Valley of The Sun Criterium Report by Cory Williams
On the final day of Valley of The Sun Stage Race, my team and I had a big task ahead of us, but we were up for the challenge. After our win the previous day in the road race, we needed 50 seconds to win the race overall with Fabrizio Von Nacher sitting 2nd GC. The plan was simple yet hard to achieve. We were to attack and set up a counter attack for our leader, Fabi.
Attacking was the simple part. Getting the 50 seconds was the hard part. As the race started, everything was falling into place. After many attempts, Thomas and I attacked finally got away from the peloton, opening a nice size gap. We stayed off the front for 4 laps, setting up the perfect opportunity for a great counter attack. As we got consumed by the peloton, Luis Amaran countered our move and our leader Fabrizio and two other riders were quick to follow. When this move went without the leader of the race, I knew that we had a shot at the win overall.
The break quickly gapped the peloton, opening up a 30 second gap. In the peloton, we isolated the race leader leaving him on the front to chase what was his to lose. Everything was going to plan; the break had 43 seconds on the field. As the race went on, other riders started to help the race leader chase the break down, closing the gap down to 35 seconds. All we could do as a team was try to disrupt the pace.
Going into 3 laps to go, the pack was in full chase mode with almost everyone participating. The gap was coming down and there was nothing we could do but hope that Fabrizio had enough to make it to the finish line with the gap that we needed.
Going into the final sprint, I waited until someone jumped to open up my sprint. The road was really bumpy so I looked for the best line; there was none! As I sprinted, my back wheel jumped all over the place slowing me down just enough for my arch nemesis Justin Williams to pass me putting me into 2nd in the field sprint and 6th in the stage.
At the end stage, Fabrizio finished 4th and we didn’t get the time we needed to secure the overall win, but we did all the we could racing our hearts out. The weekend was filled with nothing but great teamwork. Until next time! Cory Williams
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