It was 95 degrees, windy, and smelled like slaughtered cattle in Ontario. With the dry/hot conditions I was glad to have the hydration and fuel of Hammer Nutrition on my side. By lap two of the 75 minute event there were 12 guys off the front. Three SoCal Cycling riders, myself, and the rest were from one man teams. The guys were rotating nicely and we were easily putting time into the field. I launched for a prime and rode off the front to see how the other 11 other riders would react. They kept the rotation going so I settled back into the group. I went and got another prime, then a third. As I was off the front just after taking the third prime, Shawn Wayland from Serious Cycling came with me. I said, this is good, lets go.
Quickly two other riders bridged to us, Sean Mazich/Jelly Belly, and Ronny Toth/Socal Cycling. Sean, Shawn, and myself quickly put down some power and we opened a nice gap. It was clear that Ronny didn’t want to work and he did just that, nothing. We started attacking Ronnie and soon it was Shawn Wayland who got caught out with Ronnie and it was Mazich and myself who moved on up the road to get the job done. With the windy conditions the new iRT Fifty wheels did an amazing job helping with the aero dynamics and enabling me to move fast and efficiently. We lapped multiple groups and on the last lap I took the lead and held it to the line for the win.
Why this win and day was so special to me…
The entire weekend was a tough one for me. I learned Friday I had lost a close friend, Mike Herdman. Mike wondered off after his dog and suffered a critical head injury during a backpacking/camping trip with his buddy. I decided to race not knowing if I had the legs or if my head was in the right place, I headed out anyways to see what I had. The entire drive out to Ontario that day I thought about Mike and how we carpooled to so many races. I envisioned myself winning and dedicating it to him. That’s what I did!! The entire time I was in the race I was thinking about Mike. He was surely with me on this day as I had better legs than I’ve ever felt. I had mine plus his for the day. I dedicated the win to my good buddy Mike Herdman.
Thank you KHS, Maxxis, JAKROO Custom Apparel, Shimano, Serfas, Hammer Nutrition, Rudy Project, IRT Wheels, Xpedo, Velo Saddles, Praxis Works, Rennie & Associates, Q2, Bike Religion, Chamois Butter, WD-40 Bike, Bicycle Blue Book and the Management of IPA sports.