John Tomlinson – 2nd, MA, Stanford Road Race, 3/3/2012

After a rough day in the saddle at UCLA, I was excited to go to Stanford and try to redeem myself a bit. Brendan Larkin was feeling the best he had felt thus far this season, and I had just slept 10 hours with an oceanfront view (family friends of teammates are wonderful people to know!). I was ready to roll the Men’s A’s road race. I always joke about hitting it from the gun, and so when a guy from Sacramento State literally sprinted out of the parking lot, I was less than amused. It was hot, and nobody wanted to ride hard for exactly 67.2 miles of the road race. As we all watched him ride away with one other guy, nobody moved. With Brendan and Cody Anderson (I promise, I have not secret alliance to UCSB!) on the front, I literally pedaled away from the field without ever getting out of the saddle. All of a sudden I was in a group of 5, and we began to get absorbed by the field after some hard pulls. Right as we got caught I snuck off the front again with Cal Poly and Stanford. We rode steady and ended up catching the front two.

At the turn around we had 2.5 minutes on the closest group, and now were down to 3 riders at the front. Running out of water I began to panic a bit, as I hadn’t ridden all day in a breakaway for a very long time, and was not sure how my body would respond. The motor official had nothing and said the feedzone was coming up. Grocery stores have great stuff but if you have no money, none of it is yours! That is what I felt like, as I had no one to hand me a bottle in the feedzone. Luckily going through the feedzone Mr. Will “Para-World Kilo Champ for 1.5 of the 4 lap race” Cheesbro was there with Cody Anderson’s (again, I promise there is no alliance) bottle. He saved me big time. Coming into the last big climb, I decided to ride it as hard as I could, and still be able to make it to the finish. I did just that, and got attacked at the top by Sacramento State. Yeah, it was like that. I had no response and he ended up motoring away from me and my breakaway partner. We gave some chase, but the gap was not closing. As we rolled to the finish line, we played a little cat and mouse and I ended up winning the sprint for first loser, 2nd place. All and all not a bad day on the bike, and defiantly a workout I would not have done alone! –John Tomlinson

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