Sunday, June 21, 2015
A technical crit course slanted at about 30 degrees
Bromstead, Cox, Funke, Pizzica
Win, Beat Sayers
Stay near the front, look for strong moves, survive until the end and then come up with a plan
We never connected on our pre race meeting (probably due to not picking a spot in advance) but Funke, Josh and I gathered near the Funk-Mobile. Jacob was there and warned us that some guy from Utah named Cameron Hoffman was there and he was pretty strong.
Anyway, we lined up in the first row and the race started. We made it safely around the first two turns and one dude just went for it, out of the saddle and blazing up the hill. I was about 10th wheel and accelerated up the left side. As we made our way up the the zig zag climb, the guy had about 7 sec on us by the final left and I went hard on the false flat to try to chase/bridge/open the legs. I looked back and I had Buckley and Dan Martin on my wheel and a gap back to the field.
I stayed on it over the top and down through the start/finish and by the time we hit the bottom turns, we had closed him down. He faded on the second time up the climb and Buckley took over the front. He was unsure what to do and looked back at me and asked “Do I go?” I looked back and some some guys coming across but no Sayers. So I told Buckley to give it a go and off he went. The two guys coming across made it and now Cameron Hoffman and some guy in an Italia kit (found out later it was Fonseca) were with us. Buckely and I traded pulls for the next couple laps with Dan Martin and Cameron eventually getting in the mix. Fonseca sat 5th wheel and I started to inquire about his intentions in a less than polite manner. There were 5 of us and Cameron, Buckley and I were 35+ and Dan Martin and Fonseca were 45+. If this first lap move somehow worked, were all gonna be on the podium so it seemed everyone had motivation to work. But Fonseca had a different plan. I was frustrated and wanted to see how everyone was feeling so I took over the front and went hard up the climb and then stayed full gas across the false flat. Fonseca was gone and Buckley asked me to ease up between gasps. With Fonseca gone, I obliged. From there, we generally worked well together but it’s not a course that allows for any sort of smooth rotating. So we sort of traded off leading for a lap at a time.
The gap grew to as much as 25 sec and I was confident that this was the race. After the race, I heard that Sayers made it within 3 sec of us but I never saw anyone whenever I would look back. Anyway, this continued for a while and it was hard but manageable. All of a sudden, Cameron went hard up the climb and I followed, we were all back together and he hit us again. This time, I was the only one that could follow. As we made it over the little uphill left turn at the top, he waves me through and said we had a gap. I replied “ nice try, they’re not the ones I’m worried about”. So it was just the two of us and on the next time through the start finish I saw 4 to go. It was surprising as we were only about 35 min in and I thought it was a mistake until the next time through, the same guy held a sign that said 3 to go. Ok, here we go.
Throughout the entire race, I was unable to get through both bottom turns with the same speed as the others and I would have to work to close a 20 meter gap to start the climb. Early in the race, Dan Martin was nice enough to tell me to go to the front going into the turn so I could get a good look and also not get gapped. But the others weren’t so nice and they’d swarm me on the descent to get in front. My concern for my skin was noted by Cameron and with 4 to go, he hit it hard going into the turn and then coming out. So I had to make up my 20 meter sissy gap and then follow his attack. It took half the climb to close him and then a repeat on 3 to go. I closed again and considered trying to go right by but I was thoroughly gassed by this point. And with 2 to go, same deal, except this time the gap held. We crested the top and I was cooked. I looked back and didn’t see Buckley or Martin and felt resigned for 2nd. I caught Cox at this point and he offered to drag me up but I was unsure of the rules and didn’t want to risk it, plus I couldn’t really accelerate anyway. I just had to make it up the hill one more time. I rode the last lap solo and coasted across for another 2nd place - unable to complete my personal Triple Crown.
I heard after that Josh was ridonkulous in marking any bridge attempts so thank you for your selfless efforts. And thank you to the rest of the guys, I know you all worked hard out there and hopefully had fun. I only went for one prime and I got it. $25 to buy ice cream for the girls and that rivaled the post race chowdown with the family, my Dad, and the good Dr. - all while watching the Elite team crush a Nats-caliber field. All in all, a super fun day and you all made it better!
Distance: 17.0 mi
Avg Speed: 22.7 mph
Max Speed: 42.3 mph
Avg Power: 277w
Max Power: 926w