Route 1 Velo / Arrow Bicycle pulled a 2nd, 4th, 6th and 8th in the 3/4 race on Sunday.
One side of me reads that and says that we did pretty well placing four guys in the top 10. The "process improvement" side of me looks at it and sees a problem and is trying to come up with solutions for solving it.
Steven Wahl was the strongest on the day and earned the win. The timing of his jump was good and the fitness he has right now is spot on. Well done. Now, saying that, let's figure out how to never let that happen again.
Our strategy really is no secret. Put our sprinter in the best position to win at the end of the race. Nobody was getting away in this race, and we knew that going into it. If anybody had tried, we were going to go with them and "bring them back" to the group...boring tactics, but effective. With the numbers we had, and the constantly improving "train", we'd have as good if not better chance of sticking it in the end than the other teams in the race. I was itching to put a couple of digs in during the race, but the plan was to just sit in the top 10 and let everyone else pull us around till about 5 to go, we would group up, go to the front, kill it on the last lap and send Brandon off for the win...simple, right?
I think this is where it broke down a little. With one to go, I was sitting pretty in 4th position while NCVC pulled us toward the "turn", the pace was good, but not break-neck speed. Brandon was on my wheel but we were too far out to really put in the final pull from the turn to the finishing hill. It would have been Tyson's corner all over again where I dropped Brandon off too far from the line for him to hold his speed. I wanted to get him to about 100 meters to go and then let him unleash the sprint. We got to the base of the hill and I jumped..unfortunately for us, I think Steven was carrying more speed than us (pace up front slowed) and his momentum carried him up the hill quicker and to the line before us.
Thinking back on this, I should have been on the front pushing the pace in the upper 35 to 40+ mph range coming off the turn and had it single file coming into the finishing hill. The more strung out it was, the less likely someone stronger would have been able to make up the difference and then had something left to come around at the end. The pace was too slow coming off the turn and we were "bunched" up a bit. Live and learn. A course like this needed the "train" all together, on the front, dictating pace. Relying on the other teams to keep the pace high is too risky. I know this will bother me for a couple of days...but it'll pass.
I like 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 8th. But I would have liked 1st, 25th, 36th, and 49th more.
Of all the ABRT guys I'm glad Steven got the win. Can you imagine if Lance got it?? I get nauseous just thinking about it. ;)