a report from the clear lake road race, by all9yards.com team members chad vandelune and lane anderson:CHAD VAN DELUNE writes: I don't usually do this, and my writing sucks, but I am so proud of how the cat 1,2 team raced sunday at clear lake that I want to share the race from where I was. five all9 riders (lane, d-lip, jared, kurt, chad), 75 miles, no hills, serious west winds, 1 big loop. Right at the start, Josh madson attacked, and Lane and Lou went with him. We had already decided that if we got into a break with Lou we would not work. It didn't make sense to help drag him to the line when he had no team. So Lane was doing just the right amount of work to keep the break going. Best quote of the weekend, Shrek says "Lane doesn't even work on RAGBRAI". Back in the pack, green was trying to keep the pace steady and protect Jared. Bikes to You seemed to be protecting Sean Walker, but Lee kept attacking. Kurt did a great job covering Lee, and finally about 20 miles into the race, they got a gap. The pack let them get about a 1:30 up the road, and then we decided to keep them there. Bart came back on the motor bike and said 4:45 to the leaders, and 1:00 to the chasers.
This news must have made Lee decide to wait for us, because he and Kurt came back soon after. At this point Jared-- our protected rider--was getting a little nervous. I could tell he was strong and could win the race if we timed it right. This is about when Clark decided he needed to get a chase going to have a chance to win. He finally got away, but by himself. It took the pack a few miles to decide who was going to chase, so he got a good gap.
Finally, Bikes to You decided they would help bring him back, so Dave, Kurt, and I worked with Walker and Tater. We caught him with about 30 miles to go. At this point we didn't know what the time gap was, but still couldn't see them. I talked to Walker, and told him we were pretty happy with our odds in the break, and we were done working. Dave, Kurt, and I had done the Lion's share of work, and i, for one, was starting to cramp.
Then Walker goes to the front and drives it for a good seven miles or so. We thought they were working for him, but it turned out they were trying to get Lee the win.
With about 15 miles to go, Lee attacked hard, right before the cross wind section, and Jared and I both jumped. This was our chance to get Jared across to Lane. Jared was very fresh, and took long pulls--but not too hard. I went to the front and pulled as hard as I could, and then let up to get Lee to pull.
Lee's pulls were very slow and short. I could tell that Jared could ride away from him at any time, but we didn't want to do it to soon.
Then we started seeing some riders up the road. We couldn't tell if it was the break, or some other category. The motor bike finally showed up and gave us splits: "1:15 to the break and 1:45 to the pack." At this point, i knew we could get Jared to the break to help Lane. Jared and I kept getting closer, and when we got within maybe 30 seconds, I told Jared to jump.
I knew he could ride across, but you never know about Lee. He is really good at playing dead.
Jared shot across to the break, and Lee couldn't make it. [This is where I checked out so you will have to get the rest of the story from Lane or Jared.]
LANE ANDERSON continues: When Jared got to us, I made sure he felt good, and then I attacked our group with about 1 mile before the tailwind finish section. This was my plan for 65 miles, even without teammates, because I had done so little work, but having Jared there guaranteed the win.
I got a good gap, and Bart let me know Jared had dropped Lou and was coming up alone. Jared got to me with about 1.5 miles to go and it was celebration time. Thanks, guys. That race was an excellent illustration why cycling is such a great team sport.