13th Annual Anger Management Crit: 1-20-13
by Charon Smith
This past Sunday was the 2nd race of the year and it was held in sunny Carson, Ca. Chris Lotts and Vera of California Bicycle Racing put on about 7-10 races per year, which most riders enjoy and the turnout is typically good. This was a rather unique day as all teams were present except Monster Media/MRI, which does not happen too often. Nonetheless, this is SoCal and with so much talent throughout the state it still made for a very interesting day of racing. Surf City Cyclery/Sterling BMW had its mini-camp/photo shoot this past weekend and we decided to stay local so we could train and race together as a whole team.
Our amazing leaders, Mark Scott and Kirk Bausch, laid out our goals and plans for the race. When they talk, the team listens. Everyone was given an assignment. Mark wanted to see how we flowed together as a unit, as this was of our first race together with a large group of guys. We wanted to be very active and push the pace, which we did with some help from Helen’s; who were impressively active and came ready to race. It wasn’t the same Helen’s team from last year, that’s for sure. They have added some nice pieces and it was clear they had been training during the off season.
As the attacks started I made sure to bark things out to our guys and told them to do the same so we could cover or join any move. I often found myself sitting too far back because we had so many weapons in the war chest. For me, that was a huge no-no. In races, I like to be active and create my opportunities rather than hoping for them to come my way. I saw one dangerous move, but I told Wike “on your right” and he pounced on it without waiting. He just responded. I love that. One guy from out of town saw it and said, “you must be the sprinter…you yelled and he went!” which made me laugh.
As we got closer to the end of the race, I could see the field was going to be happy with a field sprint, which I didn’t mind as I have finally found my sprinting legs for the year. The only issue was, with us fielding such a large team, I found myself way too far back for the train. I quickly moved up and settled in behind Mark Scott for the final laps. Those Helen’s boys started picking the pace up, which was great because a faster race is better for me and it also weeds out the guys who are not fit enough to be there for the finish. No gifts!
Going into the last lap, Rob Kamppila was on the front drilling it from just before turn three. He checked to see if I was there and then started to wind it up more and more. I was glued to the legend Mark Scott’s wheel, yelling at him to just stay connected and I would be there. Rob checked again for me and I yelled, “up up!” from fifth wheel heading into turn three, which was perfect for me and the team because that animal John Wike was on my wheel. Mark was glued to Aaron W from Helen’s and Aaron was on his team’s big guy, Mr. Jon Davy. Rob’s work was done once he got us over the little riser before the final turn. From there, Jon took over going into turn four and dumped Aaron off. We battled it out before I came around him to seal the deal on win number two for the team in our second race of the year. Aaron held on for second and the animal John Wike took third to round out the top three.
It was a great day of racing for the SCC/Sterling BMW boys as we put 5 guys in the top ten for the day. Awesome work by all who showed up and competed at a high level with respect for each other. Thanks to Chris Lotts and Vera for putting on the event for us crazy bike racers and, once again, thanks to Cycling Illustrated for the platform. Hopefully, and can do this again. Moral of the story: keep hammer at the wall and eventually it will fall down. Winners never quit and quitters never win.