Monday, February 12, 2007

Lake Mary Criterium (2/11/07)

Warm and sunny, unlike last years windy and cold slugfest. This course is long with 4 corners...a headwind on the back straight, and a tailwind on the front.

The same folks from yesterday were there, plus a full squad of Andy Crater's team, Wheel and Sprockets out of Wisconsin. It was pretty easy to sit in, but hard to be out front. Today the whole team was involved covering breaks, and pulling back the ones we missed. Victor Rodriguez, Ryan Stoner, Jeff Kopp, Clint Bridier and a battered Curtis Long all were big factors.

During the waning laps a 5 person break was away without an ABRT rider, and Clint, Ryan and Curtis brought it all back together. With about 5 laps to go, Jeff brought up to the font. With 2 laps to go I was on Aerospace Keith Norris' wheel in second, a little too close than I would have liked...but you have to take what you can get this late in the race. After turning the 1st corner on the last lap Keith pulled off, and I let up waiting for a lead out train to come by...Curtis went hard up the left and I jumped into 3rd spot behind Aerospace's Chris Frederick. Curtis pulled to the 3rd turn, and Chris took over. Chris looked back, and then drilled it through the 4rth turn and down the front straight. I knew I had at least 1 Aerospace guy on my wheel, otherwise Chris would never lead this out. Right before I was about to jump, Chris' teammate Yosvany Falcon fly's by and I jump after him. He already has a bike length gap, and I feel riders coming up the left hand I give what I have left finishing 2nd.

Yosvany was first, me second, and Ivan Franco from Aerospace was 3rd. We achieved our first goal of the year, a podium spot in a Pro 1,2 race. I think once everyone on the team has settled into the season, we can make one more step up...