And what a classic it was! It was a beautiful day for a bike race in Los Gatos, California; it was an even better day for a showdown between the dark and light sides of the force. Impressed by the Jedi photo shop tricks of team MarcPro Strava, Team Mike's Bikes suited up in our new white jerseys, hoping for some even cooler storm trooper pics. Come on guys, let’s see them! And fearing that the Empire might be a bit misunderstood amongst the nor cal cycling scene, Team Director Steve Peleaz sacrificed his own shot at racing glory to focus on a little public relations outreach.

The race started out fast. Guys were attacking left and right, but nothing was getting away. I was able to sit back and watch everyone attack during the 65-minute race as my teammates were awesome, following any dangerous moves and even going for glory themselves by attacking. As the race winded down, it became clear the winner would be determined in a field sprint. At 1 lap to go Rainier and Shawn were at the front, a couple guys in front of me, and I told them to drill it. Rainier drilled it to the hill and Shawn drilled it up and over the top. I was sitting pretty with two cal Giant riders next to me and Roman Kilun (Kenda 5 Hour Energy) at the front. I told Roman to go and he did just that. He drilled it all the way to the top and down the hill to the last turn and I was able to get into position behind one of the Cal Giants riders, grab the inside line and sprint to victory! We ended up having 5 guys in the top 12! Benny Swedberg (Cal Giant) was second, Jared Barrilleaux (Cal Giant) came in third, photo shopper extraordinaire Chuck Hutcheson (Marc-Pro Strava) was 4th, and our very own Tyler Brandt rounded up the top 5!

A special thanks to Roman as while he's not my teammate, he acted as if he was and gave an me excellent leadout. Thank you Roman! The rest of the team rode amazing and we executed! Thank you to Mike's Bikes and all of the sponsors! Couldn't have done it without you!

--James LaBerge