Men’s P/1/2 race coverage by Chris Harland-Dunaway:
It was 107 degrees on the road in Lodi, perhaps slightly cooler than the women’s race just before. Nonetheless, because the race appeared on the Premier Series calendar, riders were guaranteed to show up, no matter how hot it was – especially with the generous prize purse the Lodi Cyclefest promoters had put together. Racers stuffed bags of ice into the back of their jerseys in an effort to stay cool.
“Oh my god, its so hot!”, Eric Riggs of Mike’s Bikes wailed amusingly as the criterium got underway.
Chuck Hutcheson of Marc Pro – Strava got involved in the early breakaway, as he often does, with Joshua Carling from Bicycles Plus/Sierra Nevada, Roman Kilun of Mike’s Bikes, and fresh Mike’s Bikes transfer, Brandon Trafton. Shawn Rosenthal bridged up to the break, making it 3 Mike’s Bikes riders, immaculate in their brand new white summer jerseys.
The peloton was restless and a slew of riders were intent on making their way up to the breakaway, but the heat limited how many times riders were willing to put in hard accelerations. A second breakaway formed behind the first, powered by Max Jenkins of 5 Hour Energy p/b Kenda, Jared Kessler of Folsom Bike/VW/Raley’s, and Dirk Himley of Hammer Nutrition. The rest of the riders were content to sit on with teammates up the road.
In the front breakaway, Mike’s Bikes took turns attacking one by one. Interestingly, an alliance between Hutcheson and Carling never materialized, despite the two riders being outnumbered by the white and black. Carling reeled back a nasty counterattack Hutcheson unleashed after chasing down one of the Mike’s Bikes riders.
Roman Kilun got into a late race move with Hutcheson and the two worked cohesively, it was clear Hutcheson had no option but to allow one of Mike’s Bikes to win the race if he wanted to place high as well. Carling crashed out of the remnants of the breakaway behind.
For Mike’s Bikes, the reason for success was obvious, according to Roman Kilun, “We stocked the breakaway with 3 guys out of 6 [from Mike’s Bikes]. When you do that you then have a lot of options; possibilities to put pressure on guys.”
Kilun rode across the line for 1st, with Hutcheson 2nd and Trafton and Rosenthal in 3rd and 4th, respectively.
In the race for 5th, Max Jenkins attacked with 2 laps to go, capitalizing on the increasing reluctance of the riders in the 2nd breakaway to chase down each other’s accelerations in the sweltering heat. The sprint for the remaining places was disrupted by lapped riders in the main field who involved themselves cluelessly in a race they did not even figure in.
Finishing riders headed directly for the closest source of cold water, discussing the bizarre goose bumps and shivering they began to experience towards the end of the race. Based on current knowledge, no one experienced heat stroke during the race, which was a victory in itself for the field at the 2013 Lodi Cyclefest.
Women’s P/1/2/3 Coverage by Alex Chiu
As the second to last race of the day, the women’s P/1/2/3 race took place when the temperatures were reaching the highest for the day. With large teams Folsom Bike/Cervelo as well as Pinnacle p/b Argon 18 in addition to all star names Mary Maroon (Steven’s Bicycles Racing) and Beth Newell (NOW/Novartis), the competition was fierce in addition to the extreme heat.
With an initial break of Mary Maroon and Danielle Haulman (Folsom Bike/Cervelo), Pinnacle would work hard on the front of the peloton to bring the two back. As the laps went by, Haulman would fall back, and eventually the spectators would see the field pass through as one group, including Maroon. A second break would quickly form, though, consisting of Sara Clafferty (Pinnacle p/b Argon 18), Martina Patella (unattached), Amy Chandos (Folsom Bike/Cervelo), Kim Fong (Cycles FANATIC), and Jennie Phillips (Contra Costa Cycling Club/Kovarus/Wells Fargo Racing Team). As the five maintained their gap on the pack, the break would whittle down to three as Fong and Phillips fell off the back. The final lap would see Clafferty, Patella, and Chandos sprinting for the finish, with Patella taking the win.
After the race, Patella said (regarding the heat) “It really played a big factor… Definitely on this course I was looking for a split I think when its this hot people get tired they throw in the towel and there’s only so much power you can put out when its really flat”. Regarding the competition, “We had some big big riders. We had Mary Maroon, we had Beth Newell, we had an entire crew from Pinnacle, entire crew from Folsom…. so between Beth Newell and Mary Maroon, those are two of the best crit racers on the west coast…was like the world championships of the central valley”.
Listen to my post-race interview with Martina here.
Listen to the interview with Roman alongside Martina after the finish of the men’s P/1/2 race here.
Read more coverage and see more photos over at NCNCA Road
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