Race Report from Burris Logistics-Fit Werx team member, Alberto Citarella.
So, just wanted to provide everyone with a little summary of how things played out in the Cat 4 race. I don’t know how Philip did because didn’t see him after his race. It looked like he did well.
Friday – I obviously had an amazing day. I have not felt that good on a bike the entire season. I caught my 30 second man, then my minute man and almost caught the 1:30 man at the line. Had my heart rate up above 180 the entire time which is not something I thought I could do. Anyway, I was super happy and had about a 13 second lead going into Saturday.
Saturday – Things stayed together, despite a lot of attacks, until the first climb at 25 miles. The climb was about 4 miles long. At the top of the climb there were about 5-7 of us left. We rode it in together (by the end there were only 5 of us) and got another 1+ minute on the next group of 5 riders and 2+ minutes on another group. I got second to my future nemisis. By winning, he got a time bonus and was now within 10 seconds on GC. Overall though, I was feeling pretty confident that I could hold him off on Sunday.
Sunday (the day all hell broke loose) – This was a 58 mile race with a ridiculous climb at mile 45. Imagine the last section of the App Gap for about 1.5 miles with a few (and I do mean few) respites of 10-20 yards scattered throughout. The climb was only 1.5 miles but climbed more vertical than the App Gap. At about mile 20, a group of 5 guys gets a small gap. I didn’t think anything of it because there did not appear to be any climbers in it and no one from my group of five yesterday was in it. However, they quickly got about a minute lead and no one (and I mean no one) was doing any work. All the biggest teams had guys in the break so they didn’t need to do anything. Then comes Christian up to the front. He proceeds to pull the pack from mile ~20 to mile ~40. I am not exaggerating or overstating when I say that I would not have ended up on the podium without the work that Christian put in. Christian pulled the entire 20+ miles to the base of the climb with maybe about a 1-2 minute respite. It was a MONSTER pull. Something I’ve never seen before. Christian gets us to the base of the climb and things shatter. Then its just me and my nemisis. We’ve caught the break (except for one guy). My nemisis attacks with 1 km left on the climb and I can’t keep up. By the top, he has 40 seconds. I wait up for two guys about 5-10 seconds behind thinking 3 can work better than 1. With 10 km to go, I get cramps in both of my legs (imagine simultaneous charlie horses in both quads). So that pair has now drop me. I take 15-20 seconds, massage my legs, do a little prayer and keep pedaling. I end up 5 or 6 on the day only about 20 seconds on the guys who dropped me but about 1+ minute behind the GC winner.
So that’s it.
Again, I can not stress enough the insane amount of work that Christian put in to get me to the climb and not let the 5 man group get a 10 minute gap. I would not have gotten second on GC. If the podium were big enough for two, he should have been up there.