Folsom Winter Crit – Champs Galore
Masters 35 P123 – By Tyler Janke
I started my day of racing by joining the Master’s 35 (+) P123 field (basically you have to be 35 yrs or older and race in the categories Pro, 1, 2 or 3). My teammate Curt Mills joined me in what would be his first of 3 races for the day while I was only planning on doing this race and the Pro1/2 race later on (getting 12th and nothing to write home about…or write here on the internet). We had no delusion of saving ourselves for the later races and decided to race full out for each race.
This field was stacked with former National champions, current National champions and the current road UCI World Champion (oddly wearing his rainbow stripes in a crit…is that legal?) Nevertheless, we aren’t pushing to DQ a fellow racer because he might be wearing a non-sanction jersey, or not a natural born citizen (Oh wait, that’s Trump). Either way, as always, when you line up for a Masters NorCal race, you had better be ready for some serious racing.
2016 is looking to be a more of a transition year for DDA with the addition of a few young guys (Jr racer Charlie Velez), the leaving of other riders (who quits racing for school?) and just a lot of guys poised to move up in categories and starting to mix in Masters racing. The Data Driven guys are still representing a lot of the same great sponsors such as Nate Dunn’s coaching service (title sponsor –Data Driven Athlete), Barrell & Janke Law, Kinetic Cycles, Race Rim Wheels and Specialized. We are so enthusiastic to support these great businesses, use their products, services and help – so should you.
Back to the action. With a big field full of superstars it was setting up to be a big task at hand to control anything getting away. With the Peet’s Coffee team entering 10 guys (all heavy hitters) and Folsom Bikes also having a decent sized (and quality) team, getting a good result was going to take some sneaky racing, luck and maybe one super teammate to help. Luckily, I had Curt Mills – teammate extraordinaire.
As the race wound down with break attempts having failed (and myself getting pipped at the line for a Prime by a much younger Brian Zimny), the last few laps started with a solo Peet’s Coffee guy still dangling off the front. Curt motioned for me to follow him and we got right up to the front with 3 laps to go. Somehow Curt found himself directly ON the front with 2 laps left and decided with only the 2 of us, he was going to spend his money now and unload what he had left to bring the last straggling rider back while hoping that I could surf wheels for the sprint. Curt did his job perfectly and as we rounded the last corner going into the bell lap the Folsom Bikes team ripped past us getting their sprint train up to speed for big John Novikoff (when I say he’s “big” I’m not saying he’s a fat guy, I’m just saying he’s an imposing fellow on the bike. We okay still John?) Anyway, I jumped on board the FB lead-out sitting directly behind the aforementioned World Champ (Road Race, eh hem). Dan Martin of the opposing Peet’s Coffee team.
For the last lap I kept the speed up and stayed glued to the wheel of the World Champ as the Folsom boys took a pull then veered off for the next guy to take over. (You can read their account of the race online somewhere). Right before the last corner the perfectly working lead-out got shaken (as expected) by guys jumping the corner and diving around the front guys. I was able to follow and while I didn’t have my best sprint legs, I mustered a 5th place just getting overcome at the line by the young and newly minted Masters racer Joshua Carling (Welcome to the old man’s game Josh). Top 5 results are as follows – congrats to everyone helping with the race and for those winning and participating. Mostly to those winning however.
- Matt Mikul – Squadra SB p/b Terun
- John Novikoff – Folsom Bike/VW Raleys
- Michael O’Rourke – Peet’s Coffee Racing
- Johsua Carling – Herbalife p/b Marc Pro
- Tyler Janke – Data Driven Athlete Racing