Cal Aggie is an early season crit at the often used Land Park course in Sacramento. The race is organized by UC Davis Cycling, so as UC Davis Alums, Jonathan Penalooze and I were looking forward to representing our new squad, Herbalife p.b Marc Pro – Natures Bakery Elite Cycling Team. Pre race, my back was hurting me quite a bit and I was not feeling confident. Nevertheless, I warmed up and prepared to race, drank some CR7 and had our team meeting. Joose and I decided that we should try to win, if my back was feeling ok I would sprint.
Once the race started my back didn’t seem to bother me, so I settled into the race and started following some moves. I ended up off the front a couple times, but everyone seemed to be more interested in chasing moves back than riding off the front. With about 8 laps to go, I got pulled back from a three rider move and decided to just wait for the sprint. With about two to go, Joose made sure that anyone taking a flyer off the front was pulled back. Into the last corner I was in a good spot, about 4th or 5th wheel, and had a clean line. I made my jump with a little over 200 m to go. The finish of this race is slightly hidden, with the road bending to the left, so it’s important to jump a little early on the inside in order to have the fastest line and to avoid getting boxed in around the apex of the curve. As I was passing the last couple riders, I got pinched into the curb and lost momentum, but because I had taken the right line I was able to put in another small acceleration to the finish for the win.