Lighten’ It Up on the Left Coast
By Mike Sherer (Optum Pro Racing)
I ventured west to the city of bright lights and busy streets for some cross racing last weekend. When arriving at the course in Pomona, CA I was blown away with what I saw. Dirt jumps, whoops, berms, and fly-overs at a cross race? Amazing!
Saturday’s UCI race started off fast and dusty under the lights. I started at the back due to my lack of points. I had my work cut out the first couple laps just trying to get up to the front group. Once I made it up to the front group I started to put in some digs at the front. The big open sections favored my roadie background. The group of about 10 started to break apart as the laps went on. Attacks were flying but nothing was able to stay away.
Going into the last lap I took over the front hoping I could hold the other riders off. Halfway through the lap, Chris Jackson (Castex Racing) snuck past me. I chased hard and stayed on his wheel. Coming into the last corner Jackson led it out. He was over confident in the sprint and saluted prematurely. I was coming up hot behind him and was able to nip him at the line for the win.
Sunday was much of the same style of racing as Saturday night. I believe the lead group was even bigger and there were more attacks. Once again no riders were able to get away. Going into the last lap I put in a big dig but was countered by two other riders. Those two riders hit it hard and I was unable to reel them back. Still, I was happy to win the sprint out of the front group for third.
I’m super happy with the weekend. I got some UCI points, met new faces, and most importantly, had a great time.