Berkeley Hills Road Race
12 May 2013
In exciting finish to the P/1/2 Women’s race, Sara Clafferty (Pinnacle p/b Argon 18) out-dueled Molly Van Houweling (Metromint Cycling) in a fierce 1-2 uphill drag race at the Berkeley Hills Road Race. Daniel Holloway (Team Mike’s Bikes p/b Incase) did likewise for P/1/2 Men, winning ahead of Philip Mooney (Jamis – Hagens Bermen p/b Sutter Home) and Taylor Bertrand (Marc Pro-Strava).
The P/1/2 Women’s field had riders from Metromint Cycling and Pinnacle p/b Argon 18 in a promising competition between the two friendly rivals. Vanderkitten also fielded two riders with Ruth Winder and Elle Anderson to add to the fray.
Amanda Seigle (Metromint Cycling) took the bell with a lead of 45 seconds but her attack would fall away as did all the other early work. Following Seigle for the final lap was the entire field with Amy Thornquist (Pinnacle p/b Argon 18) and Beth Newell (NOW and Novartis for MS) at the head of the group.
As the racers came back into view from the finish line, Thornquist was holding fifth whilst Flavia Oliveira (DNA Cycling p/b Plan7) and Newell were just ahead and battling for third. Leading the sprint for the win were Clafferty and Van Houweling.
The pair went up the hill jousting as in a fencing match. Each thrust and parry matched as Clafferty took several looks back to see Van Houweling giving it her all. Clafferty held off the Metromint rider by just over the length of a bike.
“I was worried,” remarked Clafferty, “because I know Molly has a motor. I knew that if I jumped her she may not be able to come with me. I did it the one time and she came with me. I thought ‘oh god, this is going to be a drag [race].’ When she got in front of me I had 100 meters to get in front of her again. I just went for it and somehow I held her off. I’ve been working on uphill climbs because I didn’t think I was very good at that.”
“Amy Thornquist and I thought with the attacks coming in the second lap we would catch [Seigle],” continued Clafferty, “and we did coming into the big downhill. When we caught her, nobody attacked so I sat in and waited.
“Sure enough there was a flurry of attacks and then a lull. On the first ‘baby’ climb I attacked because I felt everybody was waiting for the big hills. I couldn’t compete with Flavia Oliveira nor Beth Newell so I had to go early.
“This race I had a climber team mate so I went all out; I knew I had Amy Thornquist waiting for in the field for me. I didn’t have any hesitation and just went for it.”
“Stepped on the Gas”
The P/1/2 Men’s race started with a fast lap and then settled. By the bell lap, a lead group of a dozen or so riders had a 2 minute gap over the next group.
“After the series of climbs on San Pablo Dam Road our group just started attacking each other and it was non-stop until the finish line,” commented Daniel Holloway. “Phil Mooney was aggressive in that part of the race. Along the backside rollers before the climb, he got away solo and rode quite a bit by himself.
“[Taylor Bertrand] caught Phil Mooney half way up the first climb and they had a good gap. By that time, the group had splintered leaving myself, Justin Rossi, Kirk Carlsen, and Adrien Costa together over the top. Through the plateau of the second riser was where I attacked to go across to Mooney and Betrand.
“Taylor Betrand then attacked; I rode tempo to kept him within distance. I surged on Phil Mooney to test his legs and each time I put a couple of bike lengths on. That gave me more confidence going into the finish. At about 100 meters I just stepped on the gas and finished the race.”
Mooney also came around Bertrand, in the last 20 meters, to finish in second place. Justin Rossi (Marc Pro-Strava) crossed the finish line in fourth place with Adrien Costa (Slipstream-Craddock Junior Development) taking fifth.
“With three quarters of the last lap remaining,” described Mooney, “I got off alone and managed a pretty good gap. On the descent before the finish, both Taylor and Holloway caught me. Taylor immediately attacked and got a good gap.
“I sat on Holloway’s wheel because I knew he was a sprinter. Then we rolled through and sprinted. Holloway’s a really good sprinter. With the headwind on the climb it’s over for me because I needed to go away alone.”
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