55th Berkeley Hills Road Race
Mother’s Day, 13 May 2012
This long-running, classic event is a 30-Km loop that circumnavigates the San Pablo and Briones reservoirs. The course has more than 2,700m of elevation gain for each lap with a 1,500m, 7% uphill finish. The day started out overcast and cool with the sun starting to break through, at least at the finish line, on the very latter laps. There were only Mens categories racing at this year’s event; concession was extended to the Mariposa Women’s Stage Race taking place the same weekend.
In the race for Men Pro-1-2, Chuck Hutcheson (Marc Pro-Strava) was away on a first-lap solo break as he started down from “Mama Bear” on Bear Creek Road. His gap was close to 60 seconds but that was too early for this 143-km race. At half distance, fellow Mar Pro-Strava team mate Keith Hillier got away on a two-racer breakaway with Colin Daw (Fremont Bank). “About 40 miles in we got a break, a pretty successful one,” reported Hillier, “[We] worked together. The break was at 5 minutes for a while. At the finish here we were both pretty gassed.” Hillier admitted Daw conceded the win allowing Hillier to cross the finish line first well ahead. With officials reporting a 3-minute gap between the break and the field on the final lap, Daw’s hold on second place was secure.
The next two places went to California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized team mates Torey Philipp in third and Stephen Leece in fourth. Taylor Bertrand-Barrett (Red Peleton) crossed the finish line in fifth. Despite fielding seven racers, Team Mike’s Bikes were less successful than their previous outings. During the race, the black, yellow, and blue kit did not appear as cohesive as they have in the past, particularly at criteriums.
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