The following post was written by Justin Mauch
After a long spring racing out west with the team, recently completing Redlands Classic, it’s been nice to be back home in Virginia for the past week.
I decided to head up north for the weekend for Wilmington Grand Prix Time Trial Friday night and Criterium Saturday afternoon.
The Time Trial is a short, technical course, with a cobbled climb and decent, usually completed in just over 6 minutes. It’s a course I’ve done in the past and knew I could do well on. Unfortunately the it didn’t go as planned for me, flatting on the cobbled decent less than 2 minutes in. (Luckily narrowly avoiding crashing with the flat rear around a sharp corner.) Part of bike racing, happy to be safe, on to the next day!
I first raced the Wilmington Criterium in 2008 at 13 years old. Fun to be back yet again in the Pro field 9 years later. It’s an eight corner crit, with a bit of elevation gain, nothing significant, but enough to make the legs hurt after an hour plus of racing. Coming into the day, with no teammates on the east coast, a local friend and training buddy Bryan Lewis and I figured we’d try to get in a break together mid race. Bryan worked himself in a 2 man move early that held off the field for a good bit, but never given a long leash. Through the middle of the race we made repeated attempts to get a move up the road but the strong headwind on the straightaway kept things together. With 6 to go it was looking like it would finish in a field sprint.
As I don’t consider myself much of a sprinter I figured I’d give it a go on the backside of the course, attacking with some momentum over the top of the short kicker. Coming through alone with the lap cards at 5 to go, picking up a cash prime, and the bell ringing for more money on the next lap, I knew I had to keep rolling. As the field hesitated and likely underestimated me as a solo rider, the gap grew. With 2 to go and 40 seconds on the field, It was looking really good.
1 to go I knew I would have it if I kept the bike upright. The crowd was loving the solo rider breakaway, and coming through the finish alone with time to celebrate the win was a great feeling. There are many ups and downs in cycling- happy to have a safe day on the bike and make yet another win happen for H24 Cycling!