Nationals(Time Trial, Criterium, Road Race)- Augusta, Georgia: June 21-24
We arrived into Augusta on Sunday evening, greeted by some great weather compared to last year’s scorching temperatures. I quickly made my two bikes and settled into our host house which was big enough for us to have our own rooms! It was relaxed for the next three days, just doing recon on the time trial course and eating great food(Thank you Rebecca/Hammer!). Thursday was the first big outing, a 30 kilometer Individual Time Trial. I had a fairly good warm-up on the road before heading off on a_________ (Fill in the blank) 39 minutes. My time placed me in 6th, just 2 seconds shy of getting on the podium(five-deep). Overall, this was a positive time trial other than having to change my position to fit into UCI regulations causing some mild discomfort. A day later the downtown criterium was upon us. The heat and humidity at 4:30 pm was still wickedly intense, making our pack slowly dwindle down in size. In the beginning of this fast four- corner criterium I went on a move with one other rider, which stretched to 20 seconds until he sat up ambling back to the field. I decided to keep chugging away, with the hope that a small break would catch up. It was not to be due to a large Garmin-Slipstream team chasing. After getting caught some attacks went, but nothing gained more than 10 seconds until one rider jumped solo with 4 laps to go. The pack was disorganized leading into the final kilometers, with none of the big teams wanting to put a body on the front. He managed to make it in his gutsy move while I sprinted to second. Missing the awards ceremony for a drug test wasn’t nice but c’est la vie! The road race turned out to be the easiest due to the favorites marking each other throughout. A bunch sprint after 96 kilometers (Make it longer!) wasn’t what most people envisioned for a world’s qualifying event. That turned the finish into a total lottery since everyone had moderately fresh legs coming into the sprint. I didn’t think of this when attacking at the top of the climb after TJ Eisenhart hit the gas, so I became a leadout man for the others who passed me around 100 meters to go. Races are filled with split-second decisions, which for me turned out to be wrong since I wasn’t able to get a gap. More lessons learned for future times! Thanks for reading and have a great day.