Carlsbad Grand Prix 2013
by Rahsaan on September 9th, 2013

“The Carlsbad Grand Prix is a cycling criterium circuit along a 0.9 mile closed course that loops through Armada Drive and Fleet Street in Carlsbad. The finish boasts a sweeping view of the Pacific Ocean”.
…and that it was.
Lets get to it. Because it’s the end of the season for a majority of the SoCal cycling scene, hosting an event this late is very risky do the possibility of lack of participation. Though the field was a bit smaller than average, that didn’t stop my race from being fast and exciting.
From the gun guys attacked each other and things were heating up. Having the wind to your back on the backside (tailwind) and turning the last corner only to  the beautiful ocean view and headwind slap you in the face, the course was very interesting and created different dynamics.
I followed moves and countered moves. After one counter, I found myself solo for 3 laps. Wasn’t happy…however by the grace of god, a guy came across solo from Spy and we rode 6-8 laps off the front before being caught by the main pack.
After a few more attacks, I countered again later in the race as I felt this could be a great time to go, because David Santos of Cashcal had just ripped the field into pieces for about half a lap. My counter came at a perfect time, I hit really hard over the hill and took 6 guys with me. As I pulled off, it looked as if the field was there but there were holes everywhere so I encouraged the group to pedal hard.
It took us about 3 laps to actually calm down and get organized. All the guys for the most part did their fair share of work and after 5 laps off the front, the lap cards came out and we now have 6 to go. We’re still working well together and of course with 1 lap to go the games almost started as the field is chasing hard as Bike Religion had missed the break.  As we crossed the finish line on the bell lap, I knew if we got caught, our chances were dead to get a placing because of the effort being put out over the last 15 minutes.
As soon as I felt the break sit up, I attacked and put my head down into the headwind and over the riser. I hit turn one and tried to standup over the hill but my body said no. So I powered in the saddle. I can see the field on my hills, I don’t want to fail, did deep is what I was telling myself.

As I crest the hill, I thought the down hill tailwind would be easy, but it hurt just as bad as going over the hill. I continued to power and be as aero as possible, as the last turn couldn’t have come any sooner. I rounded the last corner, the headwind took me from 34mph to about 25mph with 250m to the finish line, however it was enough for me to ease up and coast in for a solo victory. 
I was supper excited with how my race went. Really happy I shook the stomach flu I had from Thursday to Saturday night and was able to animate the race.
Thanks you Swamis and everyone involved in putting on this event. Great venue, great course, great views and the prize money was the best all year.
Credit - Photo © Frank Sarate /

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Laurel - September 9th, 2013 at 11:21 AM
My favorite part: "As I pulled off, it looked as if the field was there but there were holes everywhere so I encouraged the group to pedal hard." My second favorite part: "As soon as I felt the break sit up, I attacked and put my head down into the headwind and over the riser. I hit turn one and tried to standup over the hill but my body said no. So I powered in the saddle."

Organizing where you are. Sticking to the committed effort wherever you are. Nice job Rahsaan

Rahsaan - September 9th, 2013 at 11:41 AM
You are 100% right

Marcos - September 9th, 2013 at 11:24 AM
Way to race with your heart! Great move too! When they sit up you GO!
Rahsaan - September 9th, 2013 at 11:40 AM
Thanks Marcos. Was that your moto?

Brian Scott - September 9th, 2013 at 11:26 AM
Nice way to head into the offseason. Thats 2 in a row. I'm putting this one on my race calendar for next season. Course looks fast and fun. What the heck are you gonna do with all this fitness?! Cyclocross?
Rahsaan - September 9th, 2013 at 11:42 AM
Brain I still have 3 crits left, 24hour mountain bike race, 2 track events and El Tour de Tucson. Please help us raise funds. Pass it along to your friends and family. See foundations home page for more info.
Rich Jones - September 9th, 2013 at 11:29 AM
No Guts, No Glory. Like the way you animate a race and not just sit in and wait for a sprint. Much props to cover moves, recover, create breaks, and then go solo like a time trialist. The hard work training continues to pay off.
Alan Whitsett - September 9th, 2013 at 12:11 PM
Great write up for an even greater effort. I actually felt my body tensing up and I leaned into that final corner. I'm going to have to see you race sometime next bring lots of passion to the field!
david worthington - September 9th, 2013 at 12:18 PM
Kudos RB! Way to take the Bull by the Horns! CarlsBadAss! Good Luck on those upcoming races!
Julian Franco - September 9th, 2013 at 12:24 PM
Nice job Rahsaan.
cybercyclecoach - September 9th, 2013 at 12:40 PM
No fear of failure = nice
Ivan Colon - September 9th, 2013 at 1:11 PM
Wow, nice job champ. Love the narrative.
Rahsaan - September 9th, 2013 at 8:41 PM
I just want to be like you when I grow up papa Ivan.

Anthony Araiza - September 9th, 2013 at 2:18 PM
Sounds like we should have stayed and watched. Although I don't race, I'm sure a W feels really good when you are active, know you raced how you want and bring it all home. Mechanicals have not been very kind to you this season(according to what I've read). My son Lance raced the j 10-12 and said it was up there with L.A. Circuit for this years favorites. But maybe it was because LEGOland was so close, lol.
andre jackson - September 9th, 2013 at 3:07 PM
great win!
Kawika Ohumukini - September 9th, 2013 at 7:50 PM
Thanks for the write-up. You looked really strong on Sunday. I put a video up on youtube of the whole race. Enjoy.
Rahsaan - September 9th, 2013 at 8:41 PM
ill check out the video soon. Thanks for the upload.

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