Snelling Road Race
by Chris Stastny (Hagens Berman)
Traditionally the start of the Northern California road season, the Snelling road race is generally flat and windy as hell! With Hagens-Berman represented by Stuart Wight and me, this year was no different. The field was stacked with over 100 starters, guaranteeing an epic battle on the open, windswept roads. The first lap-and-a-half were very hectic and chaotic with guys launching off the front any chance they could get. With such windy conditions, everyone knew they needed to be at the front to make the selection, so it was very aggressive. The conditions were very brutal with many tumbleweeds flying across the road!
I managed to force a break along with Freddy Rodriguez and a couple of others on the second lap. Our group gradually swelled to about 13 guys and the main field was nowhere to be found. The break included notable riders like Roman Kilun and Daniel Holloway (Mike’s Bikes), Erich Wohlberg, Freddy Rodriguez, Logan Loader (Cash Call), and Chuck Hutchinson with a couple of his Marc Pro/Strava team mates. Of course, with so many strong guys in the break it was hard to keep everyone motivated to ride and we were very unorganized.
With just under two laps to gom I was able to slip off the front of my group in a really windy section. I was soon joined by Freddy, Wohlberg and Hutchinson. The four of us pretty much went flat-out to the finish. We shook Wohlberg with about 3k to go after some cat and mouse action and I drew the unlucky card of leading out the sprint between me, Freddy, and Chuck. Chuck won by less than an inch with Freddy second and me in a close third.
The team is looking forward to Merco this upcoming weekend, which takes place on similar roads.