Here is what three Metromint racers, Monique Quandt-Collier, Rob Dahl, and Ethan Atkins, had to say about the 2009 Giro di San Francisco which took place on Monday, September 7th, 2009.

For Ethan and Rob one of the most spectacular moments of the race was Ethan?s first place finish in the men?s category 3 race. Ethan?s first place finish was the result of a final push by Rob Meyer to lead Ethan out. ?Rob Meyer showed off the animal that he is by towing Ethan around in second wheel for the entire last lap, setting Ethan up for the definitive sprint victory,? Rob said. In Rob?s word the duo ?worked the last lap to lead-out perfection.?

In the women?s 1/2 race, Monique found inspiration in Amanda Seigle?s solo attack. Amanda was ?out there for so long by herself,? Monique said, which made Amanda?s attack ?the stuff of legend.? Amanda built a sizeable gap during her solo attack, and her lead lasted for many laps right up until the end of the race.

One of of the best spots to catch the action is on the long finishing straight where Monique likes to watch the primes and final sprint. Ethan also enjoyed the view on the finishing straight at the Levi Strauss plaza where he could also see the racers coming down the back stretch. Rob mentioned that the final corner where he marshaled also provided a great view of the racers. Besides the finishing stretch, another good place to view the race is at the top of the hill at turn 4 where racers ?cut the corner and they?re usually flying,? Monique said. ?It?s a rush as a spectator, as you have to be careful not to get hit.?

Aside from the rigors of competition, the racers noted some of the more precarious sections of the race which were more difficult to navigate. At the start of the race, there are railroad tracks along the road, and coming down the back side hill of the course there is rough pavement and a few potholes. Unless those conditions are fixed by the city within the coming year, it is worth noting to future racers to take care navigating these sections.

While the racing was spectacular, there was one troubling moment during the day--a bike theft at the portable bathrooms near the race course. There have been thefts in the past with cars being broken into when racers sometimes leave their bikes after their races. ?I think we need to better advertise that we provide free SFBC bike parking so folks don?t have to leave their bikes in their cars when they?re done racing,? Monique said. As another potential fix to the bathroom theft problem, Ethan suggested a volunteer spot for bike valet parking while people used the bathrooms.

While the bike theft was unfortunate, the teamwork the racers experienced set the positive mood for the day of racing. ?I really think we needed every single person who came and helped that day.? Ethan said. Aside from Ethan?s first place finish, some of his more memorable moments of the day were cruising the course with his lead-out man, Rob Meyer, for an hour and a half to assist course marshals, and Ethan also enjoyed his arrival at the course before sunrise to set up. ?There is something about predawn work that is extremely satisfying. Everyone was ready to work and completely committed to doing the best job that we could, even at that early hour.? Ethan liked the teamwork he saw during the day mentioning that many volunteers did more than their share of work to make the day a success. ?Patting ourselves on the back a bit, I really think we did a very good job overall,? he concluded.

Monique also echoed Ethan?s appreciation for the teamwork she witnessed throughout the day. Monique prized the day as being one of the few times during the year she can catch up with her team mates, even if just for a brief time. ?I truly have the most fun during the Giro chatting with teammates,? she said, ?the energy and overall vibe is so amazing.? She went on, ?We show the most overall teamwork on that day, in that we're all willing to help each other ? It's so cool to be a part of.?

-Dan Blomgren