This last day is the hardest race course that any youth will ride all year. It is a massive day, 70 miles with a crazy amount of climbing. Really just finishing the day is good, and being able to race it, is just awesome.
The team started the day with GC aspirations in every category so their was great motivation. The race is almost completely dictated by the last climb so the plan in each group was to deliver our GC person to the base of the climb having done the least amount of work.
Cat 3 Men
This was just Matthew and Ethan, they both had GC aspirations, and with no other teammates they had to wait and play it cool. Well unfortunately the lack of teammates got them again. A break of 3 went early on the day and it was never brought back. However Matthew and Ethan were able to ride the field off their wheels with the one other great Junior in the field. They finish 5th and 6th on the day and top 10 GC.
Cat 4 Men
Again we had 3 kids in the top 12 GC and we wanted to have a go of it. We went in with Quinn in mind, as we felt he was the strongest climber. They had the same plan just protect till the hill and then see what happens. Patrick did his job early on and got in the early break to relieve pressure from the team. Once his move was brought back they rode it into the climb. Kajeme was aware at the base and made a huge move with Quinn on his wheel to bring him to the front of the race. Kajeme then repeatedly attacked to soften the group and to make the selection. It worked and Quinn was in position, however Kajeme cracked. Quinn then went to work and did his job and was able to finish 4th on the day in the lead group. His best result ever. Zaid and Patrick managed top 10’s on the day, and Jack finished the hardest race in the all the land.
Cat 3 Women
Same plan, same course, different players. This time we wanted Chloe to arrive to the base fresh and ready to battle. Well mission accomplished when Chloe arrived to the base of the climb she attacked, got a gap and rode for the win. She was caught once, then dropped that person, she was caught again, and then repeatedly attacked to try and win the day. While she was just edged out for 2nd on the day, she rode her way from 5th to 2nd GC. For a young lady that has battled through so much, I could not be happier. She missed all of last years road season because of crash and for her to come back with so much emotion and pride, is just fantastic. Madison had an incredible day and finish in the top 10 as did Izzy. Madison last year barely finished this race and emotionally beat up after it last year, so for her to return with attitude and pride, well I am thrilled. Izzy as an 8th grader to just finish, is impressive, and to finish well, well the future looks good. Kudos to Pearl for juggling a freshman year of college and still finding time to race.
Thank you to all families, coaches, supporters and loved ones who have helped along the way.