Having taken the previous weekend off of racing, a different, yet pleasant energy buzzed through the team during our commute to the race & pre-race warm up. My CashCall Mortgage teammates and I were refreshed and excited to see each other. We could not wait get back to racing. I could feel we were ready for the challenge but also weary that our weekend off had broken our race rhythm and strategic cohesiveness. Only one lap into the race my worries were gone and my confidence in what our team does was renewed.
A rider decided to attack off the line and quickly managed to gain time on the peloton. 20…25…35 seconds the gap grew to in just 4 laps. Knowing this could actually make the race easier for us, I worried little. Not about the solo rider though, but I worried if my teammates were tactically on the same page as me. But the lack of panic on their faces only proved to me how great of a team we have become. We let other teams do the lion share of the work to bring the solo rider back to only 15 seconds where he was then back in our sight. Then with some strategically placed surges on the course, we welded the rider back within 10 feet off the front and the real race begun. Plenty of attacks ensued with CashCall Mortgage well represented every time.
The CashCall Mortgage team is now tightly marked at the local races; we cannot afford to waste any effort that does not help shape the race to our favor. With riders constantly getting up the rode and us rejoining each time with fewer guys left in the lead group, we managed to effectively trim the race from about 60 guys, down to a group of approximately 20 with all 6 of my teammates still upfront; showing no signs of weakness in the 90 degree heat!
With about 4 laps to go my teammate Lee Muse launched a solo attack and it was clear to the tiring group that he had no intentions of coming back. I watched my competitors panic and realize it’s now or never. One rider committed and jumped and I was immediately onto his wheel catching my free ride up to my teammate. We joined Lee with 1 lap remaining and I knew I was staring another CashCall Mortgage victory in the face. With 3 of us comfortably in the lead, I knew it was up to me now. I waited to get close the the headwind section of the course and made my move. I accelerated hard up the left and never looked back. I crossed the line in 1st and enjoyed our victory for a few seconds before looking back to see that Lee had managed to drop the other rider and rolled in for 2nd place! To add to the days success, Anthony had unleashed a massive sprint from the last turn and caught the remaining rider from the breakaway right on the line! “1,2,3 baby!” is what Anthony was yelling as he flew past Lee and I! After what I think was our best race yet as far as strategy goes, I am confident in all of our abilities as individuals and as a team heading into the Cascade Cycling Classic.
Wish us luck!