Golden State Race Series -The John Novikoff Rendition.

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GSRS CritRace Report of the M(35+) 1,2,3 Omnium by John Novikoff. (May 5-6).

This series has always been a great local event. It’s a great venue and Rio Strada puts on a great show for all involved.   I’ve raced these courses many time and was looking forward to the fun.

Day 1 Criterium
The plan was for me to sit in and stay rested, be attentive and not miss the break should the usual suspects get up the road. I kept an eye on the top contenders and covered a few attempts that some threats in the mix. Nate Dunn, Tyler Janke, Jason SmithNick Caster and Chris Flower were staying active regulating the front.  A dangerous break with about 8 guys had a decent gap and I saw a bridge attempt wind up so I followed. We bridged up and had a decent gap on the field with 5 to go.  Tyler had made the move earlier so we now had two in the break of 10 or so. I’m not sure if the field turned it on or the break fizzled out, but we were are all together with 3 to go. I stayed towards the front, moving up and kept in the top 15 with 2 to go. On the last lap, I was surfing bit further back then I wanted, then along comes Tyler, gives the giddy-up tap and away we went. He brings me right to the front in good position into the 2nd to last corner. Tyler gave it everything to launch me into the last corner. As Chris Espy Jumped from the right, I was committed on the left side so I gassed it going the long way around. Espy had a pretty decent jump on the field and was hard to close with so little real-estate. We ended up 2nd for the day and proud to get on the podium rewarding the team efforts.

Day 2 Circuit Race

JN GSRS1
photo credit Jim Elder

With the overall standings, we knew that Jonathan Baker would be the one to watch as he finished 4th, and was good in a break. We didn’t feel we had to regulate the front as Specialized wasn’t going to let anything dangerous up the road to jeopardize the overall…at least we thought. A decent break was established with Baker in it about halfway through the race. I saw Sayers launch for a bridge attempt, so I went with him thinking this could be a good mix.  We closed and so did the field shortly after. Later in the day a break finally did form with the likes of Dan Bryant (World Time Trial Champion), Cottell, Grundman, Coble, Sayers, Eisenberg  and the dangerous one, Jonathan Baker. Tyler and Chris let Specialized know a few times that Baker was up the road but it was apparent they were not concerned.

The gap grew to a minute and I knew it was done. So with the guys up the road, not sure how many or how Jonathan Baker would finish, winning the field sprint was important as I may still have a shot at the overall. Again, I grab Tyler’s wheel and he keeps us in perfect position, gaining a great move up the left side when things started to get heavy moving us to the front. We came out of the corner before the long stretch at the front and I could hear the acceleration from the teams behind.

JN overall GSRS

As the Specialized and Peet’s train went by, I grabbed Dean Laberge’s wheel sitting 6th or  7th. A slight pause gave me some momentum from the back and I jumped from pretty far out.  I hit the final corner first, hoping I could hold of the field till the line and it worked. Jake Hensley was hot on my wheel coming from 5th to within a half bike length.

We sat anticipating the results, but realized quickly that we ended up with 2nd overall for the series as Baker finished 5th giving him a 1 point advantage. Stoked with 2nd, but we will get that yellow jersey next year!

Extremely pleased with all the efforts and the great results!

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