For the first race of the year, the weather couldn’t have been better. As the four of us (Jesse Miller-Smith, Nate Freed, Dustin Hahn and I) rolled down the hill we noticed the temp gauge climbing, 80’s in February!!! Kris Lunning, our new powerhouse from the bay, met up with us prior to warmup. It felt great to warmup in a group of 5, and I can’t wait for the full team to role out at a race.
We lined up at the top of the cherry pie hill awaiting the start. I looked over at lunner and asked if we were getting a warmup up lap… He chuckled and said no buddy, this is the start. As we rolled out, I had my typical cat 5 esq clip in issues…. To the back of the field and wondering what turn is coming next, seeing how I hadn’t ridden the course before.
Immediately seeing my new teammate, Lunner, off the front I needed to move up and help. Remembering what the wise Nate Freed said, always be looking for the easy spot to move up. After moving around a bit, I found it. Towards the front now and feeling strong I was able to get in a break including Dustin, 2 Webcor’s, 2 Cal-Giant’s and one Nate English. The break had a good chance, but was not working too well together. We were reeled in within 2 laps.
Throughtout the race I would look up the field towards what break was happening, and without fail, everytime we had at least 1 guy in it. Today the break was not going to stay away. With 2 laps to go Nate pulled me towards the front and attacked. I am still learning, and let off a little too much causing me to float back to about 15-20th. I found Lunners wheel and negotiated the final sharp left turn outside, as he moved inside. I found myself on the outside of the single file group drilling it towards the finish. No chance to move up. Kris and I settled for 12th and 16th. Botched what could have been a good sprint finish opportunity, but gained experience, got a good workout, watched the team work our game plan… And got that itch immediately after the race that I want to do that again…. Next time boys… Next time.