By Jim Langley
Mark's report wonderfully captures all that went on yesterdy. I just want to add a few thoughts since it was such a banner day for Team Bicycle Trip
- it's a unique and awesome feeling racing on such a strong team (I usually race 55+ where we have only had at the most 3 riders) - you feel like you've got 4 guys watching your back the whole time and you don't want to let anyone down
- it's also totally liberating not to be worried about your own chances in the race - to just be a domestique working for the team - you don't want to make mistakes but you can chase down attacks, burn energy to stay at the front and not worry much as long as you get the team strongmen to that last climb in good shape
- speaking of that, it was a lot of fun going to the front on the last lap and just riding as hard as I could for a few miles trying to string out the field and give Mark, Geoff and Russ a free ride - no risk to me as I only wanted to get the team a win and it seemed a good tactic to force the pack to follow my pace and prevent anyone attacking our guys
- sorry Dennis went down in the crash, which sounded really bad, but at least he wasn't hurt and his new Giant came through okay - it takes skill to crash "safely" and Dennis is an ace at this
- It was inspiring to see Russ right at the front the whole race ready to pounce on anything rolling off the front; Geoff sitting in and looking super smooth, Dennis riding further forward and flattening the climbs like never before, and Mark letting us know how well we were doing. We really were a team out there.
- Interesting stat: TBT took 1st and 7th (Mark and Geoff). First Morgan Stanley was Mark Caldwell at 11th.
- Mark winning this major NorCal race 2 years in a row is quite a feat - I am really happy to have helped - but he did all the heavy lifting on that final climb - amazing racing, Mark! And Geoff and Russ flew up that last climb beating most of the best too.