Well, here we are, only a few weeks of racing left and we will close out the 2012 racing season. There are a few more races to be raced and a few more wins possibly to round out another successful season. The National Championships are only a few weeks away in Bend, Oregon so in preparation, I was off to one of the finest races in Southern California: Orange County’s Ladera Ranch Grand Prix put on by race promoter Ryan Miller.
The Ladera Ranch GP is a very fun, and fast course with a slight uphill headwind section to the finish line. When I got to the race, I got out of the truck and took a deep breath of fresh, hot, 100-degree California heat. I had just enough time to register, get changed into my race garb and get a good warm up. Warm up in? What the heck was I thinking? I felt like I could have just walked up to registration and back to get a warm up because I was sweating so much just walking around.
While I was warming up, I saw lots of familiar faces: strongmen Steve Klasna (Big Orange) and Dave Worthington, the BBI fast boys, Craig Miller, Frank Shroeder, and Bill Harris, Alan Flores (Team Spy), and then my teammates from the Breakaway from Cancer, which includes, Mark Palmer, Roger Worthington, Brett Claire, Rob Mescher, and Steve Strickler. This was going to be a fast hard race yet again.
We lined up it was still well over 100 degrees on the start line and with 50 minutes of racing ahead of us, the temperature was going to play a factor. The heat definitely scared away a lot of men because the field wasn’t as large as it usually is. The race referee gave us the final commands and we were off and racing. There were many small attacks and lots of teams were jumping off the front, however nothing was sticking.
Primes were being announced and different guys from different teams were winning them. Race announcer, Ralph Elliot announced a $100 cash prime so I knew the next lap was going to be a fast one. A hundred bucks is a good top placing in any race so I was eager to win it. A few of us jumped out of the last corner into the slight uphill sprint and Evan Teske took it.
Once we got into lap cards, a three man break rolled up the road but only 10 seconds in front of us. My teammate Roger Worthington, his brother Dave and another rider who I wasn’t sure of rolled at a good clip but it was really hot so no one wanted to chase it. We got down to two laps to go and then one lap to go before we finally caught the break. On the bell lap Brett Claire, my teammate, was on the front drilling it. I jumped out of the last corner around second or third position and it was an all-out sprint. I was committed to drilling the watt meter until I hit the line. Yes! It was another successful win for the Team BFC boys. Fast man Bill Harris from BBI placed second and Alan Flores from Team Spy finished a strongthird. Congratulations to all the racers and the teams that came out and braved the 100 degree heat. That was way too hot for me!