It was going to be a hard day. With Carlos in the lead by three points, we needed to get him safely to the line right behind Pinfold. Since it was an omnium, those out of the points could effectively win the race by as much time as they wanted and it wouldn't have affected the overall.
During the short opening circuits in North Delta, various breakaways tried to form and although two did escape, it wasn't until Huff (Jelly Belly) and Holloway (Kelly Benefit Strategies) went away on the flat transfer to Tsawwassen that the break become fully established.
Remi, Quinn, Connor, Kevin and I rotated on the front with Carlos and Andres just behind. The winds were not bad today so the transfer out to the finishing circuits was quite pleasant...just a bunch of smooth pedal strokes.
Once there, we found that the break had a 4.5 minute lead with 70km (10 laps) remaining. We continued to rotate on the front. I knew I was on a good day so as the legs starting tiring in the Exergy camp, I found myself on the front more and more. I enjoyed this. I think I enjoyed this a little too much. Especially slicing and dicing the fast downhill third corner!
With 6 laps to go H&R Block's breakaway representation came back to the peloton so they came up to the front to help with the rotation. This was much appreciated. Although shortly thereafter, with 5 laps to go, they started launching solo riders off the front in an effort to bridge the 3+ minute gap to the break or just try to stir the pot. Either way we continued to ride consistently on the front and slowly wait for them to fry.
With 3 laps remaining, Andres attacked very hard. It split the field. Once Kevin, Quinn, Connor and I recovered, we returned to the front to maintain a high pace....mitigating the threat of attacks anywhere except the 2 minute wall.
With 1 lap remaining we caught the breakaway except Huff and Holloway. They remained 50 seconds up on the field at this point. Connor and I took it into the final climb and said goodbye to the peloton. Although Andres took control for the final 1km of the race, dictating a brutal pace (even gapping off those behind), the field sprint did not go the way we had hoped and Carlos came over 4th wheel, 3 wheels behind Pinfold.
So we moved to 2nd in GC. Andres finished 7th on GC as well.
Since it was an omnium, there was no reason for us to ride as hard as we did throughout the day. In hindsight it would have been much more productive to limit our efforts to guarantee we could come the line with a good leadout train. But we raced hard, made some cash, represented our sponsors and hopefully made a whole bunch of new fans in the process so all in all, not a total loss.
In other cool news, the jersey raffle in support of the Principal Fund raised over $600 dollars. Check back on Tuesday for more details....including the entire list of winners (approximately 14 prizes were available ranging from a Team Exergy jersey, glasses, hats, discount cards at the Running Room and much more.
Thanks to all the volunteers at the Tour de Delta 2011 and a big shout out to our amazing Team Exergy homestays, the Hall family and the Gillespie family. This year was my second year with them and all I can stay is....RAD!
Labels: Road Report