by: Adrien Costa (Slipstream-Craddock Junior Development Team)
I’ve been looking forward to being able to do the Pescadero Coastal Classic Road Race for a long time now. And since it wasn’t conflicting with road nationals this season, I got my first shot at it! I train on these roads; I know them like the back of my hand and was really going for a good result here.
My Slipstream-Craddock teammate, Zeke Mostov, and I had planned to simply play it cool for the first half of the 100-mile race, biding our time before starting to inflict pain closer to the end. The race started in a light mist, attacks flew from everywhere, with Colin Daw (Fremont Bank), Phil Mooney (Jamis) and a Cal Giant rider making some big moves early on. The first significant break of the day formed about one lap in, with Roman Kilun (Mike’s Bikes) and Taylor-Bertrand Barrett (Marc Pro Strava) building up a good advantage.
On the second of four ascensions of Haskins Hill, I pushed the pace to bridge to the break, gaining a little time. However, Tim Aiken’s (Bear Development) insane descending skills brought me back into the fold very quickly. I tried another attack on Stage Road, railing the descent which caused another split in the peloton. Eventually a group of 6 containing myself, Aiken, Logan Loader (Cashcall), recent Mt. Hamilton winner, Shawn Rosenthal (Mike’s Bikes) and another rider. We hammered up the second climb right after the downhill and caught the leading duo with one lap to go after some solid collaboration on the flat.
Things then deteriorated quickly, with Aiken and Loader suffering and Rosenthal saving his legs, allowing Roman and Taylor to get away again. After trying to attack the others, I resigned myself to stupidly sitting on the front and pulling them back a few miles later. By then, all anybody was thinking about was the final climb, and after some typical cat and mouse, a chase group of about 10 caught us. Phil Mooney–being a beast–immediately started attacking, with counters from Strava and Mike’s. Regrouped now, we headed into the final ascent of Haskins. Roman set a hard pace for Rosenthal, who cramped in spectacular fashion right as Roman pulled off. Seeing this transpire around me, I told Zeke to set hard pace, as I knew I wanted the climb to be as sustained as possible to play in my favor.
Right at the end of the steep section, I looked back at the pained, sweaty faces of those remaining, stuck it in my big ring and took off. I rode the last kilometer as hard as I could: my heart beating at a million beats per minute, constantly telling myself “easy, easy, easy”; not wanting to blow up, not being able to turn the pedals over. I could hardly believe I’d pulled off the win as I crossed the finish line, hands held high, nobody else in sight.
Zeke still managed a very strong 5th after his amazing teamwork, especially considering he’d won the state TT champs the day before! A great weekend for both of us!