Joe had won this race twice in the last two years, so we were optimistic we would do well. The race was 130km on rolling roads with just a couple of climbs. The pace was high and no break away groups seemed able to sustain an escape. With 45km remaining Joe was brought down in a crash. He was a bit battered, but nothing serious and after the race medics had cleaned him up we got him in the team car.
Shortly after this, Charlie had made what was the most promising split of the race, in an eleven man group, which would become 15 as more riders bridged across. With only one rider there and the Vitus team with three riders, the odds weren’t good, but I told Charlie to make the best of it and just make sure he went with as many of the attacks from Vitus as possible.
The final 15km were not as agressively raced as we would have liked and the group remained intact to the finish. Charlie finished a respectable 8th place. Had this race situation come a few weeks from now I’m confident Charlie would have won in the sprint, but with so little racing all our guys are still a lacking a bit of race sharp fitness.
The other guys policed the moves behind and came in not far behind. Solid team work.
Joe is ok, and should be training by mid week.
*photo credit velouk.net