Holy crap was that crit. hard. First off it became the Health Net, Jelly Belly, and Endevour show. They hit the pace so hard and stretched us out on the narrow course so much that the field snapped everywhere. Had I been more up front it would probably have been more manageable. I ended up in a chase group that eventually would not work together. I felt pretty good but damn tired. We eventually got lapped but they let us keep racing. I finished 33rd in the GC out of 150 or so. I was hoping for better but to be honest, I am happy with that result considering what is coming up next month. The crit was the decision maker in this race. Apparently, this was opposite from the previous years of races. I would have never thought the crit. to be the destroyer or the maker. This race was an excellent builder and it broke me down good.
Ben Raby kicked ass in the crit. and hung on with the hell train. He moved up into the top 15. It was a crazy course with plenty of opportunity to die many different deaths.
Big thanks for the Nature Valley/General Mills Fayetteville office "fanclub." I heard them every lap cheering me on. They thought I looked great. I thought I looked like a tired piece of $%#@! Hey, 85 minutes plus 5 laps on the toughest crit course I have ever endured. I had to stay in for that reason alone. Ciao -Ian