The team is here in Freiburg Germany competing in the 25th annual Regio Tour, however this is the first year it’s a junior race. Two years ago this race was a Pro Tour race, but then changed to a u23 race after the race sponsors were fed up with doping problems.
Stage one was hot, 105 out on the road and after being in Belgium for a few weeks it felt even hotter. The stage began at 2:30, and as always, it started fast. For me it was the first ride of the week after some knee pains kept me off the bike after our race last Sunday in Belgium. I was aggressive early and after 15km escaped off the front with four other riders. Our time gap quickly increased to 1:35 over the pack and they rolled along in the blistering heat. After 20 more kilometers we hit the base of the days only climb, I was feeling alright and thought I might have a chance at going for the KOM. Once the acceleration began I realized that three days off the bike had not been the best thing for my quick accelerations but I did what I could to stay with the leaders. With 500 meter to go a rider began his sprint not knowing it was only a sign for 500 meters. The move was brought back and just then I looked over my back to see that a rider had come from the group and coming fast. The sprint went again but I didn’t have it and missed out on the points. Over the top of the climb another group came up to us and shortly after the pack. From there the race just cruised for a while, and then the winning move went. Jacob was the first to go, I gave it a go but it was brought back then Nathan got away and bridged across. Five kilometers later Lawson marked a move with ten more guys and chased hard but never caught the lead group. From there Gavin, Ryan and I rode in the pack and made sure if anything else go away that we were in it. Nothing did and we slowly, rolled to the finish. Meanwhile Rathe was the strongest man and won the race and took the yellow and green jersey. Nathan was 5th and Lawson 13th. We were also winning team GC, so it was an awesome day for everyone.
Stage two was time to defend the yellow. We have an amazing team here; everyone is super strong and willing to lay everything out on the line for everyone else, which in this situation makes riding at the front fun knowing that your work is for the betterment of the team. That being said we did just that, rode on the front most the day not letting anything dangerous get to far up the road and discouraging any of the other strong riders/teams from attacking. For how un-difficult the course was the race was one of the hardest I’ve done this year. We had a strong head wind the majority of the time and had to ride hard at times to bring breaks back. And with 15km remaining Gavin crashed and Jacob trashed his front wheel and was forced to stop and giving a wheel from Lawson, before we all helped him rejoin the pack. It was a hard day, but awesome to see how well we rode as a team and we are still winning team GC and Jacob still has yellow.
We you race as a team you win as a team
P.S. photos are from day before the race, we took a mid ride stop……… it was hot