I’ve been racing in Norcal for 4 years now and if it’s one race everyone loves to hate, including myself, it’s Snelling Road Race. Yeah, ok the feeling’s mutual Snelling. Fair enough. The weather was thankfully dry and…dare I say it, warm, and thankfully no bottom-bracket-level puddles to place cute little rubber duckies in. Two factors however that will always be around are the pothole ridden roads traditional in central valley Velo-promo races and the wind…..the FOOKING WIND!!! The wind is always a factor and always tears apart fields and leaves perfectly capable riders completely cut off from an otherwise respectable finish. Yeah…feeling’s mutual Snelling.
Seems the women’s fields are a bit smaller this year so far on the NCNCA calendar scene and the pre-reg list for Snelling reflected that pattern so when I saw a bunch of day-of-pro-registrants riding around I was actually excited to get my ass kicked even harder for an even more exciting race. Several breaks formed throughout the race (in large part due to the wind) but the final break was established going into the last lap. Alison Tetrick (Exergy TWENTY16) and Tayler Wiles (Specialized lululemon) were motivated for the break since neither professional riders had a team representing them, and they were in the final group of six with Beth Newell and Robin Farina from NOW Novartis MS along with Gomez and Meyer from Pinaccle. The group worked cohesively throughout the last lap and NOW teammates Newell and Farina tried to set up for a win but Wiles jumped going into the final corner and held it to the finish. Newell hung on for 2nd and Tetrick rounded out the podium. Once again Snelling proved NorCal to be one of the best places to race and train; which is why I moved here in the first place. Wait…I came here for the wind?
From the race reports I gathered, wind was the main deciding factor in their race also. It tore the group apart on every lap. The wind combined with the hilly terrain, attacks, a single-file suffering, the front group was stripped down to a very select 12 riders that included Freddy Rodriguez, Chris Stastny, Joshua Carling, Roman, Eric Riggs, James LaBerge, and Rossi, Freed and Hutcheson of Marc Pro – Strava. The group was motivated to stay away and after a few more attacks the group was further splintered apart as a final four of Rodriguez, Hutcheson, Wohlberg and Statsny eventually rode away with two laps to go. The last lap would see more attacks from Marc Pro-Strava and although Stastny and Rodriguez put up an incredible fight, it would be Hutcheson who would barely edge out Rodriguez for the win.
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