If you’ve read most of my stuff, you’d know how much I despise criteriums during stage races, from a racers point of view and a spectator’s point of view. It is normally super controlled by the race leader’s team. So much so that it becomes a non stage. That was pretty much the case here at Redlands, but not completely.
I was surprised because the race was mildly entertaining. Macebo’s, RealCyclist.com team, set tempo the first half. But, after about 40 minutes, the race got a little out of control from them. A 9 or 10 guy break formed and Bissell had to go to the front and reel them in. But, another group wet off the front and Bissell had Andy Jacques-Maynes in it, so they stop pulling.
A mish mash of teams got to the front, but 6 guys were still away, just a bit, with one to go. The field came up on them, with the Pure Black rider, Roman Van Uden, was leading it out with two corners to go. A Jelly Belly guy got up against the barriers and fell. That left Bernard a huge gap with 200 meters to go. He was not going to win that race without the crash. But, that is bike racing.
The race was a bit more animated than I thought. But, that is mainly because that the RealCyclist.com team is not that strong. Tomorrow is going to be a very, very hard day for them. I hope they remember that a good offense is sometimes a good defense.