I came into this race with the sole ambition to help my teammates Ingmar Jungnickel and Mikal Davis improve/defend their positions in the Red Kite Omnium general classification. Dante Lobue and Michael Kurnik were also there to support our two leaders. Ingmar was sitting in third in the Omnium and was closely watched by riders occupying the 2nd and 1st places. He had to get a couple of primes to be able to win the overall so we knew from the start that it would be a hard task. Mikal was 4th and was our “ghost” rider as he very recently went up to that position in the Omnium and we suspected that most riders will not know about this.
The race started with us controlling the pace, then came the first prime. Michael tried to lead Ingmar out but he could not take it. Plan B started and Mikal went solo off the front. I tried to prevent anyone from chasing and keep the pace down, but after a while, I could see that Mikal was hurting. At this point, I decided to jump and bridge, making sure I wasn’t bringing anyone with me, in order to help him. We made it to the last straight line on the prime lap and I tried my best to lead him out, but unfortunately, we didn’t see a rider coming to our right and he stole the prime from us, how dare he ?! Dante and Ingmar managed to get the last primes of the race, at which point I knew I had a “carte blanche” of some sort.
With three laps to go, I turned back and saw that the peloton was stretched a lot. I decided to go for it, and unleash the power, which created a nice gap. One rider tried to (and almost did) bridge, but I wasn’t going to let that happen today, so I attacked again before he could get too close. I finished the race with a solid gap on the field, being able to carefully raise my arms up in the air (without crashing like a clown) and take the win for TMB! My first criterium win!
Congrats to all my teammates, and to Ingmar who jumped up the standings to take third in the overall, and big thanks to all our sponsors!