We entered the race with only a 6 point deficit in the Premier Series to Mikes, but they brought their “A” sprint squad, and we brought the 6 guys who weren’t quite burned out on the season yet. Was it a coincidence that three of those guys were mountain men of the Reno/Tahoe region? Where was the rest of the team? I was able to track some of them down afterwards – Keith H was tasting wedding cake for the fifth consecutive weekend, Teeter was running a 5k, Chuck was either digging up dinosaur bones or doing a 300k training ride for the 2015 season, Matt McKinzie was trying to track down our final Zico Coconut water shipment, Ariel was doing whatever evil geniuses do, Jared was moving for the sixth time this summer, HD was helping Keith try wedding cake, Art was at the tanning booth, and Josh was peeling himself off the hood of a 90 year old woman’s car (that one’s not funny). That left the Marc Pro – Strava roster for Vacaville with Rossi, Jenkins, Schaffner, Freed, Myers, and Chatlaong. Not too shabby, but Mikes brought 9. The race typically has a 50/50 chance of blowing apart and a small group fights it out off the front, or it ends in a field sprint. We figured the former would play out in our favor, and we knew that Mikes would sit and wait for the sprint.
We attacked, then countered our attacks, then countered the counters. Matt Chat and Willie got up the road in small groups for a little while, but they were brought back. Then the rest of us were each in moves that Mikes had to chase down, but nothing decisive. We knew that if we kept chipping away at Mikes, they would begin to tire, and our strong guys Max and Justin would be able to slip away. That’s what happened a little more than halfway through the race. Justin attacked solo and immediately built up a sizable gap. Mikes put everyone on the front but it was obvious that some of their guys were already pretty tired. It took some serious work and a lot of laps for them to drag Justin back, but they eventually did. As soon as they did, a few of us were waiting to jump again. Nick, myself, and Max put in a couple more short digs before Justin threw down again. He wasn’t aware of it at the time, but Dave Grundman was already off the front. This forced Mikes to use every guy that they had left to chase the two biggest engines in the race down.
James Laberge was left mostly to fend for himself in the sprint, but the kid is legit. He won, while our Matt Chat grabbed 5th. We lost our grasp on the Premier Series, but I think things would have been different if we had brought another strong guy or two. (::cough::cough::)