June 23rd – Waterloo Criterium
Photo courtesy of http://www.cyclingnews.com/races/tour-of-americas-dairyland-ne-1/stage-7/photos/127383
Wednesday night we took off for the Trek bike factory in Waterloo, Wi. The longer 2.6km loop featured a shallow but narrow climb along the back of the circuit with three 90 degree turns leading into the final 220m drag to the line. By the time the field had staged, with Northey on the front row after a call up awarded for his 8th place overall, the mosquitoes were out for blood so everyone was anxious to get moving. The pace was slow to start until Taylor initiated the first move along the climb on the 2nd lap. Following his move, various breakaway attempts formed, the riskiest of which featured twenty riders at the 45minute mark. I quickly bridged up to cover it as it was the only move we had missed. However, the peloton brought it all back together a lap later and we returned to the status quo. Approaching the end, Yellow lined up in front of Mike with big J powering by the green and white Aerocat train at 4.5km from the finish (1.5 laps). With such a large distance to cover, Roman and I would have some serious work to get Mike to 200m. At the base of the climb on the last lap, Roman finished his long pull but we were slightly swarmed by a Bahati rider on the right and a Kenda rider on the left. I took over with Mike tight on my wheel and I drove it up the climb, emerging 1-2. Through the 90 degree corners I drove it hard and out of the final corner Mike slacked off a bit to prepare for the slingshot. At 180metres Mike came by but unfortunately he had some friends. Rahsaan Bahati took the sprint with Mike slipping to 5th as Aerocat posted two on the podium. I made it over the line in 9th. In all, even though the finale didn’t work out perfectly, the leadout train and our teamwork throughout the race (covering moves, winning every cash preme) was excellent. We all used out strengths to cover one another’s weaknesses and again brought home some cash as a reward. Road race tomorrow to change up the rhythm – hopefully it is not too hot.