• Racing, Wine, and Wente

    by  • April 29, 2013 • norcal scene, race coverage

    26th Wente Vinyards Classic Road Race
    29 April 2013

    Saturday’s 26th Wente Vineyards Classic Road Race, presented by The Valley Spokesmen Racing Team p/b DS Electric, started off overcast, cold, and windy. As the first of the racers reached the far side of the course, the temperature began to rise and the fog quickly burnt off.

    “Last Time Around”
    For the 1/2 Women’s race, Flavia Oliveira (DNA Cycling p/b Plan7) got away on a second-lap break with Alison Tetrick (Exergy TWENTY16). Marley Smith (Folsom Bike/Cervelo) bridged up to them and the three racers proceeded to pull out a significant gap on the rest of the field; it would later grow up to the 3-minute mark.

    “We worked together,” reported Oliveira. “I worked through the hills and they pulled through on the backside and the flats. Ali did drop a chain but we were broken up on the hilly-side of the course. I slowed down and they caught up. I’m not going to stay away on a course like this for three laps.”

    Oliveira and Tetrick Ahead in the Race

    Oliveira and Tetrick Ahead in the Race

    Folsom Bike/Cervelo, Metromint Cycling, and Pinnacle p/b Argon 18 had riders in the chasing field but there never appeared any concerted effort to track down the breakaway.

    Taking the bell, Oliveira had a 10-second gap on Tetrick and Smith but more would take place during the final lap.

    “It wasn’t until the last time around that Marley came off as I was pacing up the climb,” continued Oliveira. “Ali bridged again and we worked together until the last bump on Greenville. It was aggressive there. Ali tried a couple of times and I countered. As we came up Altamont, she tried one more time and I countered and that’s how it ended up.

    “[I] wanted to come out and play hard. It make’s us work harder staying in a small break but everybody was committed. I expected a few attacks on the last lap so I just tried to save my energy for the final lap because I knew it was coming.

    “I never feel 100% confident because so many things can go wrong. It’s not until you break away solo and you hold on until the finish. Like the last 500 meters.”

    Tetrick finished second behind Oliveira and Smith crossed the line in third. Joanna Dahl (Metromint Cycling) was fourth with Amy Thornquist rounding out the top five.

    Oliveira had just come off jumping from fourth to second overall at the Sea Otter Classic Stage Race by riding in another small break in the final stage. She admitted her goal there was simply the KOM at the circuit race but said, “luckily for us the break worked.”

    Dozen in the Break
    The first time over Flynn for Pro/1/2 Men, Brandon Trafton (Full Circle Cycling Powered by Pure Gear) led a group of riders with a short gap over the rest of the field. Come the second lap, Trafton was still toward the front and there was a significant 90-second lead for a break with numbers and teams.

    Racing with Trafton were Sam Bassetti (California Giant/Specialized), Will Riffelmacher (Olypmic Club), Jack Maddux (Team Specialized Racing Juniors), Byron Anson (Davis Bike Club Race Team), Keith Wong (VuMedi p/b Lombardi Sports), Tyler Brandt (Get Crackin’), Tim Aiken (Bear Development Team), Johnathan Teeter (Marc Pro-Strava), Adam Switters (Team Mike’s Bikes p/b Incase), Dana Williams (Team Mike’s Bikes p/b Incase), and Evan Freeman.

    This dozen would eventually fill the top eleven finishing positions.

    The main field was led by Kirk Carlsen (Predator Carbon Repair) but at two-to-go the gap to the break had reached 3 minutes at the finish line. With several teams in the break, Carlsen was out of position to show how he became the Sea Otter Stage Race winner as a solo-team rider.

    At the bell, Keith Wong crossed 10 seconds ahead of the rest of the lead group that still included youngsters Tim Aiken and Jack Maddux. As they came back around to decide the race, it was a bunch sprint up the hill to the finish line.

    With still more than 10 meters to go, Tyler Brandt had a lead of several bike-lengths. He waited until after the finish line to raise his arms skyward in victory. “I was hoping that I had a gap but I didn’t want to look back because I’ve seen people get pipped before,” remarked Brandt. “I wanted to make sure I got across the line before I saluted and knew that I had the win.”

    “I was hoping [the break] would stay,” continued Brandt. “I’m here by myself so I wanted to be in an early break and it was nice it was big enough. It was immediately down to only two Mike’s Bikes which was definitely the strongest team out here. That was ideal for me to be in the move and not have to attack the field.

    “I knew that if the gap were small with one-to-go, Carlsen would have a chance to bridge. I was hoping we wouldn’t have to race against him. My strategy was to get in an early break and hopefully roll with that. I know it stayed out last year so I was hoping it would happen again.”

    Aiken crossed the line in second. Behind him, Maddux got to the line just ahead of Bassetti. Jonathan Teeter scored fifth place.




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