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Pescadero Road Race

Illi Gardner

Pescadero is a race I had been looking forward to all season; it’s nice and hilly and our team was planning on having a good showing. I rode around the course a decent amount in the weeks leading up to the race, mainly because there are amazing views and great roads! Although the field was small, it contained a few strong riders that we had to watch out for. I was joined by Melanie, Senders and Sara B. We were mainly keeping our eyes on Elle Anderson who had dominated the Mt. Hamilton stage race the previous weekend, along with some unknown riders who we hadn’t raced against before.

We raced 2.7 laps of the roughly twenty-seven mile lap. Each lap contains a few notable climbs, Stage Road and Haskins Hill (the top of which is the finish), with some long blustery stretches in between. The first set of climbs up Stage road were relatively tame but a few riders were shed. As soon as we turned on 84 the attacks began–thankfully they were from my teammates! Melanie and the Saras did an amazing job of forcing individuals to chase while I sat in. Elle was forced to do just about all of the chasing. Towards the end of the 84 stretch, Sara B took the lead and set a hard pace. After we crawled through the feedzone (unfortunately I missed the artichoke bread that someone was handing out!) it was straight into the 1.5 mile Haskins climb. I got a bit excited and went hard up it and soon Elle and I had a gap on the field. A kilometer or so from the top, Melanie whizzed past from a monster bridge up to us and set an even harder pace. The three of us finished the technical descent with a decent lead on the pack. We all took even pulls and I was confident that the break would stick until I glanced behind us and saw that three riders had caught us! Luckily one of them was Sara Enders, but with her were two riders who we had never raced against before. The second lap went much like the first lap, though with a reduced field, as Melanie and Sara attacked like crazy. They just kept going! This time up Haskins, Danielle Morshead (Team ERRACE) attacked and I went with her. We got away and I knew that there were really only two riders who would be working to chase us, since the others in contention were my teammates. However, we still had a 27+ mile lap left, so anything could happen. Danielle led the descents and took very strong pulls and we worked well together. We rotated evenly until the final climb where I got a bit of a gap and pushed it, managing to hold on to the finish. Melanie came in third and Sara fifth! I was so grateful for their selfless work and was really happy that it didn’t go to waste.


First time up Haskins






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