Steve Fife, Todd Bickling and Ian Morrison made the trip over the Bay Bridge to win Bobby Phillip’s turkeys. At 63 degrees with a steady light drizzle the weather was more apt for a cross race than an industrial park road circuit. Even though the roads were wet the new Turkey Day course had no sharp corners or hills for its 1 mile length. A mild headwind on the backside would prove to be the only physical obstacle the course possessed.
With Brigham Lumm from R1V leading Sigberto Garcia of NCVC by 5 points in the season long BAR competition Fife counseled everyone to let those teams do all of the work and get in any promising breakaways that those riders were in. A quick scan at the starting line revealed that both Route 1 and NCVC had full squads of 5 to 6 riders, while no other team had more than 3.
The race started out surreally slow. Rain will have that effect on a race, but the sub 24 mph opening laps seemed downright pedestrian. Finally a prime four laps in got everybody going and the attacks started. This is when things got strange.
Sigberto wanted to beat Brigham to take the season championship and launched several attacks to get away. Brigham marked them with a teammate and upon seeing this Ian bridged up to what he was sure was the winning breakaway. Twice the four got away and twice Brigham refused to work and refused to let his teammate work, preferring to kill the break and keep Sigberto buried in the pack. Ian had a hard time figuring out why Brigham wouldn’t at least attempt to go for the race win, especially with a teammate in the break with him. Going one on one against your main rival in a four man beak in the final race of the season is epic stuff, but Route 1 opted for more conservative tactics.
Todd used one of the breakaways to launch a textbook counterattack with another rider and they were out of sight within a half a lap. They quickly had over a fifteen second gap. Fife rode tempo at the front and the gap continued to grow. The break looked promising for a couple of laps, but after a coordinated effort – that strung the field out single file and opened some gaps – the pair was brought back.
A Bike Doctor Board meeting was convened at the back of the pack. It was decided that a strong break needed to get away with neither Brigham nor Sigberto in it. There was a slight problem as to whether NCVC would allow that to happen – if Sigberto finished first or second all he had to do was beat Brigham, otherwise he needed to put riders between himself and Brigham – hence the negative tactics by Route 1. Right as the gavel dropped on the meeting a break went up the road with a Gam Jams rider and a NCVC rider. Ian set about bridging across the gap, hoping that NCVC wouldn’t chase down their teammate. Fife and Todd went to the front and set tempo.
Harry Fang, Nate Hakken and Ian worked well together and quickly built a 15 second gap which grew to :30+ over the field with a group of four chasing at :15. The group of four (2 Coppi, All American and District Velocity) tried valiantly to reel the trio in, but as Shawn (moto ref) was giving both groups times Ian, Nate and Harry were able to increase the pace to match the surges from the chasers. Harry took the sole prime that was offered in the second half of the race. After his effort Nate and Ian would have been wise to attempt to drop him, but they all continued to work together. In the last lap Ian looked over his shoulder and saw a blue and white DVR kit about 250 yards back, he attacked thinking that he could drop his compatriots, fend off the late challenge and solo in. Nate had other ideas dragging himself and Harry back to Ian just before the final turn. Harry used his sheltered last lap to full advantage and sprinted for the victory with Ian crossing second and Nate third.