Santa Cruz Criterium

by Herman Shum

Teammates: Andy, Ben, Serge, Russ, Carl, Shane
Laps: 14
Riders: 50+
Result: 6th

I was nervous at the start because last year I got pulled due to being gapped right from the start after the hairpin turn. I was not going to make the same mistake twice. At our pre-race meeting, we wanted to put Andy in a good position to win the race. Andy said that he may try to break away if the opportunity presented itself. The team said that they would help me as well.

From the start I made sure that I was at the front going into the hairpin. I believe most of us stayed towards the front during the entire race. Midway during the race, Andy broke away and Shane and I blocked for him. A rider in a blue kit gave chase and Shane and I jumped on his wheel. Andy was eventually caught and I believe Cameron Birky from Wells Fargo attacked. We jumped on  Cameron’s wheel. It seemed like most of the group was somewhat together on the last lap. About half way during the last lap, I hear Andy tell me that he was right behind me. I was right behind Carl after the right turn going into the hill. I figured I was going to stay behind Carl for a little and then give Andy a lead out. About midway up the hill, I gave it a kick, passed Carl and started  passing other riders going up the left side. As the road crested, I did not see Andy and decided I would give it all I had. I saw Shane on my right just beating me to the line and he finished in 5th  place. Since Shane was racing the Elite 4 race, he was not part of the pre-race meeting. He raced well and was really strong throughout the entire race.

Overall a good day. It was great racing with 6 teammates. Shane finished 5th, I was 6th, Carl got 10th, and Andy was 11th. Other riders who saw the race said that we looked good throughout the race. I really enjoyed the camaraderie that day and I got my highest result to date. It was especially great to do the post race ride with Ben, Andy and Carl when we rode to check out the University Road Race course.

~ Herman

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