The Mt. Hamilton Road Race has become somewhat of a classic in that it is one of the few point-to-point races and the course demands a mixture of abilities from the rider and a strong team. This year the race was also designated as the NCNCA district championships.
Marc Pro – Strava for Mt. Hamilton Classic:
- Justin Rossi
- Keith Hillier
- Chuck Hutchenson
- John Teeter
- Art Rand
- Spencer Collom
- Dustin Hahn
- Nick Schaffner
This year we started out under cloudy skies with cool temps. The roll out towards the Lick Observatory is never super fast, the mountain simply serves as a way to separate the riders who are actually racing from those who just made a donation to San Jose Bicycle Club. At our pre-race meeting we decided to set a tempo easy enough so that Chuck could save plenty of energy. This plan seemed to resonate with Cal Giant and Mike’s as they had also brought their Heavies and were looking for a sprint finish. Furthermore Cal Giant strong man Jesse Moore flatted half way up the climb so they only had one or two riders to look for breaks. We went very slow up the climb; although most of the riders seemed to be enjoying themselves I found this agonizingly boring. Over the top some Mike’s guy took a flyer and nobody responded; today’s first mistake. A few minutes later Evan Huffman of Giant put in a strong attack which I followed with some other Mike’s guys; and we finally started racing.
This caused a little mayhem behind, pretty sure most people were sleeping.
Justin, who was probably racing smarter than anyone, rode over cool and relaxed.
The race down the mountain was a mixture of fun, freight, and insanity but when we had gotten to the bottom Mikes was still off the front with about 1:30 gap – which was actually perfect. Unfortunately, Teeter had flatted on the descent. The course gradually gets easier and more downhill as you go on, so a solo rider really needs more like 10 minutes to stay away to the finish.
Cal Giant organized at the front and set tempo, Keith and Justin represented MPS in the front. We caught the leader about 10K from the finish. Immediately there was an attack, I knew this was going to happen unfortunately I was boxed in and couldn’t make it to the font to respond. The three man break: Cal Giant, Mikes and Wonderful dangled and when I had a clear shot, I bridged up. Justin and Keith were in a second chase group and Chuck was in the peloton. The twisting downhill roads leading in the finish made for some super fun racing. As soon as the peloton would catch up I’d throw another attack or counter someone else. The strong headwind, however, made sure that none of these attempts were successful. I was spent but ever-ready Hillier was able to help Chuck maintain his position and sprint for 3rd. Which was pretty good considering Mike’s and Cal Giant has two men for each of ours. Tyler Brandt (Mike’s) took the win after Chris Stazney (Cal Giant) began celebrating too early.
Although this seems to happen to the best of us:
Next up, the Mt. Hood Stage Race!