San Rafael Sunset Criterium

Posted by on 8/4/2017

Report by Timmy Bauer

Date: 7/29/2017

Pro 1,2

80+ racers

Teammates Josh Carling, Bob Terra

 

This race gives me goose bumps. It is so fast!  The atmosphere is nuts with crowds leaning over the barriers the whole way around this mile circuit.  The team had one goal and that was for Josh to win. The odds were against us with some of the best racers in the US lining up against us and teams three times our size with the same goal. My job was to do whatever needed to help Josh position for the win while Bob’s job was to cover dangerous moves and potential get in a winning break.  This race is so fast and is 75 minutes on a course that has a sharp climb in it and a fast decent with two downhill technical corners.

 

We lined up and were off!  The pace was a wicked fast and a bit sketchy as we all got use to the course. Right away a break formed of two riders who are ex teammates and awesome talents. (Cam Piper a current continental pro, & Chris Rikert). It was maybe 10 minutes in to the 75 minute race, but I knew it was dangerous and moved forward to try to help chase.  It was so fast I kept positioning and pulling through whenever I got the chance as I knew these two were very dangerous together. Next thing I know we come into turn 4 and there is a crash.   Six riders hit the ground hard.  Josh and I were together and made it by without a problem and so did Bobby. This gave the break some leash as the peloton was disorganized. The gap stayed at 20 seconds lap after lap.

 

Around 35 minutes into the race, just as the sun had set, I was third wheel and the rider in front of me lock up his breaks into turn 4.  I had to lock up my breaks to avoid crashing and lost all my momentum. I lost 40 spots or so and knew I had to start working back to the front to continue to help chase the break. Lap after lap I went full gas to move up, and I was starting to get really sore from the work I had done and my crash the week before. Finally after a few laps I got next to Josh and made sure he was doing ok.  He asked how I was and I just kept pedaling as I felt terrible.  I knew what I needed to do and that was get back to the front and chase.  At this point Bobby attack and went solo for a lap, but the peloton would not let him go and chased him back into the group after a lap. After he was caught I went to the front and put my head down and buried myself.

 

After that pull I was gassed!  I fell back deep into the pack and with 15 laps to go was the last rider on the main group. I took a few laps and recovered

The break was gone at this point and there was no chance of catching them.  I knew my job was to get back to the front and take over on the last lap to help position Josh for the sprint for third. Again, lap after Lap I moved up.  I was suffering big time, but every lap I could hear my wife cheering me on. It kept motivating me to push harder. With 5 to go I was back in the top 20, and surprisingly feeling good. With 2 to go I was top 10. Coming to the last lap I moved up on the inside I yelled to Josh to get on my wheel. He couldn’t hear me.   I went to the front on the uphill. I knew Josh was in a position to pounce and I needed to keep the pace very high on the back stretch to insure he would not get swamped heading into the final two turns.  Just before the two corners to go,  I saw Bassetti and Josh accelerate away from the peleton. They had a gap!  Next thing for me was to hold my position to the line. I hit the last stretch and was going so hard that I my vision started to fail.   I made it to the line gasping for breath.  Josh was 4th (2nd in the field sprint).   I was pumped!  I knew I was up near the front and they paid top 20 at this race so I celebrated with a lap of high fives to the screaming crowd. It was awesome! We ended up with Josh 4th me 12th and bobby 24th!   A great night for the team for sure!



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