It was a beautiful morning with perfect weather as 945 riders from 17 States, Canada and Great Britain headed out along the coast of Santa Barbara to tackle the foothills of Santa Barbara and Montecito before heading up the long climb of Gibraltar to the highest ridge top in Santa Barbara County.
This was my 5th time riding this century. The team competition began the second year of the event in 2011. That year I put together a strong team and we were able to win the team handicapped race up the timed climb of Gibraltar. We returned in 2012 with a different team and won again, but the time margins became smaller. In 2013 we returned and were beat by a local Santa Barbara team by a very small margin finishing second. This year our team looked strong. There were a total of 133 riders on 12 teams competing this year. The teams were stronger and had more depth than previous years. We had 10 riders on our team and the top 5 handicapped times were used to compute our average adjusted time.
In this format the older and faster your team members are the better. Our team averaged 52 years old and our overall adjusted time was just a few seconds over 40 minutes. The competition had really increased this year. Last year the winning adjusted time was 40 minutes. This year two local teams from Santa Barbara had adjusted times of 37 minutes and 30 seconds difference between the two. Our La Grange team finished 3rd overall and given an Honorable Mention, though the prizes were awarded to the two top teams.
It was a great day in the saddle and everyone had an enjoyable ride. We look forward to returning again next year and challenging the local teams once again.
You can review all the results at: www.santabarbaracentury.org