Wolfpack Hustle - Shortline Crit 2016
On May 7th 2016, racers from across the world came to Long Beach CA for the season opener of the Wolfpack Hustle Unified Title Series with one goal, to race bikes on a closed circuit in downtown LBC. We have always enjoyed this circuit for it being fast paced and keeping the adrenaline high. With the same format as previous years there was about 180 athletes qualifying and only the top 85 would move forward in the main event. That whole weekend was a great experience for us as we got to hang out with some new and familiar faces including our newest member of our family James Dubois a local to the San Antonio Crits and an overall great athlete. Since this year there wasn't a road category the show started later than usual which worked well since we were in the last qualifier among some of the best in the game including So Cals finest from Bahati Racing and international riders like Mario from IRD. With a great team lined up we had one thing in mind, get out there, have fun, and leave it all on the field. Qualifiers came by fast and we managed to secure slots in the first 4 rows of the main event. Looking around the field we knew we were going to have to drop our A game if we wanted to secure a spot on the podium.
The women track field went up first leaving the Men for the finale but that didn't stop these women from racing hard and fast and with about 6 laps to go our team rider Natalie had to get pulled because the front pack gained on her. As the men lined up for the finale you could feel the tense and eagerness for the race to start. This 4 corner circuit takes a lot of effort and tactics to move up on the field and like many other races one has to be cautious and look ahead at all times for any fallen riders. With a 30 lap countdown our team had a good solid position in the front pack making moves and pulls to try to extend the peloton and not let anyone break away. There was a few crashes prior to the big major crash that a lot of racers went down including team rider Hector that took a tumble with his #ThronePrism and James showing his handling skills as he jumped over some fallen riders busting a Sagan move like in Roubaix. That tumble didn't stop Hector, he got back up and jumped on his saddle and continued to race lucky they stopped the race and restarted it at the start line. By this time more than half the field was already lapped and Cristian was stuck avoiding those spills making him pull out of the race earlier than expected. They lined up once again, quick bike check, and Don counted them down as they stormed off to get a good position in the front. Hector was holding a great position in the front and with 2 laps to go another major crash after turn 2 went down leaving a rider unconscious and having no other option but for another restart. To keep the crowd on its feet they started the race again but this time with 5 laps to go making it an all out war between some of the best and as they came on turn 3 it was all or nothing everyone positioned themselves for the final sprint and when getting out of turn 4 it was a free for all. Finishing at 9th and 15th place we finished the Shortline Crit in a good position and rode away in one piece and just in time to party with the rest of the crew. We are glad none of our riders suffered any serious injury in one of the most intense #ShortlineCrit races that has ever gone down and thank everyone at WolfpackHustle for making this event run smooth and taking the caution to keep everyone safe. Thanks to our partners SwiftwickSocks and MonstrowCycling