This week I am in Greenville, South Carolina helping my teammates compete at the US PRO National Championships. Well actually, I haven't been able to give up all of my time as I have been completing my preparations for the Philadelphia Invitational on June 5th but I did get a chance to ride in the car with Team Exergy Director Sportif Tad Hamilton during Monday's 5hr National Road Championship.
It was my first day in a car in a real race and wow was it tense. It is a totally different experience than racing in the peloton. Packed full of 150 bottles, boxes of bars, bags of ice, bunches of pantyhose (for ice socks) and heaps of gels, we rolled 7th wheel in the caravan of fourteen. Right from the start the attacks started despite averaging 32mph for the first 45 minutes. Each time the radio blurred out race bib numbers, I'd furiously cross reference calculate the composition of the break. Exergy needed a rider in the move.
Without radios, our riders would quickly discuss the race situation as Tad and I handed bottles and food to the riders. At 100 degrees, the attrition was high and the demand for ice socks desperate. Quinn threw down with the big boys and survived in the breakaway for 100km. In the finale, Cooke suffered through extreme race conditions to finish just outside the top 15. An awesome day for the team since only Matt had done the race before. We raced well and fought hard.
In other news, Greenville, South Carolina may be hands down the best place I have ever ridden a bike. Small, uninhabited roads are everywhere. I was fortunate to go for three big rides during my week in the area. These included the two below: The first with a 1hr climb and the second with an amazing 8km descent along a deserted highway! GO THERE!