Myles Standish 1-2-3

On the Friday night before the race, we threw a surprise birthday party for our friend and teammate, Smith Anderson. It was a great night, during which we enjoyed many adult beverages. So, to say that I was going into this race with high hopes would be inaccurate. I've never finished a race at Myles Standish. The first year I did it, there was massive confusion when our field got the bell at 2 to go. I won the field sprint on that occasion, and decided once was enough. Last year I broke a spoke. So, to say that I was going into this race with high hopes would be inaccurate.

Spirits were high however as we brought three full vans of friends down to the race and it was BEAUTIFUL out.

So here's what happened: Alec Donahue attacked from the absolute start of the race. It was chased down by some smattering of different teams. I hopped on the front as soon as we hit the new pavement and put a little dig in to open up the legs and intimidate everyone. The second part didn't work.

AJ attacked soon thereafter. Luciano and a few others jumped across, and having been near the front from the aforementioned opener, I went with them. Dean Phillips bridged and brought 13 people with him. When he joined our group I said "THANKS DEAN" which prompted him to look back, see what he'd done, and apologized. Hilarious.

I got back on the front of the group nearing the sweeping downhill corner and kept it strung out, railed the corner, and pinned it for the finishing straight. As I pulled off, I noticed that Dean was gone and there was a gap. I calmly let everyone know this by saying "THIS IS A GOOD GROUP WE'RE AWAY STARTSMASHINGDUDESNOWWWWWWW!!!!" We did.

The group was Luciano (ENGVT), Dan Nuzzo-Muller (Grinta), Brian Fuller (JAM Fund), Gary Aspnes (AETNA-EXPOWHEELMEN), A guy with a SWEET Evade from Fed-ex something or other, and AJ and myself. Once we started rolling, it was clear we were the right group almost immediately. Most of the big teams were represented, and there was plenty of horsepower to hold off Dean and whoever else fancied a go. Not to mention, ALL of our teams were getting in the chase to disrupt the pursuit. We were away.

We were working really well together. Luch showed his cards early, and was driving the break hard. I decided to not let him think that he was stronger than me, so I was hauling ass every time I touched the wind. The result was a gap of 2:20(!) back to the field.

Somewhere around lap 3 we were neutralized because of a nasty crash in the 4 field. We waited and waited and waited for the field to arrive, the whole time patting each other on the backs for putting that much distance between us and them. We rolled back to the start/finish to restart the race for 30 minutes of cool-down time (yikes). Lots of strategy was discussed, I "fixed" my right shifter which had moved considerably after a pothole on lap 2, and we lined up to get going again.

We decided amongst our group that we needed to DRILL IT from the start to get that gap secure again. So, we did. Two laps later we'd put another 30 seconds into the field. With 2 to go, Dan and Gary were dangling, and Fed-ex guy had long since been dropped. Luch decided that he didn't want to tow the two stragglers to the line, and puts in a dig up the hill with the new pavement. Then there were 4.

Bell lap: We had been averaging somewhere in the vicinity of 30mph a lap. Now? Probably 12. Both Luch and Brian started to attack, as they needed to. After the 4th or 5th attack, I decided that I didn't want to keep doing that and got on the front to do some light tempo to keep us away from the storming field, and give AJ a chance to recover/really hurt them when he put in his bid for the win. Words were exchanged, tensions were high. I was still on the front at the beginning of the back stretch. I knew AJ had to/was going to make a move soon, so I glanced back and made eye-contact (as best you can through two sets of mirrored sunglasses) to let him know it was time. He must have received the message.

AJ went storming up the right side like a stabbed rat. There was no hesitation from our break-mates, but AJ ripped open a 5 second gap in spite of it. I happily tucked myself behind the chase, and did everything short of shout "GO AJ!" I knew if they hesitated for a split second the gap would go out and we'd go 1-2.
Brian, however, pulled AJ back just after the sweeping downhill. I was, honestly, disappointed, but I knew it was FINALLY my turn to put the hurt on THEM. As soon as we hit the rise before the finish I opened it up. I knew it was super far out, but I also knew that they were tired, and that I could hold it. That was all she wrote.

The first win of the season is a huge weight off my shoulders. I haven't been able to test my fitness in terms of trying to win yet because I have been (happily) defending from the front of races to get our squad some points. And they have delivered almost every time. It was a great feeling to dust off the sprint and make it count for our whole team in the peloton and for AJ's huge set up.

See you on Sunday.