Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Webcor/Alto Velo Wins Winters Road Race!

The team has been SO CLOSE on so many occasions this season. Finally we scored the big W with Fabrice taking Winters Road Race in impressive fashion this past weekend. He made the break of the day and burned everyone off his wheel to get a solo victory. Awesome.

Winters is a classic CalCup race that has been off the schedule the past couple of seasons due to road construction. It's a great course--Fabrice thought so too! Below is his report.

Event: Winters Road Race, Pro 1/2
Date: 8/16/2008
Result: 1st of 70
Team: Jono, Chris and I.

Course: 4 laps, 24 miles per lap, mostly flat, a few rollers, one short climb with a technical descent and good pavement. The climb, which comes in about half-way through the course just past the feed zone, is mostly shallow, tipping upward a little toward the end.

Weather: hot and dry

The start was at 8:00am after an early wake up (4:30am) and a long trip to Winters. The first lap was raced at a moderate speed, giving some time to analyze the circuit. After that first lap, I needed a little stop ("besoin naturel"...) and Jono waited for me to help me catch back to the main field.

During the second lap, there were several attacks and one of them with 5 guys and no Webcor succeeded to take an advantage. On the climb I tried an attack in order to know if the legs felt good. On the descent, we managed to catch the breakaway.

Before beginning the third lap, 4 guys made a counter-attack and I joined them just before crossing the finishing line. From the beginning of that move we tried to work together to increase the gap. That worked because before beginning the climb, the gap was at about 1 minute. During the climb of the third lap, 3 guys from the escape were dropped. I thought that was bad for the escape because two guys with only 1 minute advantage on the field and 32 remaining miles to cross the finish line was not enough. But I was wrong because during the fourth lap, we worked steadily and managed to increase the gap to 2:30 before entering the feed zone. So I guessed the win would be between the two of us!!! During the last climb, I maintained a good speed and dropped my breakaway partner. So I had to increase the gap on him and the other chasers until the finish line, 12 miles after that climb. During that long time I was not really confident... But 6 miles before the end my gap was still about 1 minute, so without problem, I was able to hold off the chasers.

In the end, I crossed the finish line with an advantage of 1:30 on the second place rider and about 3 minutes on the main field. The sprint for the third place was won by Eric Wolhberg. Jono was dropped from the main field just in the last lap but was assured a place in the top 20.

This is my first win in the US (and I hope not the last one!!!), and I am very happy for both the team and myself. I know that everybody was waiting for this first win and I hope it's just the beginning!

Thanks for reading,