2013 Watsonville Criterium
I dedicated this race to a good friend of my "Ryan Erion" who passed away earlier in the week at the young age of 35. He lived in Tahoe and was a dedicated head coach for the Tahoe Select Snowboard Team, a team a mutual friend owns and whom I'm involved in. Ryan was a amazing athlete and special energy, he will be greatly missed. Cause of death still unclear to me. I printed a picture of him and wore it on my jersey for the race.
This is a race I always enjoy, it's a fun course in a quaint neighborhood. The turn out for my race( 35+ cat 4) was particularly small due to a race the following day in the bay area and it being late in the race season. With a smaller race there's not as many options as a big race, every one is exposed, and it's harder to surprise fellow racers. I decided to set a medium fast pace and try not to work too much. One rider kept surging on the small rise where the start finish line is, but after the third time I realized he wasn't getting away, but he was making people work. The race was twenty four laps, I was planning on making a break with four laps to go but with six to go the group was already strung out in a line and people looked winded. I decided just to keep a strong pace and save energy for a fast last lap and a sprint. On the second to the last lap one guy who looked strong and had been sitting in the whole race went to the front and started a strong pace. I jumped on his wheel and thought here we go, but with in forty five seconds he slowed up and looked tired, I picked up the pace a bit more. Were on the last lap and no moves yet just a steady pace, on the last strait away before the final turn the one guy who had been surging earlier jumps and start's to pull away
. I jump to get on his wheel into the last turn, we come out of the corner and I use his slipstream to help me come around him. As I come around him I see there's no one in front of me so and I keep my momentum and start to sprint. On the uphill rise I can tell there's no one attempting to come around me, I keep pedaling as fast as I can and cross the line clean and alone. 1st place
I thought of my friend Ryan and felt blessed to know him and was thankful for the life path I have found.
To HC3 cycling, Team Bicycle Trip, Grid 6 and family, thank you for you time and support.