Pace Ben Road Race
by Heath Blackgrove (Elbowz p/b Boneshaker)
With Pace Bend Road Race being run by our new presenting sponsor Boneshaker, near their base in Austin, there was a lot of pressure on the Elbowz Racing Elite Cycling Team p/b Boneshaker Project. I made this very clear and came up with the plan to race very aggressive and get as many guys in the breaks as possible to try and secure the win and isolate the main opposition.
Right from the first lap the guys were in or making every move, really putting pressure on the other teams. Historically Pace Bend comes down to a sprint with its undulating course making it hard for a break to stick, but with no real sprinter racing with us this weekend, we were going to do all we could to split the race or animate a break. Numerous promising moves would disappear up the road only to come back as quickly, and we always seemed to have great representation in them all. Mid way through the race a group of 6 finally got a decent gap and quickly got out to a minute lead with Mat and new signing Logan representing and making me very happy with our chances for the win. Unfortunately a super strong Kristian House had other ideas and took it on himself to chase them down, as he was racing solo before heading back to the UK to join his team.
Once all back together a new round of attacking started before another group of 7 finally slipped away, this time for good. I think a combination of fatigue and the right mix of teams and strong riders in the break meant the gap went out quickly and with less than a third of the race left it was effectively race over. With Joe Schmalz, Michael Sheehan and Mat Stephens (again!) in the move we were really happy and confident in our chances. The rest of the team was also doing a great job of covering and killing any attempts from behind to chase up. Coming into the finish Mat and Michael’s numerous attacks set Joe up perfectly to slip away in the last mile to take the victory with Michael taking 3rd and Mat 4th.
A great job by them as well as all the Elbowz Racing Elite Cycling Team p/b Boneshaker Project. Everyone really stuck to the plan and pulled off a great win, making me very proud and excited about the rest of the season. We are just starting our 3rd year as a team and hoping to build on the amazing past couple of seasons we’ve had and have to really thank our team owner Ben Spies for his continued support and Nick Kiernan our team manager for getting it all off the ground again as well as everyone else involved and all our fantastic sponsors.
Also a huge thank you to Boneshaker Project, Riley Gerber, the race director, and all her crew for putting on such a great race and fantastic family day out. We couldn’t ask for better weather with such a great course, making Pace Bend Road Race one of the best races Texas has to offer.