Pescadero Coastal Classic Road Race
25 June 2012
This past Saturday’s Pescadero Road Race for Men Pro-1-2 ran without the typical numbers of racers from Team Mike’s Bikes and California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized; those teams were competing at the Road National Championships in Augusta, Georgia. That failed to detract from the racing, however, as the typical coastal fog was nowhere in sight and the day’s racing went off under sunny skies and comfortable temperatures. It was simply a great day for racing.
Numerous accidents did play a role and a wholesale neutralization came into effect to allow emergency crews tend to the injured. The interruption unfortunately occurred as many categories were on their final lap – race fields were held up at the feed zone before the start of the final uphill climb to the finish. Race strategies, rhythms, and group spacings were all affected to one degree or another. Re-starting on cold legs became another challenge.
The field of 44 for Men Pro-1-2 were the first category to start on the day with several top racers including Roman Kilun (Kenda/5 Hour Energy) and Max Jenkins (Competitive Cyclist Racing Team). Andy Goessling (Team Mike’s Bikes) did grab an early lead on the first pass along Stage Road. Nate English (Kenda/5 Hour Energy) was leading the pack close behind as the Kenda racer would continue to feature well in this race. The next time down Stage Road, it was English right up front leading a smaller group.
On the penultimate time through the finish line, the lead had come down to a break by Kilun, James Oram (Bontrager-Livestrong), and Kirk Carlsen (Full Circle Cycling p/b Pure Gear). They would stay off the front but first had to contend with the race stoppage before deciding the race’s outcome. Starting up the hill, Carlsen had to decide on his approach to reach the finish-line first. “I knew that Roman [Kilun] was a little bit tired because he had a mechanical and he came back to us,” said Carlsen, “so I wasn’t really looking at him. I was a little bit worried about [Oram]. I went to the front on the climb to try to soften him up. I looked back and I had a gap already so I went again and that was that with 2k to go.” Carlsen crossed the finish line well ahead but in such an unanticipated moment, created by the neutralization-delay, that his deserved victory almost went unnoticed.
Oram secured second place as the third podium step went to Kilun. Michael Jasinski (Wonderful Pistachios Pro Cycling) finished fourth with English in fifth and Jenkins in sixth. Chuck Hutcheson (Marc Pro-Starva), the stalwart of this year’s NCNCA’s Pro-1-2 category, came home in seventh well ahead of his team mate and eighth-placed Keith Hillier. James Wingert (Team Mike’s Bikes) then Art Rand (Marc Pro-Strava) rounded out the top ten finishers.
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