Having mindful teammates where you need them in a race is an absolute advantage. Our team has growing strengths and developing experience with each race we do. Roddy Gibbs and Steven Brewer are two of those teammates I am talking about.
Throughout Saturday's road race we three helped to work the front and establish a higher pace for other racers to follow. The peloton was moving frustratingly slow on the first of 3 laps. Once the pace picked up however, Roddy Gibbs and I were quick to keep on the front to work with other racers. I really had no idea where Brewer was was on the second lap. Once the 3rd lap was upon us the lead group of was well established and the three of us still had a presence working the front. Blah blah blah... we hit the final turn and the road opened up for the sprint finish.
I kept to the left of the group. In front of me a big PennState fella made his move and ended up creating a gap on the boys leading out the final stretch. Seeing his established gap I immediately picked up my pace and swung around the field to latch on to his wheel. I was not sure where the finish line was, but I knew I could not hesitate. Then the inevitable happened. PennState began to crack. Seeing this happen I again did not hesitate to break from his wheel and make an attack of my own. I was not about to hold back and wait for the rest of those guys to swallow me up and cat&mouse it to the finish. I knew I had the legs and was ready to put myself through some pain. And pain was exactly how I felt. My attack created a gap and my heart rate was soaring. I cannot say how far away I actually was from the finish, (attacking I guess from about 500-600 meters out) but it felt like an eternity. I looked back one time knowing that for the pain I was feeling no one would be able to match me to get my wheel or over take me. No one except Steve. As I was quietly on my attack I heard a teammate of an F&M racer yelling at his boy to "Grab his wheel!" Delirious, I began to change my line so as to try and shake anything that might give this kid hope. Then I heard "GO! GOO! GO!#@$!" from Brewer. He had caught up to me and was yelling a me to keep up my effort for the win. I am not sure how it was communicated but I was reassured that although he could have taken the win, he was there to help me to the line first allowing himself to take 2nd. (Seen above how close he is.) Roddy got 7th and had impressive composure and handling after another racer swung into him unclipping his foot from the pedal. My effort on the bike was the absolute hardest thing I have ever put myself through and I love it.
All in all I am impressed with and proud of our growth as a team. Eager for more success, we will be heading to the Washington Boulevard Cycling Oval in Pittsburgh to race this Tuesday and every Tuesday this spring and summer. Next weekend and next we will be racing at the Mingo Creek Road Races hoping to have a good showing and a fun time.
I am thankful to my teammates and their efforts and mindfulness of my will to win last weekend. I am excited to keep racing with these boys throughout the summer and I hope to deliver some of them for win in the future.