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Justin Sowa Berkeley Hills Road Rac

I'm generally super happy with how I did this weekend. Going into BHRR, Tuesday night I did some vo2 intervals/climb recon out on the Bears with Mike and Will. I knew I wouldn't be able to match their watts but figured I could minimize my losses over the top to 10-20 seconds. In the race, first time up the climbs I held the front group without too much difficulty, and whatever gap there was was easily closed on the descent. I thought the group was taking it pretty easy on the flats but the average speed and bears lap times suggested that wasn't really the case, it stayed pretty brisk throughout. Second time up I held on through the base of Papa but just lost the wheels of the front group of around 15 over the top. Mike said there were attacks off the front on the descent so they were really hammering. I ended up in a group of five: me, three Dolce crit specialists, our buddy Chris Vetek from Work Health, and one other guy who I didn't know. The Dolce group started chasing hard and me and Chris jumped on the wheels. Ripped it down SPDR, I was rotating but taking very short pulls, mostly trying to force Dolce to work. We were coming back but then on the fast downhill part of SPDR we ran in the elite 4s, who I guess the front of our race had passed. Had to burn some matches getting around them but we also caught two Terun guys who'd dropped off Mike's group. We were working well but eventually got absorbed by the 4s on Alhambra and the official warned us about working together. I explained that we were off the back but still passing a group that started before us, and they were drafting off us, and he was like "I get it, but you still can't help, etc." eventually he just told me "make sure you're not together at the finish line." We eventually sat up and let the 4s get some space on us. Found out chatting with one of the Terun guys before the crit that apparently Mike's group was just in front of the 4s and we were pretty close to making contact. Oh well. Saved some energy for the climbs, I couldn't keep up with the Terun guys (who were (a) not furiously chasing back down SPDR and (b) illegally drafting the 4s, but oh well) and eventually lost Chris's wheel too. But I found a last 400 watt sprint at the line to beat the 3 Dolces for Omnium placings and as it turned out to secure a top 20.


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