SUISUN CITY — Forty bicyclists powered along Main Street in Old Town on Sunday, sometimes pushing a pace that would get the driver of an automobile pulled over for speeding.
They’d been at it for almost 70 minutes along a looping, half-mile course, passing the modern Harbor Square business building, the waterfront and the century old houses. Now, City Councilman Mike Segala had flipped the lap indicator on the makeshift stage to show that only two laps remained.
“Two laps to go — anything can happen!” said announcer Rick Cunningham, known as “Big Rick” when he’s behind the microphone.
Then Ariel Herrmann, of San Francisco, put an end to the suspense. He opened up a substantial lead on the next lap and held on during the last lap to win at the Suisun Harbor Criterium.
Herrmann rode a cool-down lap, then reflected on the Suisun City course.
“What’s good and what’s challenging is the same thing — the wind,” Herrmann said.
That wind buffeted the area at a speed of about 15 mph, bringing cool ocean air to hold the temperature to about 80 degrees. It also gave cyclists a boost in the sprint.
“The final sprint was probably, with the tailwind, 40 mph,” Herrmann said.
He estimated that riders averaged about 30 mph for the race and covered about 35 miles.
The turns come quick on the course, Herrmann said. Riders went from Main Street to Solano Street to Kellogg Street to Cordelia Street and back to Main Street.
Herrmann had help achieving his victory from teammate Matt Chatlaong, of Sacramento, as they worked together to hold off challengers. Both are on the Marc Pro-Strava team, though they were the only two members present at the Suisun City event.
Herrmann’s victory came in the Category 1/2 Pro race, the final race of the seven-hour event.
In other categories, Mary Elizabeth Maroon, of Sacramento, won the Women’s 1/2/3, Don Langley, of Morgan Hill, won the Master 45-plus 1/2/3, Daniel Martin, of Pleasanton, won the Master 35-plus 1/2/3, P. Burt, of Burlingame, won the Master 35-plus 4/5, Mark Niiro, of San Jose, won Category 3 and Wenson Sihabout, of Sacramento, won Category 4/5.
The Suisun Harbor Criterium is an event of the 2014 California Cup Omnium. Another local cycling event will take place on Aug. 31 with the Vacaville Gran Prix in downtown Vacaville.
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.