On his first race back after a one-week break, Ken Hanson (Team Type 1) bidded his time until the final sprint at the San Rafael Twilight Criterium where he emerged from the night to take the win for the second year in a row at the Northern California race. And again, for the second year in a row, Rahsaan Bahati (Bahati Foundation) came in second and US National Elite Crit Champion Steve Reaney (CalGiant) was third.
“I had one other teammate who did a really good job of keeping me in the front and I was able to come through the last corner behind Steve Reaney and come off his wheel, accelerating and just timing it. It’s all about timing it right for this sprint.” said Hanson who came into the race with three teammates, Chris Jones, Shawn Milne and Scott Stewart.
Over one hundred men lined up for the final race of the day on Saturday as the sun was setting under clear skies in downtown San Rafael. Straight from the gun, Yahoo! Cycling sent a man up the road and the attacks continued lap after lap with riders trying to get a break going. One rider that seemed to be always part of an attack was Philip Mooney (Yahoo! Cycling) but he wasn’t the only one. Jared Barrilleaux (CalGiant), Patrick Biggs (Yahoo! Cycling), Austin Carroll (Adageo Energy), Matty Rice (Bahati Foundation), Rand Miller and Justin Fraga (both of Webcor AltoVelo), Randy Bramblett (McGuire). Jones and Stewart, and lots more tried to escape but were quickly brought back into the fold.
Finally once darkness was complete and lights placed on strategic spots were turned on, a group of four managed to escape for more than one lap on the 1-km course. Chris Stasny (CalGiant), Mooney, Jones and Fraga were off the front working well to get a gap of over ten seconds. The move looked like it would stick and the chase was on, with riders trying to bridge up including Bahati.
“That group at the end looked dangerous, unfortunately Matty Rice crashed. He crashed, he broke his bike, he got back in and noticed that the bike was breaking apart so he bailed out. I had to dig deep on my own, I got across to the second break.” explained Bahati who came into the race with one teammate, Matty Rice.
Bahati continued, “And I knew that once we got caught, I was going to see laps, and sure enough I saw 9 to go, 60 guys back and I just kept saying well I can’t use it all now to get to the front because I’ll have nothing left at the end. So pace yourself, try to make it to the front with three, two to go and that’s pretty much what happened. But when I got there I didn’t have all my go-go juice so I settled for second for the second year in a row.”
The break was back into the field with less than 9 laps to go and positioning for the final sprint was on. Going into the final corner, Reaney was first followed by Hanson then Bahati.
“When the break came together, Team Type 1 and Williams Cycling did a pretty good job keeping a steady tempo. It wasn’t until one and a half laps to go that the normal hooking and barging ensued. That only happened for a half lap and then it got pretty safe again. I got scared so I led it off at the top of the hill. I am not much of a field sprinter so I just hit from the top of the hill and I tried to hold on. Ken and Bahati got the best of me today.” said Reaney.
Hanson also lost a teammate due to a crash. He said, “I had three teammates and Chris Jones was off the front in a breakaway. That gave me an opportunity to save a little energy for the sprint. Unfortunately, one of my teammates Shawn Milne crashed, I guess he hit a tree on the backside, and he was supposed to be my leadout guy so we decided that I had to be really patient to wait for the right moment. The sprint is fast but you don’t want to start the sprint too early and be beat.” Milne was not injured and raced again – and won – on Sunday at the Lodi Cyclefest p/b Michael David Wines.
“It was what it was but I’m still happy with the result.” concluded Bahati. “Ken Hanson had a great sprint and everything from now is preparation for Glencoe.”
Focus on Glencoe. Both Bahati and Hanson now turn their attention on the US National Crit Championships, held in Glencoe on August 14.
“Glencoe is a bit target for me.” said Hanson. “I just got off a week break where I didn’t ride, a vacation, mentally it was a good break for me and this is my first race back so I was a little nervous. I had good teammates, good help and I was able to time it right for the last corner and that’s what counts.”
Hanson’s next races are Boise Twilight Crit, Cascade Cycling Classic, a stage race in brazil, Charlotte crit and then Crit Nats. “A little bit more on the endurance side and the last two weeks, speed work.”
“I got five weeks to get ready, every race from now on counts for that, pure training, as hard as I can go and make sure I can sprint at the end. Even though I got second.. if it was Glencoe I wouldn’t have been off the front. ” said Bahati who tackle some of the ICC Superweek races in the next weeks. “Happy with the legs, it’s not one hundred percent, I’ll do some motopacing, I’ll be ready for August.”
Top 10 Results (Complete Results)
1. Kenneth Hanson (Team Type 1)
2. Rahsaan Bahati (Bahati Foundation)
3. Steve Reaney (California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized)
4. Jared Barrilleaux (California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized)
5. Cody Stevenson (Adageo Energy)
6. Marc Prutton (ThirstyBear Cycling)
7. Bernard Van Ulden (Jelly Belly p/b Kenda)
8. Frank Spiteri (Peninsula Velo/Pomodoro)
9. Robert Newman (Williams Cycling p/b SC Velo)
10. Logan Loader (lucemie la quimper)