They aren’t kidding when they add the word “Hills” to the title of the race. The hills are named after 3 bears and let me tell you I am no climber. We had to do 4.7 laps about 90 miles and 7700ft of climbing with some wind thrown in.
Chuck (I can’t climb) Hutcheson was very aggressive and got himself in a solo break off the front which lasted almost the entire first lap. Nate English (Kenda/5-Hour Energy) seemed to get antsy and put the power down, and I was nearly dropped from the group a few times on the first lap. Chuck was pulled back in. Eric Riggs (Team Mike’s Bikes) and Vincent Owens (Sierra Pacific Racing) got in a strong move together, but they were reeled back in. Attacks and counter attacks were flying.
Kris Lunning signaled what seemed like we needed some relief on covering moves. At that moment the front of the peloton slowed and was looking around. I then took a flyer and dug deep told myself not to look back until I got to a sign up the road. I thought for sure the entire peloton was on my wheel. I looked back and only 1 rider (new found friend Colin Daw) was smart enough to latch on.
Last year I got in a breakaway and 1st place snuck away and I came in second. This year I wasn’t expecting to be in a breakaway again. A few weeks ago I meet this strong new cat2 Colin Daw (Fremont Bank Cycling Team) through my teammate Frank Spiteri and we had, what I thought was jokingly, made plans to get in a breakaway together.
We worked together and escaped the sight of the peloton. We hammered along expecting to be caught at any moment, but heard nothing not even time gaps. We caught other categories and kept looking back not knowing if the riders behind us in the distance were chasers.
Finally last lap we have a time gap….5 minutes! We did it! We continued rotating in and attempt to make this thing stick. Time gap is now 3 minutes. Climbing and looking back. Keep pedaling!
We had 4 Riders finishing in Top Ten!
1st Keith Hillier
6th Charles Hutcheson
7th Jonathan Teeter
9th Art Rand
And couldn’t have done it without these guys…
11th Justin Rossi
23rd Nate Freed
28th Kris Lunning
DNP Frank Spiteri
Only got 1 KOM this year cause the past 2 years I got all the rest….