Sea Otter Circuit Race 4/21/12
I raced the criterium very poorly on Thursday morning. I executed much better during the road race Friday morning, but I did not have the legs for the final hill in the heat. I went into Saturday looking to secure my first upgrade points. I knew what I had to do and I executed my strategy perfectly. I sat in the entire race with the exception of one time on the backside bridging a small gap (which turned out to be unnecessary, but proved my legs were feeling very strong despite the circumstances). Bobby worked very hard for me starting from the gun (as see in the video). He was out front pushing the pace and constantly in the mix. When we hit the hill for the last lap I stayed to the inside and wasn't working very hard. Once we hit the steep part of the second pitch just before the top of the corkscrew this amazing gap opened up. I had no intention of jumping that early, but I did not think. I just reacted. It was perfect. I threw down the hammer and didn't let up until just before the finish. Holding off a pack of 100 racers for 1.5 miles on the Laguna Seca Race Track was the most exhilarating experience I've ever felt in cycling. I hit a new max heart rate of 211. As you can tell from the video I was extremely excited. I knew I had it in me, but the feeling of having it all come together was something else. Indescribable. Thank you to everyone who has ever given me advice or encouraged me along the way. This race was a huge confidence builder.
Jeff Stern --- 1st Cat 4