The Tour de Tysons circuit race is always a favorite on the MABRA calendar. The VWS crew brought skeleton squads to the Women’s 1/2/3, 3 and 4/5 fields as well as Men’s 3/4, 45+ and 1/2/3. In the Men’s 4 race, however, they full was in force with an attitude to do damage. Andrew brought home a 2nd place finish to polish off a well-controlled race. His report is below:
Men’s Category 4
Great showing by the team, we’ve really improved communicating and knowing what needs to be done over the course of racing together. Thanks to Pat and Pete who had tight schedules and weren’t even sure if they’d have room on the start line. Also thanks to Beth and Chelsea for setting me up with ice and to Beth again for magically having watermelon juice afterwords.
The plan was to split into two groups: Pete, Pat, Clay, Zac, Jason in the first group; Brian and myself in the second. The first group’s job was to wreak havoc on the 75ish person field right from the gun. Clay and the boys did just that, promptly thinning the heard and shredding everything. Brian and I were hiding in the pack, waiting to unleash something useful in the end. Throughout the race the first group stayed near the front and kept the pace up. I couldn’t see quite everything, but I’m pretty sure I saw everyone make a dig at the front or to get up to the front at some point. I recall Zac chasing a few things down, and then launching his own attack that got around 20 seconds on the field at one point. The group tried to control the front, I recall Pat flying up to do a little good natured blocking that bought Zac a few more seconds. He eventually came back, but I think if he could have extended it a little more he might have hit that downhill again and really put serious time on the peleton.
The course had plenty of room to maneuver, despite some odd juts and narrow areas (how bout that 18-wheeler on lap 1?). I used the space to start positioning myself a little higher up with around 5 to go, chasing down little gaps that formed so I could stay near the front. Around the bell lap I inadvertently floated up to the front. Despite my lack of pedaling, no one wanted to come around. I knew pretty much everyone had to be on my wheel, so I put in a hard dig right at the base of the hill and then tried to even out the effort. My memory gets very hazy here (it was hot), I recall there being bikes around me, possibly someone got in front for a second, Zac made a valiant effort to lead me out but had to come from too far back and had already done a tone of work. I kept going hard just because that seemed better than overthinking things. I recall hearing Zac (possibly someone else) saying something like “go ” or “you got a gap” – anyway someone said something that made me dig in hard. When I looked up I was first coming into the final turn. I felt pretty spent, but promised myself 10 good seconds of sprint. Felt like 10 hours. I felt some bikes coming up on my outside, I heard Sean yell “dig!” and so I did. I held on for second, as the winner got half a wheel or so on me across the line. I wanted to feel spiteful toward him, but he joined in the podium shenanigans so he was cool.
Throughout the race, Joe Jefferson called out Veloworks as being the first or second riders at the front. Whether its Clay shelling the field, Pat blocking the field for Zac, or Zac telling me to slide over to the left so he doesn’t have to fight a rando for my wheel, people are noticing how we race. 2nd is my best finish, and the way the team herded a 75-ish man field like sheep dogs was by far the best teamwork out there.