Gallardo close to Win at Wente
The original plan was for Dyrwal to be The Man today but he had to work so everyone looked to me to step up and deliver. The new plan (executed by teammates Scobie, McQuaid and Daly) was to keep me protected, cover any dangerous breaks and basically repeat last year where I got into a small group on the last lap and then ripped up the climb. The first lap was pretty animated with Rob Anderson of Specialized taking a solo flyer but the field wasn’t about to let one of them up the road with Roemer, Metcalfe and one other guy able to sit in. Corey did a great job of riding a strong tempo almost the whole first lap so Brenon and I were able to stay close to the front but keep out of the wind. So there were a few more attacks here and there but we were all together as we started the 2nd lap. The climb was a little faster this time and I got away with about 10 strong guys including Andres Gil who looked really strong. We had no cohesion so we got caught and then Andres launched again. This time we all looked at each other and decided he could go solo for a while.
We kept him in sight for a while but then apathy set in and it was cruising time. A small group attacked and got a gap on the flat road heading back towards the start and a couple more guys bridged up to it. They weren’t making great headway so the field seemed content to continue on cruise control.
3rd time up the climb is tough and we hear that Andres is 2 mins up the road. Hmm…not good. Every now and then we see the chase group and halfway through this lap a concerted chase develops with me, Eropkin and Theobald of Safeway and somebody from Folsom Bikes doing a lot of work. A few solo guys like Josh Dapice of Audi and a Fremont Bank guy help out too and our average speed finally starts picking up.
We hit the climb for the 4th time and I’m expecting fireworks but it’s pretty steady and not too fast. Hmm…guys are really feeling the heat… On the other hand I finally start to feel good and when we hit the crosswind false flat I go to the front and put in a hard dig. Gaps open and suddenly I see the break in front of us. We catch them at the bottom of the descent and then the attacks begin again. Brenon is still with me and covers a few and I do the same. I wind up in what looks like a promising break with Weissenberger, Gil, Roemer and a couple other guys but we’re reeled in near the start. Hernando attacks and another guy goes with him but I’m not in the mood to let anything go so I get to the front and go full throttle to pull them back and then keep the field lined out as we turn under the freeway. About halfway up this stretch I look back and see we still have a big group so I pull off and drift back to Brenon. He says he’s not feeling great so I get in his draft and start jockeying for position approaching the final climb.
We make the turn and I’m a little farther back than I should be…about 10th. Jeromy Cottell of Pen Velo makes a strong surge with Gil on his wheel and all I can do is watch Gil go. I get around a couple guys and hit the gas hard. There’s another guy I didn’t see between me and Gil who I pass with about 300m to go. I can see Weissenberger and a couple others behind me so I hit the big ring and go all in and manage to hold onto 2nd.
Lessons learned – position, position, position. A little less work and a few spots closer to the front and I’m sprinting with Gil instead of watching him sit up and celebrate. Still I feel like I rode really strongly and feel ready to take on Prado at Tour of the Gila next week.
In the women Cat 3 race Tanya Fredericks got on the podium with a fine third place finish!