Ah. Bicycle racing in Merced.
Nothing like the smell of kettle corn, cow manure, and the local taqueria to motivate you to race your bike in mach speeds around a Central California downtown.
Plan your next spring vacation to Merced, California.
The Merco Credit Union Cycling Classic weekend, included a downtown criterium the town of Merced, and a road race somewhere 20miles west, also known as the middle of nowhere. Here is an idea, let’s all go to a remote location full of country roads, rolling terrain, and full blossom orchards, and race our bicycles. Game on.
The field was full and deep of some of the strongest national and international riders. Ina? Does she need a last name? Highroad, PeanutButter, Team TIBCO, Colavita-Baci, and Webcor. Even though it was just a little local bike race, with the caliber of riders showing up, it was going to be a good level of intensity, difficulty, and a high level of racing brought to the farmlands of Central California.
The crit was a full field, and the race was animated by the fighting for who got to control the race. With 2 laps to go, there was a brutal crash involving one of my teammates. Thankfully, she is all right, except there was quite a scare for a little while. She is tough and will be back on her bike soon. The race was neutralized for 20min, and then re-started with the lap counter saying 6 to go. Ouch. Ina (Columbia-HTC), Shelley (PB), Choloe (Columbia-HTC), BLWM (TIBCO).
We learned from this experience, and moved on to Day 2. The road race.
Flat road races are usually harder then hilly. Why? Because if the course isn’t selective enough, the teams are forced to create their own selection process. Attacks. Counter attacks. Attacks. With the sprinters in the field, it was looking like a sprint finish. But for those who hopes were for their own moment in the sun, the attacks ensued. It was a hard day in the office. With a flat tire in the last lap of the race, the comm moto would not like my DS motorpace me back up. Which left me chasing to get back on after the flat. Ouch. I learned it is more fun to be off the front of the bike race, then chasing to get back on after a flat. With a crash in the last 1k, and another fast sprint finish, it was Ina, Shelley, KellyB (Colavita-Baci), BLWM (TIBCO).
We will build on this race and continue to learn as a team. Our jobs are not easy, and they are hard, but if properly executed we will win.
Thanks to Merced, Merco Credit Union, and VeloPromo for another great weekend of racing.