JUNE 13, 2009 PESCADERO ROAD RACE (ELITE 4, 2nd PLACE)
This was a fun race course with a nice hill top finish that really suited my riding style. The 4's only did 1.7 laps with 2 trips up Haskin's Hill. The first time up the hill I gapped everyone with the next couple riders behind me about 30 meters back. I sat up and waited for the 2 riders and we enjoyed being out of traffic for the nice descent into Pescadero. As we neared the flats coming into town the field came back together as was expected. On Stage Road I felt pretty good so I went to the front and pushed the pace on the climbs to try and tire out some of the field. As we turned onto 84 I sat in about 5 back and we all cruised to the base of Hasken's. Once there I went to front and hammered. I went too hard at the bottom of the climb and popped with about 200m to go, getting passed by 1 rider and holding on for second.
ELKHORN CLASSIC STAGE RACE JUNE 19-21, 2009
(ELITE 4, GC WINNER)
This was my first stage and, overall, a great experience. A couple stages with icy rain made the whole experience feel pretty epic. I went off the front for about 22 miles on the first day to win the stage and I just battled it out over the next 3 stages to take the overall. This race turned out to be a bit bittersweet in that, depite winning it, I didn't recieve a single upgrade point due to this being an OBRA event, not USAC. Oh well.
BURLINGAME CRITERIUM JUNE 28, 2009 (ELITE 4, 5th place)
This was a fun crit course with a couple challenging turns and a bottleneck finish just to keep things exciting. I felt pretty good throughout the race and was on or near the front for most of it. With about 500 meters to go on the last lap I got out of the saddle to go hard but my chain kept slipping on my cassette so I had to sit back down and spin in for 5th.
CAMP SLO ROAD RACE JULY 4th, 2009 (ELITE 4, 1st place)
It was great racing with new teammate Abe Rottstein on this course that suited our riding styles. Our race consisted of seven 6.75 mile laps with a hill just long and hard enough to be advantageous for TBT. After a few failed breakaway attempts by other teams on the first couple laps Abe and I were on the front controlling the race with relative ease. With each lap we shed more of the peleton while setting the pace up the hill. On the last lap I put the hammer down, dropping everyone except one rider who continued to sit on my wheel for the next 3 miles. After awhile I had to tell him to pull through because I had no interest in pulling him 4 miles to the finish. He obliged for a bit, but I could tell he was tired and I dropped him with 300m to go and cruised across the finish line alone. Shortly after, Abe crossed the finish in 5th. This was easily some of the most fun I've had at a road race getting to dominate with a strong teammate like Abe.
SLO DOWNTOWN CLASSIC CRITERIUM JULY 5th, 2009
This was my last day racing as a Cat 4. Since I secured enough USAC points to move up to Cat 3 the pressure was off myself to get more points so I just raced to have fun and stay on the front out of trouble, not needing to unneccessarily risk a crash. My field was huge for the 4's, something like 87 riders and most were pretty amped since this was the SCNCA Crit Championship. Fortunately for me the course had a slight uphill section which I used to my advantage. I was on or near the front for most of the 45 minute race taking 3 primes. The only tactical error I made was on the last lap going into the second to last turn where I let up ever so slightly, looking to set myself up for a lead out for the sprint, and went from the front to about 20 back in the blink of an eye, losing any chance for the podium. I learned from this mistake and 2 hours later when I did the Master's 30+ 4/5 crit I payed closer attention to my position and speed going into the second to last turn. For this 40 min race I was on the front from the gun constantly creating gaps and making the field work to catch me. I was really having fun. I sprinted safely in for 3rd in this race feeling good about my overall fitness after winning the day before and spending 85 minutes working hard on or near the front for my 2 crits. On to the 3's.