Team Bobs-Bicycles.com was represented with 7 strong riders in the 19 rider peloton, and all the riders were present at the start, which had not been the case in the previous race. The weather at the start was a bit chilly, low 40F with ~6mph NW wind and clear sky.
The relatively flat 16 mile course began with two four mile long upwind legs with the second upwind leg concluding with ~1 mile downhill entry into a sharp right turn onto King Rd that is often the site of attacks, as the “accordion effect” forces riders at the back to break for the corner and then chase hard to get back on.
As expected, the addition of a 4th 16 mile lap effected an easy pace for the first upwind leg on Poen Rd. The question was when would the pace get harder? Not surprisingly, the first probing attacks began at the first (right) turn at the beginning of the second upwind leg up Swan Falls Dam Rd. I continued to hang back in the pack and see how our race strategy would play out.
Team Bobs-Bicycles.com riders Shaun Staples and Tucker Feyder took part in these early attacks, even though Shaun had suffered from over-training earlier in the week. Team Upcycle rider Sawyer Bosch also took part in these early attacks, and Mercedes Benz / Georges rider Gabe Keck was a factor in these attacks / chases.
Finally, Shaun and Sawyer Bosch established a break on the downhill section at the end of the second upwind leg, and they pushed their advantage around the right turn onto King Rd. We and Team Upcycle were super happy with this, as we had collaborated on this strategy for a couple of weeks as a way to get the guys that had been sitting-in for the first two races in the Spring Breakout Series to do some work. It was great, we and Team Upcycle just sat up smiling while the plan worked perfectly.
Gabe was about the only single rider that understood what was going on at this point. He kept trying to close the gap or get recruits to help, but with no success. I was thinking the strategy was working well and the day was going to be easy, just sit-in until the end, but I noticed Team Upcycle rider Allan Schroeder (Spring Breakout Series leader and primary rival) in the front after every one of Gabe’s attacks, so I rode up to Allan and reminded him not to pull. He said he was not, and I laughed. Still, by the end of the third four mile leg of the first lap, Shaun and Sawyer had a pretty good gap on the peloton.
I had decided to sit on Allan’s wheel to make sure he didn’t keep pulling the group up to the break. Immediately after Gabe made another attempt to pull back the leaders, I saw Allan stand up and attack with intent to bridge the gap, so I followed his wheel. This occurred primarily along the one mile long section on Kuna-Mora Road at the beginning of the fourth 4 mile leg. The pain was immense, as Allan closed the gap over this single mile. I hit maximums of 1136 watts, 178 bpm and 38 mph, way more than usual for me. Once he closed gap, we had two Team Bobs-Bicycles.com and two Team Upcycle riders in the break, nearly perfect, until we realized CT Velo rider Heriberto Frutos also hung on to Allan’s attack. The odds were still in our favor.
We all worked together hard for the rest of the first lap and second lap. At the right turn into the upwind legs at the start of the third lap, Allan put in a hard pull and opened up a gap. I decided to try to close the gap, dragging the rest up to him, but Shaun was cooked, as he had pulled just prior to Allan’s attack. I sat up at the back of the group begging them to wait for Shaun, but they would not, as the peloton was too close for comfort. At least, I got a brief rest at the back.
Immediately after the peloton caught Shaun, Tucker attacked, and quickly opened a gap with two laps to go. Perhaps, the peloton thought it was too far for Tucker’s attack to succeed, and nobody attempted a chase. Before long, Tucker was out of sight, and the peloton conceded to a Sunday Club Ride pace to a sprint for 6th place.
We pushed on for the rest of the 3rd lap and most of the 4th lap until we knew our break was a success. Near the final leg of the 4th and last lap, Allan attacked again (near where he made his monster attack and catch on the first lap). I was not ready, nor was Heriberto, and Sawyer did not need to cover, because Allan is his teammate.
When we realized there was no catching Allan, the three of us played cat and mouse along the final leg down Cloverdale until I saw a rider in the distance closing the gap (after the race, I learned it was my teammate Tucker). Sawyer and I decided to share pulling to avoid any chance of being caught, while Heriberto refused to help. Finally, we made it to the 200m sprint sign, the three of us geared up for the sprint at ~50 meters to go, and I was able to take it for 2nd place. Heriberto took 3rd, Sawyer settled for 4th, Tucker cruised to 5th place, and Gabe took the peloton sprint for 6th.
Of course, Alan took solo 1st place by 3:00 minutes, and won Spring Breakout Series overall 1st place. Gregg Lasher took Spring Breakout Series overall 2nd place, Heriberto overall 3rd place and Gabe overall 4th place.
- Author: Gregg Lasher
- Co-Author: Shaun Staples
- Editor: Fritz Stafford
- Published: May 1, 2017