Lots of action for Fiera Race Team this weekend. At the Spring Series Spectacular road race, there was a pretty good turnout with 20 or more riders in the “B” Field, and roughly 15ish in the “A” field. The “A” race was ridiculously fast paced, averaging 37 kph for roughly 90 km. Fiera Race Team’s Stefan Schreiber braved the “A” group and, in his own words, “barely hung on”. I drove home with Stefan after the race and managed to piece the race together through snippets of anecdote–this is how it happened: Stefan attacked early in the first 15 km and was followed by a Category 3 racer (that’s a category faster than Stefan’s current ranking). The two of them worked together for a spell, during which the Category 3 rider (I’ll just call him Cat3Guy) remarked to Stefan ” I don’t think we can hold them off” to which Stefan remarked, “Oh, I know this attack will fail, but I want to see who the strong ones are”. Cat3Guy fell back to the peloton, and Stefan made a mental note that Cat3Guy was “not a strong one”. Soon, and inevitably, the peloton began to gain on Stefan and he sat up and rested until they swept him up. Stefan worked hard to hang on to the pace of the group, at times he felt he was on the edge of cracking, at others he felt strong and took his turn pulling at the front. In the end, he managed to hang on for the sprint finish, but did not have enough in his legs to contest the podium, finishing roughly 8th in the first group of 8 across the line. First, second, and third place finishes went to ERTC.
The “B” race field was chin-deep in ERTC riders, and a nearly equally impressive platoon of Juventus riders. The numbers, and the team tactics of ERTC and Juventus, made things difficult for the rest of us. Luckily though, Fiera RT, who was represented by Jan, Pat, and myself, allied ourselves with Dave who was otherwise alone, and representing Hardcore Racing (see Dave’s blog for a great report on this race from his perspective). I really just wanted to sit in on this race, and for once, just please Gods once, finish with the peloton. Dave had other ideas though, and I found myself at about 48 km in, trying to help Dave reel-in a threatening break-away by a group of Juvenus and ERTC riders. That was the end of my race, I wasn’t completely spent, but by the time I sat up, the momentum of the peloton’s efforts to stay with Dave was more than I could keep up with. As it turned out, Pat was in the same boat, and we rode most of the remaining race together, keeping the peloton tantalizingly close at times, just barely in sight at others.
In the end, Jan managed to stay with the main group for the finish, despite being exhausted from a heroic effort in an early break.
Dave ended up taking the win away from the ERTC and Juventus racing machines, through three decisive moves and a heroic effort. First there was the chase that I was involved with, then as I understand it, a long, long, heroic bridge to another threatening ERTC attack that set him up to be in a three rider group out front on the final stretch. He followed through with a sprint to the finish against two ERTC teammates. Hardcore wins, and Fiera helps, but more importantly the big ERTC team has to settle for 2nd and 3rd, and Juventus has to sit up with no one on the podium.
Again, Dave has great race report from his perspective. Thanks to Becky for the photos and for the enthusiastic encouragement from the road side.