By "When In doubt"...read this | June 20, 2011 at 10:30 PM EDT | 3 comments
A great weekend up in memphis started with a big win in the circuit race. It was a very fast, safe course with one descent climb. We did 9 laps covering about 25 miles so it was fairly short. Nate Brown from the Trek Livestrong U23 team was there with a HUGE target on his back and I can't say I wasnt aiming at it. First lap he killed the hill and I almost ended my race trying to stay with him. I recovered and was able to work with him, and I took the feild two laps to bring us back. He chilled a few laps and breaks went up the road like crazy. I trusted he knew what he was doing and waited. He attacked a few laps later on the hill and flew by the riders up the road. This happened several times, but somehow never stuck. I didnt work hard in any of the breaks because the sprint was a flat 1k drag into a headwind and I knew I had the power. Last lap I was on Nates wheel all the way up the climb, he didnt make a move so the climb was slow and just over the top was the 1kilo sign. I kept my wheel free and put my head in the wind to keep good position until it lined up for the sprint. I lined up 4th wheel. Marx and bendsdorf had a leadout to 400 meters and "freinds" took us to 300. I marked a rider who seemed to have great acceleration and fitness throughout the race, and it payed off. He jumped at 300 meters and I was able to suck in behind him still seated until about 200. I came out and around hard, sat down for about seconds, shifted to a bigger gear and grinded it out for the win.
The time trail was a 4 mile out and back, with a few rollers and some descent wind. I have gotten alot better at my sustained efforts and actually rode one of the best TT's ever. I averaged 30mph on a road bike with the turnaround, so my speed average was actually a little higher than thirty. But still it is hard to compete with full aero TT bikes with disk wheels and aero helmets, and I ended up 11th. I ran an 8:07. Props to Nate Brown who past me just after the turn around going much faster than I was. He ran a 7:11.
I came Into the crit knowing that second place in the crit gave me the overall win, but I don't ever play for second. Im just not a stage racer. I play for premes, cash, and the stage win. After a few boo boo attacks in the first few laps, Nate took off like a rocket. There was a terrible crosswind and I was on the left side of the echelon staying protected, and nate flew out on the right, directly into the wind. I knew that I missed the wheel and didnt want any part of the headwind coming up, but knew I could make the bridge soon. Several riders responded, but went too hard into turn one and crashed out. I made it through safely and decided to go for it. Before the race I wrote down the top five rider's numbers on my handlebars. They were all with me, and we were all ready to work to catch Nate. We would have cought him, no doubt in my mind but as we came around the next lap, they had neutralized the race because of some serious injuries in the wreck. We stopped for about 10 minutes and restarted. They basically said Nate had a 10 second gap on the feild, so they gave him a 10 second head start. Totally different scenario now, and we never saw him again. The feild was very active, and with the cross winds, it split several times. I was in probobly 4 different breakaways, one being a two man break which lasted the latter half of the race, but was finally pulled back. I think I won all the cash premes, one being an all out effort to barely steal the gambler preme from Travis Sherman, who had shot a strong flyer, and left me with nothing in the tank for the final sprint a lap later. I finished 6th in the crit, which wasnt good enough to hold on to the overall win in the omnium. Nate won the omnium but in my opinion, the cash premes were worth it! Off to Nationals