Actually that's not true, I was fourth at the first Surf City, but the situation was similar as before. The Twins were there this time trying to confuse us by wearing each others skinsuits and Barry and Justin were large and in charge as usual. The Velo Bella events at Watsonville definitely bring the people out and the racers and the crowds are really good at this event. It is one of my favorite local course, even with the big run-up, I always enjoy this one. Being the Halloween race adds some fun as well and the costume atmosphere at this race should not be missed.
To get into the spirit, I decided that I should work the Vampire costume for the day. My hair was dyed black, and I put in my fangs. I opted to leave the cape off for the race as it might have gotten tangled in my bike at some point, not to mention the poor aerodynamics. After a bitchin' Jimi-esque Star Spangled Banner by the SwiggBoss himself, we hurtled onto the course. Big Justin Robinson set a blistering pace, followed by Wicks, the Twins and Myself. I heard a bit of a scuffle behind me but didn't dare turn to look as the front of the race was going instantly warp 8. I came into the first set of barriers way to hot and barely got my bike up in time, just clipping the rear wheel and sending it in an over the moon trajectory. Luckily I got all the light Easton shit on my bike and I could hang on to it and get it back under control.
When I finally chanced a look behind, I saw an enormous gap had opened up. It turns out my teammates Rob and Josh thought they could share the same patch of earth and their bikes became stuck together. Josh would have to run to the pit and swap bikes before starting his pursuit through the entire field. I was just trying to stick to the front of the race myself and was suprised when Barry rode the short, loose run up on the back side of the course. I think we all ran it as Barry accelerated away. I was busy trying to figure out what the hell just happened as the Twins closed the gap and me and Justin were left adrift of the front three. I got it together and started a chase but was no match for the pace at the front. Justin was a bit gassed and was content to recover for a while.
Midway through the race, I saw Snead making a comeback. Actually it was as I was exiting the "Maze" section which was a tricky spiral devised by Chapco. Snead was just entering it and appeared quite close, but was actually still about 30 seconds away. Nonetheless, I decided I would sit on Justin and not set pace but I would not try to block him mercilessly like I have done in the past. So Justin cruised along and Josh never made anymore headway, no doubt softened a bit from catching and dropping the entire field except for 5 of us. I rode on the front for a bit, trying to gauge how Justin was going and at the start of the last lap I ran through the planks really slow so he would be in front to block the wind for the remainder of the race.
I don't know what I was thinking really. As we hit the run up for the final time the Big Man drilled it and while I was running fast, probably matching him stride for stride, he was eating up bigger chunks of dirt with each step. At the top of the hill and with half a lap to go, he drilled it and it took a long time to close the gap. I could tell he was totally digging and I was happy that I was about to make contact right at the short runup that I was riding cleanly and Justin was bobbling a bit. On the last time up it, Justin ripped it and I totally botched it. My fate was sealed at that moment and I would finish just behind him in 5th spot.
As the weekend wrapped up I was also feeling the love for this team. Our sponsors have all been the greatest and I have seen a lot of other racers coming out of events with bike problems. Besides a couple of flat tires, my bikes have been running flawlessly, my Mavic wheels are still true despite my best efforts to bash them silly. The members of this team have all invested so much energy and enthusiasm and it is really snowballing. It is exciting to know that while our team is sweeping the podium at a race in Fairfax, Ca. we have Dave Wyandt on the east coast garnering UCI points. Next weekend Josh and myself will be racing in Boulder Co. at stops #3 and #4 of the Crank Bros USGrandPrix. We will be trying to hold it down for sure.