Ash and the Team Metromint Strategy
Team Metromint came to the Sacramento GP with a strategy on Saturday. Their strategy all along was to protect their sprinter Mary Ellen Ash and she delivered. Ash was able to out sprint Nikki Wangsgard (Primal-MapMyRide), who finished second and third place finisher Starla Teddergreen (Vanderkitten-Focus).
“The plan was to get to a field sprint,” stated Ash. “I had my two strong teammates with me, Rikke (Preisler) and Jane (Robertson). They were helping cover everything and chasing back attacks. I saw Rikke chasing six different breaks. Rikke was definitely trying to protect me. Amanda (Seigle) and Nicole (Slaton) were also checking all the moves. It was truly a team effort. My teammates were sacrificing themselves for me. The team worked hard. I couldn’t have asked for more.”
Wangsgard, Teddergreen, and Alison Starnes (Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY12) were extremely aggressive the entire race. They tried relentlessly to break from the field. Equally as relentless were Ash’s Metromint teammates. They chased down riders and breaks until the last lap.
“The last lap was a bit of a crapshoot,” continued Ash. “I had no more teammates up front. They had done their part and it was my turn to surf wheels. Thankfully Starnes was keeping a fast pace. The Vanderkitten and Primal-MapMyRide riders…I was queuing off of them. I pinched Wangsgard’s lead out and that really was the key to my success.”
Bahati Beats the Second Place Curse
Rahsaan Bahati (SKLZ/Pista Palace) has a history with ProjectSport races. He has consistently finished in second place. This was not the case on Saturday. He easily won from a bunch sprint beating out second place finisher Joshua Carling (Michael David Winery) and third place finisher Justin Williams (Pactimo).
When asked about his second place history Bahati responded, “it was honestly not on my mind at all. It was kind of funny because when I signed in this morning I noticed that my bib number was 2. I did think about it when I grabbed my number but when you are out there racing who knows…first…second…third. These ProjectSport guys put on great events and the field is usually stacked. This year with the race being so late in the season and with the guys being pretty tired, the field was not as strong. The good guys are trying to get away and the not so good guys are sitting back enjoying the race. I had to be active today so that I would not miss the good guys.”
Bahati who usually sits in the back of the field until the final laps was aggressive all race long.
“At six laps to go I didn’t really attack,” commented Bahati “The field was going slow and I was trying to motivate the guys to keep going. I knew they were coming. There were seven of us and I told them that if we get caught now that we were all screwed.”
“With one lap to go, our break had only five seconds. I started to play possum and used my brains. I started to slow up so that the field could catch me. As the riders caught me I just started to follow wheels. I had enough strength to win. It’s nice to be on the podium but it’s super nice to win.”
Top 10 Women Results (Complete Results)
1. Mary Ellen Ash (Metromint)
2. Nichole Wangsgard (Primal/MapMyRide)
3. Starla Teddergreen (Vanderkitten-Focus)
4. Liza Rachetto (Primal/MapMyRide)
5. Ruth Winder (HDR/Lombardi’s)
6. Vanessa Drigo (Vanderkitten Racing presented)
7. Kristin Drumm (Divine Electric Norcal)
8. Kira Prokopakis (Los Gatos)
9. Heather Ross (Spokesman)
10. Heather Nielson (Touchstone Climbing)
Top 10 Men Results
1. Rahsaan Bahati (SKLZ p/b Pista Palace)
2. Joshua Carling (Michael David Winery Cycling T)
3. Justin Williams (Major Motion Cycling)
4. Charles Hutcheson (McGuire Cycling Team)
5. Andrew Bosco (Full Circle Sports)
6. David McCook (McGuire Cycling Team)
7. Robert Scheffler (Fremont Bank Cycling Team)
8. Randy Bramblett (Pactimo Racing)
9. Michael Jasinski (Fremont Bank Cycling Team)
10. Nathan Freed (Marc Pro – Strava)