Hey all. Last weekend was the Auburn Omnium. It consisted of two events, the Montserrat Circuit race on Saturday and the Auburn Downtown Criterium on Sunday. Both days, I competed in two events, Jr 18 and under, and E4. My total was 4 races in 26 hrs.
On Saturday morning, I was up quite early since I had a 7:30 Jr start time. On the way to the race, I listened to the DJs on the radio talking about how hot the day was going to be, 110+, hotter than any day in the greater Sacramento area since 2006. Great. I already knew the Juniors would be tough. A few weeks before the herd of Bicycles Plus Sierra Nevada Juniors wiped the floor with me with tactics, stranding me between the leaders and the pack and giving me no shot at the win. I wanted revenge. I knew there would be some strong E3 riders in the Jrs, as well as the BPSN crew and anyone else who showed up. Not to mention the crematorium level heat. Then the E4 race 50 minutes later. Then the whole thing again Sunday. I had my work cut out for me.
I attacked straight away on the Jr race. The pace was kept very high, and we quickly shed riders. I was happy to see the BPSN guys fall off, until there were only 4 riders left: Me, one BPSN E3 racer, on E3 Chico Corsa guy, and one guy from the Granite Bay Grizzlies. With two laps to go, the two E3 guys pulled away and made a moderate gap. I was incredibly hot and I was hurting, I had been working hard and my legs had been screaming for a while. I thought it was over for me. The Granite Bay guy looked pretty blown, but there was no way I was catching those guys up front. Then, on the final descent, my dad shouted that the leaders were tactically battling each other. I had a chance. I rocketed through the final roundabout and towards the steep hill, atop which the finish waited. There were the two leaders, riding side by side, slowing down before the final sprint. They thought I was out of it, that they had enough gap. They were wrong. I saw red, I hit the hill as hard as I could. Halfway up, I flew by the two like a freight train. Behind me I heard, “Oh, crap!!”. By this point I had tunnel vision, and only could think of the finish line. I sprinted, out of my mind, through the line. I did it. I won. Not only did I win, but I won free and clear, with a 15 foot gap.
I couldn’t actually comprehend this at the time, because I was hit with the worst heat exhaustion of my life. Head spinning, I rolled off course away from the venue. I tried to stop, but when I tried to stand I fell with my bike between my legs, and couldn’t get up. I couldn’t think straight, just knew I had to cool down. I lay on the pavement with my bike between my legs, pouring water over my head until a team-mate (guardian angel?) Lance Loveday drove down, found me, and helped me get back to the venue and recover. Thanks again Lance.
I recovered enough (?) to attempt to race the E4 race soon after, but I ended up just rolling it. It was really no surprise that I had nothing. I finished that race somewhere in the back of the pack, and then went home to sleep off that gnarly day.
The next day, I came wanting to win the Jr Omnium. I knew the rest of the field would be brutal. I had a strong friend from NorCal joining as well, I knew I had to watch out for him. This race was a little less eventful. On the last lap, I broke away solo, and held it all the way through the line. Two Days, Two wins, and my first Omnium victory. And on the doorstep of my shop and in front of my whole team to boot. I was stoked.
But I had one race left. I wanted to help my teammate go for the Omnium win. He had won on Saturday in a similar fashion to me. The race was tough, but this time I had the legs to hang on the front and attempt to help out. I was about 7thwheel going into the final corner, but some guys ahead of me wrecked. I didn’t hit the asphalt, but got all tangled up and ended up 12th out of 40ish. Luckily, my teammate made it through clean and took 2nd on the day, and won the Omnium. Congrats to Aron!
Overall it was an incredibly successful weekend of racing for me, and I am looking forward to more road races soon. Thanks for reading, I’ll keep you posted.