In the photo: Trevor Gilmore, Eric Edem, and Jacob Jordan
Written by Trevor.
The course was 5 laps of a 9 mile "coasters" loop with a false flat leading up to a 300 foot climb. The race was an E4/5 mixed field with 29 total competitors composed of 15 E4 and 14 E5's. The weather was overcast with a light drizzle, approximately 47 degrees, and wind coming from the northwest.
During our team warm up, we gave each teammate the following roles:
(1) Attackers: Eric Edem and Jacob Jordon
(2) Super Domestiques: Peadar O'Mochain and Trevor Gilmore
(3) Sprinter: Tom Van Pelt
The idea was to attack, protect, and lead out Tom for the final sprint. After the first lap, we successfully broke up the field into a 10/11 person lead group. Over the next two laps our field dropped down to 8; 5 teammates and 3 non teammates. On the 4th lap, two non teammates formed a break, which Eric responded to, and I helped bridge the gap for the remaining 6.
On the final lap, two non teammates (Keith Strong and Aidan McNeil) sprinted into the headwinds on the false flat, forming a break. At this point there was about 5 miles left in the race. All five of our teammates were in front of the main pack when the break happened; I suggested I use my last energy to bridge the gap; which would have resulted in us stopping the break, although we would have pulled two non teammates with us; Eric insisted the two in the break will run out of energy and we will catch them. That was not the case - they maintained the break for 5 miles and placed 1 and 2.
On the last 300 foot climb, Eric and Peadar got a bit ahead of our pack, and Rafael Garcia, a non teammate, followed them, and in essence was drafting off them. I looked back and noticed our other two teammates, and two non teammates, were far behind me. We now have 2 miles to go to finish. I used all my energy to catch up to Eric, Peadar, and Rafael. I notice that Rafael is drafting off Eric and Peadar; in essence they are leading him to the finish line. I sit in the back and regain energy.
Now we are 1 mile from the finish line. Eric and Peadar try attacking, but it doesn't stick. I sit in the back with the idea that the non teammate Rafael will try to sprint, and I can catch him. He seems to be struggling a bit. At about 0.1 miles from the finish line, I start to sprint, and Rafael beats me to the finish line by a few inches. Eric and Peadar finish right after him; and then 30 second to a minute later, Jacob, Tom, and Paul (non teammate) finish.
My two cents - we were outsmarted in the race. Great experience, and we are starting to work together as a team nicely.