For me (Roman Kilun), the Snelling Road Race is the official start to the racing season and the 2013 edition did not disappoint. It's a fairly short race of 6 laps comprising 85 miles of bumpy winding roads through orchards and diary farms. Team Mike's Bikes pb Incase brought a strong team with the goal of wining the race from a field sprint. However, the wind and the aggression tore the race to pieces and kept the team on our toes from start to finish. The first lap was fast but fairly mundane, the wind was not yet strong and the fresh field mostly neutralized it self as everyone attacked themselves silly. Mid way though the second lap, things got a bit more interesting as the cross wind picked up and the heavy hitters stretched their legs. Splits started to occur and Team Mike's Bikes jumped into action sensing the danger. In short order a group of twelve formed with Riggs, LeBerge and Kilun in it. It was a decent situation for the team but not ideal as the group was stacked with the likes of Hutchinson and FF Rodriguez. Chuck was especially dangerous as he had two strong teammates with him in the lead group. As such we did our best to conserve and keep the gap small enough to allow more of our teammates to bridge across or for the field to catch us.
At the end of the third lap, Riggs suffered a flat and was unable to rejoin as the follow car was with the field. The loss of Riggs was a huge blow, but Daniel made up for it by bridging the two minute gap with Eric Wohlberg and Logan Loader. We had renewed confidence in the break away with DHolla there and plotted a path through the ever building wind. For the most part the breakaway worked as a unit with occasional fits of violent attacks. As we approached the feed-zone on the fifth lap, Chuck launched a sudden and fierce attack. The wind was howling and a moment of indecision spelled disaster for Team Mike's Bikes. Freddie, Eric and Stasny were straight on Chuck. We failed to react and the gap opened up before we knew it. James made a brilliant effort to get across and got very close. Seeing James falter, I gave chase and held the gap for several kilometers but unable to claw it back. Finally, realizing that the only option was to wait for reinforcements, I sat up and waited for teammates. Once together Team Mike's Bikes chased for the rest of the race but the breakaway was too far and too strong.
The best placing for the team on the day was 6th. That was not the result we were capable of but we will use the many lessons learned to get stronger, smarter and more determined. Out of the lead group, Chuck took the sprint win ahead of Freddie, who was very impressive all day. Stasny rounded out the podium for third in a very hard and exciting 2013 Snelling Road Race.