First race of the NCNCA 2018, and I think Dave and I were still reeling from our Dominican Republic adventure, as we had arrived with 15 minutes till the start of the race. Where as, island time would have dictated that there be a mandatory delay to the start by at least 30 minutes. Heart racing at the start, I was obviously super prepared sporting my speed suit and neck gator with no warmers, but hey that’s all you need.
Willie and I went into the race knowing that it normally boils down to sprint from a breakaway. Accordingly, The first big move went only a few miles from the neutral role out. Willie made the break with 3 other riders, and on lap 2 the break was slowly increasing their gap while Sam, Dave, and I monitored the front of the peloton. Some half hearted efforts were made and quickly pulled back until we hit the tail-wind/roller backside of the course. Cooper Rombold (Team California) made an intense effort over the first roller and established a gap. He pulled with him a few other riders including Jeff Bushceck, Rob Schell, Bryan Larsen, Chris Evans, and myself. After a lap we had managed to claw our way back onto the lead group.
After a commendable effort, Willie and his breakaway companions were shelled by the last lap. There were some definite engines in the group, and we managed to increase our gap to 12 minutes by the time we hit the final kilometers.
Coming into the final everyone started playing their cards and it was hard to determine who actually had the legs to take it to the finish. Cooper had been looking strong the whole day and I knew he would be a major threat at the line. Cooper lit it up 50 meters before the final turn that led to a 500 meter straightaway. All I could do was follow his wheel and hope that my legs could carry me to a win. Sprinting seated in the hoods for extra drama I barley managed to get Cooper at the line.