Lee Muse finished 2nd at the Ontario Summer’s End Grand Prix and he recounted the day’s efforts below. Thank you Lee!
With the road cycling season winding down, you never know what you will get when you show up to a local race. This final edition of the Ontario Series, the Summer End Grand Prix, took place in 105 degree heat, with a stiff crosswind coming down the long finishing straight. All the CashCall Mortgage Cycling Team boys were there and motivated to ride hard.
In our pre-race meeting, we laid out the plan for the day. I remember Devan Dunn mentioned hitting it hard from the start. I wasn’t sure if he was serious or not, but I got my answer when the gun went off. Not one minute into the race and Devan is on the front throwing down some ridiculous power. My heart rate hit 180bpm before the first lap was complete…and that pretty much where it stayed for the next 30 minutes. The attacks were absolutely relentless. We wanted to blow the field apart and make everyone suffer in the intense heat. Dave Santos was finally able to successfully breakaway with a few other riders, which gave myself, Devan, Brian McCulloch, Justin Williams, and Stefano Barberi a little bit of a breather as we let the rest of the field do the chasing. Dave eventually was brought back, but not before nabbing some nifty primes along the way.
At the halfway point, there were 4 bonus points for the series available, and with Justin Williams lurking close to the series leader, Andrew Bosco (SoCal Cycling), we decided to set him up for the sprint. The pace picked up leading into the sprint, causing some serious gaps to open up in the field. With a few riders off the front already, Brian McCulloch gave me the signal and hit it hard, bridging the gap to the leaders. We brought along a handful of other riders, and suddenly we had a 20 second lead and every team was represented in the move. Perfect! The situation got even better for us when Stefano Barberi bridged across solo. Now that we had numbers, that gave me the green light to sit on the back of the breakaway and save my legs. You don’t make any friends by not working in a breakaway, and you definitely get yelled at a lot…but we weren’t trying to make friends, we were there to win.
With the laps cards counting down, Brian made a cheeky move and attacked the breakaway solo. The other riders were forced to chase him down, and once he was caught, Stefano immediately countered. He opened up a big gap right away, and with just a handful of laps remaining, it looked like that was the winning move. Meanwhile, I was biding my time, just waiting and saving as much energy as I could for the sprint. Stefano had the win locked up, and came across the line solo.
Now the race was for 2nd place. I timed it perfectly and unleashed a furious sprint for the line, coming around every rider in the breakaway, and crossing the line to take 2nd place uncontested! Behind me was a tight finish between four other riders, and Brian finished 4th, narrowly missing the podium. We finished 1-2-4…not too shabby. It was an incredible team effort, and with the season nearly over, it was great to have yet another CashCall Mortgage Cycling Team victory.”