After a mishap filled third race in the Rockleigh Series TBD's Matthew Vandivort was still hanging onto third place on the basis of his solo win in the series opener. But he was also well back of series leader Juan Suarez of NYCC. So going into race number four the squad committed to racing aggressively and seeing where the chips fell. In the words of Richard Scudney:
The fourth race in the Rockleigh Series started out just like any other race. After meeting the squad at the GWB and rolling fifteen miles to the venue I did the usual nutrition check, bike check, team check, and the race jitters check.
The race started off fairly smooth with my teammates in the front. My goal for this race was just to chill and make sure I’m there for my teammates when the pressure is on. There were a few serious surges in the race that threatened to split the field. But once things came back together the pace would slow.
(all photos for this journal entry by Daghan Perker)
That was the rhythm for this race. When ever there was an attack we would make sure one of us was in it or work to bring it back. It made for an exciting race as we were constantly on the front and involved in the action.
With six laps to go I started to move to the front. With the race ticking down to the finish I had one more effort in my now weary legs. On one of the turns I put in a huge dig. Enough to motor away but not enough to affect any further efforts. At one of the turns I snuck a peek back to see the field back a ways with my teammates sitting on the front signally the chase was not aggressive.
My heart swelled and my goal become crystal clear. I bared down and gritted my teeth. At this point with about 3 laps to go I was hanging on. My legs where screaming and my brain was complaining. I knew if I kept my pace I might... just might be able to stay away. My team where also hard at work keep the field from catching me. I heard the bell lap chime in and my cadence quickened up. I wanted to throw up but I needed to increase my cadence.
When I came to the last 500 meters I stood up and danced in the drops with all my might. My brain was mostly delirious but I could tell from the screaming spectators that what was a big gap when I got the bell was much smaller --- I put everything I had left into those last two hundred meters and thankfully managed to cross the line just ahead of a fast charging Allan Rego from Lupus Racing.
The cool down lap was great as I was able to recover and celebrate with all of my teammates. With all the teamwork going on this really could have happened to any of them - it just happened to be my attack that stuck. It's also two solo wins for the squad in just four races so it goes to show how racing aggressively can pay dividends at Rockleigh.
I am truly fortunate and amazingly lucky to be on such an eagerly supportive team. A shout out to my coach Mikael Hanson who is always going above and beyond for me. And of course to the race organizers - win or lose Rockleigh Crit is one of the most friendly and supportive race series there is.