Truth be told, I wasn’t planning on racing Bariani this year. With last year’s rainy conditions still vividly impressed upon me, I wasn’t anywhere close to building my week around this race. However, after spending Saturday at the Velodrome I was pretty keen to get some flat land racing in.
The start line was unsurprisingly stacked with over 50 riders out to enjoy the spring weather. Amain, Herbalife, Mike’s Bikes and Mikes Bikes dev Squad all brought a full compliment of riders. However, Leo and I weren’t at Bariani to play games and we went into the race knowing that we would be layering efforts to get into breaks and splits.
I was still traumatized from being shattered from the main field in the “neutral rollout” in 2016 so I made it a point to make it to the front and be actively watching any breaks from main players. The first lap was fast with some attempts from unrepresented teams, but nothing established.
The second lap was characterized by a large split in the field when we hit the roller section with a tail wind. With the amount of attacks being laid out and as Leo said “Every type of wind” thrown at us on this coarse it was’t surprising that about a third of the field disappeared.
On the third lap Max Jenkins slowly attacked through the finishing straight and I went with him, all the while in my rear view 3 mikes bikes riders hit the deck. Unfortunately for them, this would epitomize the type of race that they were having that day. After Max and I were reeled back in the remaining field slowed to an almost literal crawl. No one was throwing attacks. All was chill until we reached the final turn on the back side when a Peet’s Coffee rider, Jeffrey Buscheck, and Anthony Ferretti effortlessly rolled off the front of the pack. None of the main teams made any attempt to pull them back and I was content to let them roll off the front. By the time we reached the finishing straight they were out of sight.
Herbalife24 was organizing towards the end of this lap, and was throwing riders out front. I went when Cole Davis (Specialized) and an Herbalife rider(blanking on the name) went off the front. We were let off the front and hammered to get to the break of 3 riders. It took us half a lap to bridge. We worked well as a group, and lost one rider from the break.
By the 1 lap to go mark we had built a gap of 1 minute. Everyone was hurting at that point and was praying that the main field would’t be motivated enough to bring us back. It kept going through my head that the only major team not represented was Mike’s Bikes. On the final roller section we shelled the herbalife24 rider and it was down to 3 sprinters and myself.
On any given crit day I don’t think I would have stood a chance, but we hit 1 k to go I knew I could use my 1 minute power to get some distance on their superior snaps.
This race was a mix of tactics, strength, and luck. Overall, I’m happy I got the win in the debut of our team’s new livery!
Here’s Leo’s report, good stuff here.
Today was the first time debuting our new kits made by CCN and not only did we get a ton compliments and questions about them, they definitely sent us flying as Gavin took the big win. Here’s the race breakdown.
Gavin Murray and I (Leo Yip) were the only two representing Storck-CCN today at the Bariani Road Race. Having a couple larger teams consisting of 7-9 riders, Gavin and I knew we had to use our matches carefully. The first 2 of 6 laps were full of attacks and aggressive riding from everyone, as the winds picked up the field began to split. Gavin and I stayed at the front and by the 3rd lap Gavin found himself with two others bridging up to 3 more up ahead. Gavin pushed the break creating a gap of 1 minute and once Gavin got clear, I began to follow moves trying to bridge. I found myself with 4 others and also got about a minute on the field. Unfortunately the field brought us back with half a lap to go. Coming to the finish, Gavin timed his sprint to perfection taking the win for Storck-CCN surpassing some of the best sprinters in Norcal and I closely followed to take 2nd in the field sprint for 9th. It was a very successful day for the team as we executed to plan in style.