Madera Stage Race, Stage 1 (Crit)
-Take time primes away from other riders
Cox to cover early, watch guys going for time primes and take them if possible, Oli to be opportunistic but ride relatively conservatively until the last few laps, Cox to wind it up just after 2nd to last turn with me coming off his wheel for the loooong sprint.
Small field but some strong TT and Crit guys represented. Started out at a pretty normal pace and then got S L O W. Scott took the first time bonus, and on the next time prime lap the pace slowed coming out of turn 2, so I dug in a little, got a nice gap and figured I could afford to put in a minute or so effort to get the 5 second prime, which I just ended up snagging. Pace slowed again with 2 to go, Scott and I had discussed him taking a flyer if it slowed too much, he was 2nd wheel and was looking for me and we connected with me sitting behind Albracht who had his wheel. With about half a lap to go, Albracht’s teammate went hard with Albracht on his wheel, he started to slow just after the railroad tracks and Cox came around him with Albracht right on his wheel, which set up perfectly with me sitting on him. Coming out of the last turn, Cox goes hard to the outside with Ben on his wheel, legs felt great so I just went hard up the inside just outside of Ben’s view, came through him with maybe 50m to go and Cox, who was clearly going to cross the line first, coasts in to make sure I get the max time bonus…unbelievably selfless move by him and I end up with 25 seconds in time bonuses.
-Scott is an amazing teammate, he went all in to get me the time I thought I needed and sacrificed a win.
-Long sprints suit me well.
Distance: 15.9 mi
Avg Speed: 24.7 mph
Max Speed: 36.2 mph
Avg Power: 238W
Max Power: 1307w
Madera Stage Race, Stage 2 (TT)
Paced well, pushed hard, just not quite hard enough (wind was less of a factor than I thought it would be). Grefrath crushed all, I was third, 3 seconds behind 2nd place, GC after this stage was Grefrath, then me (14s) then Staron (22s back of me).
I seem to have this TT fairly well dialed in, went surprisingly fast for such low watts, hoping that means the position is solid, feel like I could have gone faster if I had gone out a bit harder given lack of wind…satisfied with the ride though, went faster last year.
Avg Speed: 27.2 mph
Max Speed: 33.6 mph
Avg Power: 317W
Max Power: 779w
Madera Stage Race, Stage 3 (Road Race)
With 30s on the line for the stage win, we wanted the time bonus (I was sitting 14s back from Grefrath) so the plan was pretty straightforward, keep it together, Scott to lead me out for the stage win.
They ended up putting about 25 45+123 guys with us which totally changed the race, now Grefrath (Thirsty Bear) had 2 teammates, Chronos had a third and they definitely took advantage of it (as they should have). Pace was at times painfully pedestrian but I was patient and sat in, saw a couple of openings that I covered but Scott was up front for the entire race keeping things in check. Pretty much all attacks were pathetic, must be early season legs for everyone. Coming into the finishing rollers on the last lap, I called Scott back from the front and took his wheel, we would ramp it up towards the top of the second to last roller, use his momentum to get down the other side, he’d open it up and drop me off at about 150m where it flattens out a bit before pitching up again for the finish. Theobald put in a small attack about 1K to go which Scott was on, and we were back together a few seconds later. It all felt right, we started to ramp it up as planned and I got chopped hard by one of the 45+ guys and lost Scotts wheel (no idea why, his race was over, 5 guys from his field were up the road), after the race I was beating myself up over it, ultimately my choice was to lose Scotts wheel or to crash out and I chose the former. I ended up having to move left and took way too much wind and the sprint got away from me. Eropkin, Grefrath and Staron took the far right latching on to another group that we just caught, and Grefrath took a strong win with Staron in second, giving me 2nd in the GC (only by 2 seconds!).
-This is the second week in a row where I have lost a wheel very late in the race and I blame myself 100%, good news is I’m aware of it and it’s something to work on, to be honest I’m not sure there is anything I could have done differently in that situation without crashing or causing a crash, maybe guys with more of a killer instinct than me would have risked it?
-This is also the second week in a row where Scott Cox has thrashed himself for other people in races that suited him, huge respect and I can’t wait to pay it back and get you a District champ jersey at Turlock.
-99% of this weekend went exactly to plan and I’m happy with the outcome, the win would have been awesome but I came second to a stronger rider and I can deal with that.
-This is the second year in a row I have done Madera and targeted time bonuses in the Road Race and not gotten them…hindsight and all but I think a better plan might have been to ride far more aggressive, this course is designed for hard racing.
Distance: 62.8 mi
Avg Speed: 23.7 mph
Max Speed: 42.5 mph
Avg Power: 195W
Max Power: 942w