Old friend Michael Smith is in town for a couple of days, so he came by this morning for sourdough pancakes to go along with his Donut. At the rollout I spied Kevin Salk, coming back after a long convalescence for his hip surgery; props. The best way to go fast is to go fast!
Michael stoked the fire coming out of Malaga Cove with a hard pull all the way to the top. In Lunada Bay, Fred Mackey took the reins and was then followed by in-from-Vancouver David Gerth, who then passed the torch to Evens Stievenart. Evens broke the field into pieces coming out of Lunada Bay, and a lengthy red light at Hawthorne let everyone get back together.
Bob Reichmann closed a ton of gaps to bring the chase group back. The light turned green and coming out of Terranea speedometers hit 39.3; the pace was relentless all the way to Portuguese Bend, with Evens doing virtually all of the heavy lifting. At Trump the peloton broke apart, which was itself less than half of what had started so happily a mere thirty minutes before.
Evens kept the throttle open to the bottom of the Switchbacks then swung over. I accelerated, and was caught by a group that was now down to a handful. Evens then took another huge pull, I jumped once, and the remaining riders were David, Stathis Sakellariadis, Ivan Fernandez, Evens, and Chris Tregillis. David put in a long effort, throwing everyone into disarray, until Evens returned to the fore and towed us all the way to Crest.
I jumped again, we shed David and Ivan, and then Stathis sped away with Chris in hot pursuit. Evens chased hard, me tucked onto his wheel, and when he harpooned Chris I countered and finished just behind Stathis.
On the way down from the college an angry guy in a BMW tried to run over Jon Paris, who laughingly told him to “Hit me or get out of your car.” The guy swerved wildly again, and, smiling, JP said, “I’ll take your car, your wife, your kids, and your bitch. So let’s go, piggy bottom.”
JP is a super nice guy but he is scary AF when he smiles and takes you up on your empty bs. The asshole guy, now frightened, said, “I wasn’t really going to hit you, man,” before speeding off.
On Western I hooked up with Evens, Ivan, and Bob, who passed me going full gas. Evens dragged us to the base of Colinita, and I climbed us back to PVD East. From there it was The Evens Show again all the way to Crest. I accelerated a little at the bottom but it meant nothing. Ivan attacked just before the turn but Evens brought him back, and then I slotted behind Ivan until the road started to go up again. I hit it after Ivan took a pull and stayed away until the finish.
The chase group of Stathis, David, and ?? was followed farther back by a larger group, with Satoru Rokuta and a Big O teammate towing the riders all the way up PVD East and Crest in pursuit of Group Stathis.
In Portuguese Bend, Bob punched it hard on the Hulk Smash downhill, trying to close the gap opened up by Jon Davy, who had teamed up with David Wells as they made a strong bid for glory at the Hawthorne sprint. Just before we rounded the turn at the Glass Church, Michael attacked and shed everyone but Ivan, me, and David. Jon and Wells were still pretty far ahead and looked likely to make the move stick.
David countered Michaels attack, and Ivan and I struggled to catch on. We got over the top and David was now in no-person’s-land. Ivan put in a big effort to close most of the gap, I sprinted up to David and then caught Wells and Davy just as the road tilted up for the finish.
Gassed from their long solo effort, neither Davy nor Wells sprinted, so I took the belated birthday gift and zoomed for the #fakewin. Kristie Fox was first among the tiny handful of chasers, and she collected trophies for her efforts, no mean feat on these much-ridden segments.
As in weeks past, instead of sitting up and turning the stretch to Via Zumaya into a preen, I hit out at the light along with Ivan, Wells, David, and Michael. Each rider took a crazy hard pull until we got to Zumaya; the group was in hottest of hot pursuits and we only had a hundred yards or so at the turn.
Ivan attacked hard at the bottom of the climb and dropped everyone but Stathis, David, and me, and kept it in the big ring all the way over the first wall. David then slammed it all the way to the second wall, at which point Stathis attacked and dropped Ivan/David. I followed, barely, and we all regrouped on Via Coronel. Stathis was licking his chops as we approached Via Fernandez, attacking and riding away from the three of us. I cracked first, then Ivan, then David, but with a bit of recovery I was able to catch and pass them both and almost get Stathis at the line.
Everyone else arrived as we did; broken.
Stathis Sakellariadis 5
Seth Davidson 3
Leo Bugtai 2
Nigel DeSota 1
Jon Petrucci 1
Charon Smith 1
Kevin Phillips 1
Arturo Anaya 1
PS: Notes sent in later by Chris T. that I was too harried to incorporate:
FYI, in the group behind you on the second climb, Davy pulled up Colinita, with David, and then when it got pitchy at the end of Colinita I launched. David and Scott Fleming clawed back up to me. Stathis sat in the whole way, to the point that I didn’t know he was there. Scott was gassed when we got to Crest, so he sat up at the light, and I was explaining the route to David. He and I swapped pulls up to the flat spot and then when it kicked up again I told him there was just under three mins left in it and he stopped the hammer. Stathis held on to the top while I chilled the last 500 meters [Ed. note–he means “cracked.”]
At that point I was tired so I rode down and ahead for the sprint and Zumaya, and I stopped to help a guy with a flat. As you know, you got to the top soon after I did, even with me departing early from the base of the Switchbacks. I haven’t been riding much so that was my first full Donut in a long time, and I felt it, to the point that I just needed to go steady to get to and up Zumaya.
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