Herbalife24 presented by Marc Pro - Strava

Cycling Team

Last weekend, my buddy Garret Hankins (Team Mikes Bikes pb Equator Coffees) and I loaded up the car headed south to Lompoc for the 805 Crit Series. With 3 days of racing and some solid purse money, both of us were looking forward to a full weekend of 90-minute crits. We decided that going down a day early to relax on the beach seemed like the logical decision. We drove down on Thursday, only to discover that the beaches were temporarily closed. Disappointed, but a perfect reason to sit in our hotel room and watch cartoons for hours and hours.

Which is exactly what we did.

Day One: Hancock Twilight Criterium. With strong winds and a subtly curving course, the racing was aggressive from the gun. I found myself off the front for most of the race with a combination of Logan Loader (Amore & Vita), Brandon Gritters (Rock n Road) and rotating door of other riders; some would bridge, then others would get dropped. And repeat. With 5 laps to go, the break had swelled to 9 riders including Garret (who sprints REALLY fast); it was clear we would be staying away.

With two laps to go Gritters put in a haymaker of an attack which got us chasing hard. In our frantic chase effort we managed to lap the field and catch Gritters. 300 meters from the finish Loader launched his sprint as I was coming around when Garret blew by me and posted up for sweet, sweet glory. If you’re going to get beat it might as well be your bro who does it.

Day Two: The Avenue of Flags Criterium. Bigger field, more wind, higher temperatures, and bounce houses.

Plan for the day: make break, win bike race, eat cheesecake. I was hoping we would get a few easy laps before things got lively. These hopes were dashed as people repeatedly threw themselves off the front.

At some point, I decided it would be a good idea to bridge to a dangerous looking move and -Wham! Bam! that was the break. We built a large gap and kept the pressure on; eventually lapping the field. With me, was my Herbalife pb Marc Pro-Stava team mate, Josh Carling.

Coming through bell lap Josh charged to the front and took control through the tight final few corners leading into the finish. Going kamikaze speed into the final corner, Cory Williams (Incycle – Cannondale) dove the inside of Josh, with his teammate Hunter Grove glued to his wheel.

After some bumper boats with Hunter I got a clear line through the corner and sprinted real real hard to victory. With my 2nd place on the first day and my win I was now leading the omnium leading into the final day. I got my cheesecake on the way home.

Day Three: Valley of flowers Criterium. As I walk to registration I wonder to myself, “How is it possible that there is more wind every day. When does it end? How much prerace did I just take?”

With my energy levels all but topped off I lined up for the final day of racing. I’ve never worn a leaders jersey so that was a nice change of pace. I will now sum up the first 45 minutes of racing…ATTACK, CHASE, ATTACK, PRIME LAP, ATTACK, get really tired, realize I shouldn’t have been attacking, hang on for dear life.

At some point Logan Loader and Brandon Gritters got off the front and built a sizable lead over the field- they were gone. I had a healthy lead in the omnium points but I can never say no to a good field sprint. With a couple laps remaining Team Clif Bar had 7 guys on the front keeping the pace high in an effort to deter anyone from slipping away.

Last lap I kept sheltered and out of trouble, knowing thatI could make up a few wheels in the long final straight. I jumped with 300 meters to go and had clear skies to the finish winning the sprint for 3rd.

With three podium trips in three days I sealed up the omnium with Garret in 2nd, Brandon Gritters 3rd, Logan Loader 4th, and Pete Morris (Team Clif Bar) 5th. Huge thanks to Mike Hecker and all of the people that put on an amazing weekend of racing.

Cant wait for next year.

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I love this race, not only are there prime laps every lap but every year the amount of wind makes for an interesting race. My plan was simple, attack a bunch till exhausted, realize a break was probably not going to work, wait for sprint. With 10 dollars up for grabs on every lap I decided I would go for one prime to cover lunch and save the rest for the finish. The first 45 minutes of racing were fast and furious (RIP Paul Walker) with people shooting off the front every chance available. After bridging up to a few moves and instantly being brought back I realized that I had been put on a very short leash and my chances of riding the break were slim. Fast forward to five laps to go, a break of 6 including River Ride all star Byron (the Condor) Anson had gotten up the road with a decent gap...needless to say I was a bit worried. With a bunch of work from H24 teammate Nick Schaffner and the CoreTechs team the catch was made with a couple laps remaining. My plan was to stick to Randy (BrambleBee) Bramblett's rear wheel like glue, I knew he would be in the right place and his biceps would provide a great draft. Coming into the final corner I dove the inside of the Vumedi leadout and proceeded to sprint really hard against Randy. I won. I also got a single prime which I used at In n Out Out. 
DFC15
Big thanks to Norcalcyclingphotos.com for the snap



A couple of weeks ago

I got a little older.

A couple of days after

rode with Javier Sanchez

we climbed

backside of Spring Mountain

and Oakville Grade

It hurt.

I looked down at my legs, and realized my strength was done.

My strength was a' cheatin.

But I still love ma strength.

And I say.

Oh baby please,

Please don't leave me.

I mean yeah,

I'll do some masters racin.

But is that racin?

You've got to do elites

I won't cheat.

But this life thing,

Got me workin'

Studying

Luckily

I got my hours changed

Thank you Kevin Marti!

I get to train again.

Got a solid winter base

Real Sacto RiverRides

So you better watch out.

Baby please don't leave me.

Cause I ain't gonna let you go.

Baby please don't leave

Cause I need your strength

to crush

Through some sort of Interstellar type wormhole business I've been transported forward to the month of May. Last thing I remember It was March 1st and I had just finished the Cherry Pie Criterium. As I remember it, a group of 6 had gotten off the front in the early stages of the race and built up a sizeable gap on the field. After a few attempts to bridge up to them It was clear that the field wasnt letting me go and the break was going to stick. It would be a sprint for the minor placings. Leading into the final lap I moved my way up the field and prepared to give EVERYTHING in my body for 7th place. leading into the final turn I dove up the inside and through a gap I would later be told was not actually big enough for my bike, and probably should have crashed. Nonetheless I took the field sprint glory for 7th place. Elated I got in my car, and drove to In n Out...that was the last thing I remember before waking up in this future world.

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I need to go back.

I love the Modesto Rode Race, with its amazing Velopromo shirt, many turns, and constantly changing wind direction it makes for a interesting race that usually ends in a shattered field.

After attacking a bunch and making it into a few groups which didn't go anywhere, I managed to get off the front on the second lap with a strong group including Ryan Moore (totally a sprinter now) and Rob Shell (CoreTechs), Todd Stone (VuMedi), Chaz Turmon (Integrity Racing), Jeff Linder (Squadra), and a mystery Lux Devolpment Team Junior.  With team mates Nate and Nick covering moves in the field our gap grew. The next 4 laps were cosistently hard with the break never getting above a minute gap over the hard chasing field. On the bell lap a group of 4 managed to bridge making the break a bit too large to work cohesively. After a few fruitless attacks it became apparent that a sprint would likely decide the winner (I like that). Coming through 1 kilometer to go Chaz Turmon launched off the front hoping to catch the rest of us off guard. With the finish line in sight my sprinter blood started to boil as I anticipatd the sprint. I jumped with around 300 meters to go, overtaking Chaz and taking my first NorCal win of the year ahead of Dean Pogni 2nd and Ryan Moore 3rd. 
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These road race thigs are fun, maybe I will do more of them.