Nation’s Cup Trofeo Karlsberg, Germany- May 17-20
Stage 1: One of the biggest stage races for junior cyclist started with a 115 kilometer suffer contest. Due to the many hills we repeatedly climbed and my lack of form after being ill a week prior to leaving, I was put in the pain cave(with no flashlight). A group of around 90 of the best juniors made it to the drag up to the finish which had a very sharp and steep downhill switchback with 500 meters to go (Thank you race course designers!) where a pack finish was the best I had.
Stage 2: Rain was in the forecast for today making it another very hard and technically challenging course, which broke the field apart more so than the day before. Again there was a large group sprint only this time the last kilometer rose considerably. Colin Joyce ended this tough finish with a fine fifth place to shoot him up the general classification after we (TJ and I) semi-led him out.
Stage 3a- An individual 9km TT in the morning started off the double day madness. I was feeling the effects of the past two stages causing me to get a lowly time which didn’t match well with my previous results here. TJ Eisenhart rode a great TT for fourth making him third overall in possibly the most prestigious junior stage race in the world.
Stage 3b- The fastest course in the race, at only 80 kilometers, was the second part of our long day of racing. For the third time in a row (Due to the long downhill’s and flats after demanding climbs) it came down to a bunch sprint. I was gunning for this stage because the finish suited me more so than the others, but a slight moment of hesitation in the sprint left me livid in fourth.
Stage 4- Our team’s goals for the last 99km stage was to keep TJ on the podium, and we did just that after taking pressure off in breaks and setting blistering tempo’s at the bottom of the big climb. I did this work for the last two laps, until I cracked and rode in-between the first and second group. A strong team result overshadowed my disappointment in not being fit enough to win a stage, but I felt the form drastically change for the better after sickness just a week before.