AUTHOR: 

Cox

 

TEAMMATES:

Allen, Barbicas, Funke

 

PRE-RACE:

My goal was to have TMB win the District RR on Saturday and Santa Cruz crit on Sunday.  I made sure I recovered well from the RR with my Osmo Recovery ready to go post race.  I even did me a little Good Night Recovery I found in the cabinet.  That is commitment to the team!  Second place in the RR was a good result, but I was still hungry for a victory for our team.  It was time to finish off the weekend as I envisioned when the 2015 race schedule came out.  I found Allen at the reg area looking ready to go for his hometown race.  He trains on the finishing hill don’t you know.  He may be the new mom of the team as he pinned my number for me on my super aero Capo Custom LS skinsuit and gave BBQ some socks to prevent the Tri guy look.  Not sure what rule that violates.  We rolled around for a few minutes living the rough life, enjoying views of the Pacific Ocean and discussing our plan for the race.  Win!

 

RACE:

Barbicas, Allen and I did a pre-race lap as not all of us had done this race before and it is a bit technical.  We rolled in to the start line with a ton if time to spare - 15 seconds.  I could see Funke’s chest still heaving and felt for him as he was about to suffer some more.  The whistle blew and we were off.  I could feel the deep fatigue in my legs, but knew it would get better if I just jung in there.  I knew there would be guys looking for a break and did not think I would do well with a sustained effort after yesterday’s race, so made sure to cover and sit on.  TMB did not miss out and Allen could sit in for a bunch sprint.  No one seemed interested in really working a break other than Stanko and every contender was near the front.  Carinio took one dig about 20 minutes in when everyone was a little gassed.  A good time to go and I knew to go with him as that is how he won Nationals last year, but he shut it down and seemed to be just stretching his legs.  The usual suspects Allen mentioned in his quick report made some moves, but Phipps and Metcalfe were tired and Cottell was flying solo today.  I was not about to let them get even a small gap though.  About half way through the race it looked like a bunch sprint was going to happen and the pace finally felt like it lulled for me.  This made me nervous with guys like Metcalfe, Stanko and Phipps in the mix as they seem to need to get off the front at the end to win these type of races and have been very successful doing just that.  Carinio is a very solid all-arounder so I figured he was sitting in the pack waiting, but so was Beardo and this is his hill!  Funke joined me up front and I was relieved as I needed help. I am pretty sure he also talked a little smack to some Squadra guy.  Maybe he did not, but iI thought I heard him say something coming by him on a turn.  That guy may be a reasonably strong rider, but is on my list of guys to stay away from.  He gave the hang loose sign to his fan near the start/finish with 4 to go and then tried some other really cool hand maneuver with three to go and rode himself up and onto the sidewalk which warranted a “see you later” from Stanko.  This is classic Master’s Norcal crit racing here and I found myself laughing out loud.  I love it!  So we are at 3 to go and I have Funke’s help and he is in front of me.  Allen had already latched onto my wheel with 5 to go and said he was locked.  I tried to stay smooth and move laterally when I could to make it easier for him to stay there and us up front as it looked like some jockeying was going on when I looked back.  The horses could smell the stables and my legs had no pain.  2 to go and no one is really willing to go and now 1 to go.  Stanko makes a move covered by Funke.  Squadra hang loose guy lets a gap form and I am on his wheel in 4th position, so I stay there recovering for the leadout and watch the gap start to get bigger.  It looks doomed, but put us in good position as long as no one else attacks, which they did not.  The gap shrunk a little, but positions did not change in the front 4 going into my feared final turn that I crashed myself in last year.  Not this year Santa Cruz!  Apparently, yes this year as the second to last turn ate Allen’s front tire and Barbicas was derailed earlier in the race.   I did not know that and saw Funke stand up to sprint up the thill on the left and Stanko was fading on the right.  I moved to the left after coming around Sidewalk and used Funke’s draft since it is a headwind until I came around him and I am still on the front.  What?  Mark Niiro (Zoka p/b Halo Sports ended up 3rd) came by me and I was holding some back and slipped into his draft for a few seconds and still no one is coming.  It felt like time to go and I put in my final effort and came by Niiro, but was fading with 20M to go and had to sit down and keep the legs going.  I heard the swish and looked right to see Carinio come by me hot with about 10M to go.  Argh!!!  Another fun race and you know Allen and I will be back next year!