The CashCall Mortgage Cycling team traveled on to Augusta, GA after racing in Minnesota. The last leg of their 3 week trip took them to the 2012 USA National Championships. The team took part in the time trial, criterium, and road race.
In what proved to be a hot and hard time trial, David Santos took a solid 6th place, just seconds off of the podium.
In the criterium on Friday, Santos was joined by his teammates Wes, Lee, Brian, and Stefano in an attempt to deliver sprinter Justin Williams to the line first. However, the race did not unfold in the teams favor, as Justin placed 2nd on the day. It is always an honor to receive a National Championship medal, and Williams and the team received the silver medal.
Team CashCall racer Stefano Barberi gave us a report of his experience in the road race on Sunday:
Sunday June 24th was a big day for the CashCall Mortgage Cycling Team. We raced the USA National Championships road race in Augusta, GA. To me, Nationals holds a special meaning. I was born in Brazil, but became a USA citizen just over 2 years ago. I take pride in the fact that I now an “American”.
The race was took place on a military base in around a 14.5 mile loop with lots of rolling hills for a total of 104 miles. We began mid afternoon and the temperature was in the 90′s with high humidity. The team had myself, Brian McCulloch and Dave Santos in a more protected role with Lee Muse, Justin Williams and Wes Holloway taking turns covering moves and making sure that we were taken care of and fresh for when the efforts counted.
The race started fast with a couple of splits in the field early on. Lee was attentive and covered the first move of 8 riders that was to eventually be the “break of the day”. A couple other big splits happened in which Brian and Dave managed to sneak into. This meant that we now had 3 riders in the large lead group of 16. This allowed me to able to relax and let the race play out a bit. Half way through the 3rd lap (of 7) another small group went across to the lead group. The field did not seem too motivated to chase the break, or to even shut down these smaller splits from getting away. This allowed the lead group to gain about 3 minutes on the field.
In the next lap, I followed an attack and we gained a gap on the field right away. A couple miles later I saw Dave and Brian coming back from the break. As the group I was in got closer to them, I gave my teammates a heads up that I was coming up behind them and to get on. Now our chase group was up to 6 riders and Brian and Dave gave me their all to help me get across to the lead group.
We reached the lead group which was now up to 22 riders. I got a rundown from Lee as to how he was feeling and who in the break was doing a lot of work, who had been sitting on, who was looking good etc… I knew Lee had good legs, so I told him to relax a little and that we would “start racing in the next lap”. Once we hit the rollers after the first feedzone in the next lap, I jumped clear of the break with a two other racers and gained a small gap. Although it didn’t last too long, it forced the remaining riders in the break to burn a couple matches to catch us. Once we were caught, new that a lot of guys were just hanging on, so I told Lee to counter-attack which he did. Once he was caught I was able to attack again and this time gained a good gap.
We had just over 20 miles to go and I was joined by one rider. After a few more miles, two more riders made it across. One of those riders was dropped later that lap leaving, us with 3 riders in the newly formed breakaway and 15 miles to go in the race. Our gap hovered around 30 seconds to the chase group. The field started to get very animated, and gaining speed, they swallowing up the chase group and got to about 20 seconds from catching us. After the last time through the feedzone, we were told by the officials that there was a chase group of 4 riders “10 seconds behind us.” At this point I knew we either had to sit up and wait or really dig deep and give it a go.
Being the National Championships race, there was no way I was going to allow myself to go home with regrets and thinking about “what if’s.” I told my breakaway partners that we just needed to try and roll it as hard as we could and hopefully the field would hesitate and we could maintain the gap. I knew one of my break mates very well and I knew he was on great form after winning the National Time Trial event a few days earlier. I knew that if there was a group that would make it to the line without the peloton, this was it.
We didn’t really talk anymore from that point on. We didn’t dare to look back either. We were getting time splits from the officials and it seemed like there was always a small chase group trying to get across to us. But we had no time to think about that.
We kept the gaps to the chase about 20-30 seconds for the rest of the race. with about 1 kilometer to go, there was a hill on the course so we stayed mostly working together to that point. This is where the race would be decided. Julian Kyer (Juwi Solar) was first to jump from the group and he was able to open a gap that he took to the line for the win. I was feeling the work from the last couple laps and couldn’t follow the move. At this point I knew I was safe and wouldn’t get caught by the field. I managed to bring it home for a 3rd place finish and the bronze medal.
This race was an amazing effort by the whole team, everyone did what they needed to do and it reflected in the results with the CashCall Mortgage Cycling Team getting 2 medals in the 3 National Championships events!
Thank you for reading!