Petaluma Criterium Race Report

On Saturday, the 1st of September, I arrived with my parents and four-legged friend to the Petaluma Criterium and surveyed the course. A crap pavement, 4-corner hardman's race. Definitely one for Rainier and the like. Got reg'd with few on the pre-registered list.

The race started off with several attempts by 1-5 man groups to break away from the group. At most, one group of an SJBC rider, a Red Peloton Rider (two of the better represented teams in the field), and three others, got outside of 20 seconds from the front of the group. With 6 to go, this five man break was still off the front. They only had a quickly disappearing 10 sec on the small field with a decent amount of sprinters waiting for it to come together. I knew it would come down to a field sprint, and told Ryan that I was feeling good after having sat in the last 30 min of the race. I told him to go from the corner (about 280m from the line), and that we needed to be in the top 6 or so into the last lap. Ryan and I found each other within the last two laps, and we moved up. I was happy.

I was on Ryan's wheel into the last lap and he was riding strong. Into corner 1, Ryan clipped his pedal on the apex of the turn as the group was about 3 wide. He made a great save, and jumped out of the corner and flew up the gutter to the left of the group to get us into better position. At this point, Red Peloton and SJBC both had decent organization coming together at the front and some random sprinters were shuffled in between. Ryan and I were about 7th and 8th into the second to last corner, and the peloton had just caught Bubba Melcher of Specialized Racing Masters who took a final lap flyer. Everyone sat up, and Ryan opened the throttle halfway across the 2nd to last straight and railed around the outside of the final turn. The SJBC sprinter jumped on the inside, a more ideal place to be with the wind blowing a slight left to right cross/tailwind, and I jumped around Ryan shortly after on the other side of the road. I was gaining on him, but he had about a wheel on me at the line. Second place it was for me.

Awesome teamwork from Ryan today. I'm so looking forward to racing with everyone at the Giro di SF on Monday!