Chris Winn: Ramblings From The Road


28 June 2011

Manhattan Beach GP

This was going to be a stealth mission.  Fly in the afternoon before, race, fly out the next day and hopefully leave with the giant novelty check in the Team V Australia suitcase.  We had a great team going, with Sully, N Walker, Scotty and myself all in support of Benny Kersten and Jonathan Cantwell who were very much a strong chance to win.  Not having done many big one day criteriums before I was pretty excited for it, especially heading to the cool little town of Manhattan Beach, California.

 Heading west out of Denver over the Rockies is always a treat.  I don't always think photos taken from planes do justice, but this gives you some idea just how awesome this mountain range is.

The morning of the race we went out for a spin along the beach, and of course had to have a brew stop along the way to kick start the heart into action.  Being a Sunday morning things were a little sleepy riding through Venice Beach, which was fine by me as I know how hectic this place can get. 

Haven't seen this guy in awhile!  Doing some secret back country training in Canada, it was great to have 10 time Glenvale Crecent winner Nick Walker on the roster!

So for those unfamiliar with the Manhattan Beach GP course layout, the best description I found was 'a slightly bent paperclip', which in my opinion is pretty much spot on.  There is a slight 7%  rise coming into the top hair pin corner, and the bottom hair pin is slightly tighter with the finish line only 250m away.  Good position coming outta there would be the key.  My job for the race was clear, cover and shut down any attempted break away moves as we most wanted it to come down to a bunch kick.  The first 30mins the team did a pretty good job of this, until two guys slipped away, which being a small number we weren't too fussed about and knew with over half the race still to go we could bring it back.  So from 35min onwards V Australia took up the chase, with Walker, Scotty and myself in steady rotation to a gap that was now a dangerous 40 seconds. 

It was clear the break was super motivated, and it took a few laps before the gap started to reduce, and with Jamis and Jelly Belly coming to the party also, soon enough we were closing in.  With 3 laps to go the catch was made and my day was done, leaving Sully to position our sprinters on the final lap.  In the end it was Exergy who took the win in a close sprint, with JC second and Benny K 5th.  Thanks to V Australia and all associated sponsors, alongside my personal sponsors Smith Optics and Bont Shoes.


William "Billdozer" DeWitt said...

Great job Chris and very nice write up!

Chris Winn said...

Thanks Bill, next time we take the top step eh! Hope the riding is going well - been awesome weather for it!