Golden State Race Series – Jason Smith
Race Report by Jason Smith.
We had one goal for the race, get Nick Caster onto the podium. We decided that nothing would get away unless Nick was in it and if it stayed together I would get in position to keep it long with me moving to the front so we would hit the last two corners 1-2 to lead him out. Nick was clear that I was not to let up on my lead-out, that I needed to just stay on the gas and when I ran out of gas, he would come around me. I was worried that starting the lead-out before corner 4 would be too far for me to get him there, but was hopeful that I could pull it off. Throughout the race we tried to be aggressive, each taking turns trying to get something going off the front, but nothing developed.
There were a few times that I thought about making a move for a prime, but in the end decided not to, I wanted to make sure I stayed focused on the finish. I knew there were a number of strong riders, including several guys from Rio Strada Racing that could all make it very interesting.
With about four to go, I moved into position right in front of Nick toward the front. I planned to stay in position and then make our move a couple hundred meters before corner 4 as we discussed. Somewhere along the way there was a brief slowdown and we got swarmed from the far side, and I got stuck, but Nick was able to stay with the group moving up. I spent the next bit trying to find a spot to move up without burning too many matches, but no luck. On the final lap, about halfway through the long back stretch, I was somewhere mid-pack and a guy made a big move off the front and immediate had a solid gap on the field. I could see Nick was sitting in the second position of the group with a guy off the front. I knew that I had to get up front, pull it back and through the last two corners to get Nick in the clear on the finishing straight.
I made my move around the outside of the pack right to the front, yelled for Nick as I came around and took it into corner four. I could see the guy off the front and told myself that if I could just bring him back my job would be done. As we approached the final corner we caught him and for a split second I thought about letting up, but Nick did an great job of staying in my ear to make sure I stayed on the gas. I pushed through the final corner and just tried to keep my pedals turning and Nick stayed in my ear. I was lucky enough to hold my lead all the way to the line.
I owe all credit to my teammate Nick Caster for putting a plan together and staying in my ear to keep going the whole way. I guess I still did my job as we accomplished our goal and Nick finished on the podium on the day. He raced great both days able to win the Omnium and bring home the yellow jersey. Back to Back e3 Champion, Congrats Nick!