You know how in life and bike racing you always have a plan and it always falls apart completely and the script gets flipped upside down? For the first time this year, we had a plan, stuck to it, and everything, strangely, clicked into place in this rather chaotic and unpredictable country.
Today’s 150km stage averaged over 30 mph for the first hour with a strong tailwind over the big rollers. We (mainly Gavin, who has rebounded beautifully from his big crash 2 days ago) made sure to be present in any large or dangerous breakaways, but our plan was to set up a field sprint for Quinten who has proven himself to be one of the top sprinters in the field here in the Dominican Republic. He started the day in 3rd place in the sprinters jersey competition, 11 points out of first. 40 points to 51 and a win is worth 25 to put it into perspective.
No breaks were gaining any ground, so we tried to save our matches for the final hilly circuits which were identical to the first day. Going into the final half lap, Blake had to go to the front on the major tailwind climb of the circuit to start sticking the field back together after a 4 man break rolled and the leader’s team (ACT) started to sit up. Once it was back together, Dave and Gavin covered some very dangerous breaks that launched in the final 5km before Nate and Dave pegged the whole race back together right before the final, uphill, headwind kilometer. Blake pegged onto a last minute move which fizzled with about 300m to go in the headwind. Quinten was sitting around 25th wheel when they blew by. He saw some daylight and was able to launch out, taking over the front leading into the final 100m and only one rider was able to get around him by a bike wheel at the finish.
With Quinten’s awesome 2nd place, he jumped into the lead of the sprinter’s jersey competition with only one day left. There are 3 other riders uncomfortably close to him though, so Team Marc Pro p/b Gym One has its work cut out for tomorrow!