Coming into today, I had been fully rested after racing Wednesday from the U23 road race that put Nick and Marcus in the 22nd and 23rd spots and Roman finishing a strong 8th place in the Elite road race two days before. It had been unbelievably nice there in Madison, Wisconsin and I knew it had to change sometime or another. By Sunday the weather was in the 80's and the humidity was roughly the same which made it a bit uncomfortable.  Nevertheless, I moved on and pre-boosted before the race with the Pre-load OSMO to get me ready for the day at hand. Coming into the race, I knew there were 4 teams we had to watch out for if a break were to get away: Cashcall, Champion Systems, Elbowz, and Predator cycling. The team was: Roman, Eric, Shawn, Marcus, and I so we needed to be careful in what we did but we ultimately wanted a field sprint. The race started out very fast, as it was expected with a couple dangerous moves throughout the race but we made sure we had one us at least one of us represented in the breaks. The laps kept ticking down and by 10 laps to go, Roman, Shawn and Eric went to the front to take control and keep the pace high so that no one could sneak away. By 8 laps to go, Cashcall took over and I hooked onto Eric and we stayed near each other the entire time. I reconnected with Eric coming into the final laps and at 1 lap to go, we were about 8-10th place. Eric moved me up to about 5th going into turn 2 with a mix of Elbowz and Cashcall riders in front of us. Coming into the all-important turn 3, a rider a couple places in front of me swerved for some reason which caused Eric to do the same and that unfortunately left me with no where to go but hit Eric's back wheel as I was seeking to stay out of the wind. I was fortunately able to keep my body upright and save myself some skin but the price was that I clipped out of my right foot and by the time I got it back in, I was about 30 guys too far back and there was no chance of any kind of good placing after. I had the U23 Nationals Criterium coming up in only a couple hours so I decided to just roll in instead of fighting for a -45th placing. It was a bit disappointing that this happened on the last lap but it is part of bike racing and I knew my form was there so I'm pleased with that, at least.

I would like to thank all of my teammates for putting their trust in me; as a 20 year old, it is huge to get these kinds of opportunities and I can't tell them thank you enough for all of their hard work that put in for me and I feel dreadful of not bringing home anything for them. Also, I would like to thank all of the sponsors and Team Management to get us all out here to Nationals and race for a National Championship! We all greatly appreciate it and we look forward to next year back in Madison, WI!

 

Thank you for reading.

 

--James LaBerge