Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Greenville Spring Series Weekend 2

This past weekend the Palmetto State Medical Cycling Team raced the second weekend of the Greenville Spring Series. The weekend consisted of a 75 mile road race at Fork Shoals and a 56 mile circuit race at the Donaldson Center. Going into the weekend I was sitting in first overall in the omnium, and we had Ben in second place. The first goal for the weekend was to win both races with a secondary goal of maintaining the overall lead. We fielded a strong team of Matt Moosa, Justin Meade, Parker Kyzer, Chris Uberti, Ben Renkema, Johnny Mitchell, and myself.

The Fork Shoals circuit is relatively flat with not much wind, so it can be tough to read how the race will play out. An early break typically rolls here and gets brought back. The race started off with attacks, but the break did not establish immediately. Finally after about 10 miles of racing we had Johnny, Moose, and Parker up in a lead group of around 15 riders. Back in the field the pace was like a bungee chord with riders who missed the split attacking often. The field was motivated to chase down all attacks. Finally with about 20 miles left to race the bungee broke, and the field allowed Brendan Rhim of Holowesko roll. Immediately after this Ben Wolfe of Jelly Belly attacked hard from the field, but the field was motivated to bring him back for some reason. As soon as he was brought back they didn't reel in Brendan too, who was only another 10 seconds or so up the road. I decided not to follow Ben anymore at this point, which was not the best decision on my part. Wolfe went again and was able to establish a gap, and Uberti made a smart move by bridging up to Wolfe. The break was in sight when Rhim and Wolfe rolled, so all these riders made contact with the front group. After this went the field pretty much sat up. I attacked with another rider after this, but did not think we would make contact with the break. I looked at this as getting in a decent workout to finish my race. Up front our guys worked everyone over, and Moose ended up taking the win in a small group sprint.

We were pretty excited about Moose's win the previous day, and we had our team photo shoot right before the race. Thanks Yvonne Lydick for coming out and taking the photos! During the first mile of the race Johnny attacked, and Parker bridged up to him alone. Then Charlie Hough rolled up to them forming a break of 3 early in the race. A few miles later, Conor Schunk and two other riders rolled to bridge to the break of 3 to make 6 guys up the road. Back in the field the pace was on and off again. Guys would attack and the field would reel them back. It is very tough having to surge to over 700 watts and then coast. With about 33 miles left to race Moose rolled off alone in pursuit of the lead group. He was joined shortly after by Ben Wolfe. It seemed that the field was done, but Mac Brennan and Grant Koontz of Arapahoe both rolled off alone. Meade was also able to jump clear with a group. Most of these riders were able to make contact with the front group, and Moose was able to take the win once again in a small group sprint over Charlie Hough of Chainheart and Grant Koontz.

This was a highly successful weekend for the team. We worked super well as a unit, and Moose was able to take the win both days. Next weekend is the final weekend of the Spring Series. We have Moose sitting in second overall by only a few points behind Ben Wolfe, so we will fight hard to bring home the win.