The Ontario crits are always a safe bet for a great workout. My teammate Jaime Paolinetti is leading the points in the Masters 30+ category and like myself; he loves a great workout and hard race. The sweltering heat definitely made it a much harder race than it should have been, and so did our Monster Media/MRI team. Breakaway from Cancer’s Michael Johnson (MJ) was also there and he always has good form so it was a fast race from beginning to end. We must of attacked six times before we finally split the field, making it nine or 10 riders that were in the front group. It was super fast, and hot and it seemed like there was never a moment of rest. I kept the pace high for Jaime so he could get the bonus points for the overall series, and planned to lead him out for the win as well.
Since the race was only 50 minutes long, it seemed like we only did 20 or so laps, and before I knew it there was four to go. I was feeling really great and knew MJ was the only rider that could challenge for the win against us. My teammates Lance Coburn and Danny Kam and Tomo Hamasaki kept the pace super smooth and high the last lap and I took it from the last corner with Jaime’s guidance. I ramped my sprint effort up gradually, and figured I would get passed by Jaime or MJ with 100 meters to go, but it never happened. I won, and Jaime held on for second. MJ flatted with two laps to go, which I was unaware of until after the race. We raced very well together, and had great communication that ultimately helped us achieve our goal for the day. Hopefully Jaime isn’t to upset I won, and is okay with the points for 2nd. I believe he has enough to clinch the overall series now.
Ontario isn’t a big race, but it has a positive atmosphere with families coming out to support there loved ones and melt in the burning sun if they’re not lucky enough to find a shady spot along the course somewhere. Luckily my family had a nice spot and a cooler with ice cold refreshments to quench their thirst and keep themselves cool. A few of us on the team did the Pro/1/2 race later in the day and Jaime and myself must have attacked 20 times trying to get to the move that went on the second lap, but it was ultimately unsuccessful as riders scrambled to chase us with no rhyme or reason other than to simply do it. I guess I’d chase me too. After all, I love winning out of a break, but nowadays it seems hard to get up the road and be in a move with riders doing their equal parts wanting to stay away That’s racing and it doesn’t always go the way you envision it. I’m just happy I get to race with teammates that enjoy it as much as myself and don’t take it so seriously that it stops being fun. A few months of racing to go, and hopefully more wins coming with my form getting better, and with Nationals on the horizon. Stay tuned.