2014 Tour of the Gila: Stage 1

dixon-stage1-11

The 28th annual Tour of The Gila began today. The race started in downtown Silver City with the neutral roll out including a climb to get the legs ready for the day. The UCI men raced 92 miles on a challenging course, finishing on the Cat 1 Mogollon climb. It’s a narrow steep climb ending on a day of exposed roads and rolling/climbing terrain.

Once the flag dropped the attacks began right away. Yannick Eckmann of California Giant/Specialized was particularly active getting into several early attacks but the peloton was not willing to let anything go. The speeds were high, making it very difficult to get away. However, The UCI men ride two circuits through the town of Cliff and these roads can create opportunities for riders to get away. As the race turned onto the small secondary roads, they were greeted by the elementary school kids who come out every year, cheering with their cowbells. This seemed to charge the riders, as hard and frequent attacks began. Optum decided enough was enough and began to drive the pace. The peloton remained together, as it joined the main road again.

The second circuit through Cliff was again quite active and a group of 4 got away, containing Connor McCutcheon of Airgas Cycling, Steve Fischer of Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis, Coulton Hartrich of Marc Pro-Strav, and Max Korus of Astellas Cycling Team. They took advantage of the hilly narrow roads and committed themselves to the break. The peloton seemed to hesitate and that was all the four needed, as their gap steadily increased to 4 minutes as they hit the main road again.

The break riders rotated through consistently and with a healthy tailwind, their gap grew to 10 minutes by mile 67. At this point 5 Hour Energy p/b Kenda Pro Cycling, and UnitedHealthCare Pro Cycling assumed the front and set, what race radio called, ‘a hard tempo’. At 33 plus mph this was quite an understatement and the breaks gap consistently dropped from this point on. Unfortunately, the race took a turn for the worse, perhaps the effects of such a strong pace for many many miles and the resultant fatigue were the cause … The reasons aren’t clear but the crash that occurred was devastating.

The crash occurred roughly around mile 75 with the gap around 8 minutes. Approximately, 20 riders remained together with small groups chasing and ultimately building the ‘peloton’ back up to 40-plus riders. The race was in a state of chaos as medical personnel and team cars all focused on the downed riders.

As the break of 4 took the right hand turn for the Cat 1 Mogollon climb they had to know that their gap wasn’t enough, but they continued to ride fully committed to the break. As the peloton made the turn the gap was down to 2:35. Race radio was still in a state of chaos as the crash was justifiably spreading personnel across the course, but Jamis-Hagen Berman seemed to be the team that came though relatively unscathed with the most riders represented in the front group.

Max Korus of Astellas, was almost immediately dropped as the first part of the Mogollon began. The remaining 3 rode well to reach the plateau with a gap of 1:20. Jamis-Hagens Berman team got to the front as they reached the plateau and drove the pace to 28 mph. The break was caught for the final steep pitches of the Mogollon. Matt Cooke of Jamis-Hagen Berman took off and immediately got a gap. He had the numbers behind to help protect his attack so the move seemed like it could stick. The peloton went through a process of elimination as the pace remained high and riders were popped off the back. Cooke seemed to have the win but with 30 meters to go, teammate Daniel Jaramillo, overtook Cooke for the win. Gregory Obando Brenes of Jamis-Hagen Berman took third to make it a sweep for the team. The rest of riders crossed the line looking utterly cracked from the intense day.

Th finish area took on a distinctly different feel for what is typical. There weren’t hoots of congratulations but rather subdued racers who appeared to be thinking of their teammates and friends who were involved in the crash. Kirk Carlson of Jelly Belly had this to say, “I was right behind the crash but just barely made it through. It was one of the most devastating crashes I’ve ever seen”.

In a sport where a thin layer of Lycra protects you from the road, racers are said to be a tough breed, as seasoned photographer Casey Gibson stated, “Unless there’s a bone sticking out, racers are gonna get back on their bikes and ride.” With so few riders crossing the line along along with the quiet atmosphere of the finish area, it spoke to the significance of this crash.

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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

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.

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Andersen Banducci Twilight Criterium

©Hannelore Eckmann

©Hannelore Eckmann

 

by Yannick Eckmann (Cal Giant)

The Andersen Banducci Twilight Criterium in Boise is one of my favorite crits each year, with the spectators and the stacked field. So far I went to it the past two years because it is on the way to the Cascade Cycling Classic and it’s a great leg-opener for the coming week.

The race started around 8 o’clock and went for 90 minutes. I was super pumped to be standing at the starting line this year again. I saw all the riders from United HealthCare there and I knew they would be controlling the race, and likely winning as well. The race started and the speed went up right away as the first attacks came. It was one attack after the other. I even put some attacks in, just trying to have fun. I knew I wasn’t going to stay away with UHC there, but it was worth the try.

The race speed stayed high throughout the whole race since every 4-5 laps there was a prime for about 50 dollars. I wanted to go for some of them, but I was always too far back. But then a prime came up and I was in the front and I knew I was going to get that one.  After I got the prime, I went pretty far in the pack again when they caught me, since it actually took a lot of energy out of me. Throughout the race there were also some uncalled-for crashes.  Riders always wanted to go past the field right before the turn and then they came with too much speed into the turn and slipped away, taking other riders with them. I was lucky enough to be in none of the crashes, which I was really proud of.

While the race was slowly winding down to the last 13 laps the UHC train found themselves in the front of the field, keeping the speed high, even upping the speed every lap.  With 5 laps to go the speed was high,so much so that it was super hard to move up. After the turns you were able to move up 1 or 2 spots, if that, before the next turn came. I was sitting around top 20 the whole time. I was trying to play it safe as well, so when people were fighting for wheels I didn’t fight back too much, just because I wanted to lower the risks of crashing and getting hurt before Cascade.

In the last 3 laps the speed maxed out. I was in my biggest gear the whole time and we were going into turns with super high speeds. I was always hoping that none of the wheels would slip away to cause a crash at speeds like what we had during the race. Going into the last lap a small gap opened between the first 7 riders and the rest of the field. I was just waiting for the end, hoping I could sprint by some people. Going into the last turn there were 2 UHC riders lying on the ground at the fence. We came around trying to avoid them and then started sprinting.  I was able to sprint by some people before the line to finish in 14th place. I was happy with that because I was in the money and because I finished the race without getting hurt.

 

6 Past Champions of DPGP & 5 “STRIKE A POSE” Images from 2012

 

5 “STRIKE A POSE” IMAGES from DANA POINT GRAND PRIX

  • 2007 – Karl Bordine -Team 5 Star Fish
  • 2008 – Sterling Magnell- Rock Racing
  • 2009 – Rahsaan Bahati-Rock Racing
  • 2010 – Jonathan Cantwell- Australia- Virgin Blue
  • 2011 – Brad Huff – Jelly Belly
  • 2012- Brad Huff – Jelly Belly

Brad Huff (Jelly Belly)

 

Tommy Robles (Surf City Cyclery)

Richard Meeker(Breakaway from Cancer)

 

Ryan Schneider(Simple Green)

 

 

Eric Anderson(OTR)

 

ALL IMAGES BY DAN MUNSON

Jenna “Jammer” Kowalski had a solid 4th place finish at Brentwood and talks about how it all went down.

Backyard Jam-Sesh: Brentwood Grand Prix

By Jenna ‘Jammer’ Kowalski

 

Sunday, August 7th, 2011, watching my teammates from the sidelines of a race called the Brentwood Grand Prix also known as the California State Criterium Championships. In my own backyard, but, here I am on the wrong side of the barriers, with a soon to be diagnosed case of strep throat. Always a frustrating feeling, when so badly you want to be out there pedaling in circles with everybody else. A fun race to watch, but always a better race to race.

 

Fast forward to this year: Sunday, August 5th 2012. Finally, I would have my first chance to contest Brentwood GP, a course favored by many locals for its technicality. However, after a long month of training for climbing hills in the altitude, I realized that I had not done one single sprint since the Manhattan Beach Grand Prix. Thus, I was a little nervous that my legs would be lacking the spunk needed for 55 minutes of sprinting out of corners.

 

With the course conveniently located in my backyard, my teammate Lauren and I decided to have our daily espresso at the Coral Tree Cafe and watch the mid-morning men’s races to get in the proper spirit. The double Americano certainly did the trick and kept me buzzing for the next four hours. We then opted to ditch our trainers for a warm-up spin down the coast to Venice, to take in the madness of a Sunday at the beach. After a pit stop at home to change jerseys and swap on race wheels, we jammed over to the course just in the nick of time.

 

As we rolled up to the start line, I was flattered to receive a call-up to join some of the established local racers. After a couple high-fives and fist pounds, we got the countdown to go. The race was animated from the beginning, and a few moves lighted up the first couple laps of the race. The goals for the day were to either get Lauren in a break, or set me up for the field sprint. So, while it was important for me to remain attentive as a teammate to a team of two in a field dominated by team Helens and InCycle, I sat comfortably in the front, following wheels and making sure to cover anything that Lauren could not.

 

Between Helens, InCycle, LaGrange, Revolution and solo strong woman Kristin LaSasso, there were a number of fliers that had some serious potential, but the combination of riders in each move was not enough to keep the field from letting anything go. I was pretty certain the race was going to come down to a field sprint, so I just sat tight, at one point finding myself well placed for a prime, thus taking the opportunity to jump around the two riders who set me up perfectly.

 

After a few last ditch efforts from riders to get off the front, the peloton seemed content for a field sprint with two laps to go. I must admit I was a little lax in setting myself up for the finish; a solid 10 wheels back, I kept thinking ‘it’s a long finish, it’s a long finish.’ Well, l find myself still wishing it was a little bit longer. The last half lap of crits are always a bit foggy in my memory. From what I do remember, riders were single-file going up the backside chicane. I wanted to move up but was hesitant to jump around everyone so early. I hesitate. I see a flag.  And I know I have to go, now. I jump around a few riders and the InCycle lead-out train, my head screaming ‘YOU CAN WIN THIS! YOU CAN WIN THIS!’ I see riders in black, I see the finish line, weirdly wishing it was just a few feet further.’ I’m not going to make it in time and I know it. It feels close, and I throw myself through the line, but it’s not quite enough to edge into the top three, as I hear the excited hollers of well deserved winner Suze Sonye, followed by teammate Shelby Reynolds and Tibco’s Junior National Champion, Alexis Ryan.

 

I did make it onto the podium for the California State Championship, as Team Helen’s Shelby Reynolds is registered in Texas, however, it wasn’t for the coveted Bear jersey I had hoped for. But, there is always next year (third time’s a charm!?), and as my first California State Criterium Championship race, I am pleased with a top five. Just as well, I am thrilled for the podium finishers – and the entire peloton for that matter, for making for a fun and safe race to cap off the end of my 2012 SoCal road racing season. Many thanks to all of the supporters, sponsors, media and everyone else that makes these events possible! Until next year!

 

Suzanne Sonye (State Champion at Brentwood Grand Prix) in “The Conversation”

Brentwood Grand Prix

WSWC(State Champion at Brentwood Grand Prix):

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The Off-Season Transfer Scrum by Seth Davidson

The Off-Season Transfer Scrum
by Seth Davidson
http://pvcycling.wordpress.com

My phone rang at 5:30 this morning. “Hello?”

“Hey, WM. Have you heard anything?”

“Who is this?”

“Thunky. Thunky Sneedles.”

“Oh, it’s you again. No, man, I haven’t heard anything since your last call two hours ago. It’s five-thirty, dude.”

“I just thought you’d maybe, you know, gotten some offers or something.”

“No, man. Crickets.” I’d agreed to act as Thunky’s agent in the off-season, and even though the trades had started in earnest, Thunky was still out in the cold, and he was nervous. “Look, let’s go over it again. I know you’re nervous, but you have to be patient. These things take time. When some of the bigger fish get their contracts, it’ll loosen up the purse strings for the domestiques like you.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah.”

“But what if I don’t get an offer from anybody? What if I have to stay with Team D’oosh next year? My career’s too short for that, man. I’ve only got a couple of good years left, and I need to ride for a winner.”

“I know, I know. Nobody said being a professional masters racer was easy.”

“Ain’t that the truth.”

“Why are you so down on Team D’oosh? You fit right in.”

“They suck and their bro deal is so lame.”

“Really? Even with that bike and those five free kits and the travel reimbursements? And don’t they cut you in on the winnings even if you’re OTB?”

“Yeah, it sounds great. But it sucked this year. I mean, no one ever wins. They suck. And the frame? It was the Specialized SL4 instead of their top of the line Venge. Charon gets the Venge on his team. How’m I supposed to take that dude on riding an SL4? It’s like bringing a set of dentures to a wood chewing contest.”

“Are the bikes really that different?”

“Hell yeah. The Venge has this really cool paint option. It’s so rad.”

“Well, at least getting the whole $8,500 rig with Di2 on loan for a whole season and then swapping it out for a new one in ’13 saves you some money.”

“Dude! It’s not about the MONEY. It’s about the wins. You get the wins, the money flows. That’s how the pro scene works.”

“Even in the men’s 35+?”

“Duhhhhhh.”

“Well, what about the kits? That’s a grand right there, easy, free. You gotta be happy about that.”

“Those kits were so last year. The leg elastic band was at least 1/4 inch shorter than the pro stuff Paolinetti was wearing on Monster. Like I’m gonna take that guy on with short elastic bands? And the design was, like, puke.”

“I guess they screwed you pretty bad, huh?”

“I’ll say. The travel reimbursements only kicked in after you’d done five races. I told ‘em that I was gonna do a full schedule, but for me that’s four races, including our Team D’oosh club time trial in January. They have to understand that if you want results, you gotta be rested between races. Real rested. Recovery is just as important as training, prolly more so, even.”

“Look, Thunky. I’m gonna try to get you on Amgen this year. You’ll be a domo for Thurlow, Meeker, Brett, Strickie, Malcolm…the big boys. But you gotta bring something to the table. What do I tell them about you?”

“What do you tell them? Duuuuude! Aren’t you my agent? Tell ‘em about what we did this year! Tell ‘em how the race went down when Clunky Thunky brought the A-game and stuffed the clowns into the hurt locker! Tell ‘em that!”

“Ah, what race are you talking about, Thunks?”

“What race? San Dimas! Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten San Dimas?”

“Was that the one where you launched off the road and hit that parked car? At, like three miles in or something?”

“You always gotta bring up the fuckin’ parked car. Fuck the parked car! Dude, I stretched the field out longer than a neck in a noose. Ask ‘em, man, any of those dudes’ll tell you about the Thunky Beatdown. Thurlow was there. Meeker was there. Worthingtons were there. Leibert was beggin’ for mercy I had everybody on the rivet.”

“Okay, maybe I’ll remind them of that later, you know, like when we’re talking signing bonuses and stuff. What else happened in 2012?”

“I did that one 35+ race and laid the wood to Tintsman and Paolinetti.”

“Phil Tintsman? You? Really? That’s pretty awesome, cause those two guys are the real deal. Which race was it?”

“Hellz. It was at Ontario, I think. Maybe CBR. I attacked from the gun like always.”

“Then you got in a break with Phil and Jamie? Sweet!”

“Nah, I didn’t get in no stupid break. I’m a sprinter kind of rouleur. You know, a puncheur climber type time trialist, all ’rounder with an emphasis on track and ‘cross.”

“So what happened?”

“It was like on the second or third lap. I was railin’ it, dude, 54-11, hittin’ the headwind section like a freight train. Field was comin’ apart at the seams, everybody strung out in the gutter, dudes frying off the back like fritters in a fryolator. Sick shit. Tintsman and Paolinetti were in the hurt locker. The pain cave. Beggin’ for mercy, they were my bitches, dude. That’s what I’m talking ’bout.”

“Then what?”

“I finished my solid half lap and then Tintsman and Paolinetti and Charon and a bunch of other dudes, I think Brauch and Wimberley, and you know, five or six other Monster dudes, and a few other guys rolled off in a break. There was like sixty of ‘em. No way we were bringing them back. But you can ask Tintsman, that shit wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t softened ‘em up.”

“Sixty dudes? In one break?”

“Yeah, man. It was righteous. Me and Stimp –you know him? Rides for Soft Longies, he’s a badass. Me and Stimp motored with the field on our wheel the rest of the race.”

“How many guys were left in the field?”

“About seven or eight. Coddles McGee, Woodenhead, Dorcas Johnson, Tubbs, you know. The dudes you can count on.”

“Okay, I’ll make the pitch for you. What should I tell them your goals are for 2013?”

“My goals? Do you even have to ask? Tell ‘em this: I’m comin’ for Charon if they can find me a Venge just like his. Black shorts, with the cool elastic thingy like Paolinetti and Tintsman have. And $10k in travel reimbursements. Up front, Jan. 1, like in the pros. And a cut of everything everyone wins, even if I have to miss the race because of my Saturday yoga class, which actually is what gives me extra power but most dudes don’t know about that. And free massage sessions–and I pick the masseuse. Don’t give me some hairy dude named Jacques. I want a smoking babe who only works nekkid or in a thong. Happy ending for Thunky, you got that? And a 401k and a team car. That’s my minimum starting offer. See what you can do from there.”

“And what can your new team expect in return?”

“I’m gonna take Charon down next year. I’m gonna ride Tintsman off my frickin” wheel. I’m gonna give Meeker a sprint clinic every frickin” weekend. You tell ‘em that, Wanky, and you tell ‘em Thunky sent you.”

The phone went dead.

A few minutes later it rang again.

“Hello?”

“Yo, it’s me again. Any offers?”

“Not yet, buddy. But they’re comin’ any minute. Any minute.”

Brentwood Grand Prix by Greg de Guzman 8-5-12 RD 2

The Brentwood Grand Prix came on August 5 over 2,000 spectators watched the race between 7 AM and 4 PM . The 2.3 –mile course will begin in front of the Kaufman Library and circle the median from Burlingame to Gorham in Brentwood. The Southern California Nevada Cycling Association has chosen The Brentwood Grand Prix as the 2012 SCNCA Elite Criterium Championship and racers will be competing for the honor of wearing the coveted “Bear Jersey”.

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Cody O’Reilly is a tactician and wins the Brentwood Grand Prix

I got to the race super late; I had to rush because I had 30 minutes to kit up and register Brentwood Grand Prix. It was great having my Dad and girlfriend there to pin numbers, pump tires, fill bottles, etc.

Rolling up to the start I knew I was going to have a hard first 5 to 10 laps as my legs needed to warm up, so I was stoked to get called to the front line and avoid the scramble to move up with the hard corners on course. Through the first 15-20 minutes I was just trying to get on even terms with the other riders as I got moving.

 

Then the break went. I saw Eric Marcotte and Alex Darville moving around the outside through the start finish stretch, and tagged onto that train of riders as it went full gas through turn one. There was a small gap, and I decided it was worth it to do a little work since I wasn’t fully opened up yet. Over the next 5 laps or so most of the break worked hard, and the gap seemed to solidify. The only thing missing was that there were no Monster Media riders so it worried me to the point that I didn’t want to be putting everything into my pulls.

Mid-race I knew that the break would stay and started thinking of who was pulling the hardest (Marcotte & Darville) and who was sitting on conserving, which was only 1 guy every now and then, but a couple of guys sitting-on were just about to get popped.

A bit later, Marcotte grabbed a prime and caused a separation that I knew I needed to jump across or else he could roll away on his own. Then there was the $800 prime that Sandoval went for and gave Sandoval, Marcotte, and me the final selection. At first Sandoval had some skipped pulls in the last laps but then contributed.

I was pretty happy being up against those 2 guys in a sprint. I didn’t think I would need to worry about Sandoval with how he sprinted for the previous prime, but I knew I would have some trouble with Marcotte, especially if he went on the attack in the last 1.5 to 2 laps.

It turned out that he didn’t attack, and I found myself in the 3rd position for the last lap as we caught feild. It worried me that I might lose the other guys through traffic, but it was pretty clean through the bottom corners.

In the finish, Sandoval went long, trying to lose Marcotte and me in the field. Then Marcotte went with at least 300m or more into the head wind and I was able to wait and sprint as we got into the last 150m or so. Marcotte had a second kick as I went, and it made me really dig to stay at full gas all the way to the line.