Rob–6th, 2nd in PA
me– 7th, 3rd in PA
Nick– 14th, attacked the field on the last lap
Jimmy– 15th, won the field sprint
I came into this race feeling strong and wanting to do well. A win of course would have been lovely, but above all else I wanted to make the break and leave it all on the course. We were active from the start, with Ross, Tyler, Rob, and I covering early moves. Nothing really got any kind of leash, though. The first few laps of the race were fast, with all the attacks, and the fact that the attacks were getting covered quickly. Around the end of the third lap, I believe, Tyler came up to me in the middle of the field and told me that the elastic was breaking, to look for a move to go soon. I moved back up to the front and got ready for business time. On the descent after the main climb on the fourth lap, Jacob Mueller got away with one other guy. Shortly after, Brendan Housler attacked to bridge up, and I got his wheel. We bridged up (ow, ow, ow, Brendan is fast) and got a good
rotation working. Jacob was holding back a bit, as his team wanted more riders in the break. We still got a max gap of around 1:15. I think four more riders bridged up over the next couple laps. A couple laps later, Brendan flatted, and two riders (the eventual winners) rode away on the climb. I saw them go, could have buried myself to get
to them, but thought that Kelly Benefit, with two riders in the break, would have a guy chase, but no such luck. Afterward, I learned that they were working solely to ensure Jacob the PA State Champ jersey; the two who rode away were out-of-state riders. With two guys up the road and Kelly not concerned about chasing, and Brendan on the side of
the road, our gap diminished quickly, and the field picked us up shortly before the last lap. A large group including Rob countered as we were brought back. I was pretty sore at having spent so much time and work on the break, only to have it come back. I decided that I needed to end up off the front of the field, whatever happened. One
guy attacked early in the last lap, with Rob’s group out of sight; I saw the field lackadaisically give him a large leash, so I attacked and bridged up to him. I figured that the group ahead of us was well- gone, so I worked with him for a couple miles, until I saw the group ahead of us come into view. Conveniently, I informed him that I had a
rider in that group, so it was on him to get us up there, at which point I would start working again. He took it upon himself to try to rip my legs off on every slight incline, but I managed to cling to him for dear life. We caught the group on the last time up the main climb, with two off the front, in sight (I learned later that the two who attacked my original break were also off the front, but out of sight). Minturn set pace up the climb, and I was all like, “wah wah wah, this hurts, you skinny a-hole “. Hunter was sharing my pain, as we
dangled on the very back of the group. Fortunately, the descent arrived just in time. The two guys ahead of us were just out of reach, but Minturn was turning himself inside out regardless, props. I lent a few pulls but stopped once I saw that the gap wasn’t really changing. Every incline I prayed to not get dropped, but I guess most everyone
else was hurting similarly. With about a mile to go, there were a couple attacks (including the patented “Hunter” gently sneak off the front move) which I covered. After that, it was time to jockey for the sprint. Rob and I slotted in behind Jacob Mueller and his teammate,
but the sprint was messy– lots of people launching at different times. I think Jacob, Rob, and I were the only ones who sprinted to the correct finish line– and we took 5, 6, 7 and 1, 2, 3 in PA. It was really rewarding to want to do well here, crush myself to do it,
and succeed Unfortunately, we had a few guys flat and/or have bad days, but on the whole, I think things went well. Thanks to Ryan, Josh, Jessica, Jackie, and whoever else (Lighty’s wife?) helped with feeds.
A bit of power geekery– For the 2:48 my powertap recorded data (the wired mount popped off, so I put the powertap in my pocket to keep it safe) my IF was .89 (probably not much different for the entire race duration, 3:23. So, my normalized power was about 90% of my FTP for over three hours, OUCH! (Yes, torque was zeroed).