Well after spending the night at a friends house in Van Nuys, Chris Corral and myself woke up at 4:30am to greet the race day. Manhattan Beach Grand Prix is one of the biggest Criterium races in the nation so I knew it wasn't going to be an easy day. So after finding a parking spot and getting our race numbers from pre-registration, Chris and myself did some recon of the course. The course profile seemed to favor a sprinter that could handle a few punchy climbs and this course wouldn't allow a breakaway to stick. Waiting at the line I was already in a bad starting spot and had to work for positioning from lap 1 and with a kicker going up to turn 1 and 2 everyone was eager to get going. At around half way to go in our 40 min. race there was a crash in front of me and Chris coming out of turn #2 which made me dig deep to bridge the gap where the split was made. Towards the later half of the race the pace calmed down just a bit to roughly 24mph average laps but with 5 to go things got going once again. As the laps whined down people were taking more and more risks and I was no different. On the final back straight I dove out of the peloton into the outside line that had a few people looking to come over the top of the peloton but couldn't quite match the horsepower being put down up towards the top of the group so I was forced to sit in because of the narrowing turn 3 & 4 and try to gain positions in the final sprint; no win or placing for Zaney. My sprint was the fastest I've ever gone in a final sprint (37.1mph) which allowed me to gain a few extra positions at the very end because every position counts to me, no matter what. I had to be content with a 26th out of 62 but with everything considered isn't a quite that bad, nevertheless if I want to reach some of my bigger goals in cycling I need to start getting better results at races like these. All in all left with a smile on my face, a bike in one piece, and my body in one piece and coming off my last race where I crashed, this was a good race. See you next year Manhattan Beach GP <3
- Zane Adamo
P.S. I really challenge everyone to get out and race no matter what level of race or even what kind of bike you will race on; you'll never believe how satisfying it is to challenge yourself and others on a bicycle!