Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Race report from Saturday September 1st, 2012 St. Johann Austria

Saturdays race was 3 laps on the 40km hilly course. With such an unexpectedly small turn out due to the weather being 5.5 degrees Celsius , the 94 racers had their work cut out for them. Right off the bat, the race bolted off the starting line and into the foggy cold mountains. Anyone who was not properly warmed up was in for a rude awakening. Tom and Grant started together and made their way toward the front of the pack before the first climb. As they approached the steepest section there was a massive crash forcing 30 or so riders into a full on brake. About 7 men actually crashed, including Tom who was behind a guy who ended up going head first over his handlebars and down the side of the hill into a huge ditch. ( had to get picked up by ambulance and rushed to the hospital ) Grant managed to keep his rubber-side down, but had to come to almost a complete stop in his effort to get around the chaos. Tom tried his best to hop back on his bike, but the impact nearly ripped his shifter off his integrated handlebars and knocked his carbon race wheels into the frame so they would no longer turn and his chain came off. By the time he was able to get the bike rolling again, there was simply no way to bridge back to the peloton who were already over the crest of the last climb.

Into the second lap of the road race, 8 men were off the front and had no intentions of being caught. Grant managed to break away from the main group and began his journey with a handful of other riders to bridge up to the race leaders. By the third and final lap, Grant and  other riders were turning over the biggest gears possible to catch the break. In the end, the leaders managed to stay away and sprinted for the win out of 7 guys. Grants group had 6 guys in it and Grant managed an impressive third place sprint finish putting him in 10th place overall. 

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