DATE - March 8-9
AUTHOR - Oli Ryan
TEAMMATES - Hobbs, Scott B, Scott C, Jacob
Stage 1, Crit
flat four corner race, good pavement, one RR track crossing
Take away primes from other GC contenders, organize at the front with 2 to go and set up Scott Cox for the win and make sure nobody else loses time.
This tends to be a relatively uneventful crit and it was no different this year. The plan going in was to (as a team) opportunistically go after the two 5 second primes, keep it together and get to the front with two to go and set up Scott Cox for the win, making sure I did not lose any time on GC. Parts of the race are a bit fuzzy, but basically Bromstead got off the front about 12 minutes in and stayed away to take the first prime, then out-sprinted Roemer for the second prime…10 seconds worth of bonuses for him, none for anyone else, sweet. A couple of short-lived breaks went up the road but it all came back together with a few laps to go. With two to go, it was Hobbs (aka Donkey), me and Scott Cox on the front…Donkey took a ridonkulous pull for about a lap and a quarter by which time Scott Bromstead had come up to my wheel too. Coming up on the second to last corner, Specialized started to come up the inside hard, so we put in a good dig and held them at bay (for now), Scott/Scott came by me just before the final turn and we could not hold off a grizzled Larry Nolan (+train) who took the win, and Carinio came in 2nd with Scott Cox taking 6th, I cruised in same time as the pack.
6. Scott Cox
9. Scott Bromstead (Same time)
18. Oliver Ryan (ST)
25. Jacob (ST)
26. Donkey (+10s)
* This went pretty much to plan, we were less concerned about the stage win as we were expending as little energy as possible to not lose time on GC.
Stage 2, Time Trial
10 mile flat loop
This is as nervous as I have ever been going into a time trial, lots of off-season work left me with what I thought were good power numbers, but I had not gone out and done a time trial since September, I have also consistently screwed this TT up through either bad pacing or mechanical issues. Light winds, with a slight headwind on the first two legs and tail on the final two. Hit the first leg hard, backed off the pace a little on the second leg to try to get into a good rhythm (it gets bumpy here). The last two legs I smashed it as hard as I could, puked a little so figured I had my pacing just right and hit the finish in 22:32, a 35 second PR for me on that course.
In traditional Velopromo fashion, we got results about 5 hours later and I was pretty happy to hear that, in order it was Dan Bryant, Jesse Moore (+28s), Me (+53s), Roemer (+58s), Theobald (+64s), Carinio (+66s). This put me in 3rd position overall with Carinio 3 seconds back, Roemer 5 seconds back and Bromstead 13 seconds back with his 10s primes from the crit.
3. Oli Ryan 22:32
7. Scott Bromstead 22:55
12. Jacob 23:15
14. Scott Cox 23:37
15. Donkey 23:39
* You measure a man only by the amount of drool on his chin after a TT. Also bees.
Stage 3, Road Race
17 mile mostly flat loop with a series of short hills on one side. Mostly good pavement except 2 1/2 mile rough pavement section). 2/5 of course is closed to traffic
I got great input from all the guys before the race, but we agreed that Folsom would be playing defense with them sitting 1/2 on GC and having 4-5 riders, and that Carinio, Theobald and Roemer would ride aggressive. We decided we should cover them and then set it up for me at the finish to try and win the stage and take a time bonus, given that the uphill sprint suits me well. We went through a few ways we thought it might play out and agreed to communicate throughout the race.
From my perspective, this went according to plan again, thanks to the guys. Pace was generally not tough, we never really went too hard through the rollers or feed zone (where it usually gets hard), although the bumpy sections were pretty fast a couple of times. We’d make the right turn after the feed onto the main road and then it would get fast, but it was easy for everyone to stay on. Claudio went from the gun and stayed away for a couple of laps, Bromstead went up the road for a while at one point too, which motivated Folsom who, at the time, were willing to give Claudio a very long leash that would not affect their GC position but would probably affect ours. We brought Scott and then Claudio back and then just after the bell Jacob attacked and Nick Theobald went with him. They got a decent sized gap pretty fast and eventually Folsom took up the chase. We went by Jacob not long after, who had flatted leaving the ever-aggressive Nick by himself up the road maybe 30 second. Again it looked like Folsom was happy to let him sit that far out, so shortly after we hit the nasty bumpy stuff, Scott Cox went to the front and put in a nice pull to bring us within a few seconds of Nick, it was obvious that we’d catch him now so it was time to try to set things up for the finish.
With no Jacob, and Scott Cox having put in a big effort to bring Nick back, it was Bromstead me and Donkey left. Coming into the first of the series of rollers, it was Donkey on the front with me on his wheel, I was not sure where Scott B was, and as much as he wanted to give it 'the business', I asked Hobbs to be patient and hold back a little, it was still a long way to the finish. A few guys came up level with us and then I saw Scott B on my wheel, I asked him to come around me as the pace started to ramp up. He put in an awesome effort to make sure that I was still top 5 wheels at the top of the second to last roller, then Carinio went hard, I yelled at Scott to let me through and went after him, by that point I had lost a few spots, but managed to reel most of them in and took 4th, Carinio had a couple of bike lengths, but me, Roemer and Larry Nolan were all basically neck and neck.
4. Oli Ryan
11. Scott Bromstead
23. Scott Cox
* As much as I wanted to win this race, I’m really not disappointed at all, the team rode amazingly well, stuck to the plan and totally sacrificed themselves to help put me into a position where I could win. I feel bad that I didn’t quite deliver, but coming in 4th to Carinio, Roemer and Nolan is not exactly a terrible result.
1. Dan Bryant
2. Matthew Carinio
3. Jesse Moore
4. Oli Ryan
6. Scott Bromstead
??. Roemer (not sure why he was not listed on GC)
Personally, this is probably the most successful weekend of racing I have had since I joined the team (and my best TT result ever), the field was not huge but it was pretty deep. I’m really humbled to be part of this team, and it’s pretty awesome to be put in a position to go head to head with some of the best talent in the country and hold our own. Thanks Scott, Scott, Jacob and Chris for both destroying yourselves and sacrificing your own results to put me in the position you did, I really enjoyed this weekend and can’t wait for Chico