Man, that was a hard weekend. After Peter's awesome ride on Friday, which put him in 1st GC and the loss of Andrew due to a mechanical, I was the only team mate he had left to defend his lead over the weekend. I am not a big fan of Saturday’s road/ circuit course and after this weekend I dislike it even more. It was super hard! Of cause everyone tried to attack Peter asap and we didn’t even make it onto the loop when the on slaughter started. Knowing Peter, I tried to set a steady tempo at the front of the pack, especially over the climbs while keeping tabs on the other contenders and keeping the breakaways close. I ended up sitting at the front of the pack for most of the day and even ended up in a breakaway at one point. For good measure, I also put in some attacks to not give everyone a free ride, after all, I was sitting 4th overall so by making the others chase Peter got a free ride and I didn’t have to react to other rider’s attacks. It turned out we did a good job. Everyone was too tired at the end that Peter actually managed to ride away from the pack within the last couple of miles again (how they could let him go I do not know or understand) and he solidified his lead before Sunday’s crit. I came in with the pack, still sitting in 4th GC but man, I was tired.
With Peter now leading by a solid 22 sec over second place and myself only 8 sec out of second, we approached the last day with two goals: first and foremost, we had to secure Peters spot. At the same time, knowing how hard the crit course at Joe Martin is, we were also eyeing second GC for me. We rode an aggressive race and Peter’s GC was never in real danger. With one lap to go, Peter himself went to the front and put in one of his signature one-lap-pulls-that-blows-away-your-mind and got me into the last corner third wheel. I was pretty tired at that point and couldn’t quite unleash the power I needed to get up the finish climb in first but it was enough to finish second. That’s 7 sec time bonus right there. When I looked back, I saw that we had a small gap to third… It would be close. They ended up scoring third place 1 second down on me but that would have put me at the same time as the second placed guy in GC and because he had had the better TT he would have stayed second. Fortunately for me and thanks to Peter’s outstanding lead out, there was a split in the field and second and third GC got caught on the wrong side of the split.
So, to make a long story short, I moved up to 2nd GC while Peter stayed in 1st!
Now I’m back in
Hope to have some pics from the weekend up soon.