Joseph Mendez Criterium
Teammates: Justin Fraga, Brian Buchholz, James Badia, Rob MacNeill, Graham Simpson, Neil Harrington, Matt Beebe, Keith & Bob on the Radio
Place: 5th of ~60
Formerly known as the EBC crit, this is one of the most wide-open courses imaginable. No corners of note, extremely wide straights, smooth pavement and ripping wind make this race harder than you would expect.
Our plan was…well…pretty standard. Fraga and I attack like a couple crazy breakaway monkeys, with James ready for a field sprint if nothing sticks. Keith Williams (Williams Wheels, sponsor of the century) was on the radio slingin’ his usual ridiculous nonsense at us, as well as calling out times and laps.
Justin attacked early, in a break with Chad Gerlach among others. Pretty solid effort by him, but it was too early. That break came back, and we reshuffled with me in the next move. Unfortunately the break that stuck contained all the major players and was 10-strong. 1 in 10 odds are not great, and frankly we should have had another rider in the move.
I did what I could to conserve energy and get ready for the last few laps. Chad Gerlach attacked the break with 7 to go, but everyone kept rotating through and he was brought back. With 1.1 laps to go, a DBC kid attacked hard, and I attacked to chase. This attacking strung the break out, and we dropped a few guys, which was the hope. Gerlach attacked as soon as the top 3 guys came back together on the backstretch and no one could answer. As I was setting up for the sprint, a couple guys came flying past us into the final turn. I had no idea they were there. My bad dawg.
Ended up 5th overall.
Couple mistakes to learn from. 1) 1 rider in a 10 man break is not enough. Our team should not have sat on that kind of move. 2) I should have waited for Gerlach’s move instead of going with a full lap to go. Wasted some valuable matches there only to be caught.
Still, another top-5 for the Elite team. It’s been a good year so far! It’s great to see all our guys up at the front working and attacking and whatnot.
Thanks for reading,