Sunday brought about a beautiful day for a race. The East Aurora race was held under sunny skies with a stiff wind blowing out of the south and bringing plenty of heat. The race was two laps for a total length of 46 miles. The northward (with a tail wind) and eastward legs were mostly flat. The southward (headwind) leg had a number of rolling hills to soften up the legs. The final leg had the largest hills, the last coming 1.5-2 miles from the finish. The first lap was pretty uneventful as it quickly came apparent that it would be tough for a break to get away - too many were interested in keeping things together. The second lap started with a break of two off the front by about 5 seconds, but the Bike Shop guys kept the speed pegged at 28-30mph to keep them on a tight leash. My plan was to keep my powder dry and try to get away on the last hill. As the hill approached, one rider slipped off the front and got a 20 yard gap. Theo (Once Again race team) bridged up and I knew that was a good wheel to follow. I jumped and got across about half way up the hill. Two others joined us at the crest or shortly after to make a group of five. Theo was intent on keeping us away and hammered all the way home. The rest of us were content to sit in and wait for the sprint. The finish was on a small riser, but I just didn't have the legs after the final hill climb. The "winner" sprinted illegally and was relegated to the back of the breakaway group. Matt Brophy came home in first, I was able to hold on for the final podium spot. It was a great course, I hope to see it again next year!
Team Dorschel gains the rainbow jersey with a victory at the Thursday Night Worlds! Nevermind the fact that the field was smaller than usual (everyone who showed up finished on the podium), a win is a win!