The March 19th weekend was the 2 day St. Louis Omnium which included a Saturday AM time trial followed by a Saturday PM crit and a Sunday crit.
My schedule didn't work out to leave Friday and make it in time for the TT (yeah let's go with that not the fact that tts scare me) so the gf and I drove down Saturday morning and met the other guys (jake, Oboyle, Igor and Wilfred) for lunch. It turns out that both jake and Oboyle had killer TTs getting 5th and a 8th (even with a navigation mishap from Oboyle) setting us up for a possible overall result right from the start.
Saturdays crit was a little longer at 1.3 miles but welcomed as it made a good early season course with mostly wide roads and soft corners. The lap had a bit of elevation including a gradual uphill finish for the last few hundred meters as well as a headwind on the back side that gave the course some nice features. I put in a couple efforts early but nothin hard enough considering everyone was fresh. Jake did the same but with better results in the middle of the race and finally got one of those to stick. He established a break that ended up growing to 7 guys and staying away. Jake took 5th on the day and from there we had our Omnium guy to ride for.
Sunday was another chili morning, it was snowing and wasn't even certain the races would be held but by noon it looked like a completely different day and we had a crit to race. Jake was sitting 3rd in the overall and we knew who we had to keep an eye on. The race was pretty hard but uneventful for a while as nothing really happened until about 8 laps left when O'boyle used that TT power and went off the front solo. At first I think it wasn't respected as so many of those come right back but the longer he was out there the more he had people's attention and after some bridges had a nice group of 6 or 8 guys, nobody on GC. They were out there with a 15 second gap for 3 or 4 laps and it looked like the sprinters may not have their day. With a few laps to go Bissell ratcheted up the pace and the break was caught and the last 3 laps became a fight for positioning. Jake finished an impressive 3rd, personally I was happy with an 18th, time to up the goals going forward though. Based on Hogan (Bissel) winning both crits, the GC shuffled and jake was in a tie in points for the overall... Unfortunatly the tie breaker was Sunday's crit so he'd have to settle for 2nd.
The team is going to be really competitive this year, I'm looking forward to all the bigger races not too far down the road.
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Friday, March 18, 2016
First Id like to reintroduce myself, my name is Ben LaForce and I ride for xXx-Athletico Racing based out of Chicago. The team has an ambitious schedule this year so there should be plenty to write about. I have a lot of old posts here I contemplated deleting and starting from scratch but they've been fun to read again so I'm leaving them up. My goal will be to keep consistent posts coming primarily on my training and racing. This weekend I'll be heading down to the St. Louis Omnium with a few teammates, stay tuned...