Note: Craig Patrick and Micah Durham continued to be the Team Bobs-Bicycles.com representatives in Spring Breakout2 and Spring Breakout3. This is the follow-up to their Spring Breakout1 race recap.
Looking back, Spring Breakout2 had the appearance of being a repeat of Spring Breakout1, with essentially the same participants / numbers, same course and nearly same weather conditions (although the light wind was from the opposite direction). This was concerning for several reasons: (i) Kevin Spiegel of Team Upcycle, a breakaway specialist was guaranteed to jump off the front; (ii) Team Upcycle and St Luke’s Sport Medicine again had superior numbers; and (iii) this dictated our strategy to be sit-in, let the other teams work and chase down the attacks, and then fight for the finish.
The one big difference over Spring Breakout1 is that rider fitness had improved significantly. The peloton was able to respond immediately to all attacks, nobody escaped, and we thundered into the final 1 km with 18 cyclists in the group. Micah couldn’t survive the final surges and was spit out the back.
Craig kept himself well positioned, sprinted hard and was emerging into second place with 30 yards to go. However, two other riders were also fighting for second, and while these riders were slightly behind Craig, there were three riders in a space that was only big enough for two. Craig hit the deck hardest in the resulting collision, sustaining road rash and a totally destroyed chainstay. Unfortunately, Craig only scored 1 point in the series after struggling to pick himself up and walking across the finish line (Micah scored 2 points).
By Spring Breakout3 the lineup had changed significantly, as several of the Team Upcycle riders upgraded to Cat3, and there was also a new and unknown Limelight rider, Bill McCann. Due to the double series points on the line for Spring Breakout3, just about anyone who finished in the top 5 (minus anyone who had missed the first race) had a chance to win the overall series. Craig was healed (somewhat) and on a new bike (possibly a missile), and we had a new race strategy to avoid a group sprint of 18 riders.
At the start of Spring Breakout3, the temperature was similar to the previous two races, but the NW wind was more significant. As soon as the neutral roll-out was completed, Craig attacked into the headwind and pushing hard he opened up a 30 second gap. Team Upcycle wasn’t having this, and unlike the previous races they pushed a slightly higher tempo to reel Craig back. Craig was caught upon completion of the upwind half lap with Micah in the group to provide assistance, ready to give him a wheel to help him recover.
Team Upcycle immediately sends Kevin. He likes suffering in the wind, and for the next lap he solos, establishing a gap nearing one minute. At 1.5 laps to go, the new Limelight rider, Bill, bridges up to Kevin. With no real threat to the overall series standings and a rider out front, Team Upcycle continued to sit on the front and set an easy tempo. Everyone else in the group knew they needed to cooperate and work together to overcome Team Upcycle and bring the break back, but this did not happen. At 1 lap to go, the break remained at one minute, and at the downwind half lap to go, the gap had increased to over a minute. It’s too late and they are too far out there to be caught, though close enough to be seen working together well. Ultimately, Kevin and Bill work together to the end, with Bill taking the win and Kevin just behind taking second.
Back in the peloton, my concern was now the group finish. I moved to the front and put the hammer down, not to catch Kevin but to thin the field so Craig would have a better chance to finish in third place. I can tell you I hammered and pushed like never before, and I would love to report that I guttered the field, but the Cat4-5 field is strong this year, and I watched from behind while the intact peloton rode by.
With much of the race being controlled by Team Upcycle at an “easy pace”, the peloton thought they were feeling great for the finale, and at 1 km to go the attacks began. However, the extra lap added to the Spring Breakout3 double points race had taken its toll, and many riders blew up in the finale, allowing Team Upcycle’s David Seymour and Craig to easily outsprint the field for 3rd and 4th. I would like to think that my effort to thin the field paid off after all.
The points series was decided. David Seymour took 1st place overall in the points series with quality finishes in all three races, and Craig took 2nd place overall 1 point behind. Quality guys to have finish one and two.
- Author: Micah Durham
- Photographer: Michele Swan
- Editor: Fritz Stafford
- Published: May 12, 2017