Sunday, April 24, 2016

Joe Martin Stage Race Stage 4

Today was the final day of the Joe Martin Stage Race. It was a 33 lap criterium on a tough course in downtown Fayetteville. There were points and time bonuses up for grabs every 10 laps and at the finish. That left the GC wide open. The pace started off fast from the gun as Silber controlled the pace until the first points sprint. After the sprint the pace slowed and a breakaway slipped away. At this point United Healthcare took the front and controlled the pace. Shortly after this Evan took a flyer but was reeled back in by UHC. The pace was slow up the hill, but we hammered the downhill. This made it difficult to get into a good position. I never got into a good rhythm to see the front of the race.  With about 6 laps to go we were breathing down the necks of the break and the pace quickened. A rider popped on the downhill a couple wheels in front of me and opened a gap. It took a few laps but with 3 to go me, Evan, and Bryan regained contact with the field. Evan and I popped the next lap while Bryan was able to finish in the field. It was a really tough day and I didn't perform as well as I expect of myself. On a positive note I got in some good racing at the Joe Martin Stage Race.

Joe Martin Stage 3

Yesterday was the third stage of the Joe Martin Stage Race. It was a 109 mile road race on a ~23 mile loop that has a steep climb each lap. The race started off fast with attacks from the gun. Oliver started out near the front and covered an early move that didn't go. I went in the counter, but it went nowhere. We approached the steep hill and I was positioned near the front. Over the top the field sat up, so I went with another move but it also went nowhere. After this we took a turn up a false flat and into a tailwind, and the flurry of attacks continued. This sent me really far back in the group and the pace never let up. At this point Oliver and Bryan did a super job covering moves but still nothing went. Finally, midway through the first lap a move went off the front, and we missed it. However, Barry positioned himself near the front and bridged up to the break with another rider. After the break was established there was nothing going on in the field for a while, and Jamis set a decent tempo. Heading into the final time up the climb the break was in sight, and we caught them over the top. Some groups tried attacking in the finale but nothing came to fruition as United Healthcare set pace. The sprint was fast and chaotic on small, winding roads. Mike did a great job getting Evan toward the front of the peloton. Bryan and I were up there to try to make a late surge happen like on Friday. I touched my brakes too much and was caught behind too many crashes to help Evan out. Bryan was caught in a crash with 2-3km to go but only got a little road rash. Today is the final stage with a tough 85 minute crit. We will race hard to get a result today!