Early Season Aggressive Racing Nets Amatelli 2nd: 2017 Red Kite Circuit (the Bumpe) Race

by Rob Amatelli

Race: Red Kite 'The Bump' Premier Series Race #1

Course: 3 laps of rolling terrain with a few bumps.  25miles/2k' 

Gear and race prep: Specialized Tarmac Pro Udi2 sans water bottles/cages, rolling on S-Works 24mm Turbo tires, S-Works Evade helmet, S-Works 6 Road Shoe, Capo cycling apparel, Smith Optics.  Gu nutrition pre/post race. 

Summary:  Team Mike's Bikes lined up for the first race of the BikeReg Premier Series in Livermore, CA with a strong squad of racers.  David Allen, Oli Ryan, Matt Adams, Josh Pizzica, Scott Cox, Matthew Sloan, Todd Markelz, and myself.  Team Captain David Allen laid out a solid plan with detailed roles for each rider.  

As the riders gathered at the starting line there was definitely a low-key feeling, mostly due to powerhouse teams Specialized, Peet's Coffee, and Thirsty Bear not being represented.  As I looked through the field I saw KaiVelo and Squadra had numbers.  I also recognized Will Riffelmacher from Olympic Club and saw he had a teammate but did not know who he was.  That would change very soon.  

When the racing got underway David and Matthew just kinda rolled off the front and it took a few minutes for the other teams to get their brains and legs working and chase them down.  They were brought back just before the group went through the finish for the first time.  

After the descent there were some breakaway attempts and Mike's Bikes managed to instigate or infiltrate each of them.  I saw each of our men queuing off of teammates and taking turns covering moves and making attacks of their own.  From my point of view the team looked like a well-oiled machine.

Nearing the end of the first lap Chris Evans from Thirsty Bear used the little hill before the finish to make a move and stretch the field.  We had guys on his wheel so I just sat back and looked for a ride across, which I would eventually get.  Just when I reached the front five riders Chris, let off the gas and looked back.  When he did that I upped the power and did a 3min interval through the finish into the decent.  When I looked back to see if I made a dent I saw three other riders were coming across and there was a little gap back to the field.  I sat up and waited for the other three to see who they were.  The first to reach me was Lucas Paz from KaiVelo and behind him Chris Evans was dragging someone up with him.  That someone turned out to be Riffelmacher's Olympic Club teammate, Chris Coble (awesome name for a bike racer).  

It didn't take me long to see that Coble was the strongest.  He wasn't showing off but his pedaling action was impressive.  Chris Evans looked good too. 

Reaching the final stretch of road before the finish we had 40sec on the field and Coble was starting to get frustrated with me for not pulling harder.  He kept barking at me so I went slower. 'Just wait' I thought.  I decided to sell out on the last little bumps before the finish to see if I could get away solo for the win.  It actually worked out well because as we hit the hill I was rolling to the front.  I spun up the cranks the best I could and pulled away.  I looked over my shoulder and had a good gap.  I kept going for another 10 sec and looked back again to see Coble coming across.  He caught me at the top of the second little bump just before the right-hand turn to the finishing hill.  The other two were dropped so I slowed up just enough to keep our gap over them but trying to hit the hill at a slow of a speed as possible to make it a pure sprint and not give Coble any more draft than I already was. Coble easily won the sprint.

The team rode perfect and I'm so thankful for being given the opportunity to ride the break and go for the win.