'Close, but No Cigar' at the 2016 Giro di San Francisco

By Dana Williams

Race: 2016 Giro di San Francisco

Date: Sept 5, 2016

Teammates: Rob Amatelli, Matt Adams, David Allen, Josh Pizzica, John Funke, Chris Hobbs & Scott Cox


The plan: be aggressive from the start to try to establish a break with representation and without a few favorites. If it came down to a sprint then Scott or Dave were to get me first into the 2nd last turn. 


Course: 6 turn L-shaped. Downhill between turn 1 & 2. Turn 2 has a old rail crossing diagnol to our line. It’s not that bad actually. Uphill between turn 3 & 4, with the second half pitching up to 6-7%. Slight downhill between turn 4 & 5, which is the back stretch. Turn 5 is rough from bad pavement.

Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/701884399/analysis/3324/3428

Conditions: Upper 60s with head wind on start/finish straights and tail wind on back stretch.



This is one of the teams favourite races of the season. It’s on the streets just outside of downtown San Francisco which makes for a fun atmosphere. The weather is usually sunny and warm, and this was certainly the case for the 2016 edition. Thankfully for team sponsors like Zealios Sun Barrier we were ready to take on natures forces and the race course. 


The pace was pretty quick right from the start. I'm guessing anybody past 1/2 way back definitely felt the effects of the yo-yo. Gaps were forming all over the place. I certainly was thankful to be on my Specialized Venge Vias, one if the, if not the fastest bike in the world. 

Chris Hobbs Pushing Hard Up the Climb into Turn 4. Photo credit: Alex Chiu

Chris Hobbs Pushing Hard Up the Climb into Turn 4. Photo credit: Alex Chiu


Fast forward to around 9 laps to go. One could sense the constant attacks had softened up the legs of many riders. Teammate Rob Amatelli decides to push it hard down the back side. A few riders follow and I hop on as well. Next thing I look back and we have a gap. I'd say there's 8-10 guys of which include some horsepower and smart racing skills, Jeromy Cottell, Ariel Hermann, Chris Phipps, Chris Cain and Aaron Patterson. We work pretty well together for the next lap or two and it seems as though our break is established. I look back on the back stretch and see teammate Matt Adams bridging up. Score!! He makes contact and we continue on. 


At four or five to go, Ariel attacks hard up the hill going into turn 4. Guys look at each other just long enough for a decent gap to form. Matt soon steps up and hits the front and does an awesome pull for about a full lap.

Matt Adams Leading the Pack. Photo credit: Alex Chiu

Matt Adams Leading the Pack. Photo credit: Alex Chiu


This brings back Ariel. As we exit the final turn on the 2nd to last lap, Rob goes to the front and keeps the pace high. He leads all the way through turns one, two, three and four to get us to the back stretch. At around a quarter of the way down the backstretch I decide to try to surprise the other guys and make an early attack. I sprint hard down the right side and get a gap. I dig deep and try to keeping going. As I sweep through the second last turn in the lead, the next thing I know my chain falls off my big ring and into my cranks. Ah oh! That's not good. I fidget with my shifter to the last turn while trying to get it back on. I get it over into the little ring and I am taking the final turn while trying to get it back up onto the big ring. I think I have it so I start to sprint, but luck was not on my side. It's still in the small chain ring. I decide my best option is to keep sprinting and see what happens. I lead until about 30 m to line and then Jeremy flashes by on the right and takes the win. I manage to just hold onto second. It’s a bit unfortunately, especially considering the strong race for TMB Equator teammates, but there’s not much that could have been done. Bad luck was on our side. And 2nd place in a strong field like this is a nice result. 


Thanks to all my teammates for solid racing. And of course to the team sponsors and supporters; Mikes Bikes, Equator Coffees & Teas, Toyota, Financial Force, Specialized, Achieve Training & Coaching, Violich Farms, ProBar, Capo Cycling Apparel, Sutter Health Novato Community Hospital, Bike Smart, Smith Optics, Look Pedals, Betwixt Chamois Cream and Zealios Sun Barrier.