For both the women’s and men’s 120-minute race on the Laguna Seca racetrack, the winner emerged from a break to claim victory at the Sea Otter Classic Circuit Race p/b SRAM.
Powers uses the corkscrew. The first hour of the women’s race was relatively calm, with only one break forming when Mary Maroon (Touchstone) and Liza Rachetto (Treads.com/DFT) were away for a few laps. The duo was caught and a select group of eleven was off the front with attacks and counter-attacks on the climb halfway through the race.
Two laps later, Katheryn Mattis (Webcor Builders) countered an attack by Alison Powers (Team VBF) to get a few meters on the rest. Kat Carroll (Peanut Butter Co TWENTY12) recognized that it was a powerful move and jumped on. The trio immediately worked together to establish a gap. Behind them, the group of eight could not get quickly organized to chase and that was enough for the motors up front to get away.
In the chase group were riders from the two big teams that missed the move, US National Champion Meredith Miller and Alison Starnes of TIBCO/To The Top and Modesta Vzesniauskaite and Kelly Benjamin of the Colavita/Baci p/b Cooking Light squads. Also in the chase group were Dotsie Bausch (SCVelo), Coryn Rivera (Peanut Butter Co TWENTY12), Canadian Champion Alison Testroete (Team VBF) and Andrea Graus (Webcor Builders).
That was it, with only 5 riders willing to help chase the break, the gap grew to over two minutes.
The trio worked well together until the final lap. First Mattis attacked on the climb and Powers let a small gap open so she could use her downhill skills to nail the descent on the corkscrew. The race was on and Powers was able to hold off Carroll to take the win. Carroll finished second and Mattis third. Benjamin won the sprint out of the chase group to take fourth, Rivera was fifth.
Mach goes for two. The attacks in the men’s race started immediately. U23 rider Angus Morton (Drapac Prosche) who had been aggressive in the previous race attacked once again. It didn’t worked the first time so he went for it again on the third lap. This time, winner of the road race Paul Mach (BISSELL) and Jared Barrilleaux (CalGiant) followed the move and the break was born.
At the same time, the winds were picking up with crosswinds on the climb and headwinds on the backstretch after the descent on the corkscrew.
The chase was on as a 5-rider group was 40 seconds back and the field a further 60-seconds behind them. After a few laps, the catch was made making it eight riders off the front. Coming across were Yahoo! Cycling teammates Evan Huffman and Jonathan Patrick McCarty, Devan Dunn (Bahati Foundation), Steve Reaney (CalGiant) and Ben Jacques-Maynes (BISSELL). Team tactics and orders took over with some riders sitting in, but enough were working to maintain the gap.
With thirty minutes to go, the break splintered with Reaney, Jacques-Maynes and McCarty falling back leaving five riders at the front. Not happy with the combination Mach was mostly sitting in. BISSELL’s Kyle Wamsley launched from the field to try and bridge across and get more podium spots for this team.
With two and a half laps to go, Mach put in an attack on the climb and soloed to the win. Barrilleaux attacked the break on the final lap and took second. Huffman won the tight sprint for third place. Jacques-Maynes took fourth and Wamsley was fifth. Morton won the U23 race, with Dunn second and Jacob Rathe (Jelly Belly) third.
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