Merco McDonald's Downtown Grand Prix and Hilltop Road Race – Elite 3 Race Report

Merco McDonald's Downtown Grand Prix

Got to the line just in the nick of time as the start whistle blew no more than a thirty seconds after rolling up. The second lap was a prime of mysterious value, for which I toyed the idea of getting. Third wheel on West 18th street as the group slowed, I attacked and got about 3 bike lengths before hitting the next turn onto M street. I maintained a sizable gap to the line and pocketed a sweet $75. I sat in for a while, until I heard another bell indicating a prime and the announcer stating that $50 was on the line. I moved up, to be third wheel onto West 18th street once again. I followed an attack by a Taleo rider, who led into the final corner. He started accelerated a little, veered left, then right. I jumped around his left and took the money. I bridged to my friend Reese Levine who was up the road in a solo-breakaway sometime in the middle of the race. About half of a lap after making contact with Reese, two guys bridged up and started working with us. The four of us stayed off for about another third of a lap, then we were pulled back. I sat back in the peloton until about three laps to go, when I began to make my way back up to the front. I stayed about 6-8th wheel for second to last lap, with a good friend of mine, whom I was confident would benefit from a wheel to follow into the final straight, on my wheel. Going into the final lap, we got swarmed hard. My friend went around my left side to make up for lost ground, and I burned a couple of matches to get in front of him before it was too late. Into the second to last corner, I was sixth wheel with two guys clearly dropping on the outside. Into the final corner, I was just a little too far off the wheel in front of me, and the leading three guys all jumped around the same time. Those three stayed about two bike lengths off to the line. Until about 100m to go, I maintained a good distance off the guys behind me, when I saw them charging fast. I edged a Team Swift kid out for 4th place and took home a good amount of winnings.

Merco Hilltop Road Race

This morning, after seeing a junior friend of mine, Matt Schaupp, earn a yellow jersey for winning the 3s crit the day before, I considered how cool it might be to win one today. My intentions for this road race were to develop a higher comfort level when surfing the middle of the peloton- from front to back, and from side to side. This was my primary focus for the majority of the race, paying little attention to breakaways. In the final lap, a breakaway of about six guys got off the front and maintained a good lead off the front. When we turned left on to Cox Ferry road, the breakaway was still insight, and some organization was forming at the front to reel them back. With 2k remaining, the break had about a ten second gap. I hopped onto the wheels of two guys that attacked up the right side of the road at the start of the rollers. We got up to the breakaway rather quickly, but Reese Levine of Tieni Duro put in a solid dig and brought the field up behind us. There was a left turn, then a gradual right to the uphill that lead to the slight downhill sprint. An Above Category rider attacked hard up the left side just before the right turn onto the final bump. He got a quick 30m on the front of the group. Approaching the crest of the hill, I was second wheel, and the guy in front of me pulled off. I assumed there was at least one junior on or near my wheel, so I ramped it up from about 300m or so. After catching the AC rider, I looked over my left shoulder and no one was going. I jumped and rhomped on the pedals, to try and catch the guy on my wheel by surprise. I took the win by a full wheel, with Specialized junior Christopher LaBerge closing in on my left for a well-earned second.