By Brandon Trafton This is always a hard race, usually due to the blistering heat and the long season finally taking its toll on the body. This year however, the heat was a little less intense but the wind was blowing pretty hard.
Adam, Roman, Travis, James and I all talked before the race, we concluded it would be a splintered field so we needed to stay attentive and race smart. Adam and Roman must have told me 100 times each, "do nothing for the first 20 minutes. Save your energy. The break will go but it will be after that." Like a kid sent to his room, I sat in for the first 20 minutes: but I wasn't happy about it. In those painfully long twenty minutes, James and Roman covered everything that went allowing me to 'save my energy'.
Watching the clock on my Garmin, the 20 minutes was up. Coming into the overpass on the next lap, I found myself overly excited that I was finally able to put in an attack. I managed get a pretty good gap over the incline and held it solo for a few laps. About 10 minutes later, Justin Rossi of MarcPro Strava bridged up and we rotated well to gain on the field. 20 minutes later, Rossi's teammate, Chuck Hutcheson and my teammate, Adam Switters, bridged up to us, shortly followed by two other riders.
At seven laps to go a small gap opened for Rossi and I again, so I signaled to him and we hit it. The rest of the riders settled into a group of 8 behind. Rossi and I kept rotating to increase the gap. At two laps to go I hit it hard over the overpass (couldn't help myself) and got a little gap on Rossi. When I realized it was staying at three seconds, I figured he was messing with me,so I eased off a little and braced for his attack around me. When Rossi accelerated by me I was able to get onto his wheel and hold my position for the last lap onto the final straight. At that point, with a windy sprint, it was a true drag race to the line. Luckily I was able to hold Rossi off until the finish and claim the win.
Awesome race, great competition and an incredible team and sponsors behind me today. Thank you.