Eric Lagier takes 1st place at Coppertown Circuit Race
In perfect weather conditions, Coppertown Circuit Race presented itself from its best with a pavement in mint condition and desert dry road. Cheered on by his own family from Denmark, I was ready to show the colors of a thirstyBear.
A group of 34 riders set out for this 1 hour ride, with a pack dominated by Team BP Racing/Sierra Nevada and Team Revolution. Especially Team BP Racing with 8 riders was ready to make their mark and sent a rider out in front and then build a great wall to control the pace. We were a few that tried to break the constellation, but Team BP Racing kept sending new riders out once the others were caught. On the 2nd last lap 2 riders found themselves 15 sec. in front of the peloton. Coming up to the 180 degree turn I positioned me at the front and just after the turn another rider made an escape with me in his wheel. It was a half hearted escape and soon I found myself solo riding to bridge the gap to the break. As I approached them I yelled, “lets get this party started” and encouraged them to start rotating with me. We quickly got a good rhythm going and most likely because one of the riders, Craig Dolley, was from Team BP, the rest of the BP riders saw no point in chasing us and left it to others. We passed the finish line with 1 lap to go and things felt good. I pulled 60% of the time and kept forcing the pace. As we turned by Coppertown Square we had increased the distance to the chasing peloton, but my 2 friends in the escape was starting to loose momentum and found it more and more difficult to pull and I had to raise my voice to make sure they took some pulls up front so I at least got some air in between my pulls. I was confident that if we made it to the 180 degree turn, we would also be able to make it home. The benefit of this race is that you have great visibility of the course and it was therefore easy to see where the chasing group was. We made it to the big turn, and I just stepped on it. Initially with Craig and Martin on my wheel, them taking a few short turns, but as we approached 1km, I pulled away and never looked back. I crossed the finishing line 100 meters ahead of the break group, and with the peleton coming in half a minute later. What a great experience. My first Cat 4 race. All the many training rides with the monster strong ThirstyBear Cycling team really is starting to pay off!! Now off to Snelling with Piers.
Thanks to Martin Szwarc (2nd) from Stuzio.com and Craig Dolley (3rd), Team BP Racing for making my victory possible.