Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Fitchburg stages 3&4

The Fitchburg road race featured the chance to either lose or gain huge chunks of time. The 4 ten mile circuits had tough climbs and a 50+ mph descent. For our team this was a chance to clinch the overall victory. The plan was for Ben Gabardi to cover the early moves, and for the rest of us to look for our chances later on. Ben made sure no one of importance was able to get away, and then Nate rode a fast tempo up the climb. By the time we reached the top, all that was left was our team, Charlie Avis, and Nathan Wilson. Then Nate, Lawson, and Gavin attacked again with Nathan Wilson on their wheel. The rest of us went back to the pack and started policing the pack to keep groups from getting across. I followed a Hincapie rider on an attack, and then saw that Gavin had had bike trouble and been dropped out of the breakaway. I bridged up to him and we decided to see if we could get back to the leaders. The pack, however, was chasing all out, and we finally gave up and went back to the pack.

It was pretty evident that the breakaway would stick, and all we were concerned with was mopping up the remaining places. Ian Boswell and I found ourself off the front with two other riders in the last lap. The pack chased us hard again but we stayed away to the finish. Lawson won the stage up ahead and Nate retained his overall lead.

Going into the final stage's citerium we knew that we had the GC pretty much wrapped up but we didn't intend to be caught napping if some spirited riders decided to go on any Hail Mary attacks. In fact, we decided to start it off on the offensive, and Lawson attacked early, taking Charlie Avis with him. I bridged up to the group, and we started riding hard. A few laps before the finish, Gavin started bridging. I stayed with Charlie while Lawson sat up and waited for Gavin. He then helped Gavin make it up the rest of the way while I sat on Charlie's wheel. With the odds three to one in our favor, we started attacking in the last lap, but were unable to shake a resilient Charlie Avis. The pack was starting to close in, so I just hit the front and rode hard to the last corner. Gavin jumped and took the win. Unfortunately, I was gapped before the line and lost several seconds, which cost me my top five GC spot. Not that it really mattered, Hot Tubes won every stage, the points classification, and 1st, 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th on GC.

After our crit, we hung out to watch the Pro crit, where we were treated to an epic finish to Fitchburg's 50th anniversery race. Now I am staying at Toby's house with my teammates and getting ready to go to the Tour of Red River Gorge in Kentucky; followed by Tour de l'Abitibi. Most important, bragging rights are on the line for tomorrow's wednesday time trial.

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