...THE PRINCIPAL MAKES IT SO
I never have the mindset going into a race that I will
dominate, eliminate, destroy or drop the field. I’ll be honest and say those
feelings and mindsets do overcome me during competition and that’s when I’m at
You may ask, why not have those mindsets before the start?
Well, bike racing can be a SOB. So in order for me to maintain a positive
attitude and keep my head in the game, I like those feelings to come naturally
and more times than none it never fails.
Missing Fridays TT, I made the trip down to Murrieta with my
fambam on Saturday morning to race the crit. Thinking about the field from last
year, I assumed the field would be 100+. Well I was wrong and I won $5,000 on
bad assumptions. The field turned out to be extremely small and when fields are
small and you have one good team there, that’s a perfect combination for a
breakaway, and well folks it happen.
Knowing I couldn’t just put myself in the break and have
everyone work collectively with me, I knew I had to let a break go up the road
about 10-15 seconds and jump across solo (if possible) and motivate the group
to work with me. Well, I got my shot at it, but it didn’t play out. Later in
the race a small group rolled and I missed out on the opportunity. Coming into
the last laps I followed my friend Mike Johnson and he took me where I needed
to be going into the last 2 corners. Justin Williams (cash call) was on my
wheel, so going into the last corner, I decided to stop peddling and force
Justin to either wait or come around me. He came underneath along with another
guy and it was perfect. However I got to excited and started m sprint way to
early. My initial 120m had a peak of 1589watts and I held 989watts for 12
seconds (pretty happy with that).
I ended up 3rd in the field sprint as Justin and his teammate
Anthony came around me.
THE STORY OF A BLIND MAN & YOUR WORD IS YOUR WORD
Sundays Circuit race is really a gigantic crit with a few
false flats and windy sections. Because I knew the race from previous years I
had a plan that I would just ride hard and lets the chips fall where they may.
Minutes before the start Cash Calls team director pulled me to the side and
basically made a deal with me. Let me tell you this, in pro bike racing if you
make a deal, a deal is a deal and you never go back on a deal.
Since his team had the overall on lock and had no interest
in mixing it up for a field sprint, he offered not to chase me down IF I
could get a small select group off the front.
“ Bahati we want to help you get a win”. I shared this
offer/deal with one guy and the last words I said were “but I’m not sure if I
can trust him”. My intuition was spot on. After being off the front with 4
other guys for 48 of the 56 miles, our break went from 2 minutes to 1:30 to
1:00 to 30sec and now we are all together with 4 to go.
I lost my cool because again, in pro bike racing you don’t
make deals and go back on those deals. After my frustration boiled over I had
to take a step back and realize this isn’t a pro field.At the finish my legs felt fresh enough to sprint so I gave
it a go and finished 3rd after David Santos (Cash Call), Christian (
Simple Green and eventual winner) and I went into the last corner like NASCAR
at Daytona…it was a feeling I cant explain. I gotthe worst of it however was
able to not crash and finish the race strong.
Had a brief word with the Cash Call director and all he
could say is “we didn’t chase”. I guess Ishould believe that right?
Up next is a crit down in Tucson on Saturday then ill drive
home and do the marathon crash race on Sunday morning at 4am. Yep that’s right
4am from Dodgers Stadium.