Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Fitchburg Longsjo Classic

I'm here up in Massachusetts after completing the 50th edition of the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic with the Hot Tubes Junior Development Team. The race is a four day four stage race which starts off with a 9 mile time trial. Stage two was 21 mile circuit race before the penultimate 44 mile road race the next day. The race ended with a 20 kilometer crit on Sunday. We dominated the entire race by winning every stage with a different rider and winning all of the jerseys, the overall and the points jersey. Nathan Brown took the time trial by 20 seconds over Charlie Avis and our own Gavin Mannion. Anders took 4th, Boz took 9th, Ben took 12th, and I got 36th. With all of my traveling delays (I ended up getting delayed a total of 26 hours and got to Boston about 10 hours before the race start) none of my baggage showed up including both of my bikes and my clothes. I ended up just riding one of the Sram neutral bikes that I got about 30 minutes before my start. Boz took the win on the stage two circuit race out of a four man break and took the green jersey for the day. Anders was also in the break and was able to take fourth on the day. I went on a last lap attack with Nate and worked really hard to get Nate a big gap. Going up the 500 meter finish line wall I blew up and was caught only by Gavin who won the field sprint. Nate took 5th on the day, Gavin got 6th, and I took home 7th. I won the road race out of an early breakaway with Nate and another rider, Nathan Wilson. Nate got to the front on the hardest climb on the first lap and hammered up it and only Wilson and I were able to stay with him. Gavin bridged up later that lap but had a mechanical and dropped out of the break. Nate and I attacked Wilson with about 3 km to go and were able to put in 40 seconds into him by the end. Boz was able to take 4th on the stage over Gavin and then Anders. This moved me up from 26th overall to 3rd. Right from the start of the crit I put in an all out attack and got a decent sized gap. I was caught the next lap right before a sprint. Right after the sprint I put in another attack and brought Charlie Avis with me. Anders bridged up about a lap later and the three of us got about a 15 second gap. I took all of the sprint out of the break and got enough points to take over the green jersey. With about four laps to go I saw Gavin trying to bridge up to us. I then dropped back to help Gavin bridge all the way up. We caught back up with about three laps remaining. Starting with one lap to go, Anders and I took turns attacking Charlie, but neither of us could get a gap. Gavin was able to take the sprint for our fourth victory of the weekend and I was able to 3rd on the day. Nate took the final overall and I was able to maintain my 3rd place and win the points jersey. Gavin took 4th overall, Anders got 6th, and Boz got 7th. Next Sunday we plan on driving down to Kentucky for the UCI 2.2 Tour of the Red River Gorge. The winner of that will automatically earn a spot on the World Championships team.

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