by Nick Newcomb I was really stoked to be racing only 5 minutes away from home on a sunny day in Santa Cruz. At the race Team Mike's Bikes p/b Incase had myself (Nick), Travis Lyons, Rainier Schaefer, Dana Williams, and James Laberg (defending champion from 2012). Having five riders who were riding well, our plan was to be aggressive by making sure we were represented in all moves. If it came down to a pack sprint then we'd work to set it up for James. I was fired up right from the start and played an aggressive role; I found myself chasing down every attack I saw and spending a ton of time at the front. Luckily I was high on adrenaline from all of my friends on the sidelines and had been chugging OSMO all day!Travis, Rainier and Dana all did an awesome job pulling back attacks and keeping the group together.
About halfway through the race, Ben Jaques-Mayne (Jamis HB) took off with Tobin Ortinblad on his wheel at the one moment where we were all boxed in or recovering from chasing moves. They went up the right on the false flat after the short climb. Nobody went with them. Unfortunately we would never be able to real them back in.
After tons of pulling and following moves I was afraid that I would be blown by the end. Then Dana told me that I was going to start the lead out on the last lap so there were no time for excuses. As I was moving forward with 2 to go a Specialized kid and another guy (later found out it was Chris Phipps) put in a last minute 'Hail Mary; so it was game on! I was forced to start the lead out with 2 to go. Trading off with Rainier, we led Dana and James into the last corner where they went 1 and 2 in the sprint, earning some vital team points (being it was a Premiere series race) and cold hard cash. I wish we could have caught the break but awesome race regardless!