First-year 303 Project rider Tony Baca opens up the team’s race book for the season with a win. It’s not exactly what you might expect from a professional road racer. But we love how Tony embodies the spirit of this program with this fun-forward route to early season fitness. In the process, Tony tested his bike handling skills in the utterly unique format of racing bikes on snow, he challenged his body in some unique conditions, and he made some great memories in the process. This is what this team is all about. Getting a win never hurts though!
Jan 13th, 2018
Racing in Alaska is wild! So wild that we nearly ran into a giant moose crossing the road during our race warm up! To be honest, I never thought I would be racing in Alaska…in the middle of the winter, especially considering that where I grew up in México, is “muy caliente”! But hey, when life gives you limes, you make lemonade, right? It’s all about having a positive attitude, and enjoying life as it comes.
The “Bottom” in Anchorage was not as “Frosty” as locals expected it to be for the Frosty Bottom race (lucky me). The temperature conditions were just perfect for a fat tire bike race, -3 to 0 degree Celsius, making the race fast and smooth. My teammates David Arteaga (a former Texas opponent on the road, and good friend), Tim (a Fat Tire Bicycle legend who recently won a 315mi race), and I, were fully equipped with the fastest machines out there: FATBACK bikes.
About 80 riders started the 42mi race and a small group of 7 made it to the last and decisive 1km climb up to the Challet, in Kincaid. Jason Lamoreaux, a strong opponent from another team, attacked out of the select group with 700m to go, putting up some serious watts. I was able to stay on his wheel, while my teammate David was making sure we could open a gap. Jason and I raced towards the finish line neck-and-neck, and I was able to muster up the energy I had left to out-sprint him with 150m to go. David sealed the deal for our FATBACK team with a 3rd place finish.
My main goal of the day was to have fun, enjoy the beautiful scenery Alaska has to offer, and race my heart out on my FATBACK bike. Mission accomplished!
Special thanks to Greg Matyas for his trust and support, Fuzzy John for making logistics easier, and David and Liz Arteaga for the continued friendship!
Until next time, Alaska!
— 303 Project Rider, Tony Baca (www.eltonybaca.com)