it was a 70 minute race so I conserved and planned my attacks  accordingly. Daniel ended up getting a prime early in the race and then there were multiple breakaways that never really got any significant gap until about the halfway point where a Bear Development rider and Marc Pro rider were away and I knew we had to at least be represented so I attacked out of the field and jumped across. We worked together nicely for a few laps but I made sure I was conserving my energy, knowing that we would eventually get reeled in. We did a couple laps later and then Tyler Brandt from Get Crackin' attacked and got a significant gap. Then a Bear Development rider (Tobin Ortenblad) and David  Benkoski (Team Clif Bar) were able to bridge up to Brandt and got a large enough gap where I couldn't see them on the front straightaway. Travis, Marcus, Steve, and one of our masters riders went to the front and worked together to bring the gap down, unfortunately, they couldn't bring it entirely back so Daniel had to take a long hard pull with 4 to go. By now we could see them and guys were trying to chase them back and by 1 lap to go, they were right there and we caught them with 1/2 laps to go! Daniel had to make the final effort to close them down in the headwind section so we had to sit up because we wouldn't have been able to lead it out from there. Team Clif Bar came by us and Daniel got right on them and we waited until a swarm started to come up with about 400 meters to go and I told Daniel "UP!! NOW!" and he went and we were 1-2 around the last corner with Logan Loader right behind us (Cash Call Mortgage).  I took the wrong line around the last turn, going around on the outside thinking that I could carry my speed around it but it actually slowed me down as I just took the turn wider than what I need to do and Logan took the inside. He had the advantage on me at first  but I slowly caught up to him as the sprint ensued and with a bike throw I was able to win by about the thickness of the carbon on my Zipp 404's (3-4 inches!).

I want to thank all of our sponsors for their continual support for the team! We appreciate everything that you do for us and help us with to fulfill the teams' goals for the year and yours! Also, I want to thank the team for all of their hard efforts for me today to put me in the best possible position for the win and I'm happy to stand on the top step of the podium for them!  Thank you!!



--James LaBerge