It was definitely an interesting start to the race; I found myself on the side of the road with SRAM less than a mile after the start line. I was trying to get my derailleur sorted out as it would only go down to the 14, and I knew I was going to need a bigger gear than that for the finish. Meanwhile, a 2-man break consisting of Tim Johnson and Bruno Langlois, two very strong riders, made a move and they were well ahead of the field.
After getting my bike sorted out, well kind of, the race stayed fast with a number of teams chasing and putting forth a lot of effort, including my team, Ekoi.com-Gaspesien, a Continental team out of Montreal, Quebec. The break came back on the last lap over the climb, and with a flatish run into the finish, it looked like it would come down to a field sprint.
One of our riders got up the road with another rider which took the pressure off our team to ride the front and cover breaks going into the final few kilometers; it was a great start heading into the finish.
With about 3k to go, a teammate took me to the front as I had slipped back slightly with all of the fighting for position. Upon reaching the front, there was a brief lull on a slight uphill so I just reacted and attacked up the right side of the road. Our team talked before the race and this seemed like our best plan to get the yellow jersey. With that attack, I soloed all the way to the line, which seemed to take forever but it was enough to gain 5 seconds on the field and get the 15 second time bonus for the win to put me in yellow. Our team did well in the field sprint as my teammate came across second, giving us 1,2 on the stage.
It was a well-fought race by our team, and I was glad I was able to pull it off with a similar style attack at the US Elite Crit Championships.