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May. 6, 2010
Podiums Abound as TEAM CLIF BAR Races Through Busy Weekend
One of the strange things about the California road [bike] racing season is this: Although our calendar is generally chock full of great racing 9 months out of the year, occasionally we have a weekend where there is nothing more than an individual time trial and a road race. On the other hand, sometimes we have weekend that is so stacked with racing that you’re not really sure what to hit up. This past weekend was the latter.

On Saturday, the TEAM CLIF BAR cycling squad hopped down to Los Gatos to compete in one of the all-time classic NorCal races: the Cat’s Hill Criterium. For the uninitiated, this race takes place in a quaint residential section of town, includes plenty of nasty, separated concrete slabs for pavement and has a tricky, off-camber turn before the finishing straight. Oh, and there is also a 23%, one-block climb to ascend about 30 times during the race. Back in the day I can remember being scared $*#!less at the start of the Category 5 race because I had read terrifying tales of guys crashing, snapping chains and breaking their bikes’ head tubes clean off just trying to get up that hill. The pro, 1, 2 race is still like that except all that stuff happens at twice the speed.

TEAM CLIF BAR - Podium Joe

Nate, JD, Jacques and Steel Joe made the trip down to Los Gatos and everyone managed to finish the race, which on its own is a respectable feat. But the big news is that Steel Joe Iannarelli attacked the hill twice in the last two laps, forced the pace and got a gap, and nearly pulled off a win before the surging pack caught him on the finishing straight. Joe still managed to pull off a podium, however, ending up third after the dust cleared. That’s why he’s Steel Joe. Duh.

As if that weren’t enough, the following day, JD pulled off another 3rd place finish at the 30+ Masters Criterium Championships held in beautiful Pleasanton, California. And since Nate is not yet old enough to compete in a masters race, he traveled out to the Sierra Nevada foothills to race the Sonora Road Race. Won it. Meanwhile, Eric Fischer, who was not content to simply stay and race the local circuit, spent the weekend cutting his teeth on the climbs and in the gale-force winds in southwest New Mexico at the Tour of the Gila. Man, that’s a lot of racing.

The local race season continues in May with the upcoming PG&E Criterium in Livermore, the Berkeley Hills Road Race, the Modesto Downtown Criterium, and the new Sacramento Grand Prix on Sunday the 16th. Come out that day and watch the team race around the state capitol before the arrival of the first stage of this year’s Tour Of California. Should be a good time!
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We like getting our heart rates up, taking a big breath of fresh air, savoring delicious food. But we also love telling stories and here's where we type 'em up. (BTW, it works both ways; leave a comment—please and thank you.)

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