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Team TIAA-CREF - 2006

Team Journal Entry - February 16, 2006, by Rahsaan Bahati

Martin Luther King Day race

Rahsaan Bahati
Photo ©: Beth Seliga
(Click for larger image)

This is the 4th running of the MLK day race (January 15) and each year it has received a better response from the riders and community. Starting a pro race at 8:30 in the am is unheard of in California, but this year more riders showed up.

The race started off fast with local teams sending riders up the road to shake up the field. No attack was too serious until late in the race when a group of 4 opened a 30 second gap. With 4 to go the field came back and a solo attack went off. That attack was caught in the last 2k of the finishing lap.

Because it's a long 1k straight to the finish, I knew that I had to stay up near the front but not necessarily at the very front. I set up near Joe Papp and Gibby Hatton waiting patiently to open up my rockets. With about 400m to go the local youngster, Justin Williams of Major Motion junior team, shot out of the pack accelerating away from everyone. I looked around to see if anyone would follow and no-one did, so I moved left and started to sprint with about 250m to the finish, passing Justin for the convincing win.

It feels good to get a win, however this wasn't a good test for me. I know I have speed, now I need to see if the speed is there after 5 hours of racing. I'm confident that I'll be there to deliver.