Race Report by Dan Blurton, member of The Path Bike Shop Race Team.
My 2018 race season kicked off on March 18th in San Dimas at Bonelli Park for the first round of the 2018 GoldState Series (or in years past, known as the Kenda Cup). All winter I was super nervous for the 2018 race season as it is my first year racing Cat 1. The last few years racing Cat 2, I felt strong and ready to move up.
I headed up to Bonelli on Saturday, the day before, to do some pre-riding on the course. Ran into fellow Path Bike Shop racer, Blake Wray, so we rode together to check different lines out and see where we could gain some time. It was good to see his line choices! After a good day of riding, I headed home to get my bike prepped and ready to do battle!
Now it’s race day and my nerves are going crazy! I make the short drive back up to Bonelli, all the while going through the course in my head over and over coming up with a game plan. I arrive, suit up, and head out to do some warm up laps because for me I’ve got to get in a good warm up in before or I am nothing! Not long after, I hear them calling up all Cat 1 racers to the line. I end up in the front row of a field of 14 deep fast dudes so if my nerves weren't already at the peak, now they are. We are off! I got a great start as I was second going up the first hill, and I felt great as we head into the first lap. I was able to complete lap 1 holding on to second place, but not long after, the third place rider reeled me in and passed me. Now I’m just going as hard as I can to manage to hold onto third place, but these dudes are fast! Then about a third way into the last lap I get passed again by a guy who I figured was not in my class until I notice him looking back at me. Oh no! I just let him around me! With only a quarter of the way to go I sped up a bit more but it just wasn't enough. So I ended up 4th Place in my first Cat 1 race, a great feeling coming from a field of 14 fast guys.
Thanks to Josh Wray for the awesome bottle hand-offs and everyone who came out to cheer me on! Thanks to the Path Bike Shop, Kenda Tire, Docent Brewery, Sta-Tru Wheels, Dirt Bagz, Accumed and CPRX Physical Therapy for all you guys do for me to make it possible to go racing! On to the next one!
Photo Credits: top from Sho-Air, bottom from Sam Wiernucki.