The Metromint Giro di SF criterium was once again one of the highlights of Labor Day weekend and the entire the Northern California racing season. 380 cyclists raced around Levi Strauss Plaza and the surrounding streets, competing for cash prizes and primes in 10 racing categories.
There were lots of proud winners on the podium stand—not only for the crit itself but also for the NCNCA Women’s Series and the Cal Cup, both of which concluded with the Giro. Only the Women’s Series winners were lucky enough to win prize bags full of cookies, thanks to NCNCA Women’s committee chair Stephanie Buckner. But the most hard-fought race might have been the kids race, complete with candy and Clif Bar-filled Metromint bottles handed out in the kids’ very own feed zone!
Racers and fans were well supported all day. Of course our team sponsor bike shop the Freewheel was on hand for mechanical support. RockTape was there to help with biomechanicals. FLUID and Metromint supplied much-needed hydration on a hot day. Racing primes included Muck Daddy High Performance Hand Cleaner to clean the chain grease away, and The Sufferfest training videos to keep us fit during the El Nino rains this winter. After racing and getting cleaned up, hungry cyclists could feast from PeruCHI and FK Frozen Custard food trucks!
All of this fun was possible because of generous sponsor support and the hard work of over 70 Metromint Cycling p/b The Freewheel volunteers—many of whom found time to race in between their volunteer duties.
We have a tradition on our team of offering post-race acknowledgements in the form of “what a teammate did for me.” There were plenty of examples to go around after this long day of volunteering and racing. Several teammates thanked Kerry Stivaletti for being the loudest cheerer, lap after lap, on the steep hill on the back side of the course. Emily Matheu was credited with rescuing teammate Gale who had to be called away from her course marshalling duties in the morning, and then rescuing teammate Christina who needed help chasing back to the field after a mechanical in the afternoon women’s pro race! (Since Emily forgot her race shorts and had to borrow a pair from Christina, she owed her a favor.) Lesley Jensen gave her teammates a super steady wheel to follow during the race, and cookies to refuel afterwards. Several racers and course marshalling volunteers were credited with saving their friends from heat stroke by sharing sunscreen, Metromint water, and FLUID. Jeff Wayland played double duty: serving as backup medic and staffing the kids race feed zone.
But the teammate who earned the most acknowledgements for a successful day of racing and fun was race coordinator Gale De Rosa, who somehow found the energy to manage all of the day’s activities fresh off of her victory on Sunday in the 45-49 crit championship.
There was one bittersweet aspect to this very successful day of racing and teamwork: After ten years of sponsoring the best team and the best race in Northern California, Crystal Geyser Water Company (the owners of Metromint) have decided to end sponsorships in 2016. So the team—and the Giro—will be looking for another great partner to be our title sponsor next season. Until then, it’s almost time to think about what we can do for our teammates in the off season!