Norcal vs. SoCal
by Tobin Ortenblad (California Giant Berry Farms)
The race started out fast yesterday with a pretty good group of racers and lots of brutal action at the front. The course was wide and grassy–different from what we usually have in NorCal–and from the start it looked like it would to be me, Eric, and Aaron playing each other until the end of the race.
About 6 laps in, Eric bobbled the off camber section a little and he came off the back of our group. From that point on it was just Aaron and me. We race together frequently in NorCal and I don’t think there are any two racers who know each other’s strengths and weaknesses as well as we do. We’re both very good technical riders, and we can both motor when we need to, but when it came down to it during this race I felt like I had a better engine for the day.
After Eric fell off, Aaron and I traded pulls and kept our pace pretty constant until the last lap. I think both of us knew we were not going to be able to ride off the front alone so we waited to make our moves. Coming into the last lap, I led us into the barrier before the run up. I planned on running in hopes that Aaron would come around me so I could stay behind him until it was time to attack. Just as planned, I ran and Aaron hopped the barrier, which put him back in front of me. I stayed behind him until the hills on the backside where I made my move that gave me a small gap, just enough to win.