Cherry Pie Criterium
by Daniel Holloway(TEAM MIKE’S BIKES)
Ahhh. Good ole’ Cherry Pie, Northern California’s season opener. It has been awhile since I have done the race, and it felt good to be back. After a long year abroad, I have been champing at the bit to get back to racing. The aura around TMB/Incase was a positive one. Laughter and calmness makes everything that much easier at the end of the day.
The race started off at a fast pace. All the teams wanted to have a good showing for the first race of the year. Our young guns did a fantastic job covering early moves and representing the team well. Adam Switters was doing a great job being aggressive for our team. At about the halfway point, the field was getting tired and stretched out. That was the time for any break to get away.
Switters was off the front with Fast Freddy. Soon after that, Nate English (Kenda/5hr), Simon Holt, Chuck Hutchinson and his teammate Mike Sayers, Jake Maddox (Specialized Juniors), Logan Loader, Eric Riggs and I (Mike’s Bikes p/b INCASE) bridged up with 4 others. It took about 2 laps for the break to be fully established, but with such a large break it was hard for everyone to stay committed. Riders wanted to rest or have an easier ride. With three in the break and another team with two, it was up to us to keep the break moving along.
Soon enough, the lap cards were out and guys started looking to save energy for the sprint. Wanting to out some of the guys who were not contributing as much, we started to open gaps and make sure we had representation up the road for others to close the gaps. Adam and Eric did a great job of making that happen so I could save my legs and read the group. With 2 or so laps to go, Adam was up the road with Freddy again. Simon Holt bridged shortly after. Good news for us, as now the others had to do some work if they wanted a podium spot.
Going into the last lap, it was Adam and Simon off the front with a small gap. With hesitation on the downhill, the gap opened up a little. Adam, not knowing Simon well enough, played a safer card and sat on his wheel hoping Simon would go all the way to the line. With a half lap to go, a rider from MarcPro/Strava hit the front for his teammate, Chuck. Eric was on his wheel, Freddy on Erics, and I sat in at fourth.
All was looking good for Eric to drop off Freddy a touch early on the uphill finish. I would have a solid lead out. Right before the chicane at the bottom of the hill, there was a short hesitation. Logan read it perfectly and hit out just before. Before anyone knew it ,he had a large gap. Waiting for the jump that never happened from Freddy, I finally went. The gap was just too large to close down and I ended up second. Adam was 6th. For our first race as a team, we did great. Everyone did what he was asked to do and then some. For me, I am thrilled to be having fun racing my bike again; and for an awesome team no less.