A small step for Exergy....One giant leap for Escalera Racing LLC
Yesterday we had a great day on the bike. It was our first chance to race like a team and we did! Although we showed up to Calville with the largest team and carried the responsibility to control the race, we stepped up the plate and delivered. The wind featured as largest player in the race and after looking at the weather report for the rest of the week, its looks like it will be sticking around. As soon as the flag dropped we started to aggressively echelon the field but since the wind was from the front more so than we expected, we changed our plan and started launching guys off. Andres was the first to go and no one else in the peloton even considered following his aggressive move, especially since we had just passed the 3km mark! (+70km to go). The field was quite content to let him open a gap as we all coasted for the next ten minutes. At a 2 minute advantage, the attacks started and we worked tirelessly and flawlessly to cover each move. Approximately a quarter of the way into the race, Andres came back due to the increased speed of the pack during these attacks.
The game changed and Sam, Carlos and Kai were ready to pounce. The trio lit it up as we tackled one of the largest hills in the race: 2-3minute effort with a 30-40km/hr cross wind from the left placing the entire field in the right gutter. As the front trio launched attack after attack, a split in the field formed. PANIC! As I crested hill and realized there was a large gap, I threw on the gas and met up with two of my teammates. With just a minute or two of hard pedaling, we jumped back on the group but the attacks never stopped at the front. I traveled straight to the front of the group just as Carlos launched the first half of his winning move. The road turned and suddenly everyone was guttered along the yellow line (except it was a no paint but reflective turtles so it made for a bumpy mistake if you were pushed outside). With already a strong advantage of 45-60 seconds after a few kilometres, I covered a bridge attempt. Sitting on the back of it, two riders rotated in front of me. A fourth rider soon joined us who would not pull into the rotation, claiming that I should rotate or he’d run me off his wheel. Well I was perfectly happy to see him try so I sat up and let the two man group ride off while the peloton caught us all within the next few minutes. I never saw that guy again all race. Hope he didn’t get dropped from the peloton.
At the turnaround point, we saw Carlos and the PistaPalace rider were working well together and had amassed a 75 second advantage. Now with a block tailwind, the speed of the peloton increased from 20mph to 40mph. We were flying. The FullCycle team, dressed in all black kit, started to work to pull back the breakaway. I sat in the wind just off their echelon to protect our riders, in sixth wheel. It looked at that time that we would work for Sam (if the break came back and he felt good) or Andres (if the break came back and he recovered from his initial break) or Eric B. (if Carlos stayed away and we wanted to claim the field sprint). Unfortunately for the FullCycle riders, the gap grew despite their chasing attempts to 2 minutes with 15km remaining. At 10 km to go, Carlos rode away from his breakaway companion without an attack and it wasn’t until 6-7km to go that the peloton found out since there are no radios allowed. At 5km we caught the rider and we started our leadout train. I worked hard to protect Barley in the final 10km and although vicious attacks by Phil Z and Tyler Wren in the closing moments drastically complicated our plans, we salvaged the leadout for a 2nd and 3rd in the field sprint. In retribution for their efforts, a FullCycle team rider sprinted to the line for the bunch kick after an impressive 400metre surge. I was able to take the guys to the corner to 400 metres after Sam covered Phil Z’s late move. Digging again to catch the end of the peloton so as to finish on same time as our sprinters, I slotted into the block-headwind-draft just in time to watch the final 50metres unfold. It was a tight finish.
A great way to finish off the winter training season and a great excuse to launch the new team website a week early. Be sure to continue to check the new teamexergy
website as we add more and more elements throughout the next ten days.
Carlos Alzate opens the week with a win!
Photo Credit: Veloimages
Labels: Road Report