TRAINING CAMP DAY 5( I think) Jeff Cup
Yesterday morning the team took part in a local race just south of Charlottesville. It was a good day to get some hard riding in, while working on team work, and of course at the end of the day coming home with a victory.
It was a pretty neat course with plenty of ups and downs. The field was full of local riders and of course the Rite Aid Pro Cycling Team, I believe around 120 in total. Are day started off pretty well with our guys covering the moves going off the front, because there were plenty of those. Things did almost turn out disastrous when Stephen punctured towards the end of the first lap and we sent back Ryan, Bill, and Clayton to help pace him back up. The thing that hurt the most was that it was neutral support, so we all know how time consuming those changes can be. I believe they spent the next 2 laps off the back charging hard to get back on, as the rest of us tried to control the pace at the front. With a valet effort they were able to make there way back into the field.
That lap is when we decided to see what we could do. Jon called up for Alejandro to "stretch" his legs on the climb and give it a go, and of course have me follow. I had no idea how hard he could go or what he was about to do. All I knew is that it was going to be interesting. Well he hit it hard, but not ballistic, and we still able to get away and start throttling it to get a gap. Well unfortunately that wouldn't happen on this lap, neither on the next lap when Ian, and I gave it a go, but third time was the charm.
Alejandro, Ian and I were able to get going up the rode with a few other guys and just try to open an initial gap. A few guys popped and after a couple of more hard efforts it was just down to Alejandro, a LSV guy and myself, with a hovering 30 second gap. Alejandro and I continued to work hard, and I tried to do a bit more myself to save Alejandro for the sprint, even though I knew he didn't need it to win. I mean top 10's in the Giro, to Jeff Cup, shouldn't be to hard, but we better make sure.
Well the field was closing quickly and I had to take over the front from inside the last 3km to bury myself to get Alejandro to the 200 meter line. The last 2km was a slight uphill drag that tore me up, but I had to keep it going. I stood up to give it one last jump just in sight of the 200meter line and as soon as we hit it Alejandro went and about 10 seconds later Sebastian (from our team) went by at the front of the field, after getting the perfectly executed and timed leadout. Alejandro had opened quite a few bike lengths early on the LSV guy and looked to be coasting the last 50 meters while I was getting passed by the whole field inside 150meters. It would have been a cool thing to see on video, like one of those tour stages where your asking yourself, are they going to make it?
So the first race of the year as a whole team turned out well and we accomplished our goals on the day, which is a good feeling. We have much bigger races coming up, so hopefully we can do much of the same. We have a lot of talent, alot of desire, and a lot of commrodery which could make this a fantastic season.
Here's a few pictures of us after the race.
Thanks for reading