In the photo: Mathias Jacquelin
Written by Mathias
I was targetting this race. TMB Dev had a team of five riders, with Brandon, Jacob, Juan, Marco, and myself.
The day before, I had a good day at the the Crossfire Hurricane hill climb challenge, and if my legs were still there, I knew I could do well, or at least, try something. Our plan was therefore for me to attack at the end of lap 2 (coming back up Patterson Pass Rd, before turning on Cross). Then, remembering the words of my mentor Jacob, commit to it for the entire lap.
Coming to the actual race, that is exactly what happened. During lap 1 and 2, Juan protected me very well from any attack by covering the gaps. At the end of lap 1, there was an intermediate sprint for which I wasn't planning anything but a fake attack so that Jacob could counter attack and take it. Nobody took the bait, and only one rider finally chased me. I had the best of him by half a wheel on a seated sprint, spinning on the bump, trying to keep my energy.
The end of lap 2 getting closer, Juan, Jacob, and Brandon took things in charge by picking up the pace up Patterson Pass Rd, to the point that the rider next to me thought that TMB was placing its actual attack. When my teammates slowed down, I looked at the pack and saw many people recovering from the pace, and a gap to my right. We arrived near the steepest portions of the climb, I went and pushed as hard as I could until I reached the turn before the Bump.
I went over the Bump spinning, turned back and saw a Union Cycle rider chasing me. That's when I stood up and made another effort in the remaining part of the climb before the downhill section. We knew it was unlikely that people would organize well if the gap was sufficient and their spirit sufficiently crushed.
The rest of the downhill and Greenville Rd. was pure suffering, coming on top of the climb of Greenville, I couldn't see the pack, so I started to believe in my chances. I then turned right on Patterson Pass Rd again for the last time, went up at tempo and gave everything in the last steep parts before raising my arms like a hero. I bet the pictures will look a lot different from what I felt, but one thing for sure: it feels good !
Thumbs up to everyone for today, and to Mike's Bikes and our sponsors for all the support !