This two day event has been a tradition here in Bakersfield for seven years now- a race to see who has the best-or most CX riders. With the long drive making it tough for Nor-Cal riders to be at the event the So-Cal contingent had a definite edge in numbers. Nor Cal definitely had the edge in quality. The men's A podium was all Nor Cal ( Andrew Juiliano lives in Santa Barbara but we still claim him as Nor-Cal ) except for Jamie Driscoll who is from Utah.
Having raced the day before to third place, Max Judelson was aiming to do better than that - or die trying ! Max attacked often during the race and was the main animator. Andrew had a flat on the first lap and had a bit of a chase to get to the front group which was almost immediately getting clear from the bulk of the 20-odd riders.
Andrew made the lead group and as the race wore on the group eventually got pared down to four riders: Jamie Driscoll, Cody Kaiser ( the previous day's winner ) Max and Andrew. The group stayed together until just before the last lap started when Jamie Driscoll lit it up and only Cody Kaiser could stay close. Max and Drew rode hard to keep the leaders as close as possible. In the last lap it was a drag race between Max and Drew that tested both to their limits. It was exciting to watch and until the last finishing straight it was hard to know who would come in first. Drew made a move on the last runup which proved enough to beat the resilient Max. They came in 3rd and 4th for podium spots and some cash. It was a very strong showing against a couple of major national names.
Drew crossing the line completely spent.
Max looking about 20 years older after the one hour race !
The men's elite state championship podium.
In the last race of the day, a very tired Dylan Gong managed to stay at the front of the cat 4/5 race and come in second after a weekend of much racing. Next year maybe we can get the trophy back from So-Cal !