“I was really excited to race the Chuck Pontius Criterium this year because of the competition that showed up. In my book, there is nothing more exciting than going up against a big team. The plan for our team KHS-Maxxis pb JAKROO was for everyone, including myself, to follow moves. This plan was a good opportunity for me to show that I could do more than sit around and wait for a sprint, so I was all in. When the race started the first attack came from the Hincapie Devo team and the whole field reacted right away. I quickly realized that it was going to be a shoot-out and this thing might not stay together.
As the race went on, I followed move after move, finally getting into one with Ty Manger of Hincapie. We managed to stay off the front for a couple of laps before a group of guys bridged up, including my teammate David Santos and three more Hincapie guys. Dave and I realized the situation and stayed on the back to wait for more of our guys to make it across because we were clearly out numbered. When the peloton caught us, two more Hincapie guys attacked and my teammate Brian McCulloch was right on it only to pull his foot out. This gave the two Hincapie guys a gap and they rolled it before anyone could get across.
Attacks didn’t come from the peloton right away because of all the fatigued legs. When everyone decided to go it was too late. The two-man break quickly gained time forcing my team to come forward and close a 40 second gap. We brought everyone to the front and started the chase. We chased for about 20 minutes and used every one of our guys to bring it back. As we were on the front, I noticed the rest of the Hincapie team lining up behind us and I knew that they were waiting for their next opportunity to attack. When we brought the 2 guys back Boom! Hincapie sent another 2 guys up the road, putting 30 seconds into the peloton. At this point there was about 6 laps to go and we had the 2 guys to bring back.
We were tired but still ready for another challenge. We started the lead-out and we chased as hard as we could. We started closing the gap, bringing it down to 20 seconds and then just 15 going into 1 lap to go. On the last lap, Cole House took a flyer on the back side trying for a late bridge. My last lead out guy, Fabrizio Von Nacher was quick to chase, realizing the danger. We caught him in the 3rd corner and another attack came so I jumped and got on the wheel before the final corner and jumped around him, winning the field sprint.
Unfortunately, the break ended up staying away by 5 seconds leaving us with 3rd place. Even though we did not win the race, I was still extremely proud of my teammates for riding their hearts out. I would like to thank all my sponsors for helping me and this wonderful program it wouldn’t be possible without you.
Thank you to our sponsors: KHS Bicycles, Maxxis Tires, JAKROO Custom Apparel, Shimano, Velo Saddles, Rudy Project North America, Rennie & Associates, Xpedo, Hammer Nutrition, Chamio Butt’r, WD-40 Bike, Serfas, Q2, Bike Religion, Bicycle Blue Book and iRT Wheels.