Sunday, February 21, 2016

Greenville Spring Series Weekend #2

This past weekend was the second weekend of the Greenville Spring Series. Both of the races were at the rolling 7 mile Donaldson Center Circuit. I love this course because the race is always super tough, and only the strongest riders are able to win here. Both of our races consisted of 8 laps. The Lupus Racing Team for the weekend consisted of Marcos, Thomas, Matthieu, Barry, and myself.

Right from the start Thomas launched into a breakaway of 3 riders. Matthieu and I followed moves and put ourselves into a 10 rider chase group. We didn't work very hard in this group. At one point everyone in my group slowed up, so I launched an attack to bridge to the front. It seemed I was only a carrot, so I stopped trying to bridge and was absorbed by the group. Our group was absorbed by the peloton, and Barry, Marcos, Matthieu, and I covered some attacks. Matthieu ended up in a group off the front that bridged to Thomas' group. Then on the 4th lap there was a massive pileup I could not avoid. I got up with ninja reflexes, so I figured I could catch the group. I chased hard, but the field was drilling it. I think they caught Thomas' break at this point, and the field was going bananas. A group of riders joined me and I decided to stick it out and finish the race. I figured it would be better training than sitting on the side of the road. Up the road the guys followed moves and got in breaks. I am not sure all that happened but Rolly Weaver ended up getting the win with Barry Miller as our best placed rider in 4th place.

For Sunday's race Marcos and Barry followed moves right from the start. This gave me the opportunity to go with the break of the day at the end of lap one. This split was a massive 20 rider move that consisted of 6 Hincapie riders. I decided I would sit on for a while. After 4 laps the Hincapie riders started attacking. There was a long time to go at this point, so I was cautious with the attacks I decided to follow. With 3 laps to go Brendan Rhim got away solo at what looked to me might be the win. The group seemed tired and unmotivated, so I attacked only to be caught 5 minutes later. The group seemed tired, so I attacked again and was caught by Charlie Hough, Rolly Weaver, Ian Garrison, and Mac Brennan. With a lap and a half to go Mac went and shortly after Rolly bridged up to him. At the end of the day attacks were flying left and right, and I was unable to respond to the numbers Hincapie had in my group.  I was left with Charlie, Brendan, and Ian who surprisingly rotated with me. I stopped working with them with 2k to go, but I didn't have anything left for the sprint and arrived in 6th place. This was the the price of my two solo attacks with a couple laps to go. Mac Brennan took the win over Rolly Weaver. In hindsight one might think that the attacks I put in with a couple laps to go were not wise. I am not a sprinter, and I race to win. If first place is up the road, I will do what I can to get up there. I won't sit in and try to sprint for second or third place. I am happy with the effort I put in at the end of the day because I gave it my best and crossed the line with nothing left in the tank.

This was a tough race weekend out at Donaldson with my Lupus Racing Team teammates. I look forward to racing at River Falls and Donaldson next weekend for the final race weekend of the 2016 Greenville Spring Series.