One of the most epic street races in the country, the Wolfpack Hustle LA Marathon Crash Race went off this weekend. The 4:00 am race follows the LA Marathon course and is part of the three race Unified Title Series presented by Chrome Industries and Redbull.Over 2500 riders from all over the country showed up and were not disappointed. Winners received the new 2013 Coveted Jersey and Wolfpack Hustle dog tags. The Chrome Crew made the trip down from SF with our Van and newly acquired 1976 GMC motorhome. All finished safely near the front of the pack.
The night before the race we previewed our new City SPD, the Truk Pro, at the registration party where hundreds of people lined up to get their race numbers. To stoke the crowd, Chrome sponsored a SPD trackstand battle (we called it "Trukstand"). Winners received a pair of our highly anticipated Truk Pro SPD sneakers.
The Crash race was filled with about 500 more racers then it had in its previous year and returning champs like Edgar “Willo” Juarez and Kapri Gonzales were back to defend their dog tags. Kitted pros lined up in front of Tangs Donuts at 4am with the rest of the pack set to launch behind them. This was anyone’s game to win. The field was peppered with young guns, field-tested veterans, and wildcards. The Crash race doesn’t just require speed, it’s requires a full span attention to the elements and predicting not one or two, but thousands of other racers next moves.
It’s as much as a group effort to move the pack all the way to Santa Monica as well as planning your breakaway. As the miles burn off the initial hole-shot jitters become focused while searching for any light to help survive the darkness. Most of the mayhem happens around debris on the road, dropped water bottles, and rouge bike lights. Your line of sight is set between rider’s advances, center medians, and marathon barricades. Mash rider Steven Tortorelli in the post race said, “it’s like racing and having gorillas constantly attacking you… I just want to finish in one piece.”
The first pack of finishers tucked in on the last left turn onto Ocean Ave. Patrol cars reported speeds above 40 miles per hour. Riders lined up and drafted one another coming down to the last several hundred yards, teaming with allies until they went for their break away. Evan Stade was the first overall to cross the finish. Our Chrome Coffee barista and Destroy Bikes team rider, Veronika Volok took the 1st Womans Fixed and State Bicycle’s Craig Streit took 1st Men’s Fixed.
State Bicycle swept most of the top spots. The fluidity of their team proved the power of strength in numbers. LA local Sean Martin came in the first pack with last year’s Red Bull Ride and Style and new Red Bull team athlete Addison Zawadi. Among the pack was also Leader Bikes and Chrome Coveted Jersey winner Alfonso Tal.
Looking like a battlefield, Santa Monica was populated with an ocean of emotions. From tears of joy to jaw clenching pain, blood dripped from ripped riding jerseys and shorts leaving everyone elated on another level.
The Wolfpack Hustle came in like a storm and it reinforced what the current level of Urban Biking is. Training for the Crash is a must, and a rider being mentally strong is even more important. It proved itself once again as a growing beast of an event. The better part is that this is just the first stop out of 3 races. Next up is the Downtown LA Crit.
Will you be ready?