Monday, August 29, 2011

Nocatee Stage Race

This past weekend my Team Globalbike teammate Shawn Gravois and I took part in the Great Nocatee Stage Race in Ponte Vedra, FL. This race consisted of a flat 60 mile road race, flat 5 mile tt, and a 60 minute crit.
For the road race we wanted to get in a break and a good position. We followed lots of early attacks and after a little more than a lap a group of about ten formed off the front. People were tired in the break from the heat and wind. I was feeling strong. With 25 miles to go I made the race hard and let 3 riders get up the road. I jumped up to them and the winning move was formed. This move included Derek Schanze (Gearlink), Shane Braley (Chemstar), Pedro Medina (ASV), and myself. At this point the race was very tough and we were all tired. We mostly worked together until the finish. I tried a few attacks, but they were unsuccessful. Derek attacked about a mile to go but we were on him like glue. The sprint was into a headwind, so we all just looked at each other to jump. I jumped around 200 meters to 150 meters to go and Pedro passed me for the win and Shane nipped me at the line, so I got third. Shawn soloed in for 5th place.
I looked forward to the TT because I won it last year. I was hoping I would go well. I went out at a tough pace and kept making myself suffer until the finish. I ended up with the win with a time of 9:53. Ken Vida (Florida Velo) came in second and Shawn came in third.
We went into the crit with the intent to race hard and go for the win. The best situation would have been to get Shawn and I both in a group of 4 or 5. The race started with a hard attack from Jos Chalmers (Zmotion) and Ken Vida (Florida Velo). The race was very tough because people would attack and get brought back. It was never really slow. A couple breaks would get a decent advantage and we would just peg them back. At one point it was apparent that no breaks would stick, so Shawn did a lot of time on the front helping me keep the race together. I ended up leading out the sprint because there were a lot of turns at the end and I figured if I could get into them first that was my best chance to win. The finish was about 150 meters from the last turn. Ken Vida (Florida Velo), Jos Chalmers (Zmotion), and Karel Sumbal (Gearlink) all passed me in the finishing straight, so I came in fourth and ended up winning the stage race. It was a pretty good weekend. Shawn helped me very much with this win this weekend.