Snelling Road Race

Posted by on 3/6/2017

Snelling RR P/1/2:

Selling Road Race is a Northern California spring classic.   Many top US Pro and Elite teams use this race as early season training prior to launching their North American or Europe campaign.

Large budget Pro and Elite teams in attendance:  Rally Pro Cycling, Herbalife Elite, Mikes Bikes Elite, Specialized / Muscle Milk Elite, Cyclesport Elite and Cliff Bar Elite. 

To break the top 10 in a race like this is a huge accomplishment for any team from Northern California.   I am happy to say that Josh Carling placed 8th. I can’t express enough how proud I am of our team.  

Report from Josh Carling:

Williams Cycling was well represented with Matt Tufts, Bobby Terra, Timmy Bauer and myself.

We were lucky to start in the second wave just after noon and it was probably the best weather we've had this winter. I came prepared for nasty conditions, but ended up needing just bib and jersey. After a good hard warm up with the guys, we lined up with a group of seriously talented cyclists. Rally, Mikes Bikes, Herbalife, Cyclesport and others were very well represented. We knew before the start that we would have our hands full. As we rolled out, I had a nice chat with Tom Soladay from Rally. He told me about some of the training they've experienced over the last couple weeks in NorCal. They have ridden some of the best mountain roads that we have in our area as they prepare for racing in Europe in the next couple of months. He told me how shattered he was from some monster days, and that he was looking forward to a much needed day off. He asked about the Williams Cycling team and specifically about the Williams brand. I told him about how we are trying to develop a team with a mix of older experienced riders, with some talented youngsters and truly work together and race as a team. I also told him how supportive Keith Williams has been to me over the years, even when I wasn't on a team that he sponsored. That is a huge part of why I jumped at the opportunity to help Keith start a small elite program to develop on the local level in the NCNCA and hopefully beyond in the future. Anyway, back to the race.

The race was on as soon as we hit the course. A break formed on the first lap with 2 Rally's, a Herbalife and a Mikes. When the Herbalife rider was dropped from the break early into lap two, I knew the Herbalife team would either chase or attack to bridge a rider back up into the break. I told Timmy to be ready to follow. Herbalife tried unsuccessfully several times to get someone across.  Our guys followed several times, but we didn't want to do the work for Herbalife. When there was a lull in the pace, and it seemed Herbalife was pulling their guys off the front, I found myself out front with a gap. I put my head down and continued to push. One rider came across to me and after trading several pulls, we were within 5 seconds of the break. I came around to take my pull and gave everything I could and caught the leaders. My chase companion blew up and couldn't make it across. After sitting at the back and trying to recover, I saw attackers from the pack coming across to the break. We went up a short rise, then we were sucked back into the pack and the attacks came again fast and furious from Rally. I was suffering at this point, being in the red for 10+ minutes and had nothing to respond to the latest attacks. This is where races are won and it was this point when the winning break went up the road. It consisted of Tom Soladay, Jesse Anthony and Emerson Oronte of Rally, Justin Mauch and Chris Harland-Dunaway of Herbalife and Chris Riekert of Mikes Bikes. HD soon flatted out of the break to make it five up the road. I recovered in the pack and Timmy was dropped after the massive accelerations with some bad leg pains. We were down to three guys and were pretty much at the mercy of the pack at this point. Bobby and Matt were very attentive at the front to make sure we didn't miss a split in the group. We occasionally rolled through at the front, but mostly followed wheels as other riders attacked. It was mostly uneventful until the last lap when the break was officially gone and riders, mostly the left over Rally guys began to attack. We covered pretty well, but at some point Brad Huff and Charlie Velez got away with solo moves. I don't know what happened with Huff as he wasn't placed in the results, but Charlie held off the field to finish sixth. Coming into the final 3k, Matt took me to the front. Bobby came up from behind and took a massive pull at about 2k to help bring back Shane Kline of Rally and one other. Matt gave one more surge at about 1500 meters and I was able to surf and grab another Rally guy, Eric Young's wheel with 1k to go. After a couple guys took flyers, I went through the final corner third wheel, 400 meters from the line, right behind Young. He powered up the slight rise out of the corner and it was all I could do just to hold his wheel. I tried to accelerate past at 100m, but didn't have any pop left and rolled across behind Eric Young for 8th overall.  Rally swept the podium with Soladay taking the win. I guess these NorCal roads have boosted his fitness.  Hopefully days like this can help him and the Rally boys gain fitness as they head off to race in Europe.  I know for me and the Williams Cycling team, races like this are a huge benefit as we prepare to take on whatever race is up next on the calendar.

Thanks for reading,
Josh Carling

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