June 25th: Fond du Lac Criterium: Photo courtesy of http://www.cyclingnews.com/races/tour-of-americas-dairyland-ne-1/stage-9/photos/127590
A bit of a longer drive than the over events, the team headed out to Fond du Lac for Friday’s criterium event. Another four corner circuit, very similar to Tuesday’s race in Sheboygan, Yellow looked to control the race or jump in early moves before setting up for the finale. Between all five of us, we were once again able to score a majority of the evening’s preme sprints and after a strong two man breakaway snuck away with 30 minutes remaining, Yellow lined up on the front with 15 laps (15 minutes) to go. Those fifteen minutes, although the most painful, were by far the most enjoyable. With Mike sitting in for the sprint, Taylor, Roman and I chased hard with the crowd reacting to our yellow train. At 12 laps to go Jason came up to the front to take over my position so that I could rest for the sprint. With 1.5 laps to go, the breakaway’s 22 second advantage had been reduced to 7 seconds but with Kenda breathing down our neck for the 3rd place sprint, I moved Mike up from 8th wheel to Roman and Jason on the back straight. Through corner three I took over the front but Jason was nearly ruined when a bonehead from behind essentially hugged Jason to avoid a lamppost (apparently the guy though there was space between the curb and Jason when J was already on the outside gutter as I came by). That produced a gap in the train and on the final lap Kenda came by our train. Fortunately Mike snuck in for 5th in the kick for 7th on the day.
The race was a bit strange as it never really settled down and we all felt a bit off. We are confident that tomorrow night’s event in Downer’s Grove will go better than tonight. We still walked away with a solid haul of preme dollars and the finale sprint thanks to Mike; although Mike stayed 8th in the Omnium standings, he now moves to within 9 points of 4th!