After a successful Grant's Tomb Criterium, Team Sixcycle-RK&O returned to our Sunday stomping grounds at the Bethel Spring Series. Our first campaign at Bethel for the Ronde de Bethel was a successful one with Charlie Bird taking home a win, Ben Fackler taking home a podium and several other top ten placings.
Going into the second weekend of the Bethel Spring Series for Ris Van Bethel the team aimed to set an aggressive tone. It was a strategy that paid off with Roger Parmelee taking second in a field sprint and then Ben Fackler taking a top ten from a break in the following P/1/2/3 race.
Roger Parmelee's race report, along with video and pictures from the action, follows.
Ris Van Bethel Race Report by Team Sixcycle-RK&O's Roger Parmelee
The race started off fast with Matt Vandivort hitting the front and stringing the pack out single file for 2 laps. After he got done working the front, the race settled down a bit but then attacks started. The team continued to attack over and over for 15 laps but nothing seemed to gain a big enough gap to be dangerous. I always kept my position at least 10 to 15 wheels from the front. Luckily, my teammates were always around in case I needed a little help holding position.
With about 10 laps to go, I told Matt to settle in, relax and get ready. It was getting pretty obvious the race was going to end in a sprint. With constant break attempts the entire race, I think the pack was pretty happy that we calmed down and just kept to keep the race together.
Ollie Davis got away with about 8 to go and stayed out for a while despite it being his second race of the day. Then with 5 to go Ben Fackler attacked with 3 others and quickly gained 30 seconds. With 2 to go and the gap holding pretty steady, I started to think Ben’s move had a chance to stick. With a teammate up the road, it made it really easy for us to just sit in. Additionally, Ben was 3rd on GC and the GC leader missed the break, so he was pulling hard on the front to bring Ben back and wasted a lot of energy.
With a couple big pulls from FGX the race started coming back together. We got organized for a lead out. With 1 to go we had 4 guys lined up ready to go when the break got caught. I was still hoping the break would stay away but they were just dangling off the front at this point. One more big pull from FGX and the race was together.
The sprint was on. With about a half a lap to go Matt V went pull gas with Corey right behind him. Charlie Bird came up on the left and sat in between Matt and Corey. With the pack completely strung out I had great position.
When Matt pulled off, Charlie took over and started pulling. I could hear Corey yelling at Matt as we passed him asking where I was. Matt shouted back. “He’s 2 wheels back!” Corey was also yelling at Charlie “Full gas! Everything you got!” Charlie dropped us off perfectly with 500 meters to go.
Corey drilled up the hill and burned up with 200 meters to go. I had one rider in front who I used briefly. Then the sprint popped off.
I saw a Bethel rider come up my left side. I went with him. He got a slight jump on me. With about 75 meters left, I was gaining on him and kicked again. Unfortunately, the line came up too fast, and I finished a wheel short of the win. 2nd place isn’t bad considering it’s early in the season, but I would I have loved to finish it off for the guys. However, it goes to show that we have some great teamwork very early year in year and the wins should be coming.
To celebrate, we all suffered in the 123 field. I was happy to finish and get stuck in with a couple of moves. It was fun after sitting in for the 3/4 race to race aggressively. A break finally got away which I was fine with because I was exhausted and at this point my legs felt like shit. All in all, another good day in Bethel.
Ris Van Bethel Race Video