The 2013 SCNCA Criterium Championship race was held this past Sunday at the Brentwood Grand Prix. This is one an exciting event held in Downtown Brentwood and the CashCall Mortgage Cycling Team fielded a team of 7 for the event. Local athletes Brian McCulloch, David Santos, Chris Barton, Michael Weicht, Fabrizio Von Nacher and Devan Dunn were joined by Monterey local Logan Loader. This was Logan’s first time racing BWGP and he checked in with us after the event.
What was your impression of the course and the event?
I thought the course was great. It was a good test of fitness and ability because it required not only technical skills but also a lot of fitness to stay at the front due to a mix of hills and windy stretches. It looked like 50% of the field did not finish the event. Officially 102 racers started the event and only 33 are on the finishing results. Drafting wasn’t much of an advantage either due to going up a hill at lower speeds or a the cross wind coming from the side on the straight-aways.
With 7 total teammates at the race, what was the plan of action?
Our plan was to make sure that all the breaks had at least one of our teammates in it. We were confident that the race was hard enough to really make guys who race too hard too early pay for their mistakes in the last half of the race. We tried to stay as fresh as we could and if it came to a field sprint finish I would be the sprinter.
Being the Championship race that also offered large money primes, did this help to break the race apart or did it keep it together?
It definitely helped make the race hard. I wouldn’t say it broke it apart or kept it together but on certain laps it definitely made the race harder due to all the accelerations. In the end, it was the riders tactics that kept it together. There were a lot of good sprinters in the race so their teams all wanted to keep it together for a sprint, figuring that was there best chance at a result.
How did the last few laps go down, resulting in you placing 3rd?
With about 5 laps to go, it was pretty obvious the race was going to be a field sprint. I really looked at recovering from all the efforts I did earlier in the race and get ready for a mass sprint. As we got down to the final laps, the speed picked up for the whole group. All the big sprinters started getting in position for the final and the teams started their lead outs. I got a lot of help from teammate Chris Barton on the last lap and made a real hard effort to be in the top 5 positions with one lap to go. Coming into the last 3 corners I was a little further back than I wanted to be (about 5th or 6th) so I made a hard effort in the corners to move up. As the sprint opened up, I jumped a little early and made up quite a few positions but just wasn’t able to come around the final two guys.
After the race, KHS Bicycles owners Wen and Susan Hsieh took the team out to a fantastic dinner to celebrate the season and our success at the National Championships which included my Time Trial victory. It is always nice to spend some time with sponsors away from the bikes. It makes the relationships much closer because while riding, and representing their company, we feel more like representing a person when we have fostered those relationships. We got to hear all the stories of how the company came about and some stories about the “early days” of the company. Overall, it was a great dinner because we all had a bit of time to relax and interact. Wen and Susan have been such big supporters of the team and really helped us to come a long way. I really meant a lot to everyone to get to relax and have a great meal with each other.
Thank you Logan for checking in with us and congratulations on your podium!