Shawn Wayland joined his KHS-Maxxis-JLVelo teammates in the 167km USA Cycling National Championship Road Race in Lake Tahoe, CA. Shawn, along with David Santos, Chris Barton and Brian McCulloch, tackled the challenging event after a successful completion of the North Star Grand Prix in Minnesota.
“It was hot, bone dry, at elevation, and windy. It was over a hundred mile course with significant rollers, one LONG sustained climb, and 40 something miles of flat wide open prairie land with nasty crosswinds. It was the National Road Race Championship event, so everyone arrived wanting the best result.
The race started at the top of a hill that was a “neutral” roll out. I say “neutral” because it was the fastest neutral start I’ve been in! Probably 30 mph downhill, and everyone is already jockeying for position. Once we made it to the main road from the resort, the race was on.
The first 30 odd miles were fairly calm. There were a few little groups that got off the front, but nothing dangerous. Everyone was waiting for the flatland and nasty winds. Once we hit the bottom of the descent, everyone was fighting to get to the front. The wind was blowing, and the race was getting ready to blow apart.
A couple miles into the wind where the group made a right turn into a cross tailwind, the echelons started. A group of 12 ripped off the front which included both Barton and Santos. Real estate on the road at this point was limited as the field chased. When the wind was blowing like it was, your race is over in a matter of minutes if you who have no draft and are guttered towards the back. (Insert my situation here). If you are in the right spot, the wind is a fantastic element. If you are in the wrong spot, it can mean the end of your race.
Fast forward to the 25 minute sustained climb out of the valley, and Barton and Santos are still rolling well in the break. Ten minutes into the climb, the break began to splinter into pieces, leaving only Santos in the front group.
So we now have Santos in the front group with 5 Mike’s Bikes riders, a few Elbows riders, a Cal Giant rider, and a handful of others as more bridged to the front group. Dave was in a tough spot at this point with the numbers game. He rode his legs off though, and left it all on the table finishing 13th! Heck of a ride Dave!
Thank you to our sponsors: KHS Bicycles, Maxxis Tires, JLVelo, Serfas, Shimano, Velo Saddles, Praxis Works, Xpedo Pedals, Kali Protectives, NDXSports, Bike Religion, Bicycle Blue Book, WD-40 BIKE, Chamois Butt’r, Cycling Illustrated, Rennie & Associates, Kramp Krushers, Ultra Cycle, and Q2.
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