by Scott Cox
May 30, 2016
Category: 35+ 123
Teammates: Dave Allen, Matthew Sloan, Dan Vigil
Plan: Race aggressively and look for break opportunities. Allen to lead me out if it came to a sprint.
I arrived at the race in time to see David Allen (aka 'Beerdo') in a break away in the 45+ 123 race with 8 laps to go. Great riding by Beerdo and teamwork by Sloan led to a victory and got me even more fired up for our race to come. Seeing your teammates ride so well gives you some extra confidence and I am not going to lie, my legs were pretty thrashed from a long race and ride the day before - the full Hamilton. I pinned up and gave my Specialized Tarmac (delusional Sagan parallel here) a once over and found the team for some high fives and a pre-race chat.
Vigil had won the 35+ 3 race earlier, so we all had some fatigue in our legs heading into this race. ~ 30 racers lined up and it was a sea of blue San Jose kits. Morgan Stanley was also largely represented. It felt like a break away kind of day and we knew to be attentive to these larger teams.
The whistle blew and Erik Camacho of San Jose attacked immediately. I was right there and jumped on it as I heard other competitors groan. Yep, breakaway kind of day and the field seemed tired from the heat and the long weekend. Pasco (Safeway) was in the move as well as Chris Cain (Don Chapin) and John Schiefer (San Jose). My legs were not feeling good and I was relieved to see Vigil had made a hard bridge to make sure we stacked the break. We rotated at a civil pace and were brought back pretty quickly heading into the last turn before the start finish. A reset was just fine with me as we had Allen and Sloan ready for the next wave. Just then, Pasco hit it hard heading into the start finish line and had a gap. I covered this hoping to catch San Jose and Morgan Stanley out and force them to chase. Cain, Schiefer and Hussein Saffouri (Lange Twins) made the move and went to work. Pasco, Schiefer and Cain were riding strong and Saffouri was having trouble early on. I pulled through softly hoping to see another TMB guy come across and assessed the situation. I liked my odds from this break, but also knew I did not need to drive it because my teammates were in the ready and we could win from about any scenario thrown at us today.
We did not get time gaps, but I did not see the field when I looked back. I heard the announcer say 2 were bridging and knew a TMB rider was in the mix. Sloan was on it. I kept my pulls short and steady anticipating an attack after I took a pull thinking these other riders in the break would not want this to come down to a sprint and would try and get rid of me at some point. The lap cards came out and it looked like it was going to come down to the 5 of us. I made sure to not be on Saffouri’s wheel as I thought he would get gapped at some point and made sure to keep an eye on Pasco to catch me out and get away solo.
One lap to go and still no attacks. Huh? I was on the front heading into turn 1 and slowed and slotted in behind Pasco who was now on the front. The other guys were nice enough to let me in front of them. We hit the straight before the final turn and Schiefer attacked with about 500 meters to go. I was able to cover this and we had a gap and Schiefer sat up when he saw this. I think we stopped pedaling here and I slotted into 3rd wheel behind the teaming Schiefer and Cain. Then Schiefer started a lead out for Cain heading into the final turn and I was able to come by them on the outside protected from the wind for the win! Thank you to my selfless teammates for the win today. I know their efforts behind me prevented a chase and allowed the break to survive at pace that left a strong sprint in my legs.