Recycler Josh reports from the cat 3 field at the Capital Stage Race in Olympia:
This was a great stage race; I suggest we support this with a greater number of racers next year!
Friday – 71 mile RR (a 10 mile loop that felt more like a CR). The racing was fast and hard, featuring attack after attack. I believe every one of us RCR racers was in a break, and we helped to bring back at least 1 break each. Nick was taken out of the main pack with 50 miles to go by a silly crash! Great work on his part suffering through 50 miles of OTB. Steve was the strongest man on our team, so Matt and I worked for him.
With 10 miles to go, and a good group a minute or so up the road, Matt and I hit the front hard for a long time until we each blew up (well, I know I blew the heck up!!). I lost contact during an attack through the feed zone hill when I was unable to coax my bike to shift to the big ring, and I wound up finishing just OTB since I did not see the need to hammer myself any further over the last couple km.
Steve was able to pull out a 6th place by coming second in the field sprint.
Saturday – 3.5 Mile morning TT . The TT was awesome; if only I had brought my TT bike, and if only I had known that I would have had enough time to get warmed up! Nick and I each soft pedaled the TT, Kusy and Matt got after it; great work, guys!
Saturday – 50 Minute evening Crit. This crit was one fast crit: tons of attacks, a couple failed breaks, lots of FAST descending – and a bunch of crappy cornering by piss-poor bike handlers! We shed the race leader early, and the attacks just kept coming. I took one hard dig on the front to chase down a break; I’m not sure it helped, but it sure hurt!
Matt and Steve were patrolling the front, taking pulls, and generally looking like studs! I was afraid they’d gone to the front too early (6 laps or so to go), but I guess not… Steve had the course figured out! While I’m fighting for position, Steve takes off with 1 to go, right before the start of the technical section, and he was not to be caught: Winner!
Matt and I managed to maintain position, no thanks to Matt chopping me in a corner (HA HA)!! Great results for the team! Nick was pumped and ready to race the crit, only to have his derailleur ripped off the bike – that thing was mangled! That sucked, since we had really wanted to Nick to be the man in that race… And we sure could have used him in the 90 mile RR.
Sunday – 90 mile RR. Ok… this was a great course with 5 climbs, none of them all that steep or long, but it was the queen stage of this SR, and it came after a super hard RR on Friday… we were all a bit cooked (I know I was and still am today!). Personally I was dropped on 4 of the 5 climbs, chased on 3 times, once solo and for at least 8 miles. Matt and Steve both looked great, each covering attacks and taking some digs of their own. I did a little work on the front of the pack and even took a dig on the last hill after chasing back to the pack for 8 miles! This was a LONG race but tons of fun, over great terrain. The team raced safe and strong.
Special thanks to Heather (Steve’s Lady) for working the feed zones and supplying us with post-race chocolate milk yesterday! Freaking awesome support that was needed for both long RRs.