After spending a relaxing day in the Sierra Foothills with an orange flag in one hand and a book in the other (The Orosi RR was our race for the year), I was looking forward to racing Sunday in Hanford. It's always great to do this race, as the crowd is super-enthusiastic, the course is great, and the prize list is sizable for both the Master's and Pro races.
The first race of the day, for the old guys, included a surprise guest, the well-bandaged but still spry Brian Bosch. After a high speed dismount the week before (holy cats 47 mph!), he couldn't really stand but he could still power in the saddle. Otherwise, it was the usual group o' suspects from Sierra Pacific Racing. The field of 40 or so included some who were not to be trusted including Chris B and Gregarios from the Morgan, Stanley, and Spine coalition, Dirk C. from Strawberry, D. Laberge from the Specialized squadra, and Hernando of VOS. After series of attacks and counterattacks, Brian and I ended up in the break with Dirk, Hernando, and Dean. Dirk won it from Dean, with Hernandez third. Brian pulled a monster tow on the last lap which scored kudos from the rest of the break, and I porked it when my gears slipped into the second-to-last corner....
It was not encouraging to see a collection of leg-rippers in a 40 man Pro 1/2 field, as I was pretty tired after the Master's race: The rule of thumb formula for race difficulty in small fields is (total number of riders-(total # of pros+total # of national championships in field)). The result of this formula at Hanford was much closer to zero than I would have liked. Shortly after the start, the big break of the day went away including both Jacques-Maynes, Svein Tuft, and Ken Hanson. The break was stuck at 15 seconds for awhile, but eventually pulled away. After that group disappeared, the race stretched, broke apart, and came back together repeatedly until another group of four including Joel also got away. The field was eventually lapped, but the second break stayed away. The tally for the race was Joel 8th, Brian 10th(I think), Eric 14th, and me 15th. To be honest, I was just happy to survive after bridging gaps the whole race.
Looking forward to Santa Cruz and Martinez!