Words by Eben Horacek
FLAGSTAFF — For the last day of the camp I had a twenty-two second gap or so on third place going into the flat 20k time trial. This would be the most difficult one for me. We all rode for an hour out the the start of the time trial. We went in reverse GC order. The heat was starting to get up near the mid nineties. The time trial was mostly downhill and we had a good tailwind to help us. I was tired after all the tests and riding and had a hard time pushing power. This was a hard effort and everyone was hurting. I was hoping that I had held my second place in GC.
On the way back we were able to practice going back to a team car and grabbing bottles. It is not difficult and the sticky bottles helped quite a bit. Our whole ride was about an hour and a half. For the second ride of the day we had a mock race. The teams were decided alphabetically, which meant that the first three riders in GC were all on one team, which was great for us.
We had a mock crit where every other lap the first person across would get three points, second got two, and third got one. Our team plan was for Max, the leader of GC, to attack and attack to keep the pace high while Charlie, third in GC, would lead me out for sprints and try and save some for himself. Right out of the gate Max attacked and the race was on.
A break of four got away, two of which were in our team, and had a ten second gap. I sat in the field covering attacks to try and bridge and being a nuisance. Eventually Charlie broke away from the lead group and soon after I soloed up to the break. Eventually the race came back together, no one worked well together to bring Charlie back and Max did not give them a chance as he attacked hard every 3 minutes. This made the race hard for ten second but the rest of the time everyone just looked around. Charlie ended up winning by a good bit and we got a few points on other laps. We ended up destroying the points competition and were very pleased.
After this we motored back to the dorms to stretch and go to dinner. Evening presentations were important because they would give us the final GC and the teams that get to go to l’Abitibi. I was very excited to learn that I had kept my second place in GC and would automatically be going to l’Abitibi on the A team. After this we split into the teams of six and discussed details of the race, when to get there, where, when to pay, wheels to bring, etc… I am very pleased with my performance over the week and am excited to be going to Canada for the tour de l’Abitibi on the A team. This race will not be easy but will be an extraordinary opportunity and I hope to capitalize on it in the month to come.