This race was another scorcher that felt reminiscent of Panoche Valley; there's nothing quite like racing 69 miles of hilly terrain in 90+ degree heat with no shade to test one's love of the bicycle. This was to be my first race contesting exclusively with the 3's after knocking heads with the 1,2's last weekend at Fort Ord, so after finishing a respectable 12th overall in that race, I arrived to the start feeling relaxed and confident that I had the legs to handle whatever craziness I was about encounter.
This race was slated for 3- 23 mile laps with one climb that proved to be the show-stopper for many racers. The first time up the hill was conducted at a brisk pace shelling a few racers while I hung out about 5 or 6 back. On the second lap another selection was made on the hill and approximately 40 racers were still together. Going into the 3rd trip up the hill I took a look and noticed many were struggling so I went to the front and set the tempo since I was feeling good. Halfway up the hill I took another look and there were 3 with me so I continued with the tempo to the top of the climb and the 4 of us continued to roll away, working together fairly well for the next 20 miles. On the last little hill approximately 2k from the finish I put the hammer down dropping 2 of my break away mates. Going into the last 2 tight turns near the finish the guy who had been siiting on my wheel for the last 2k jumped around me and I rolled in for 2nd.