Tuesday, August 12, 2008

San Rafael Race Report

The Webcor/Alto Velo team had a great race in San Rafael this past weekend. This was a premier event featuring a nighttime downtown course packed with fans and good prize money on offer. Most of the best local riders showed up with some notable pros as well. Fabrice and Aroussen made the big break of the evening. They both rode incredibly well and finished in the top-10 with Fabrice scoring a really impressive 3rd place, being the only non-pro in the top-5. Below is his report.

San Rafael is put on by the same promoter as the upcoming San Francisco Twilight Crit on September 13th and Webcor will be the title sponsor of the race. That should be a great event that the team is really looking forward to. It should be a great race to watch, hope to see you there!

Official Results

San Rafael Criterium, Men Pro 1/2
Result: 3rd of 93
Teammates: Aroussen 9th, James 22nd, Neil, Graham, Rand, Chris, Rob, DS Bruce on the Radio

The course was a short 0.9 miles circuit in downtown San Rafael with a hill on the the start/finish straight away. The back straight descended into two fast downhill 90 degree turns. This criterium is a fast one and had a lot of spectators lining the course. Our event was scheduled for 90 minutes of racing. The start was done at the end of the day, 8:00 PM, like all the criteriums in France.

After some laps covered in high speed, Rand and I made a move with some guys. That escape obtained a little gap, but after 4 laps on the front, the pack caught up.

Then there was lot of activity and I felt that I had to stay on the front to catch the good escape. I was right because one of them including 10 guys took a little advantage. Later, another group with Aroussen joined us. We were thus approximately 20 guys on the front. After the break was established, the pace settled down slightly in the main pack, allowing the breakaway's gap to grow and grow.

At midrace, I tried to split the breakaway group, but after my attack I was alone. So after 2 laps alone I was caught up by the group.

At about 60 minutes into the race, the breakaway group was nearing the back of the main field. The officials decided to give the pack a bell lap so they could sprint for 21st place before being pulled. It was confusing in the pack, with not a lot of people realizing it was 1 to go for the pack, James included. Still, he finished it out for 2nd in the pack sprint.

After the course was clear for the breakaway group for the last 30 minutes, Zwizanski from Bissell attacked and was joined by two other professionals, Barrilleaux from Jittery Joe's Pro Cycling and former Webcor Pro rider Bernard Van Ulden from the Jelly Belly Team. Bernard
ultimately went on to win the race after pulling away solo in the last lap.

In the last 7 laps, Eric Wohlberg from Symmetrics attacked and I decided to follow him, so we began a little time trial in order to catch the escape. But despite all our effort we only caught
Barrilleaux from Jittery Joe's Pro Cycling as he fell off the hot pace of Van Ulden and Zwizanski.

Finally we came around the last corner for a 3-up sprint for 3rd place between Barrilleaux, Wohlberg and myself. I led it out from the corner and was able to hold on for third to get the last spot on the podium.

Aroussen finished his beautiful race in 9th position.

I finished the day on the podium with some flowers and some champagne...what a great night for me and the team!!

Thanks for reading,

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