Red Trolley Classic
by Travis McCabe
I won this race last year out of a five man breakaway and I really love the uphill finish. Last year, the field wasn’t as large, there weren’t as many powerful teams, and there wasn’t the depth of fitness in the peloton. Experiencing firsthand the strength everyone had at Boulevard the day before, we knew it was going to be a fast race.
The race began fast with constant attacks that continued throughout the seventy-five minutes of racing. There was an ebb and flow that happens in criteriums; being strung out for a bit, and then you get the rubber band effect and everyone is back together. About halfway through I found my new teammate, Eric Marcotte, and kept in sight of him. We knew that there was a lot of horsepower in the race, which would make a field sprint very difficult. We were especially concerned about national champion Ken Hanson, as going head-to-head against him would be a tall order, so Eric and I just stayed towards the front and watched patiently for opportunities up the road.
With five laps to go I held Eric’s wheel and continued to watch everyone around me. Three laps to go and the race was picking up speed as the sprinters’ leadout trains started forming on the front. I just continued to sit patiently on Eric’s wheel, knowing that he would do whatever he could to deliver me to the line, one way or another. With the bell lap approaching, Eric swung left and attacked hard! We really caught the entire field off guard and by the time we took the first corner on the last lap we had ten to fifteen seconds on them. Eric gave it everything he
had to maintain the distance between us and the field. He was able to drop me off at the
bottom of the hill, allowing me a clear run to the finish line for the win!
We had decided to play the wild card and it worked beautifully.
Having a great team and teammates who are willing to give everything they have to get the win against such a strong field is a great feeling. I am very excited for the upcoming season and I look forward to the road ahead.