Aubrey Butte Road Race, Cascade Cycling Classic

Cascade Cycling Classic

Cascade Cycling Classic

by Eric Marcotte (Elbowz Racing p/b Boneshaker Project)

Being the final race of the Cascade Cycling Classic–with 5 loops of a 17-mile circuit with 6000ft of total climbing and temps in the mid- to upper-90’s–it was going to be a tough day in the saddle.

With no riders in GC contention for the team, we wanted to secure a stage win. This type of course and heat favored me and Travis. Our team wanted to be present in any breakaways up the road with Heath, Joe, and Andres. Michael and Mat were to keep me and Travis out of trouble and topped off with fluids and food.

Between the first and second lap, a significant move was up the road and we had Joe placed well, sitting on to represent and waiting further for a possible bridge across from other riders.

That move was absorbed and a dangerous group of 15-20 went away. Jelly Belly was defending the yellow jersey, and placed Morgan Schmitt, who was just seconds ahead of Tom Zirbel, in the move. This took a little pressure off of Jelly Belly and placed more on other teams looking for overall placings, but they still tried to keep the move in check. I believe the gap grew to 1:45 at one point. We contributed Mat and Michael to the chase at that point to keep things a little more manageable. [Read more…]

Recap- Awbry Butte Circuit Race-Tvetcov and McGrath win Cascade Cycling Classic Overall Classification.

Stage 5 Cascade Cycling Classic

Stage 5 Cascade Cycling Classic

Stage 5 – Awbry Butte Circuit Race.

Tvetcov and McGrath win Cascade Cycling Classic Overall Classification.
The circuit race is another long standing course for Cascade. It’s a challenging circuit with the main features being the climb out of Tumalo Park and the climb of Archie Briggs. The first climb is a main road climb leading to the feed zone and a long false flat leading to Archie Briggs. This climb begins with a fast twisting descent into a 15% wall followed by more false flat and kicking up to the final stair step KOM summit.  The rest of the course is undulating with fast descents and exposed sections. A well balanced course which comes at the end of an aggressive week of racing.
The men’s race began at 1 PM and as has been the case with every race so far, once the flag dropped at the end of e neutral zone, the attacks began. Immediately, the 150 man field was strung out as it serpentined across the road.  Small groups would escape only to be brought back. This  pattern continued past the first climb of Tumalo Park. The field stayed together but was single file over the top. The attacks continued with 5 Hour particularly active today. Once the over Archie Briggs a group of 20 was able to get away but this too was pulled back. The peloton, which was being lead primarily by Jelly Belly riding for yellow jersey wearer Tvetcov, was not going to let anything go unless it had the right combination of riders.
Coming into the Tumalo Park climb on lap 2, a group of 12 had managed to get off the front.  This group had 25 seconds over the top of the climb and quickly increased to 55 seconds entering Archie Briggs. The group was working well together with no one sitting on.  Flavio Deluna of SmartStop- Mountain Khakis took the KOM and the break had increased their gap to 1:15 over the peloton. The break was well represented with single riders from Bissell, Optum, Giant, Bontrager, BMC, Jelly Belly, 5 Hour, SmartStop, Hincapie, Astellas Oncology, and 2 Hagens Berman riders.
Lap 3 saw this gap increase to its largest gap of 1:45 as they crested the Tumalo Park climb. Deluna again took KOM over the Archie Briggs climb with the breaks gap at 1:15. Jelly Belly were controlling the break and riding strongly on the front. It seemed that the race was shaping up for a fast finale.
As lap 4 began, the gap was down to 1:05 and would drop to 40 seconds only to increase again to 1:10. Clearly the two groups were figuring out their tactics for the final phase of the race. As lap 5 began the peloton had swallowed up the break but two riders attacked and established a small gap. Eric Marcotte of Elbowz Racing p/b Boneshaker and James Oram of Bontrager Cycling held onto a tenuous 15 second gap all the way to the Archie Briggs climb. It was a strong move but just too much to ask with this motivated field behind. The race was all together leading into the fast final 5 km. Four riders managed to get a small gap leading into the final 500 meters of the race with Rosskopf of Hincapie Sportswear taking the spring with teammate Clark taking second and Mancebo of 5 Hour Energy p/b Kenda taking third.
It proved to be an important sprint win for Rosskopf. With the time bonuses available on the stage he jumped to 2nd overall.  Tvetcov of Jelly Belly p/b  Kenda took the overall honors with Chad Haga of Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies hanging onto 3rd
The women faced 3 laps and 51 miles of the Deschutes Brewery – Awbry Butte Circuit Race. With a more established GC, the race was really going to have to some fireworks to shake up the final. The women’s race was run at an aggressive pace as was evidenced by the continual number of riders shed off the back.  A motivated Team Exergy Twenty 16 did a very good job of controlling the race for their yellow jersey wearer McGrath.
The stage came down to two riders with Amanda Miller of Team TIBCO taking the days honors with Jade Wilcoxson of Optum p/b Kelly Benefits taking second. Lauren Rauck Komanski of NOM and Novartis for MS came in a minute later and took the sprint for 3rd.  McGrath came is few seconds off of  Haeusler of Team TIBCO but remained safely in yellow to take the final GC. Haeusler remained in 2nd overall with Abbott of TIBCO rounding out the podium.
The 2013 Cascade Cycling Classic produced some aggressive and tactical racing.  The women’s race saw an aggressive Team TIBCO race hard from the start and establish the hierarchy that would see McGrath take a well deserved win.  The men’s field was tightly contested with all the teams riding hard right to the final sprint.  At times it appeared to be a battle between the old and new guard with the final result being some fantastic racing.
The race is obviously embraced by the Bend community. The race organization and number of volunteers was impressive to say the least. It’s an incredible event that should remain in high standing on the NRC calendar or years to come.
-Travis Dixon

Magner,Hall Win Downtown Twilight Criterium

Twilight Crit Cascade

Twilight Crit Cascade

Stage 4, Bend Downtown Twilight Criterium took place Saturday July 20th. The men and women were able to enjoy a late start time to give their legs some needed recovery from the tough 4 days of racing they’ve experienced so far.  The rectangular course is a straight forward design. The only real ‘obstacle’ being turns 3 and 4 where the road narrows making positioning onto the long final straight important.  Essentially this translates into an extremely fast course.  The long finishing straight to the line puts an emphasis on teamwork and a solid lead out. Added to this was a headwind meaning that the winner would have to time their sprint perfectly.

The women were first to start. As has been e case throughout Cascade, the pace was high right from the gun. There were many attacks but apparently none had the right combination of teams represented or horsepower as the field remained together and strung out for the entire race.
As the riders began the final lap team NOW and Novartis for MS took charge at the front with three riders stringing out the remaining peloton.  The sprint was incredibly close and came down to a photo finish with Lauren Hall of team Optum p/b Kelly Benefits taking the win by the narrowest of margins. 2nd went to Shelley Olds of Team TIBCO with Allison Powersnof NOW and Novartis for MS rounding out the top three.  The GC remained unchanged with McGrath of Exergy Twenty 16 in yellow followed by Haeusler of Team TIBCO and Abbott of Exergy Twenty 16 in 3rd.
The men began at 7 PM but the temperatures remained high with many riders packing ice into their skinsuits in an attempt to keep their core temperature down before the fireworks began for the 75 minute race.  The men’s field had been reduced to 150 riders from the original 200 and the field would be much less than this by the finish.
The men’s race was full-on right from the gun. The 150 man field was single file for the first 20 minutes with many laps averaging over 32 mph. As the field began to show signs of strain under the unrelenting pace a group of 5 riders managed to get a gap.  This front group fluctuated in numbers from 5 to 3 to 8 and always hovering around 10 seconds. Team Jelly Belly and Team Cash Call kept the move in check. The break was finally reeled in at the 46 minute mark but the pace was beginning to take it’s toll on the rest of the field as riders were continually being dropped from the pack.  With roughly 10 minutes to go Team Elbowz Racing p/b Boneshaker took control of the front but it was team Optum with Tom Zirbel leading the way who took over with 3 laps to go. Zirbel put his TT legs to work and tapped out a lap and a half  at 32 mph when a crash on the backside of the course created a split. Optum controlled going into the final lap but it was the U23 national criterium champion,  Ty Magner of Hincapie Sportswear, who took the win. Jasper Stuyven of Bontrager Cycling Team 2nd with Ignazio Moser of BMC Development Team taking 3rd.  The GC remained with Tvetcov of Jelly Belly p/b Kenda leading, Haga of Optum p/b Kelly Benifit Strategies in 2nd, and Jakub Novak of BMC Development Team in 3rd.
Tomorrow concludes this edition of the Cascade Cycling Classic with the Aubry Butte Circuit Race. For the women, McGrath and her team seem to be in control but its a challenging course at the end of a week of aggressive racing. Haeusler and the rest of the field should make it interesting for team Exergy. On the men’s side, this race is still up for grabs.  There is only 9 seconds separating the top 3 and only a 1:15 separating the top 10.  Tomorrow should produce some incredible racing.
As a final note, the podium for tonight’s crit were all U23 men. Remember their names as I am sure we will be seeing more of them in the future.
Travis Dixon

Recap-Stage 3 Cascade Cycling Classic

Stage 3 Cascade Cycling Classic

Stage 3 Cascade Cycling Classic

Stage 3 of the Cascade Cycling Classic was run on the Cascade Lakes course. This is a long standing course for this event. The course doesn’t have the amount of climbing that Stage 1 but many in the field feel that this is the toughest stage. The course is unrelenting, constantly up and down and then finishes on the 5 km climb of Sparks Lake. This climb isn’t particularly steep but considering its placement on this stage, it certainly makes the legs and lungs hurt.


The men were to ride 90 miles. The BMC Development team had the responsibility of defending the yellow jersey for Novak and with this stacked pro field they definitely had their work cut out for them today. The race began with a 3 mile neutral and as soon as the flag dropped the attacks began. Groups of 10-20 riders would escape only to be brought back and then another group would break … BMC were placing men in each group but it was becoming clear that yellow jersey wearer Novak was not having a good day and many times BMC would call back their riders to help pace the yellow back and bring the group together. The other teams had no mercy and kept firing away at BMC until mile 61 when a nine man group was able to break clear. As the final climb began, the escapees were swept up and 5 Hour Energy p/b Kenda got to the front and set a hard pace in hope of launching Mancebo but the rest of the field was strong enough to resist the pace. Seghei Tvetcov of Jelly Belly p/b Kenda took the stage. This was his second stage win in as many days. Travis McCabe of Elbowz Racing p/b Boneshaker took second followed by Chad Haga of Team Optom p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies. Mancebo of 5 Hour Energy finished 5th with the same time as Tvetcov. Former yellow jersey Phillip Gaimon of Bissell Pro Cycling was 8th 2 seconds down. Novak finished 23rd for the day 17 seconds down followed by his teammate, Eisenthart.

[Read more…]

2013 Elite National Criterium Champion


2013 National Criterium Championships

2013 National Criterium Championships

2013 National Criterium Championships:By Travis McCabe (Elbowz p/d Bone Shaker)


The National Criterium race was the last and final race of the Championships in Wisconsin this past weekend.  The course itself was located around the State Capital of Madison, WI.  It consisted of four fast corners with wide-open corners, and a 200 meter long hill directly following the 3rd left corner. From the top of the hill you had the last corner followed with 150 meters before the finish line.


Coming into the race the team knew that with Eric Marcotte and me, we had a very strong likelihood of winning, so we stayed true to the race strategy that has worked for us consistently all year long.  We planned to conserve in the first half of the race and watch for potential moves, but only follow, and then begin to let Eric, Joe Schmalz, and Mat Stephans animate the race while saving me for the sprint finish, if it came down to that.  We knew with only five men (one of them being a junior) we would have to watch how the race played out, and with 150 other strong contenders on a non-technical course it was going to be tricky.

[Read more…]

Nature Valley Grand Prix Stage 5: Menomonie Road Race

Travis McCabe (Elbowz p/b Boneshaker Project) ©Danny Munson

Travis McCabe (Elbowz p/b Boneshaker Project)

by Travis McCabe (Elbowz p/b Boneshaker Project)

The Nature Valley Grand Prix was a stage race that Elbowz Racing p/b Boneshaker Project was really targeting this year, bringing our strongest team ever. Last year, we had huge success in Stillwater on the last day with Christian Helming winning the stage and Eric Marcotte finishing second place and securing the best young amateur jersey.  This year, we wanted to have more of a presence in the general classification and, if possible, secure another win. Fortunately, we were able to achieve our goals and get a little extra exposure as well.  Looking back, we had somebody on the podium every day of racing, whether it was Andres Diaz in the climber’s jersey early on, Logan Hutchings and Joe Schmaltz in the most aggressive rider’s jersey, Eric in the best young amateur Jersey, or with me finishing 2nd in the Uptown Criterium and winning my first NRC road race in Menomonie. [Read more…]

Doing Battle at Tulsa Tough

Travis McCabe (Elbowz Racing p/b Boneshaker Project)

Travis McCabe (Elbowz Racing p/b Boneshaker Project)

By Travis McCabe (Elbowz)

Tulsa Tough is a race that a lot of racers look forward to each year, and this year was no exception.  I think it is safe to say that Tulsa Tough is our favorite race of the year, and with Eric winning on Cry Baby Hill last year we were coming into the race with high expectations.  I was excited to have a full squad, since it would be the first NCC series where we would have everyone. After racing the Parx Casino Philly Cycling Classic, we all knew how much firepower we had and we were wanting to show it off the crowd.  We all knew how difficult it would be to line up against United Healthcare and take on such a powerful and efficient team, but we were up to the challenge and confident in each other’s abilities.

Friday night’s race around the Blue Dome district in downtown Tulsa tends to tell the same tale each year. It’s a blazing-fast, 8-corner course that ends with a sprint finish.  Our plan was to try and initiate a breakaway, forcing UHC to work off a couple of their guys, and then, with 1.5 laps to go, try to jump their train and have Eric lead me out into the sprint.  Of course, racing is always easier said than done.  We stayed quite active throughout the race, grabbing the major primes trying to initiate a breakaway, which we eventually did.  It was a solo break by one of our Liwi strongmen, Logan Hutchings.  Having one guy off the front was great for coverage for the team, but it didn’t quite put any fear into UHC.

It became evident that the rest of the field was content with fighting for each other’s wheels behind the UHC train instead of playing some other cards.  When so many people are fighting for only a few wheels the race becomes very dangerous, and this race proved no different.  Crashes were consistent throughout the one-hour race with the game changer coming with 3 laps to go.  On the 2nd corner someone pushed his luck just a little too far and what seemed like half the field went down. Caught in the crash were 3 of my teammates, leaving only Eric (who was one of the last riders to make it) and me to fend for ourselves.  The next two laps were so fast that it was difficult to make up any ground.  I was content with sitting top 10 and finished 9th in the sprint with Eric 23rd. UHC once again swept the podium.

After Friday night’s race it was apparent that no teams wanted to initiate a serious breakaway, so we took it into our own hands to make the race as hard as we could.  Our plan was to launch at least 2 guys in any move and save me for the sprint if it came down to it.  Right away, a group of four men were off the front with one of them containing team captain Heath Blackgrove.  Shortly after, two more bridged across.  This time we had our breakaway specialist Eric Marcotte joining Heath in the break.  It was only a matter of 10-15 minutes before it was just the two of them working together to stay away.  The two of them quickly established a 40-second gap on the field and were able to sustain the space for the majority of the race. Even when the gap was at 40 seconds there were multiple attacks from the other amateur teams who were dismally trying to bridge across, instead of sitting back and forcing United to work and bring the two back. Once United organized at the front, it took them multiple laps before a dent was put into the 40-second gap of Eric and Heath.  At one lap reading the two had only 28 seconds, but within a few more laps the gap was back up to 32 seconds.  For those few laps there was hope that they might stick it, or at least wear United down enough to the point where there would be a chance to jump what was left of them at the end. Then, for reasons unknown, another team came to the front to assist UHC. Instead of four men working to bring back the two, there was 6-7.  Our chances went out the window at that point and I was in position and preparing for the field sprint.  Eric and Heath’s brave attempt to steal a victory was crushed with 4 laps to go and the fight to sit behind the Blue Train was on.  On the last lap, I managed to latch onto one of the UHC riders’ wheel and I was sitting 6th position.  Unfortunately, a gap opened up into the last corner and I was forced to sprint to hold 5th place.

The team was a little disappointed by the outcome of the race, but we were also grateful to become fan favorites at Tulsa and we were now even more determined to place on the podium at Sunday’s marquee event.  Again, the plan from the start was to race aggressively and initiate a break, ideally saving me and Eric for the end.  But with the energy of the crowd, I became a little too excited and attacked the field, bringing along only one other rider.  We worked together smoothly until 3 more bridged across.  With 5 of us working together we began to gain time on the field.  Primes began to be thrown our way, which created a bit of chaos in the break and eventually we lost the three that bridged across.  With only two of us left and less than 8 laps to go, we did our best to stay off the front and I tried to grab as many crowd primes as I could on top of Cry Baby Hill. It was only 6 bucks, but it was the most rewarding $6.00 I have ever received!  We were brought back in by the blue train once again with 4 laps to go, so I did what I could to recover and found Eric and the rest of the team as quickly as I could.  Coming into the final climb up Cry Baby Hill, I knew Eric was on my wheel, so I gave it whatever I had left to get up and over the climb, dropping him off onto Karl Menzies’ wheel. I left it up to him to fight for position from there.  I fell back and tried to just follow wheels so I could still finish in the money.  Eric finally broke the podium sweep of UHC and finished 3rd.  I finished 9th and ended up 5th in the omnium.

Travis McCabe (Elbowz Racing p/b Boneshaker Project)

Travis McCabe (Elbowz Racing p/b Boneshaker Project)

At the end of this weekend I think we are all happy with our results and grateful that we were all able to keep the rubber on the pavement…well, except for Andres Diaz, he managed to crash on the climb up Cry Baby Hill! (amateur move!)   Hats off to United Health Care. Those guys are truly professional racers and have criterium racing down to a “t”.  We had such an amazing time in Tulsa, on and off the bikes, that we are all looking forward to racing it again in 2014! By far my favorite race of the year thus far!









More Tulsa Here:


Philly Cycling Classic

Philly Cycling Classic

Philly Cycling Classic

by Eric Marcotte (Elbowz Racing p/b Boneshaker Project)

We had a solid crew heading out to Philly. I’ve not done the previous edition of this race.  Heath, Sully, and Andres have, so they had a good idea of the course and what type of attrition would be taking place throughout the day. The course changed up a bit, so with the new format, we felt it would be hard to predict what would be taking place.

The goal for our team was to have a rider or two in the breakaway, and keep the finishers fresh for a bunch kick at the bottom of a climb.

From the start it was full-on with no solid moves making it up the road. The race was a bit of a blur, but if I recall, somewhere on the start of the second lap a small break, which included our rider Logan Hutchings, was let loose up the road. Sully was unfortunately caught up in a crash (he’ll be alright) on the screaming fast decent when a bottle came loose, and was out of commission to help the rest of the race.

The third and fourth times up the Manyaunk Wall, I could tell the pace was going to pick up a bit and didn’t want to get caught out as I felt good on the climbs, so I moved to the front. The next several laps had the front group split and regroup, split and regroup up and over Manyaunk wall, along the river, and up and through Lemon Hill. Joe, Heath, Diaz, and Travis were all in good position.

Ultimately, I ended up in a small group of 8-9 riders.

The pace in the group up the Wall the last couple times whittled it down to 4-5 of us. Chad Beyer (Champion System), Scott Swizanski (Optum-Kelly Benefits), Bruno Langlois (Garneau-Quebecor), and a late addition of Kennett Peterson from the Firefighters Team.

Over Lemon Hill we were given a time split of 30 seconds. That’s the number I had felt we would need at the bottom of the climb to POSSIBLY stay away from a hard charging field. With 10K to go, that was down to 25 seconds.  I knew it was over.

At that point, it was just to keep the bigger teams working and limiting the firepower at the base of the climb. Knowing that Heath, Travis, and Joe were going great and in good position as we passed the field each lap, I felt confident in them being able to finish the job off.

With 2 laps to go, Travis was run into, breaking his rear derailleur off. Such is bike racing.  Things happen. Joe immediately stopped, and without hesitation gave his bike to Travis. And his shoes because he had different pedals! Travis was able to pace back through the caravan, but really burnt a few matches in doing so. In addition to the different bike setup, it wasn’t an ideal situation for us.

As I was caught in the final kilometers, I saw Heath and Travis setting themselves up coming into the final climb. I enjoyed a slow climb up the Wall, soaking in the atmosphere and the crowds, and came to my teammates to find they placed 19th and 21st.

Kudos to the Blue Train of United Health Care.  They put in a huge effort to close the break down at the end of the race and set their man Reijnan up very well.

It was an incredible event and something all races should aspire to emulate. We were very lucky to have Todd Reed, from one of our sponsors, BoneShaker, along for the trip. He was really supportive and helped feed us, and he had a blast seeing what it’s like racing on the road and at this level of competition.

I’m really excited for the month ahead for our crew.  We hope to have had the bad luck out of the way, and nothing but a good run of results ahead.

Texas State Criterium Championship

Texas State Criterium Championship

Texas State Criterium Championship

by Heath Blackgrove (Elbowz Racing p/b Boneshaker Project)


The Texas State Criterium Championship was held on a brand new course around Frisco Square. And what a great course befitting the state champs it was.  With 9 corners and a fairly stiff wind, it was going to be a hard race, but also a hard course to make a move stick. Numerous attacks tried from the start and the bunch seemed strung out, but nothing could get more than a few seconds or last more than a couple of laps.


The head wind around the backside of the course really affected a lot of attempts, but the Elbowz Racing p/b Boneshaker Project team and I kept the pressure on, trying to break the bunch and following the pre-race plan.


Around the midpoint of the 90 minute race, I attacked and was quickly joined by Bryan Fawley (Giant South).  We shot straight out to 15 seconds and the biggest gap of the race so far.  At first, on this circuit, I thought two riders was not enough, but I was feeling good and pushed on.  It became apparent to me that the teams left to chase didn’t have the organization to chase together and any individual trying to chase was going to have an extremely hard time as the gap grew into the high-20 seconds.


Unfortunately, it also became apparent early on that if this break had any chance of succeeding, I was going to have to do more than the majority of the work.  So I took it on myself to make the move stick, with Bryan giving me some small breaks to try and get a breather.


The gap yo-yo’d between 20 and 35 seconds, but the lack of organization and great job by Elbowz Racing and Giant South to cover and kill any more moves helped us hold it until the lap board came out.  With Fawley knowing his main chance to beat me was with his superior sprint, he tried to conserve as much and do as little as possible.  Fortunately, I’ve been around this game long enough and wasn’t about to tow anyone to the line. Also, having faith in my teammates behind allowed me to gamble a bit more than I normally would.


With three laps to go, Tristan Uhl made a great move to come across to us.  While it was one more person to worry about, it worked out great for me as it gave the break more legs (as the bunch was pretty close) and added a buffer between me and Bryan.  With Bryan fully set on sitting on and expecting a free ride to the finish, any chance or small gap I could get I was ready to take advantage of. Finally, with just over a lap to go, I saw my chance as a small gap opened when I went through for my lap. That was the opening I needed and I put my head down for the last lap to solo if for a very hard-earned victory ahead of Fawley and Uhl, who just held off the charging bunch led in by Logan Hutchings and Michael Sheehan from Elbowz Racing p/b Boneshaker Project for 4th and 5th.


I was really happy to take the Texas criterium title for the 2nd year in a row, especially having had to work so hard for it. It also capped off a great Memorial Day weekend of racing that started on Friday with me taking the McKinney Bike the Bricks criterium in similar fashion and testing conditions, including a thunder and lightening storm hitting the race in the last few laps.


Huge thanks to Elbowz Racing p/b Boneshaker Project for some great support and racing, including the support of our team manager Nick Kiernan and team owner Ben Spies, who was fantastic racing with us on Friday and Saturday. Also, big thanks to King Racing Group for putting on a fantastic race on an exciting new venue, one we will hopefully race on in future years.


A Series Of Attacks by Eric Marcotte (Elbowz Racing)


Joe Martin Stage Race

by Eric Marcotte (Elbowz Racing)


Following a glimpse of “what could be” at the Redlands Bicycle Classic, we brought those 8 riders eager to make our mark in the peloton.


Following Thursday’s time triai, we had Andres Diaz sitting 9th place, 19 seconds off the pace of Kenda/5-hr Energy’s Nate English. Also, last years best young rider, Joe Schmalz, ~30 seconds off the mark. The rest of us had a good crack at it, but all were 40+ seconds back, so we posed no real threat for cracking a top 10 GC, and would set our minds to other stages and moving Diaz up in GC.


Friday had a complete change in weather, with 50 degrees and raining. A stark contrast to Arizona weather at this time. Historically, this race is always a field sprint with no real shake-up in GC, so we rode this one fairly defensively and wanted to be looking out for Diaz, in case something started to shake out in crosswinds or on the climb. Travis and I were to be saved for the technical run in to the uphill sprint finish.

[Read more…]