The past week I have been focused on recovering from Redlands, but also getting in some really intense efforts to prepare for the next big race called Joe Martin. This is an important race for me so I am trying to set myself up for success there.
Part of my preparation was racing the Three Rivers Rumble time trial and criterium in Harriman and Rockwood,TN. I especially wanted to dial in my TT warm up routine so I could be confident in it at Joe Martin. I did some easy spinning and then a five minute effort just like I was supposed to and then was ready to race. It was only a 2.2 mile race, so I went full gas from the line and then settled in for a minute before pushing out of the turns for the final kilometer of slight climbing. I was able to take the win and I was happy with the effort.
In the crit, there were a lot of teams and there was a lot of wind around the course, which made it hard for a breakaway to make it to the line. Taking this into consideration, I only attacked a few times and mostly played a conservative race. Going into the last few laps, I knew Matt Russell was the fastest sprinter so I kept a close eye on him. Like a lot of crits, the real race was to the final corner before the finishing straight so I knew I had to get there first if I wanted to win. I was able to make the pass at the last minute and win the sprint. I was happy with the race because I was patient and waited until the right moment to go.
A special thing about the race was that I wore some sunglasses that belonged to Mike Biegalski, who passed away last year in a mountain biking accident. Mike was a big presence in the local cycling community. His family had a sale of some of his bike stuff and I bought a few pairs of glasses and some other things. They were all Oakleys, which is a team sponsor, so I can wear them in races. I was happy to be able have part of his memory with me in the race.
I decided to skip the Sunday road race because the weather was rainy and I wanted to avoid any risk of crashing or getting sick. This decision was a hard one for me because I love racing and I was leading the omnium (overall points classification) for the weekend, but in the end protecting my health before my big objectives this coming week was the most important thing. I leave Wednesday for Joe Martin and I’m very excited about the opportunities that await me there. I won the white jersey for Best Young Rider there last year, so I will be trying to defend that title. Hagens-Berman u23 has a strong squad lined up for the race and we are ready to go.