Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Catching Up, (post crazy summer)

This summer has been absolutely CRAZY! I have not had time to keep this updated due to bike racing all over the country, but priorities first right! So I will just pick up where I left off.

After Harlem my contract with Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifast Pro Cycling was signed and active. The following week I raced Nutmeg Criterium in New Britain Connecticut. The course is super fun and it was the first day on all of my new team issue equipment. I figured it would be good to get at least one race under my belt on the Lemond before heading to the International Tour of Pennsylvania. the race went well and although the bike felt very foreign to me my legs were really good. On the last lap Robbie King of Rite Aid jumped to the break and I followed his wheel. I jumped at about 150meters from the line and won the race! It was a good start to a summer that was to be an exhilarating ride!

The next week I flew to Philadelphia, PA for the inaugural Tour of Pennsylvania, a 7 day, international U25 stage race. The race boasted the largest prize list of any U25 race in the world. This race was a priority for Kelly and our director Jonas Carney fielded a super strong team to race and win in PA. The roster included, David Veuilleux, Keven Lacombe, Myself, Benny King, Clay Murfet, and Mark Hinnen.

I showed up a day before the race late at night, and was picked up at the airport by our team swany Ryan Kelly. The next day I got my race bike dialed in with our team mechanic Jordan Schware. My race bike has the same Lemond frame as my training bike but with Sram Red instead of Sram Force, and Bontager Carbon wheels rather than the box section ones on the training bike. Later in the day I went for a spin with Dave, Keven and Clay into down town and we had lunch at a cafe. We rode back and bumped into Ben who had just flown in and was out for a pedal of his own. Mark got in later that night and we all had dinner together.

The first day was a double stage with a short prologue in the morning and a fast crit at night. Dave did great in the TT getting 4th place and setting himself up well for the GC. The first night of racing was the crit in Philadelphia. The course was super technical and fun. The plan was to have Dave Keven and I hit out with 500meters to go and come over the top of whoever was riding the leadout, going into the last corner. Well the plan worked as we came over the top but did not close the door enough on the inside. Dannny Holloway got in there and I got boxed in behind Keven who had to hit his brakes in the last corner. My jump was really good and after I got out of the cluster, I came close to getting Danny at the line. With the finishing straight being only 100meters long I was too far back to pull it off. It was a bummer because I felt super fast, and it really just came down to a lack of team experience between me and Keven and Dave. However what could I expect, it was the first time we had ever raced together!

After that our momentum really started to roll.

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