by Eric Marcotte
First, let’s just say that it was a perfect day to be on the bike with a temp in the low- to mid-80s. It was a stark contrast to snow in Arizona the week prior. Racing mid-day has got my tan lines super-crisp and super-PRO, showing off how much of a true road cyclist I am.
I’ll make this one short and sweet, which is pretty much how the race went.
9 times around a 9 mile circuit with a little over 500 feet of climbing each lap. The field was smaller at 50+ riders (as we know, other bigger racing takes place in Merced this same weekend). That’s not to say there wasn’t any competition here, and you can make any race as hard as you’d like.
After a very fast first lap, it was clear to me that a break would win the day. There was only one team with 7-8 riders (Landis Cyclery). The rest was 1-4 riders a team, making it difficult to organize a chase. In addition, after riding the first lap, I could see that a good 75 percent of the course was a cross wind. After the first “climb” (~2K wit a cross-cross head wind), a small group of four formed off the front. Landis shot a rider across and my teammate Travis McCabe went across as well.
With Landis having 6-7 more riders in the field, they didn’t like being 1 out of 6 in the break. They began trying to keep the break at a reasonable margin. Watching the gap rise from 45s to 1 min to 1:45, I was a little worried about making it across.
Coming into the third “climb,” a couple other riders began attacking the field. This kickstarted the momentum of the field.
As we turned onto the climb, I hit out to bridge across, pinning the field on the yellow line to force gaps to open up. Three of us would emerge: Thomas Jondall (Landis), Kevin Mullvery (Champion System), and me. We stayed on pace and caught the group of 6 up front.
A few of the other riders sat on, but most of us pushed the break really well. A few dropped off the pace in the next two laps, leaving it down to 5 riders (McCabe/Marcotte-Elbowz, Jondall/Cyrus-Landis, and Mullvery-Champion System)
This was the race. We all shared the load equally and averaged a hair over 26mph.
The final time up the climb, I attacked just before the 1K-to-go marker with Mullvery chasing. He made contact and McCabe countered. Mullvery gave chase and caught, then I committed and finished the effort for the win. McCabe came across the line for 2nd, so Elbowz Racing went 1-2 for the day.
I’m happy to be out there on the bike and racing well with my teammate as we gear up for the larger races to come. In addition, I’m also happy about how our Texas contingent is getting on as well, going 1-2 at the Lago-Vista Road Race. I’m hoping it bodes well for the future.