There is not a whole lot of race report to do when you just sit in and wait fora sprint, so this will be brief. Forty-one starters in our race. Several break attempts went off on all laps but nothing getting more than 20 seconds. I told Scot I wouldn’t put this in the report, but he said if I didn’t he would. Coming into the second-to-last lap, Scot came around to the front and started drilling it just before the Start/Finish line. I was tucked in 4th wheel and was thinking, Damn, he’s putting in a dig.
And then he sat up after he crossed the line, and I said, “Dude, you need to save that for the last lap.” He looked at me and said, “duh, I’m such an idiot. I thought that was the last lap.” On the actual last lap, going over the last hill, I was sitting third wheel which I thought was a little too far forward. I’d rather have a little more draft for that flat stretch before the two turns into the final 100 meters. But that’s where I was.The Symantec guy on the front had attacked several times, so I assumed he was pretty tired. I just tucked in and drafted, and he kept drilling it on the descent and the whole flat stretch leading into the second-to-last corner. It was the most relaxed I’ve ever felt going into a sprint, so I was able to think clearly. I knew there was no way this Symantec guy could hold this to theline, and I was running the risk of finding myself at the front with too far togo. But I started my sprint anyway sooner than I normally would, hoping to catch people by surprise and it worked. I know it was just a 3/4 race, but it sure felt good to win. Thanks again, everybody!
Duane Coughlan got in a 5 man break in the 35+1234 race and finished a solid second – well done Duane!
The fourth and final stage started with 64 participants, down from the 74 the first stage had. Our GC man, Chris Phipps, had been in yellow since the first day, when he finished 1:08 ahead of Chris Lyman (Specialized) and got a 10s bonus for winning the stage. Chris rode a strong time trial against Lyman, who is a National Champion in the discipline, but ended up with his lead trimmed down to 0:56. The crit finished in a pack, so no time changes came from that event. So the last race began with Chris in yellow by 0:56 and the eight of us expecting an onslaught from Specialized to try and erase their deficit.
Fortunately, there were was one other team, Veloce from Oregon, who had the 4th place GC man and had also missed the break. Two of them came to the front and started rotating through strongly with Chris and I. With the pace as high as we had it, it took a little while, but eventually Dan and Alex also came to the front and we had 4-6 of us pulling hard. We now learned that Roemer and Lyman were in the break, and they continued to pull slowly away from us, even with 5-6 of us rotating through at our limits. I have never worked so hard, desperately fighting fatigue and despair as we watched the winning break receding into the distance. We weren’t getting a lot of information on the gap, but it it was clearly over a minute and the yellow jersey looked lost due to our inattention.