This past weekend myself and my Kenda boys were split up between the Meijer Grand Cycling Classic in Michigan and the NRC races in the southeast. Being a Michigan native I enjoy being able to do races back in Michigan whenever possible, especially well run events like this one.
I did this race two years ago and this year the course was slightly different in that it wasn't as long, and it was run in the opposite direction, but the brick sections where still there in full. Luckily for us the rain had let up before our race and the course had dried up throughout the race.
With strong squads from Bissell, RGF/Panthers, and Subway in a small field we knew that we would have to be attentive and not miss a break. After Chad, Bennett and myself covered a ton of Bissell moves for the first half I found myself off the front wtih arguably the best time trialist in the states.
Once I saw nobody was on our wheel I hit it because I knew if Zirbel was up for going hard everyone else would have a hard time catching up. Soon enough a chase group of 5 had formed and the one guy that I expected to be in it was, Paul Martin. Luckily this time he and the others weren't able to catch up. Bennett and Chad were on the other moves from there to make sure they were there in case they caught up.
I ride with a lot of guys who complain they don't get much of draft. Nobody I believe has been at more of disadvantage then the 6'5" Zirbel. I on the other hand was loving it behind him.
Cruising the bricks in downtown Grand Rapids.
Rounding a corner. Zirbel ended up taking the win, but it felt good to finally be out front of race. I've been trying to get in a break for a while and it was nice that it went to the line. I also ended up taking the most aggressive rider award for the efforts on the day. I know a few of you may find that hard to believe. I did score a sweet Bissell Spot Vot Cleaner that my wife absolutely loves.
I'm planning on doing 7 more crits this year, but the biggest one is this Sunday. Hopefully I can put myself in the same position or at least one of my teammates for what would be the biggest win of the year.