Hundreds of amateur and professional street bicycle riders descended on Downtown Lodi on Sunday for an exciting day of high-speed, tight-turning competition.
The day came to a head with an exciting men’s pro race, which saw Mike’s Bikes win the team event. Local rider Robert Terra stayed at the front of the race, and finished third individually.
“In the past we put the pro men earlier, and the amateur men go after, and it peaks and then goes down,” said co-director Damian Gonzalez. “But the final show is the pro men, and it worked so well. You got to see some good racing, and toward the end it just got better and better. The pro men put on an incredible show.”
But even earlier in the day, the amateur races featured fast rides taking the 90-degree turns of the figure-eight course through Downtown at breakneck speeds, with riders jockeying for position, breakaways pulling away and getting caught, and close finishes.
Even a swarm of bees dropped in to check out the action, settling in a row of bushes near the first turn for about 15 minutes before moving on.
“The race official was like, we need to do something about these bees. He’s a super strict race official,” Gonzalez said. “And there was a couple of cars coming on the course. That’s something the public needs to be aware of.”
With Keith Defiebre calling the races over the loudspeaker, the exciting finish had a rejuvenating effect on Gonzalez, who took a year off from running the race.
“I can’t wait until next year. I was getting a little burnt out, that’s why we took a break,” he said. “But I got a lot more help this year. Next year, having three major organizers planning the event is going to be so much better than just me. This year, my teammate Dustin Denton stepped up as my co-director with me.”