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Bike Bakersfield Criterium - 05.01.10

posted May 4, 2010, 10:39 AM by Tyler Wertenbruch

Barrett, Ryan and I made the trip over to Bakersfield on Saturday morning for a day of racing at the Bike Bakersfield Critierum. It turns out that Josh Kessler, Ben Earl and Glen Baldwin all made the trip as well. Josh started us off with a solid 7th place finish in a good size cat 5 field. Barrett and Ben then had an interesting race in the cat 4. They had a guy go from lap 2 and stay away until 7 laps to go. Barrett and Ben put in the work when they needed and still managed to put together solid finishes with Barrett in 3rd and Ben in 8th. Glenn's race was hard to read as they had a few fields in at the same time so I am not sure how he finished up but he looked strong and seemed to be in the front group from what I could tell. I lined up for my race with about 12 other riders. It was a small field and a few had been talking about just riding tempo and sprinting for the finish. Well myself and the race promoter Zach did not really go for that. The start of the 3rd lap Zach put in a little acceleration, I matched it and we had about 10 seconds pretty quickly. I figured what the heck, its a small field and I am there for a good workout so why not go for it. We had one guy from Vegas bridge up to us after 4 or 5 more laps and then another two started to come across. By half way through the race we were a group of 4, having dispatched the original guy from Vegas who had bridged. Myself, Zach, Big Steve G. and another guy from Vegas put in the work and ended up lapping the field. We traded even pulls, all took a prime and proceeded to lap the field 3 more times. I think they gave up, but also our pace never let up as well. With about 9 laps to go the guy from Vegas put in a nice little attack and I thought I was done for. My left calf balled up and had anyone else gone again I would have been off the back and riding in for 4th. It turns out it settled in again and let me shake out the cramp and ready for the finish. I knew going into the last few laps that if I went to the line with Steve G. he would crush me like a little bug. Steve is a fantastic sprinter even though he is a fair bit older, he still has massive power which turns into big speed. With 4 to go we were overtaking the field again and I put in an attack trying to use the passing of the field to cause a little trouble. I was marked pretty quick and then they would not come around me at all. I rode the front until the second to last corner just before the bell lap and was able to get one of the others to take the front. Once I was at the back I decided I had two opportunities to use. I looked for the first at the straight between the 1st and 2nd corner as it was narrow and with two corners it could cause a little gap, but we were going just fast enough that I would not have gotten a great jump. I waited for the 2nd to last corner as it was a little dirty, there were a few pot holes and all day the others had taken it wide through the exit. I set up for the corner by dropping a few feet off the back of the group and took an angle on the corner that put me right on the inside gutter as they swung wide. I put in 6 hard pedal strokes before the next corner, but by that point I had a good gap already. From the exit of corner 4 it was all out as I knew if I let up Steve would be coming like a freight train. I crossed the line solo with a little room to spare and picked up my first win of the season. It was a fun weekend, we pulled some great results and supported a pretty cool event even if it was small.