We had a great team effort at the Jeff Cup yesterday, resulting in our protected rider finishing second in the 4 race. My job, along with a team mate, was to stay on top of the action in the early/middle part of the race, jump in any good looking breaks and generally be up front.
The overall plan was to help our man Chris P, who is about to deploy to parts unknown with the Coast Guard, get himself a great result in what will be one of his last couple of races before he has to hang up his racing wheels indefinitely. He has a deadly sprint, so that made our tactics a lot more clear.
The first lap and a half it was just super obvious that it wasn't yet break time, so we chilled out. Then Greg shot off the front just at a lull while I picked up second wheel in the bunch. If someone from a different team had bridged to him it would have been a really good move, but no one did and he came back after a pretty good stint.
We had discussed the need to push the dagger in on the third time up the hill to get rid of some people so Chris wouldn't have to sprint with 100 of his closest friends, so I dropped the hammer on the climb and inadvertantly started a break. Win Elliot (now with DC Velo) took over pulling on the false flat. I actually had high hopes for this, we had some good guys with us, but the bunch was too fresh and we came back a while later. A short trip to the recovery store and back to the front to chase a break and ride tempo at the front.
I hadn't been planning to still be at the front into the last climb but it worked out that way, so I pretty much sprinted down the runway and through the turn before the hill, then stayed on it until I couldn't anymore which turned out to be about halfway up the false flat. The field hauled ass past me, it was all I could do to get back on, but there were A LOT fewer guys there than there had been a few minutes before. Nice.
The run into the finish is kind of a hypoxic blur. All I wanted to do was be able to see the finish, but I was limping in too many riders back. Then word got back that Chris had gotten second. Freaking sweet. We also had maybe 5 guys in the top 20 so we racked up the BAR points.
After all the crap we went through trying to get the team to act like a team, yesterday was a 9.5 out of ten. Greg and a bunch of other guys did a ton of smart work and stuck to the plan throughout, largely screwing their own chances in the process. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometime so maybe this was a one shot deal but I'm thinking it isn't.