Sunday, June 19, 2016

Stillwater Crit

Today was the final stage of the North Star Grand Prix. We tackled 23 laps on a 1.3 mile course that features a 200 meter climb that averages 13%. The plan for the day was to protect Nicolai and set him up for a late race move. The pace set off fast from the gun, and riders were getting shelled like peanuts each time up the climb. For the first 10 laps I stayed near Nicolai and looked after him. After 12 laps the field seemed soft, so I went with a move that ended up being the break of the day. I did no work in the move and figured it put us in a strong position if Nic bridged up late race. I was ready to drill it for him if this situation happened. Guys were attacking off the front of the break but were fading, and our gap on the field was huge. With 4 laps to go the break seemed to be fading, and I felt super. So I attacked with 3.5 laps to go and immediately got a 15 second gap on the break and had about 30 seconds on the field. About a minute later on the descent I got a rear flat, and my race was over. Sometimes things that are beyond your control happen in bike racing. That is the beauty of the sport. You can't get down about it, and you have to move on. Situations like this have happened to me before, and I am sure they will happen again. With about 2 laps to go the field caught the rest of the break, and Nic was positioned near the front. He came to the line with 5-10 riders and came in 4th on the stage. Tactically we raced a super race today. The North Star Grand Prix was super fun, and we killed it as a team.