By Charon Smith (Surf City Cyclery)
On Sunday, July 7th, we raced the 52nd annual MBGP! Surf City Cyclery/Sterling BMW attempted something very unique by trying to win Dana Point GP, State Crit title, and Manhattan Beach GP in two consecutive years. I believe this has never been accomplished. We won DPGP and States, last on the list was MBGP!
Leading into the race, all of the racers wanted to do well, or have one of their teammates shine on this beautiful day in Manhattan Beach. The race course was shaped like a hot dog with a rise on the front side as well as the backside with the wind blowing south off the ocean, which sat within walking distance. Some racers shy away from this course because it can be risky and very painful if you go down, but hey, this is bike racing, we are built like gladiators; only difference is we wear tights with very little protection.
Our team plan, which I led, was simple; the goal was to race aggressively, establish a break and stack the move with some of our hammer heads. We had a few options on the move; the plan was to send two or three guys. We tried early on to establish a move, to feel the field out and to see who was willing to join us in taking on this hot dog-shaped coursed. The field was fresh and eager so nothing was established, but that did not stop our mad man John Wike. He kept attacking, and sure enough, the rubber band snapped; our guy Pat Bos, aka “Double Nickle”, made the split with Wike. Pat was peaking at the right time for us. It was a break of eight or so guys, including a SPY rider, as well Felt Audi rider Travis Wilkerson; riding a break is his thing. Of course MRI made the move with one of their many studs, Chris Demarchi. I believe Derek Brauch from Helen’s was in the split, and he has been rolling strong these days as well. I was thinking ‘awesome that is a solid selection’, and Wike had a great shot at closing as he has a wicked finish; the harder the race the better he rides. I was told a few guys were telling him to ease up in the break, meaning he was hurting guys in the move; perfect that is his job. I thought Time had a guy in the move, but I was told they missed the split, so they were forced to chase along with a few others who missed the move. MRI began setting up for a sprint finish by lining up their train, which meant it was time to get on board for the ride. [Read more...]