June 24th – Green Bush Road Race
Mike 3rd, Roman 4th
Today’s midday 130km road race event provided a nice change of pace after racing five criteriums in the last eight days. The undulating 16km circuit featured two steep but short climbs at 0.5-1km in length at 10-13% grade coupled with long sections of cross winds as we lapped back to the small town of Green Bush, WI. On lap 1 of 8, Mike slipped away with one other rider for the most significant break of the day. With a greatest advantage of 1 minute and 50 seconds, Taylor, Roman, Jason and I worked to cover bridge attempts off the front. Aerocat, Kenda and Bahati brought squads of 3-6 riders so we were well situated with our 5 man squad. On lap 2, Taylor suffered a shifter mechanical and had to switch to a neutral bike (supplied by Specialized and SRAM). Unfortunately it did not fit him well and he had to drop out on lap 5. Once Taylor moved back for the bike change, I came up to the front to help Roman cover moves. I wanted to do a lot of the work at this time so that Roman and Jason could help Taylor get situated and stay fresh for the counter move if Mike’s break came back. At the end of the third lap, with Roman relieving my work at the front, a massive hole in the road knocked my hands off my bars. With just my forearms on the handle bars, I didn’t have much reaction time at +60km/hr and lost control immediately. Fortunately, I landed in a field of grass and came out unscathed but had to buy a new helmet at local supporters Wheel and Sprocket Bike shop (A big shout out to Mike who helped us all get what we needed to ready us for tomorrow’s criterium – thanks MIKE!)
Down to three Rubicon Orbea riders, the field split on lap 5 in the cross winds with Jason, Roman and Mike all making the twenty rider group. Jason crushed it on the final lap in the hot conditions (without our generous homestay Patricia Young who handed out drinks and Cokes in the feed zone we would have been useless – THANKS PATRICIA! Your banana bread and cookies are very tasty too!) to keep the pace high and set up Mike and Roman for the finale. In the end, a Bahati rider proved too fast in the sprint, with Mike and Roman finishing 3rd and 4th respectively. Another solid day of racing!
Back to criterium racing tomorrow night in Fond du Lac before Satuday’s premiere event in Downer’s Grove.