Ontario Grand Prix: 2nd for Castillo, by Chris Barton

Photo Credit: Danny Munson

Photo Credit: Danny Munson

Our game plan for the Ontario Summer’s End Criterium was two-part. First, get myself or Fabrizio into a breakaway that didn’t contain SoCal Cup leader Corey Williams. Second, win the race. As the six of us warmed up, Dave casually mentioned to me that his Garmin was reading a temperature of 114. Good. This meant it would be a race for the strong-willed and our job of breaking the race apart would be that much easier.

Photo Credit: Danny Munson

Photo Credit: Danny Munson

From the gun, we began taking turns attacking the field. In the first 15 laps, each one of us took several attempts at breaking away from the peloton. Each time one of our attacks was brought back, we would launch another. After a while I began to wonder if we would ever wear down our competitors or if we would just tire ourselves out. My worries were soon forgotten when Ulises threw down a monster attack and the elastic finally snapped. I waited until the group that Ule had taken with him was about 15 seconds ahead, and then I attacked and bridged the gap. As Corey Williams was not with us, we began driving the break and quickly gained a 40 second lead on the field.

Photo Credit: Danny Munson

Photo Credit: Danny Munson

Once our lead was established, it was time to assess the strength of the breakaway and decide how we were going to win the race. Being the only team with two riders in the break, Ule and I decided that we would take turns attacking with 5 laps to go until one of us got away. We attacked and attacked, but our competitors chased us down each time. With one lap to go we had a decision to make. Do I attack one last time in hopes of snatching a solo win, or do we wait for the sprint finish and have Ule lead me out? With less than a minute left in the race, I made a hasty decision to attack. I put my head down and stomped on the pedals as hard as I could, but it wasn’t quite enough. I was caught with about 50 meters to go. Fortunately, Ulises had capitalized on the other riders having to chase me down and was able to sit on their wheels and sprint in to 2nd place.

Photo Credit: Danny Munson

Photo Credit: Danny Munson

We are always happier when we win, but our loss today was not for lack of trying or commitment. We spent a good hour with our director Paul Abrahams reflecting on how the race played out and what we could have done differently. We head to the next race with 1 more day of experience under our belt with the intent of improving that 2nd place by 1 spot.

Thank you to our sponsors: KHS Bicycles, Maxxis Tires, JLVelo, Serfas, Shimano, Velo Saddles, Praxis Works, Xpedo Pedals, Kali Protectives, NDXSports, Bike Religion, Bicycle Blue Book, WD-40 BIKE, Chamois Butt’r, Cycling Illustrated, Rennie & Associates, Kramp Krushers, Ultra Cycle, and Q2.

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