Craig at left, Tucker behind and Kevon at right

Fremont CA Early Bird Criterium

Given the unusual, record-breaking amount of snow that Boise has received this year, a couple of Team Bobs-Bicycles.com racers decided to flee the cold and head for warmer weather. This brought Craig, Tucker, and Kevon to sunny Northern California, where the three hosted a mini weekend training camp. On Sunday morning January 15, 2017, the boys woke up eager to race (well, as eager as one can be at 5am), picked up some incredibly delicious coffee at Temple Coffee Roasters in Davis, CA, and headed for the Bay Area.

Craig at left, Tucker behind and Kevon at right
Craig at left, Tucker behind and Kevon at right

The Cat 4 race was the first race of the day, and Bob’s was represented by the latest addition to the 2017 team, Kevon Bjornson. Given that it was technically just a training crit, Kevon decided to try some new tactics – attacking early and often. Kevon was an instigator in numerous breakaway attempts throughout the race, aggressively trying to get something to stick. Unfortunately, the field chased them down every time. Gassed by his efforts near the end of the race, Kevon rolled across with a respectable mid-pack finish in a sizeable, strong Cat 4 field. Kevon is close to his Cat3 upgrade, and will be joining the Cat3s early on this season. Expect big things out of this guy. He is fearless in crits, and can climb like a mountain goat.

After a short clinic put on by multiple-time WORLD champion Larry Nolan (multiple is an understatement, seriously, look this guy up!), the Cat 5 race was next with a gigantic 65+ man field. The field was so big that race organizers decided to split the field in two, as it was the first race for a large majority of the field. Craig Patrick, another new Team Bobs-Bicycling rider, took the start line for the very first time in his cycling career. Craig has ridden with the Team Bobs-Bicycling guys for a couple months, and is no slouch on the bike; this guy will not be a Cat 5 for long. Watching Craig race, you would not know it was his first time.

Constantly positioned in the front third of the race, Craig kept himself safe and out of the wind. Unfortunately, even though he was in the perfect position, misfortune struck. On the last lap, Craig had made the final selection of about 5 riders that broke loose from the peloton. Sitting right in the middle of the group, Craig was poised for a top 5 finish, if not a podium in his very first race. As he rode into the second to last turn of the very last lap, the rider in front of him had a rear tire blow out, throwing his back wheel into Craig’s front wheel, taking out Craig, himself, and the rider behind Craig. Craig was launched over the bars and slid across the road up onto the curb. Despite the speed and the trajectory he took off the bike, Craig walked (rode) away with only bruises and road rash (albeit, a lot of bruises and road rash). Craig showed a ton of pride and strength, riding his banged up body and bike across the finish line to get credit for his first race as a Cat 5. The medical tent at the race was on top of things and had Craig wrapped up in no time. Oh, and the bike is OK.

Craig receiving first aid in the Medical Tent
Craig receiving first aid in the Medical Tent

The P/1/2/3 crit was not until much later in the day, giving the local pros plenty of time to grab their espresso and ride out to the course (some riding from as far as 45 miles away!). Tucker Feyder, a 4th year rider for Team Bobs-Bicycles, was a little nervous heading into this race, as the only other rider pre-registered was a 6x Division 1 Collegiate National Champion in Track and Cross Country – great. Luckily enough, close to 30 people ended up coming out to race in the warm afternoon sun, including pros from the Specialized Factory team, Safeway-Airgas, and Mike’s Bikes. Tucker spent most of the race settling in and taking his turns on the front. An early 2-man break was established and ultimately stayed away despite numerous attempts to get organized at the front of the peloton. After a hard, punchy, fast 60-minute race Tucker rolled across the line in 10th overall. Not too shabby for an over-weight Cat 3 who swears up and down he hates crits. 😉

Tucker attacking the P-1-2-3 field
Tucker attacking the P-1-2-3 field

Overall, the weekend was a success. We came out of it with more race experience, some knowledge, a lot of fitness, and a little bit of a tan. It’s going to be hard to go back to the trainer for the next few weeks until the snow melts, but it was an awesome reminder of how fun the sport of cycling can be. 2017 is going to be a great year for the Team Bob’s-Bicycles.com squad. I cannot wait to get it started.

P.S. We’ll see you again soon, California. Chico Stage Race is on the horizon.

Author: Tucker Feyder

Published: January 23, 2017

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