Today I finished the Red Kite Omnium series with the final industrial park criterium on their Pleasanton course. It's been a long series of ten races total including three time trials of which I've skipped two. Going into the race I was committed to at least getting a mid-pack finish to try to maintain my 5th place position in the Omnium. The race started with a hot lap prime to get things moving quickly which it did. A six man break formed and dangled off the front for the first two laps. At the beginning of the 3rd lap, just as the main field bridged, a counter attack formed and I found myself digging in to join this early break with a few others behind also making the bridge. Before we knew it we had an 8 man break with many of the big teams represented including 2 Safeway riders, 2 Squadra riders, Primetime, Morgan Stanley, San Jose BC, and myself. We were working well together initially holding a 30+ second gap for the first half of the race. On the sidelines Sean kept me motivated by yelling at me every so often. The second half of the race continued well for us and the gap opened further. Toward the end of the race, we could actually start to see the back end of the main field. Several attacks from the break attempted to bridge to the field but we were all attentive; it was clear that a few guys in the break didn't want to lap the field while others did. The cat and mouse game began at this point, and our organization broke down with the assumption that our gap was big enough to gamble. At this point, I also just wanted to sit in as much as possible for the final effort. With 3 laps to go, I was thinking to myself that I should be sure to sit on Jeff Poulsen's wheel going into the final sprint as he was likely one of the best sprinters in our group. The bell lap started at a ferocious pace and then after the second corner we slowed for a moment then we all attacked again into the third corner. I found myself sitting third wheel but before I realized what was going on: Jeff Poulsen flew by me on my right and opened a sizable gap on the rest of us. I didn't follow my own advice to myself as I wasn't on his wheel. I responded as hard as I could to try to bridge, going through the final corner into the finishing stretch opening up a slight gap on the others in the process. I was closing down on him but ran out of real estate; he crossed the line about 1/2 a bike length in front of me. I'm still relatively happy with my cheesy silver medal and two bottles of Petite Sirah.
Pre-race breakfast: Large stack of oat bran pancakes loaded with nectarines, Irish breakfast tea
Post-race snack: Egg salad sandwich, chocolate milk, blue corn chips with hummus and guacamole