The weekend at Tucson Bicycle Classic was a success I got 16th in the short iTT on Friday putting me down 14 seconds. I was very satisfied with my effort considering I was on my road bike. Everyone else on the team rode well; Evan Hyde getting 3rd behind the leader and eventual overall winner by 2 seconds and Cole House earning 22nd place at some 24 seconds to make up.
This strong showing put us in the driver seat for the 80 mile road race with a couple small teams. Cole and I worked hard to make sure we did not miss the break to so as to take the pressure off of Even and the team to work. We did however just miss out on the main break with Cole trying to bridge and missing it by a couple of feet before coming back to the peloton. This left us in the position that we needed to help with the chase a bit to make sure the group did not stay away and take time on Evan. We kept up some tempo on the downhill and the flats since the climbs were hard on everyone with almost the entire peloton attempting to bridge in the climbs. We caught the break of 2 guys on the last lap at the rolling climb. This made the last half lap a killer with attacks going none stop till we hit the last climb were the race yo-yoed till Cole lit up the sprint and got the stage win!
We had one more day of racing with a 50 mile circuit race. It started like a mountain bike race with a move going from the start whistle and never slowing down! Our teams posiont was still good today with Cole moving up slowly with time bonuses and Evan still sitting 3rd and myself, out of contention I made sure Cole made the break to try and take the pressure off of use to bring the break back. This worked to perfection with Cole getting away on the second lap on a decent with 3 other guys. The group held a two minute lead for quite a while until Kenda but it in the gutter and cut the lead in half. In try to bring the gap close enough for Jim Stemper to bridge across to the break they blew their whole load and pulled off and pulled out. Shortly after they got off the front Cole came back from the break leaving two guys off the front with three to go. This put us in the position of chasers again so I joined the group of 4 on the front working to help manage the time gap to the break of 2. We all killed it till we hit the bell lap when everyone in the group could smell the finish line and started to push the pace. I made it to the final roller were I just got gapped off and had no chance of getting back on. As we went through the feed zone we got the update from Gord that the two guys were 45 seconds with half a lap to go! The pressure was on Phil Zajicek to defend his lead so he put in some big pulls on the final decent. The group made the catch of the last guy on the home straight that had a strong head wind. This left the race wide open with the main field coming to the line with the top ten all within a couple of seconds. With that opportunity to hard to pass up, Cole put his head down and forced everyone else to try and get by him in the wind. No one could answer and Cole took the second win of the weekend for REALCYCLIST.COM Professional Cycling Team.
A BIG thanks to Gord Fraser, for all the help and directing it’s going to be a great season!