Sunday was another great day of racing at the Greenville Fall Cycling Extravaganza. And it was another podium for me, one step closer to the top but not quite there.
For Sunday’s race, we raced on a short course on the industrial park side of the Donaldson Center military airport. This was like a trip down memory lane as I recalled many a Tuesday Donaldson Center training race, and winning the 1/2/3 state road race back during my days as an undergrad at nearby Clemson University almost 15 years ago. It was awesome to be able to drive around the course, point out the airplanes and jets to my 4 yr old son and 6 yr old daughter, and share all the memories of past races with my wife, including the spot where I attacked to win the state road race. That spot was just barely off the course that we used for the crit on Sunday.
Our field for Sunday was a little bigger than Saturday with 17 riders starting. I counter-attacked a move on the start of the second lap and got a small gap solo. I wasn’t going to be able to stay away by myself so I just kept a steady pace until the field came back up to me. Then on the fourth lap, I responded to another attack in the same spot where I had attacked two laps earlier. This time, a group of five of us got away including a rider from every major team. With few people left to chase, we quickly extended our lead to about a minute. A few laps later, though, I attacked for a $20 prime and only Andy Baker (Team Ion) was able to grab my wheel. He took the prime, but we had a sizeable gap and decided the best thing to do was to keep the pressure on to see if we could stay away. We did, and eventually our three breakmates were absorbed by the chasing field, and Andy and I were able to keep that 1 minute lead all the way until the end. In the end, Andy was definitely stronger and took the sprint fairly easily.
Even with just missing out on the win, this was a great way to wrap up my best ever season. I’ll be working over the weekend on a season summary, but this season has had everything in it – the most wins, the most podiums, the most state championships (2), my best placing in a nationals race (5th), and my best placing in a national series (9th).
- Attacking on the second lap
- Responding to and going with what ended up being a 5-man move
- Attacking for the $20 prime, initiating 2-man break with me and Andy Baker
- The finishing sprint
- The start of the five-man break
- Attacking for the $20 prime, initiating 2-man break
- The break with Andy Baker
- The finishing sprint