Tony Sells said im in the same catogory as Kobe and Shaq. 3peat!!!!
Bahati extends roll
Posted: 06/28/2009 11:29:00 PM PDT
Rahsaan Bahati rose above all others at the Manhattan Beach... (Scott Varley, Staff Photographer)
CYCLING: Carson resident wins unprecedented third straight Manhattan Beach Grand Prix.
By Eric Stephens Correspondent
Rahsaan Bahati calls it his "home-court advantage." He feels so
comfortable at the Manhattan Beach Grand Prix that he decided to ride
his bike to Live Oak Park for the race for the first time from his home
"It was one hour and 10 minutes," Bahati said. "I was like,
`Should I do this or should I not?' Because always when you're headed
west, it's a straight headwind. I was struggling on the way over here."
It didn't affect him on Sunday. Bahati doesn't seem to struggle when he gets to Manhattan Beach.
tore past the field on the final sprint to win the 48th annual
criterium road race for the third consecutive time, edging Lucas
Sebastian Haedo of Argentina to become the first three-time champion of
Already with victories this summer in the San Pedro Grand
Prix and Dana Point Grand Prix, the 27-year-old Crenshaw High graduate
and longtime South Bay resident said three consecutive Manhattan Beach
titles is an achievement. This year, Bahati captured the title while
riding for Rock Racing.
"I'm proud of that," he said. "I'm proud that I have a team
that supports me all the time. In the past years that I won, I didn't
have a team that supports me like Rock Racing. It's great."
It was a triumphant day for Bahati, who won in front of numerous friends and family members,
including his mother, Nassoma, father, Rashid, and his wife and three children. But it wasn't all smooth sailing Sunday.
Bahati was up most of the night with his youngest daughter, 1-year-old Naomih, who couldn't hold down any food.
"She was vomiting on me at 6 a.m.," he said. "I was just up from that point on."
changed hours later. Bahati chose to sit back behind every other
competitor - a large group that included former Tour de France winner
Floyd Landis - early on for several trips around 1.4-mile course that
circles along Valley Drive and Ardmore Avenue.
It was with four laps left that Bahati began to work his
way toward the front. By time, the front pack hit the final hairpin
turn onto Valley, he was in position.
"You definitely want to go into the last two turns there
second to fourth," he said. "Fourth is playing it close. Second and
third, I think is the best position, because for me, it gives something
to run at, like a rabbit or so.
"I came out third. The first guy was peeling off anyway. His job was done. So it was basically a race between two guys."
Hanson also worked himself into position, along with Haedo. Hanson, of
Santa Barbara, said he cost himself a chance at victory by jumping
ahead before the final turn.
"The way this race works is the last corner is so important
for positioning," said Hanson, who settled for third place. "Ideally, I
wanted to have a teammate blocking the wind from me a little further.
And what happened, I ended up having to lead it out before the last
corner, which for me is a little too early.
"But we had an opportunity to get in front of Rock Racing
before the last corner. To get that opportunity, we're definitely going
to take it."
Hanson said he knew Bahati would be tough to take down.
is like a hometown race for him and he's always really motivated for
that," Hanson said. "He's got his family out here and that's always a
big factor to motivate people. He's really good going into the corners.
He's a really talented bike rider. When he's motivated, he's almost