2009 2-Wheel Criterium

Two Wheel Crit 2009
Rohnert Park, CA
Weather: Hurricane-force wind, sunny
Teammates: Peter Cazalet, Neil Harrington, Brian Peterson, Tom Fahey
Place: 1st of ~50

This course looked ridiculous on the map. It looked sort of like a cheap knockoff of Land Park without all the cool chicanes. WRONG. In fact, it was an undulating, exposed, meandering course that, when combined with the wind made for some interesting racing. I’d highly recommend going next year.

Anyway, Neil made an early break, which came back in a lap or two. I countered a few times, and finally about 20 minutes into the 75 minute race, I got off the front with Joel Robertson (the big elk from Sierra Pacific), Joe Ianarelli from Clif Bar, and a guy from Lombardi. Clif and Lombardi had the big teams in the race, so we were able to get a decent gap pretty quickly. Then, poor Mr. Lombardi guy got dropped, after having helped us get out to about 45 seconds ahead of the field. Bummer.

The three of us were fully committed to the move, which totally sucked, to be completely honest. We had almost an hour to go in ripping head/crosswinds, with a lot of strong riders having missed the break, and an unhappy Lombardi team organizing a chase. A betting man would probably have put money on the break coming back. But then again, we did have Jens Robertson with us…

Anyway, we got the gap to 55 seconds about 30 minutes into the race, at which point the pack made a serious effort to close us down. The gap plummeted to 25 seconds.

Joel and I looked at one another, and without uttering a word, communicated the following:

“Lets get the $%&* outta here”

With a lot of help from the Clif Bar rider, we pushed as hard as we could. In one lap, the gap grew to 1:15.

Heading into 1 lap to go, we had a 1:00 gap on a group of chasers, and 1:30 on the field. Haunted by the demons of yesterday’s botched finish, I attacked on the windiest part of the course, with 1/2 a lap to go. I did not want to sprint against Ianarelli, as I know he has a good finishing kick.

I managed to stay away solo for the win. Joel rolled across in 2nd, Joe was 3rd. Neil came in at 7th after making it into the chasing group…great ride by him.

I definitely want to thank my teammates for helping to shut down the field. Great job by Peter, Brian, Neil and Tom. Seriously, can’t say how awesome it is to have such solid teammates.

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