Menlo Park Grand Prix

by James Laberge After last night's San Rafael Twilight Critrium, it took a little bit of extra time to get up and get moving but once I drove down to Menlo Park, it was all game on and the forces of the team were ready to head out for a win in the prestigious Premier series race. The team was: Roman Kilun, Shawn Rosenthal, Rainier Schaefer, Dana williams, and myself. The plan was to be attentive because it was windy but if it comes down to a field sprint, then Roman would lead me out for the sprint.

The race started out fast with lots of guys trying to gutter everyone, making nobody feel safe in the pack. Lots of attacks kept going up the road and only a couple cases where there was a decent gap back to the pack but with the strengths of seasoned pros such as Nate English (5 Hour Energy) and Phil Mooney (Jamis/ Hagens Berman) everything was getting brought back. This was until about 15 laps to go when former teammate Tyler Brandt (Get Crackin') and Rob Evans (Bear Development) were able to get away and get another decent gap but this time no one wanted to chase it down.

We threw in some attacks trying to bridge up there but nothing suceeded. With 5 laps to go, we put the whole team on the front to start slowly bring the two breakaway riders back. At about 2-3 laps to go, they were about 15 second up the road and other teams wanted to take over so we let them do that to save fire power for the last lap and then we took over at 1 lap to go, just as we catch Tyler and Rob. Shawn then took a massive pull in the headwind section on the back straight and then an attack came from Phil but we were able to get on him right away. Coming through the last couple turns/chicaine, I was 3rd wheel behind Roman and Dana. Dana opened up his sprint and I stayed on him for another 50 to 100 meters and then opened up my sprint. I put my head down and was able to put my hand up for the win! Dana was also able to hang on for 2nd place and makes a Team Mike's bikes P/B Incase victory and 1-2 finish! Roman was able to hold onto 9th place and keep his distance from Chuck Hutcheson (Marc-Pro Strava) in the individual standings in the premier series.

It was a great job by the team today and we did a great lead out for the win and extend our lead in the Team standings by about 75 points. Thank you again to Shawn, Rainier, Roman, and Dana for a great lead out and teamwork! Thanks also to all of the sponsors that support the team! Thanks for reading.