Reese and I realized that Marc-Pro Strava had more riders than were pre-registered—seven! Not only was this going to make it hard, but it was hot (good thing Reese and I had Osmo to drink before, during, and after the race). I was 100% up for the challenge. Due to their representation and the hot temperature, the plan was to be as conservative as possible for the first half of the race in order to save our strength for the finish, which would be tough to control.
The race started off fast but manageable. I went to open my legs up by sprinting for a prime on the 2nd lap, which I won. I was preparing for what I knew was going to be a hard race to keep together or even more difficult to get into the winning breakaway. It wasn't until about 35 minutes into the 60 minute race that the pack started to break up. Reese and I became more attentive and followed breaks and bridges. There were a couple times in the last 20 minutes of the race where I thought the break was gone, but Reese, myself, and others attacking or bridging up to the breakaways (with MPS in tow, of course) it all got welded back together. One last big breakaway of about 6 riders had 15 seconds with 7 laps to go. Reese hit the front and brought it back together. His job was now done.
A couple touches of handlebars while fighting for wheels, I managed to get behind the MPS lead out train for Matt Chatlaong. Unfortunately, as we came into the last corner a rider dove on the inside of me and sat up, leaving me boxed in and with a gap to MPS. Once I saw an opening, I went for it! I immediately started to close down the gap, but the finish line was too quick to approach and I finished 3rd.
It was great to have a full Marc-Pro team in order to give them an opportunity to execute their lead out and to challenge Reese and I to think on our feet without a full team's support. We executed our plan but came up just short. Big thanks to all of our sponsors for their awesome products that we use day in and day out!
Thanks for reading!