I’m drinking a glass of champagne as I type this. No, its not from the podium, but from my 8th anniversary that I celebrated with my wife, Kathryne, earlier this week. Quite special all by itself. But now, here’s a toast to WINNING! Its been a while for me, and I’d almost forgot what it feels like! It wasn’t a big race. It wasn’t the A race. But I rode my heart out for it and I’m pretty proud!
The 15K TT on Saturday went as well as I could expect. I love to TT but rarely get results. This day suited me better than most though – not much wind, a winding road and some pretty steep hills. I struggled to find a rhythm up the draggy first two miles. But I quickly caught my 30 sec guy and had the next guy in my sights. I was bummed to get caught by Bill Dahl of Sport Systems who started just after me, but I’m quite used to being passed so it didn’t phase me. I knew I had to get it going then, though! I hoped I might get back some time on him climbing out of the canyon to the turnaround, but he kept the gas on. Coming back I let it rip and caught two more guys up the last climb. The road was closed to traffic so there was little to distract me from the effort. The last two miles I emptied the tanks trying to make up more time, but it was not to be. Bill beat me by 1:03, putting me in second in the 35+ race. Still, I was just over 2 minutes behind the P/1/2 winner and Colavita’s own, John Verheul , so I had to be pleased (he beat me by about 4 minutes last month in Las Cruces!). Meanwhile our new team mate, Kenny When from Aztec had a strong 4th in the P/1/2 race, just 1:11 off of Verheul – not bad considering that he didn’t even see the course prior to his start.
I was psyched for the crit on Sunday. The weather was near perfect and the course fast and smooth with 3 wide corners. We had about 25 guys line up for the 45 minute race. Kenny signed up for the masters crit (in addition to the P/1/2 which went off later in the day) to lend me a hand. He worked hard throughout the race often getting in breaks and forcing others to chase. In the process he took at least two primes. I covered a lot of moves in between and tried to make a few breaks stick, but no one seemed willing to work with me. We kept everyone on their toes though. Race leader, Dahl, hung back most of the race making me wonder what he had planned. In the last 10 minutes Chris Abbott of the Giuseppe’s Café team (I think) took a big solo flyer. He was down on the standings, so we let him go. Before we knew it they were counting down the laps. With two to go, Kenny went to the front and set a steady pace with me on his wheel. A few guys took over the pace on the last lap but I stayed on Kenny’s wheel and near the front. Chris was out of sight and had the win easily. I wasn’t sure about my sprint but was confident that if I was the first rider into the last turn that I’d be assured a high place in the short slightly uphill homestretch. So I jumped as hard as I could with about 300m to go. That Jamis can really through down! I railed it through the turn, putting trust my Vittoria’s (and my Rudy Project helmet) and gutted out the last 100m to the line. I really thought I’d win the field sprint but William Steffen, who didn’t ride the TT, got by me at the line. Kenny rode my wheel in to soak up 4th place (judges gave him 5th) which pretty much assured me of the Omnium win. Bill Dahl, not a fan of pack sprints as it turns out, got home safely in 12th place, slipping to 5th on GC.
My family was expecting me back soon, but I had just enough time to watch our team mates Liz Cash and Courtney duke it out in the mens 3/4/5 race – their version of a warm-up before the women’s event. They rode great with Courtney getting off the front at least once. I didn’t get to witness the P/1/2 crit but was happy to hear that our ex-teammate Jesus “Chacho” Zapata, now riding for Ten Speed Drive took the win in the crit after lapping the field. Also lapping the field with him was Kenny, who took second in the crit, moving up to third overall. John Verheul’s 7th was good enough to keep him in first on GC. Not a bad weekend for Colavita. Hats off to the organizers, especially Sylvio Menezes, who put on a great race with a family atmosphere complete with inflatable fun house– I was almost wishing I’d brought my wife and son. Maybe next year. Sorry to go on so long… now I’m drinking beer….
Submitted by John Stadick, Colavita NM