...I'll be a bit more diligent about posting only one day post-race. Until then, you just can't rush greatness, I say.
Anyway, The Louisville GP weekend was damned near perfect for both me and my team. I love unexpected surprises, such as the #1 bib for the 2/3 races of the weekend.
This gave me pick of the litter on grid position both days. It helped that PRO mechanic and teammate Zach got #2 and second teammate Ryan M got #11 to grid right behind me. Coach extraordinaire Don got shafted by his own silliness (ie, not registering before the week of) so he was #55, in about 8th row.
At the team meeting, we kinda joked that Ryan, Zach and I would slow things down so Don could use his mad pack skills to slice through the field, never thinking it could actually happen. But happen it did. I was in the lead, soft pedaling and coasting through the first two laps yet nobody wanted to come around. Far be it for me to complain. The best part was that a gap was forming to the rest of the field.
True to form, Don bridged so we just started working the lead group over. It was fantastic to hear the announcer over the loudspeaker (Richard Fries, BTW) talk about the tactics we were displaying. In the end I broke away with about two laps to go and held it to the line. I must say it was an awesome feeling to look back and not see anyone in sight so I could get my salute on.
It was even better to see when Don came across the line in second, and Ryan M take 4th with Zach a close 6th. Teamwork fo' sho'.
Day two had the same grid with a slightly altered course including a smallish ditch. I saw potential for somebody to stack it up so I wanted to make sure I was first through it. Having an open road ahead at the start makes getting the hole shot fairly easy. I wanted to push the pace a bit more so we didn't have 11 guys in the lead group as was the case Saturday. I think that was the cause of at least two crashes that slowed my teammates down a few times. Anyway, Don again bridged after a few laps and the smaller lead group again contained four DRT teammates. I had to laugh because Richard Fries was hamming it up on the PA, calling my boys "my henchmen" and me Mr. Mexler. Funny stuff.
Four out of five? you do the math!
With maybe three to go, it was down to three; me, Don and some other guy. I was a bit peeved when said guy did zero work throughout the entire day, but that just gave extra fuel to the fire for when Don and I attacked and countered several times.
Naturally he was forced to chase down and got tired in the process. We never dropped him but it sure seemed like he didn't have much left for the sprint. Don was leading us out and I was third wheel coming onto the pavement the final time. A self-proclaimed slow twitch man without a sprinting muscle in his body, Don was pulling away from the front of the 3-up sprint. Once I dispatched of what's-his-name, I wasn't really sure if I could close the gap to Don and figured it asshole-ish to punk a teammate on the line so Don took the win and I took second, a flip flop from Day 1. Ryan again took 4th - just shy of the podium. Zach had back problems but came in a respectable 14th.
After the post-race interviews, it was great to have Richard Fries off-mike say how that was probably the best display of teamwork he'd seen in a cross race. I'm guessing probably not ever but I'll take it.
So it was a good weekend all around. Another teammate of mine, Nicole B had strong showings both days for her first adventure into Elite level CX racing, netting two top 25s. Especially considering her back-of-grid starting position, she moved up well and represented!
Mike had shit luck on Saturday, which needed no less than 3 bike changes, and not-good luck on Sunday needing just one bike change. Ryan got a top 30 on Saturday then showed determination on Sunday by keeping at it to recover after hitting the wall good for a top 25. Isaac raced clean all day Sunday to get just outside the top 20. Awesome work boys!